Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

European Journal of Philosophy Vol. 13, No. 2, August 2005

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

European Journal of Philosophy Vol. 13, No. 2, August 2005

Article excerpt

Nietzsche on Truth, Illusion, and Redemption, R. LANIER ANDERSON

Nietzsche's views on truth have provoked controversy: some commentators emphasize texts attacking the possibility and/or desirability of truth, while others highlight Nietzsche's praise for honesty, truth, and science. The paper reconciles tensions between these two strands within Nietzsche by showing (1) how apparently conflicting claims about the existence of truth can be understood within a consistent epistemology, and (2) how Nietzsche's remarks (pro and con) about truth's value arise because the best sort of life requires both rigorous honesty and "saving illusions." The paper explains Nietzsche's conception of the good life by appeal to eternal recurrence, and argues that both honesty and illusion, as merely regulative ideals, can consistently play roles in affirming recurrence. For Nietzsche, we need "saving illusions" to achieve redemption in his sense, which is sharply distinguished from Christian redemption, and the result illuminates Nietzsche's doctrine of "creation of values. …

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