Is Nietzsche an anti-realist about moral disagreement?


This question got me thinking:

What is the difference between the Superman and the Ultimateman?

As I understand it, moral anti-realism is the thesis that there are no moral facts outside the individual, ones that are the case independent of the individual and its ideas.

Has anyone claimed that Nietzsche is not an anti-realist about moral disagreement?

I think the being a realist about e.g. moral disagreement (so not moral facts) is needed to retain the sense that there are values that hold independent of our state of mind. Without it, how can one even claim that someone is a good person or some life is good?


Posted 2019-02-20T23:17:33.720


"An anti-realist about moral disagreement: as surely that would be needed to retain the sense that there are values hold independent of our state of mind?" What does "that" refer to? Anti-realism is needed for independent values? Or is it independent values needed for moral disagreements? Or is it "a good person or life is a quality that one can claim is or isn't instantiated" needed for...? The second paragraph is completely unintelligible, I suggest rewriting it from scratch. – Conifold – 2019-02-20T23:25:27.347

'that' refers to being an "anti-realist about moral disagreement" @Conifold ?? the phrase just before the 'that'... i do not understand what is difficult about the sentence in question, so i'll hold fire on editing the 2nd paragraph for a while – None – 2019-02-21T00:18:13.480

1In some interpretations, for N, the closest thing to a moral fact is a firm aesthetic judgement. If morality is really aesthetic, why would there be values independent of our state of mind? Aesthetic judgments are not. So I would say that although N is a realist about moral disagreement, he does not hold a view of morality independent of the state of mind. – None – 2019-02-21T02:38:12.280

Then again why would state-independence depend upon the reality of moral differences? A pantheist might think that we all agree morally in principle (as expressions of the same ground of being) but we are given different perceptions, and if we had the same facts, we would never disagree morally. That would be anti-realism relative to moral disagreement. But it would demand that moral values do not vary, only access to facts. I don't get the logic of either of your deductions. – None – 2019-02-21T02:43:21.770

well i'm not sure what the disagreement is about @jobermark – None – 2019-02-21T02:54:38.120

1Much as it would pain him to hear it... I think he was an idealist (as in political idealism) in many ways. He liked to think.of himself as someone who could stare unflinchingly.into the eternal void... but his conclusions from.doung that were often divorced from hum.drum everyday.reality. I share his opinion that humans are essentially crap. But I find his inability to offer practical suggestions for improvement (other than waiting to sort itself out) a bit weak. And so it is with his morality. Nihilists still have to get on with others and muddle through don't they? – Richard – 2019-02-21T02:55:30.437

@Richard only some people make me happy, rather than vice versa )or not at all). that's pretty trivial? – None – 2019-02-21T03:05:43.433

@confused I usually define myself as a Nihilist.. but people get confused about what that is. It's not Satanism.. you don't get to live by the Crowley rule of "do as  thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law".. recognising that everything is pointless doesn't mean killing people is not pointless... if you see what i mean. Nietzsche wasn't nearly disgusted enough by humanity. – Richard – 2019-02-21T03:06:12.943

i don't know enough about what you mean i guess @Richard – None – 2019-02-21T03:06:54.880

@jobermark not meaning to deduce anything. they were questions, instead of just repeating the title and leaving it there – None – 2019-02-21T03:07:42.833

@confused yeah. It's hard for me to explain myself properly in short comments.. i'm saying that.. nihilists tecognise the triviality of everything... including nihilism. – Richard – 2019-02-21T03:10:44.537

@Richard I don't think N is a nihilist. Aesthetics is a real thing, and he believed in it. He was very close to a 'postmodern' relativist. There is a reality, and it is important, it just doesn't come down to rules, and we should stop trying to make it do so. – None – 2019-02-21T03:43:23.847

@jobermark yes. Not a nihilist in the strictist sense. But he certainly was posessed of an all consuming sense of futility, which equates to Nihilism. He saw nothing changing because nothing could change... what's the point in it then? – Richard – 2019-02-21T09:22:08.543

1This is much better, but it is still very puzzling. What would "anti-realist about moral disagreement" as opposed to "about moral facts" look like? If we have "values that hold independent of our state of mind" then we are realists about moral facts/values already. And moral disagreement is one of those things where what you see is what you get, and there is plenty of it. Also, one need not "claim" to talk about "good persons". As Wittgenstein pointed out, vocalizations do not need to pack any claims underneath:"we also make gestures to stop our dog, e.g. when he behaves as we do not wish." – Conifold – 2019-02-21T19:15:36.193

thanks @Conifold is it not just another thesis. if we can be anti/realists about moral knowledge then why not disagreement? so instead of knowing that X is impermissible we might establish that Y cannot be justified as impermissible – None – 2019-02-21T19:18:28.960

We could, I suppose, but it is too implausible and pointless to bother. Admitting that there is, apparently, moral disagreement costs nothing, one can still merrily proceed to interpreting it as due to confusion, if one so wishes. And arguing that there is no moral disagreement, despite the appearances, seems like a waste of breath. – Conifold – 2019-02-21T19:24:19.987

no i don't mean that we disagree but that some disagreement is more epistemologically robust than others @Conifold – None – 2019-02-21T19:26:16.750

You'll have to spell it out more in the post. I still do not follow what it is that you do mean that anyone could claim about Nietzsche. Apparently, "anti-realist about moral disagreement" does not mean what it says. – Conifold – 2019-02-21T19:31:08.287

No answers