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Of Reality. The Purposes of Philosophy by Gianni Vattimo (review)

Of Reality. The Purposes of Philosophy by Gianni Vattimo (review) Gianni Vattimo, Of Reality. The Purposes of Philosophy. Translated from the Italian by Robert T. Valgenti. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2016. 235 pp. The touchstone for Gianni Vattimo’s reflection in Of Reality is a saying of Nietzsche: “There are no facts, only interpretations.” Nietzsche then adds, “And this too is an interpretation.” Down the postmodern rabbit hole we go, vainly clutching at truths or facts, scrabbling for any toehold that might arrest the play of interpretations. It is an endless freefall of course—we should not expect to find our footing in reality, or finally reach a stable philosophical foundation for knowledge. But what is the status of Nietzsche’s ‘thesis’? Is it a fact to say there are no facts? Is this an unarguable, uninterpretable truth? Nietzsche’s rider, “And this too is an interpretation,” cannily refuses to let that putative ‘truth’ remain standing where all other verities have fallen away. Nietzsche refuses to let himself off the hook of his own proposition (if that is what it is), and so he falls with us yet further down the rabbit hole. Like a bewildered Alice, we ask our philosophical questions: what is reality? What is truth? Can there http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Of Reality. The Purposes of Philosophy by Gianni Vattimo (review)

The Comparatist , Volume 41 – Nov 1, 2017

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
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Abstract

Gianni Vattimo, Of Reality. The Purposes of Philosophy. Translated from the Italian by Robert T. Valgenti. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2016. 235 pp. The touchstone for Gianni Vattimo’s reflection in Of Reality is a saying of Nietzsche: “There are no facts, only interpretations.” Nietzsche then adds, “And this too is an interpretation.” Down the postmodern rabbit hole we go, vainly clutching at truths or facts, scrabbling for any toehold that might arrest the play of interpretations. It is an endless freefall of course—we should not expect to find our footing in reality, or finally reach a stable philosophical foundation for knowledge. But what is the status of Nietzsche’s ‘thesis’? Is it a fact to say there are no facts? Is this an unarguable, uninterpretable truth? Nietzsche’s rider, “And this too is an interpretation,” cannily refuses to let that putative ‘truth’ remain standing where all other verities have fallen away. Nietzsche refuses to let himself off the hook of his own proposition (if that is what it is), and so he falls with us yet further down the rabbit hole. Like a bewildered Alice, we ask our philosophical questions: what is reality? What is truth? Can there

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 1, 2017

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