Abstract

Nietzsche, I contend, and many agree, was a fundamentally “naturalistic” thinker. But there are many ways of thinking that can be called “naturalistic”; and it would be a mistake to suppose that any particular one of them is what he advocated and pursued—especially since there are some kinds of naturalism of which he himself is disdainful. So we need to consider what kind of naturalism Nietzsche's is—particularly as it relates to the natural sciences. I argue that it is one that respects and draws on these sciences but does not limit itself to reliance on them or take all of its cues from them. It is not a scientistic naturalism. I then discuss some types of human phenomena of which Nietzsche considers it important for us to be mindful and appreciative, both in the interpretation of human reality and in our understanding of the contours of his naturalism.

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