9
NIETZSCHE AND IVAN KARAMAZOV

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

Nietzsche ( 1844-1900) was born on 15 October 1844 to devout Lutheran parents. While he was an implacable foe of Christianity, he nevertheless always discouraged convinced Christians from reading his books. When Nietzsche was composing Thus Spake Zarathustra, a young lady asked if he had been to church that day, to which he replied: Today, no. He said afterwards to a friend: If I had troubled that girl's mind I should have been horrified.

In a letter to his sister, who was a believing Christian, he wrote:

... What is it we are seeking? Rest and Happiness? No, nothing but Truth, however evil and terrible it may be ...So are the ways of men marked out;if you desire peace of soul and happiness, believe; if you would become a disciple of Truth,enquire ...1

This book is about truth, and from this quotation it would seem that Nietzsche might have approved of this enterprise. As a philosopher, I hope he would have done so, but the conclusion towards which this book is arguing is going to be radically different from his although I share with him a passionate commitment to the importance of truth.

Probably the largest single influence on Nietzsche was the work of Arthur Schopenhauer, whose gloomy, atheistic approach to life appealed to him strongly. In terms of outlook, however, Nietzsche

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What Is Truth?
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page III
  • New College Lectures and Publications V
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Dedication and Acknowledgments xi
  • Part One - What is Truth? 1
  • 1 - The Implications of a Denial of Truth--Or the Claim to Have It 3
  • 2 - Realism and Anti-Realism 12
  • 3 - Foundations Without Indubitability 29
  • 4 - Anti-Realism in Religion and Morality 38
  • 5 - Constructivism in Psychology 49
  • Part Two - There is No Truth Out There 63
  • 7 - Ontology and Epistemology 65
  • 8 - Hegel and Marx 74
  • 9 - Nietzsche and Ivan Karamazov 79
  • 10 - The Denial of a Real World 89
  • 11 - Post-Modernism 95
  • 12 - Post-Modernism and Self-Identity 105
  • 13 - Interim Conclusion 117
  • Part Three - The Centre Can Hold 121
  • 14 - The Path to Truth 123
  • 15 - The Kotzker 126
  • 16 - Soren Kierkegaard and Subjectivity 132
  • 17 - Wittgenstein and Perspicuity 141
  • 18 - The Sufis 151
  • 19 - Vaclav Havel and Living the Truth 156
  • 20 - Fear and Freedom 164
  • 21 - Bringing the Threads Together 182
  • Notes 190
  • Index 201
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