Nietzsche and the Ancient Skeptical Tradition

Nietzsche and the Ancient Skeptical Tradition


By (author) Jessica N. Berry


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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 203mm x 23mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 23 December 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0195368428
  • ISBN 13: 9780195368420
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,291,726

Product description

The impact of Nietzsche's engagement with the Greek skeptics has never before been systematically explored in a book-length work - an inattention that belies the interpretive weight scholars otherwise attribute to his early career as a professor of classical philology and to the fascination with Greek literature and culture that persisted throughout his productive academic life. Jessica N. Berry fills this gap in the literature on Nietzsche by demonstrating how an understanding of the Pyrrhonian skeptical tradition illuminates Nietzsche's own reflections on truth, knowledge, and ultimately, the nature and value of philosophic inquiry. This entirely new reading of Nietzsche's epistemological and ethical views promises to make clear and render coherent his provocative but often opaque remarks on the topics of truth and knowledge and to grant us further insight into his ethics-since the Greek skeptics, like Nietzsche, take up the position they do as a means of promoting well-being and psychological health. In addition, it allows us to recover a portrait of Nietzsche as a philologist and philosophical psychologist that has been too often obscured by commentaries on his thought. "The book addresses a number of central issues in Nietzsche's philosophy, including perspectivism and his conception of truth. The idea that his views in these areas owe much to the ancient Pyrrhonists casts them in an important new light, and is well supported by the texts. A lot of people from a lot of different areas in philosophy will have good reason to take notice." - Richard Bett, Johns Hopkins University

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Author information

Jessica N. Berry is Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Georgia State University

Review quote

"Berry's book is eminently readable, providing many notes of comparison and contrast, all pointing us toward ancient as opposed to modern skepticism." --Philosophy in Review"Nietzsche and the Ancient Skeptical Tradition is rich in content, carefully argued, and always inspiring. Even though Berry's interpretation looks somewhat forced at times, it presents an important new perspective on Nietzsche --given his aversion towards any self-contained edifice of thought." --Notre Dame Philosophical Review

Table of contents

ABBREVIATIONS ; INTRODUCTION: READING NIETZSCHE SKEPTICALLY ; 1. Nietzsche and the Pyrrhonian Tradition ; 2. Skepticism in Nietzsche's Early Work: The Case of "On Truth and Lie" ; 3. Nietzsche's "Naturalism" ; 4. Perspectivism and Ephexis in Interpretation ; 5. Skepticism and Health ; 6. Skepticism as Immoralism ; CONCLUSION ; BIBLIOGRAPHY ; INDEX