The Relation between metaphysics and art in Nietzsche’s philosophy

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015

Thesis Language: English

Student: Gülizar Karahan Balya

Supervisor: BARIŞ PARKAN


The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the significance and relative positions of two central themes in Nietzsche’s philosophy, namely metaphysics and art. The perspective of life and the thought of will to power are located at the core of this investigation since they are considered to function as the organising ideas in Nietzsche’s overall philosophy. This perspective and thought require existence to be viewed as groundless and excessive and particularly as a constant flux of becoming that is devoid of any pre-given meaning, value and purpose. In this study such a view of existence is seen as the basis of the emergence of metaphysics and art and in this line of thinking metaphysics and art are considered as offering distinct ways of “misunderstanding” existence, or mastering the excess, particularly in the face of the grim realities of life, such as suffering, decay and death. The dissertation aims to provide first of all a comparison of metaphysics and art as different ways of confronting reality by way of delineating their differences. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it aims to point at the proximity between the two through an enquiry about the broader sense of art that is found in Nietzsche’s thinking. It is argued that showing this complex relation between metaphysics and art can contribute to making sense of Nietzsche’s confrontation with, or rather overcoming of, metaphysical thinking and this is achieved by focusing on an aspect of it that is relatively less considered in the Nietzsche literature, that is, art.