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Nietzsche, Naturalism, and Falsification

Nietzsche, Naturalism, and Falsification Abstract: This essay focuses on one of Nietzsche’s greatest challenges to our understanding of perception and cognition: his “falsification thesis.” I argue that despite several innovative and insightful attempts to understand Nietzsche’s claims about falsification, they have failed because they have not made an adequate connection between Nietzsche’s falsification claims and his naturalistic account of the development of human cognition. Nietzsche’s most important insight is that the basic falsifications and simplifications of sensation and language are not only often quite useful but are also the cornerstone of knowledge and science. The central implications that follow are that cognition can succeed without correspondence between mind and world and that the standard assumption thought to be absolutely indispensable for science, that the world is fundamentally ordered, or a cosmos, is unnecessary. That is, Nietzsche’s naturalism explains how we may have knowledge and successfully pursue science without avoiding falsification altogether. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Nietzsche Studies Penn State University Press

Nietzsche, Naturalism, and Falsification

The Journal of Nietzsche Studies , Volume 44 (3) – Jan 9, 2013

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1538-4594
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: This essay focuses on one of Nietzsche’s greatest challenges to our understanding of perception and cognition: his “falsification thesis.” I argue that despite several innovative and insightful attempts to understand Nietzsche’s claims about falsification, they have failed because they have not made an adequate connection between Nietzsche’s falsification claims and his naturalistic account of the development of human cognition. Nietzsche’s most important insight is that the basic falsifications and simplifications of sensation and language are not only often quite useful but are also the cornerstone of knowledge and science. The central implications that follow are that cognition can succeed without correspondence between mind and world and that the standard assumption thought to be absolutely indispensable for science, that the world is fundamentally ordered, or a cosmos, is unnecessary. That is, Nietzsche’s naturalism explains how we may have knowledge and successfully pursue science without avoiding falsification altogether.

Journal

The Journal of Nietzsche StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Jan 9, 2013

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