Beyond Scepticism: ‘For—There Is No “Truth” ’

Peter Poellner

in Nietzsche and Metaphysics

Published in print April 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250630
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598258 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

 Beyond Scepticism: ‘For—There Is No “Truth” ’

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As well as drawing sceptical conclusions, Nietzsche rejects the concept of absolute or metaphysical truth as unintelligible. Nietzsche's views are elucidated by contrasting his arguments with alternative accounts of ‘objective reality’ belonging to the philosophical canon. It ensues that Nietzsche espouses a variety of anti‐metaphysics premised on the mutual determination of reality and interest. He believes that objective reality cannot be conceived without volitional and intentional agency on the part of subjects who experience themselves as acted upon (‘resisted’) by the contents of their representations. Having elaborated and explained the prominence of Nietzsche's denial of metaphysical fact, the discussion turns to the origin and significance of the desire for metaphysical truth. In identifying the embracing of metaphysical truth for its own sake (the ‘will to truth’) with the ascetic ideal, Nietzsche intends to contrast practical engagement with the world with a preference for evaluation divorced from the subject's actual experiences and desires. Belief in objective value and ‘the will to truth’ are subsumed under a general psychological disposition designated ‘the ascetic ideal’, characterized by self‐deception or ressentiment.

Keywords: ascetic ideal; objective reality; ressentiment; self‐deception; truth; will to truth

Chapter.  24970 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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