Abstract

abstract:

This paper examines Nietzsche's notorious critiques of scientific explanation, and whether they cohere with the more naturalistic or positivist strains in the texts. I offer a new interpretation of Nietzsche's conception of scientific explanation that promises to resolve the apparent tension between his insistence on the veracity of such explanations, and his frequent attempts to impugn their cognitive reach. Nietzsche follows earlier nineteenth-century critiques of science in claiming that science yields only factual or "descriptive" knowledge, not understanding. The paper concludes that the conception of descriptive knowledge is robust and compatible with Nietzsche's commitment to the truth and rigor of scientific theories. The interpretation also sheds new light on Nietzsche's oft-voiced claims that certain concepts "falsify" the world.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 519-549
Launched on MUSE
2018-07-10
Open Access
No
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