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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 24, Issue 1, Fall 2019

Steven Burgess
Pages 155-180

Nietzsche on Language and Logic

Recent commentators on Nietzsche’s philosophy have paid careful attention to his reflections on truth. While this issue has generated significant dispute, one prominent school of thought is in tacit agreement about the view of language that underlies Nietzschean truth. This view holds that certain linguistic entities can capture precise, distinct units of propositional content and static, rigidly designated conceptual meanings. A closer look at Nietzsche’s various analyses of language and logic reveals not only that he does not subscribe to such a position, but that he offers a sustained critique against the possibility of any form of atomism of language. It was only in the 1880s, after Nietzsche overcame his dualistic commitments to Kant and Schopenhauer and embraced a philosophy of becoming, that the full power of his critique is made manifest.

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