Nietzsche and Non-cognitivism

Nadeem J. Z. Hussain

in Nietzsche, Naturalism, and Normativity

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583676
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745294 | DOI:
Nietzsche and Non-cognitivism

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Though Nietzsche traditionally often used to be interpreted as a nihilist, a range of possible meta-ethical interpretations, including varieties of realism, subjectivism and fictionalism, have emerged in the secondary literature. Recently the possibility that Nietzsche is a non-cognitivist has been broached. If one sees Hume as a central non-cognitivist figure, as recent non-cognitivists such as Simon Blackburn have, then the similarities between Nietzsche and Hume can make this reading seem plausible. This chapter assesses the general plausibility of interpreting Nietzsche as a non-cognitivist. Non-cognitivism can mean various things and so some attempt is made to lay out the various kinds of non-cognitivism one might ascribe to Nietzsche. As part of the overall assessment of the plausibility of a non-cognitivist Nietzsche, the chapter considers in detail the arguments of Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick on behalf of a non-cognitivist reading. It argues, however, that there is insufficient evidence to justify the interpretation and that the analogy to Hume is unhelpful.

Keywords: non-cognitivism; meta-ethical; Hume; Clark; Dudrick

Chapter.  10748 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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