Publication Details

Simpson, D. 2012, 'Truth, perspectivism, and philosophy', E-Logos: electronic journal for philosophy, no. 2, pp. 1-16.


In Nietzsche's later work the problem of the possibility of philosophy presents a significant interpretative and practical dilemma. Nietzsche attempts to undermine the idea of the absolute, as a source of value, meaning and truth, and to tease out the traces of this idea in our philosophising. He is thus one of those who has given us the means to complete the Kantian project of moving beyond metaphysical realism and a representational understanding of meaning. However, along with the gift comes a paradox. For Nietzsche's diagnosis seems to make it clear that desire for the absolute is intrinsic to the practice of philosophy - that in important respects, philosophy just is the (hopeless) attempt to frame or discover overarching, context-less objectivity. Furthermore, Nietzsche's analysis of philosophy is accompanied by a recognition and critique of the nihilism that arises in reaction to the collapse of absolutism. I suggest that we can find (in Nietzsche) a resolution of this paradox that involves the continuation of philosophy, not through a consciousness for philosophy, but through understanding philosophy as a process without a subject. That is, understanding philosophy as a practice that does not involve a moment that is the resolution of the paradox at all, but which is a process, involving the continual crisis of its paradox (which we might see as a constitutive paradox).