In Harper’s, here. Young’s philosophical biography is very recent, and the best work of its kind in a long time. The interview is interesting. Here’s an excerpt from the interview, about postmodern interpretations of Nz:
Postmodernism has its origins in Kant’s observation that all experience is interpretation, that all experience is filtered through the particular structures of the human mind. To this, taking its lead from both Hegel and Nietzsche, postmodernism adds that the filters in question vary from language to language, culture to culture, angle of interest to angle of interest. And so, it concludes, since there are many equally good interpretations of the world, no single one can be picked as the uniquely correct interpretation. From this it follows, so it is claimed, that there can be no particular character that reality has, since to assign it any such character would be arbitrarily to privilege one interpretation over all the others. And if there is no particular character that reality has, then the very idea of “reality” makes no sense. The concept must be abandoned; there is nothing but interpretations.
We “plural realists”–Nietzsche, Hubert Dreyfus (who coined the term), and myself–agree that there are many equally valid interpretations of reality, that there is no uniquely correct interpretation. But from this it does not follow that there is no way reality is, since an equally possible inference is that there are many ways it is. And in fact it is pretty obvious that there indeed are many ways that reality is. Consider a rolling, Provençal landscape. To the property developer it shows up as “valuable real estate,” to the wine grower as a “unique terroir,” to the mining engineer as a “bauxite deposit,” to the cyclist as an “impediment and challenge,” and to the fundamental physicist as “quanta of energy.” We do not have to choose between these interpretations because, quite evidently, they are all true. Each interpretation truly describes reality from, in Nietzsche’s word, the “perspective” of a particular interest. Some interpretations of course we will want to reject as false. That we do, as it were, democratically. If someone claims that the landscape is a papier mâché construction on an alien film-set we will reject that on the grounds of its discordance with the coherent picture built up by all the interpretations we accept as true.