The Gay Science : A Modern Critique Of Science

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The Gay Science: A Modern Critique of Science Bertrand Russell wrote about Nietzsche in A History of Western Philosophy, “He invented no new technical theories in ontology or epistemology; his importance is primarily in ethics, and secondarily as an acute historical critic.” (Russell 760) If The Gay Science is read as a true prescription for how science should be done, the majority of Nietzsche’s sections seem unrelated; there is no clear way too see how these sections speak to what is commonly understood as science. However, there exist a fair number of sections in this book that seem to speak directly on the common understanding of science about how it should be conducted, including the many missteps it has taken leading up to the writing of The Gay Science. When reading these sections closely, Nietzsche’s writing reflects many strikingly modern understandings of science. Many of these modern understandings and philosophies of science inferred from the text are from very different points in time and represent distinct philosophies of science, but they all have an underlying theme of positivism, subjectivism, and social constructivism. In certain sections The Gay Science should be read as a serious critique of scientific practice; a critique that should be taken seriously, even among modern sociologists and philosophers of science. If The Gay Science is to be read in this way, contrary to Bertrand Russell’s opinion, Nietzsche has much to say about the ontological import of
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