Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 81–93 | Cite as

Nietzsche beyond correlationism: Meillassoux’s history of modern philosophy

  • C. J. Davies


Quentin Meillassoux’s speculative materialism rests on the historical claim that European philosophy since Kant is “correlationist” in its denial that thought can know being as it is in itself rather than merely for us. But though the claim is central to Meillassoux, it has not been much explored in the literature on his work. This paper argues that Nietzsche does not fit so easily into Meillassoux’s story. Though there are certain superficially correlationist elements in Nietzsche’s thought, part of his core project is an ethically motivated rejection of the issues with respect to which realism and correlationism are alternatives. Thus, rather than denying that thought can access being in itself, Nietzsche aims to leave behind ways of thinking within which the question of thought’s access or lack of access matters. This means that Meillassoux loses some of the motivation for his positive position.


Meillassoux Speculative realism Nietzsche Correlationism Modern philosophy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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