Nietzsche and Non-Cognitivism

In Simon Robertson & Christopher Janaway (eds.), Nietzsche, Naturalism & Normativity. Oxford University Press (2012)
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Though Nietzsche traditionally often used to be interpreted as a nihilist, a range of possible metaethical 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 paper 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 paper 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.



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Citations of this work

Nietzschean Constructivism: Ethics and Metaethics for All and None.Alex Silk - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (3):244-280.
Zarathustra’s metaethics.Neil Sinhababu - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):278-299.
Normativity for Nietzschean Free Spirits.Simon Robertson - 2011 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 54 (6):591-613.

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