I am one of the first to consider Nietzsche's
epistemology and metaphysics in the context of the Neo-Kantian
tradition within which he wrote.* In particular, I highlight the
important influence on Nietzsche of the Ukrainian philosopher Afrikan
and the Transcendental Tradition (University of Illinois Press,
Despite some warts (e.g. typos and misquotations), I stand by
this book. The
most important part is the first three chapters, which discuss Spir's
influence. Things move slowly in philosophy and citations to it
have only just started to pick up, but I've been very happy with the
positive reception it has received, sometimes from surprising corners.
(Recently it was the subject of a reading group at the Universidade
Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil.) The
primary goal of this book is to provide a philosophically satisfying
account of Nietzsche's radical error theory - that is, his claim, which
can be found
expressed repeatedly in both his notebooks and his published works,
that all our judgments are false.
Was Afrikan Spir a Phenomenalist (and What Difference Does It Make for Understanding Nietzsche)?, 44 Journal of Nietzsche Studies (forthcoming 2014)
In this essay, I respond to the criticisms of my reading of Afrikan Spir and Nietzsche offered by Nadeem Hussain in Nietzsche’s Positivism, 12 European Journal of Philosophy 326 (2004), and Review of Michael S. Green, Nietzsche
and the Transcendental Tradition, 113 The Philosophical Review 275
(2004). In particular, Hussain argues that Spir and Nietzsche
were phenomenalists and that their phenomenalism is incompatible with
the antinaturalist theory of cognition I attribute to them. (According
to an antinaturalist theory of cognition, thought requires a
non-natural faculty - that is, a faculty that cannot be known through
the senses and that is not subject to causal laws.)
I argue that Hussain's criticisms fail. His main mistake is emphasizing the early part of Spir's book Denken und Wirklichkeit (entitled "Vorbereitung"). As the title "Vorbereitung" suggests, this part provides the background
to Spir's arguments. The arguments themselves are offered only later in
the book. When these later arguments are considered, the passages from
Vorbereitung upon which Hussain relies fails to undermine the reading
of Spir and Nietzsche I offered in Nietzsche and the Transcendental
in Nineteenth Century German Philosophy, 47 Inquiry: An
Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 168-88 (2004)
This is a review essay on Will Dudley's book Hegel,
Nietzsche, and Philosophy: Thinking Freedom (Cambridge U. Press,
In it, I discuss how Hegel's and Nietzsche's different responses to the
of the schematism in Kant's Critique
of Pure Reason
expressed themselves in their different approaches to other
philosophical topics, particularly their accounts of human freedom.
sees many similarities between Hegel and Nietzsche. I now regret how
hard I was on Dudley in
this review. His discussion of Hegel on freedom was
excellent and the faults of this book are very much the forgivable ones
that one finds in a doctoral dissertation that is turned into a book.
White and Clark on Nietzsche
and the Transcendental Tradition: A
Response, 36 International Studies in Philosophy 169-99 (2005)
This is the product of an "Author Meets Critics" session held at a
meeting of the American Philosophical Association in San Francisco in
2003. Maude Clark made some very helpful comments, in particular one
that forced me to reformulate the position I took on Nietzsche's views
about logic. Unfortunately, the editing process was
botched and a number of passages in this piece came out as gibberish.
Some day I'll
get around to posting a clean copy of it.
Nietzsche on Pity and Ressentiment, 24 International Studies in
Philosophy 63-70 (1992)
If anyone can find this short article, it contains a
rather nice account of the evaluative contradiction that Nietzsche
finds in both pity and ressentiment.
The idea is that the discomfort of pity, as Nietzsche understands it,
leads one to reject the evaluations in the light of which one pities.
So understood, pity is hostile to life.
examples are Thomas H. Brobjer, Nietzsche's
Philosophical Context: An Intellectual Biography (University of
Illinois Press 2008); R. Kevin Hill, Nietzsche's
Critiques: The Kantian Foundations of his Thought
(Oxford University Press, 2003); and the under-rated Robin Small, Nietzsche in Context (Ashgate, 2001).
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