European Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 11, No. 3, December 2003

Article excerpt

Nietzsche, Re-Evaluation and the Turn to Genealogy, DAVID OWEN

This article provides a developmental account of the reasons for Nietzsche's turn to genealogy as a mode of enquiry and, thereby, an interpretive basis for understanding the philosophical function of his genealogy of morality. It begins by identifying three central problems that Nietzsche comes to recognize concerning his initial understanding of the nature and demands of the project of reevaluation in Daybreak. The first problem concerns the relationship between religious and moral belief in his contemporaries and what Nietzsche takes to be their failure to infer the loss of authority of moral beliefs despite their acknowledgment of the loss of authority of religious beliefs. The second arises in relation to the need to provide a naturalistic account of our unconditional will to truth that will ground Nietzsche's appeal to this value. The third concerns the problem of authority for the project of reevaluation and addresses, in the context of Nietzsche's perspectivism, his need to provide reasons that his audience can accept to reject the perspective of Christian morality. Nietzsche's responses to these problems, the author argues, provide him with both compelling reasons to develop the mode of enquiry exhibited in On the Genealogy of Morality and the conceptual resources necessary to do so. The essay concludes by indicating the challenge that this account offers to the interpretations of genealogy offered by major commentators such as Leiter, Geuss, and Ridley.

McDowell on Reasons, Externalism and Scepticism, DUNCAN PRITCHARD

For the most part, the conventional wisdom in the recent literature has been that content externalism is only suited to dealing with, at best, a small set of skeptical arguments concerning our knowledge of the external world. One prominent dissenting voice to this conventional wisdom, however, has been John McDowell who has provocatively claimed that external world skepticism essentially rests upon a commitment to content internalism. Drawing upon ideas from Wittgenstein's "On Certainty," a critical assessment of McDowell's response to skepticism and, in particular, the role that he accords to reasons in this regard is presented. It is concluded that there is nothing in the McDowellian account which should cause us to reject the conventional wisdom about the relationship between content externalism and skepticism.

Hegel and Peircean Abduction, PAUL REDDING

"Abduction" was the term Charles Sanders Peirce used in his later writings for a type of inference that is now commonly called "inference to the best explanation." According to Peirce, abduction stood alongside induction as a distinct form of nondemonstrative or probabilistic inference, and constituted a methodologically distinct step in scientific investigation. …