chapter  9
18 Pages

Sensualism and Knowledge

This chapter presents some issues of epistemology and ethics with the same purpose – that is, to locate the development of Nietzsche's ideas within a context provided by other writers of his own time. For Nietzsche, the question about sensualism as a theory of knowledge is also a question about materialism, as examples demonstrate. On looking more closely at Nietzsche's own vocabulary, we see that he speaks of properties and of qualities in quite different ways. Properties are closely linked with the project of a systematic formulation of knowledge and, on that basis, a scientific understanding of the world. Quantity is prominent in this conception, because measurement and calculation are powerful procedures for organizing knowledge. Quality, on the other hand, seems to be an idea not driven by any theoretical need, but expressing directly what we experience through our various senses.