Nietzsche’s ‘Anti-Naturalism’ in ‘The Four Great Errors’

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (2):256-276 (2013)
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This paper is primarily a response to ‘analytically-minded’ philosophers, such as Maudemarie Clark and Brian Leiter, who push for a ‘naturalistic’ interpretation of Nietzsche. In particular, this paper will consider Leiter’s (2007) discussion of Nietzsche’s chapter in Twilight of the Idols, ‘The Four Great Errors’, and argue that Leiter has misinterpreted this chapter in at least four ways. I provide a superior interpretation of this chapter, which argues that Nietzsche is using a transcendental style of argument to argue against a common conception of causation. I argue that Nietzsche’s ultimate aim of this chapter is to argue for ‘the innocence of becoming’ rather than, as Leiter claims, the error of free will. I argue that this anti-naturalist methodology and conclusion are in tension with Leiter/clark’s Nietzsche, and highlights the need to pay attention to the being/becoming distinction in Nietzsche.



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David E. Rowe
Deakin University

Citations of this work

‘Pain Always Asks for a Cause’: Nietzsche and Explanation.Matthew Bennett - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1550-1568.
Nietzsche's Negative View of Freedom.David E. Rowe - 2014 - Parrhesia 1 (21):125-143.

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References found in this work

Beyond Good and Evil.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1886 - New York,: Vintage. Edited by Translator: Hollingdale & J. R..
From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (197):539-542.
The will to power.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1924 - London,: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. Edited by Walter Arnold Kaufmann & R. J. Hollingdale.

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