Metaphysician, Philosopher, Psychologist? — Making Sense of Nietzsche’s Sense-Making

Dries, Manuel (2015). Metaphysician, Philosopher, Psychologist? — Making Sense of Nietzsche’s Sense-Making. Philosophical Topics, 43(1 & 2) pp. 213–238.



This paper argues that Moore’s compelling reading of Nietzsche as a metaphysician in The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics: Making Sense of Things (EMM) largely ignores Nietzsche’s philosopher-psychologist approach to metaphysical, general sense-making. Nietzsche’s metaphysical sense-making is often psychologically framed, i.e. sense is made of sense-making as the expression of specific psychological perspectives and types. Nietzsche’s own most general “acts of sense-making”, such as the will to power, nihilism, and eternal return, often need to be interpreted as targeting specific perspectives and types with the goal of affecting their values. Section 2 considers Moore’s definition of metaphysics and asks what evidence there is that Nietzsche is a metaphysician in his inclusivistic sense. Section 3 provides evidence that Nietzsche pursues a psychological project and introduces the idea of “psychological framing”. Sections 4–6 argue that Moore takes will to power (4), nihilism as suffering (5), and eternal return (6) as Nietzsche’s own, most general “metaphysical” sense-making, thereby neglecting the philosopher-psychologist who may elude Moore’s inclusivist conception of metaphysics.

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