Nietzsche and value of truth

Williamson, Emily Amelia (2016) Nietzsche and value of truth. MPhil thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

My thesis examines the value of truth in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche. The thesis has two parts. The first part focuses on Nietzsche’s critique of what he calls the unconditional will to truth, or the conviction that nothing is more valuable than truth. I start by elucidating all the senses of the unconditional will to truth, and then turn to the substance of Nietzsche’s critique. I detail the reasons for this critique—Nietzsche’s view that the unconditional will to truth denies the nature of both the world and human beings—and reconstruct the genealogical method that Nietzsche uses to expose the unconditional will to truth’s internal inconsistencies. Nietzsche’s critique undermines the unconditional status of the will to truth, and opens it up to revaluation. The second part of the thesis focuses on Nietzsche’s revaluation of truth. I start by arguing that Nietzsche revalues truth as the driver of rigorous critical inquiry. I show how the notion of honesty is key to this valuation of truth, so much so that Nietzsche designates it one of his four cardinal virtues. Nietzsche differentiates between this new virtuous honesty—epitomised by himself and the so-called free spirits—and a more traditional type of honesty akin to sincerity, by using two different German words. An analysis of the contexts in which Nietzsche uses these terms allows me to paint a detailed picture of their respective meanings. Finally, I explore the role Nietzsche gives to art in helping the free spirits maintain their honesty and truthfulness. Furthermore, I show how creative activity generally, in particular value creation, answers two of Nietzsche’s concerns associated with the demise of the unconditional will to truth—how to provide life with meaning and affirm it in all its horror.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Additional Information: Date of MPhil award confirmed as 2016 by registry
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Social Sciences, History & Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2016 10:15
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 12:47
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/174

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