Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
The Aristotelian Society

31/01/22: Rachel Cristy on Commanders and Scientific Labourers: Nietzsche on the Relationship Between Philosophy and Science

50 minutes Posted Feb 14, 2022 at 1:10 pm.
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Show notes

Nietzsche’s attitude toward science is ambivalent: he remarks approvingly on its rigorous methodology and adventurous spirit, but also points out its limitations and rebukes scientists for encroaching onto philosophers’ territory. What does Nietzsche think is science’s proper role and relationship with philosophy? I argue that, according to Nietzsche, philosophy should set goals for science. Philosophers’ distinctive task is to ‘create values’, which involves two steps: (1) envisioning ideals for human life, and (2) turning those ideals into prescriptions for behaviour and societal organisation. To accomplish step (2), philosophers should delegate scientists to investigate what moral rules and social arrangements have best advanced this ideal in the past or might in the future.

Rachel Cristy is a Lecturer in Philosophy at King’s College London. She received her PhD in Philosophy from Princeton University and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics before coming to King’s. She works on the history of late modern philosophy, primarily on Nietzsche, sometimes putting him in conversation with William James, one of the founders of American Pragmatism. She is especially interested in late modern philosophers’ attitudes toward science, including both epistemological views (on its methods, its limitations, what sort of philosophical foundation it has or needs) and ethical views (on the proper place of science in the life of individuals and societies). She has also published on Kant’s aesthetics as it relates to wine.

This podcast is an audio recording of Dr Cristy's talk - "Commanders and Scientific Labourers: Nietzsche on the Relationship Between Philosophy and Science" - at the Aristotelian Society on 31 January 2022. This recording was produced by the Backdoor Broadcasting Company.