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Nietzsche Quotes: Truth and Knowledge

Given Nietzsche’s personal commitment to truthfulness and hisargument that its absence amounts to cowardice, it is no surprise tofind him, third, attacking the alleged mendaciousness and intellectualcorruption of traditional religio-moral consciousness as one of thevery worst things about it. The dishonesty of the moralistic“slave revolt” is a constant theme (GM I, 14; seealso Janaway 2007: 102–4, and GM I, 10, 13; II, 11;III, 26; TI V, 5; VI, 7; A 15, 24, 26–7, 36,38, 42, 44, 47, 48–53, 55–6), and it elicits some ofNietzsche’s most extreme and indignant rhetoric:

Philosophy Essays - Friedrich Nietzsche

On the Essence of Truth, on Plato's cave allegory and Theaetatus, is a repeat of the given two year earlier. Yet, while the sections have similar names, he often discusses different aspects of the dialogues. He never repeated courses, with this exception. The office of rector must have kept him busy.

FREE Nietzsche's View On Truth Essay - Example Essays

This is a question that pains many philosophers including Friedrich Nietzsche, who is the author of Ecce Homo.

In , we saw that Nietzsche’s critique of morality rests crucially onpsychological analyses that purport to expose the self-destructiveeffects of moral attitudes like guilt and ascetic self-denial, as wellas the corrosive mismatch between the official claims of altruisticmorality and its underlying motivation in ressentiment. Onthe positive side, Nietzsche is equally keen to detail thepsychological conditions he thinks would be healthier for bothindividuals and cultures (see, e.g., GS Pref. and 382;BGE 212; TI V, 3 and VIII, 6–7). Thus,Nietzsche’s psychology is central to his evaluative agenda andto his projects as a cultural critic. Aside from its instrumentalsupport for these other projects, Nietzsche pursues psychologicalinquiry for its own sake, and apparently also for the sake of theself-knowledge that it intrinsically involves (GM III, 9;GS Pref., 3 and 324; but cf. GM Pref., 1). Still,despite widespread appreciation of Nietzsche’s psychologicalacumen that started with Freud himself—and despite thecentrality of psychology to his philosophical method, core questions,and evaluative aims—even the most basic outlines of hissubstantive psychology remain a matter of controversy. Debate beginswith the object of psychology itself, the psyche, self, or soul.

This entry has focused on broad themes pursued throughoutNietzsche’s writing, but much—evenmost—philosophically sophisticated commentary on his work hasbeen devoted to the explication of certain core doctrinal commitments,which Nietzsche seems to rely upon throughout, but which he does notdevelop systematically in his published works in the way typical forphilosophers. Some of these doctrines, like the idea of the eternalrecurrence of the same, are described as “fundamental” byNietzsche himself (EH III; Z 1), but are formulatedin surprisingly cryptic or metaphorical ways—and discussed, oreven mentioned at all, much more rarely than one would expect giventhe importance Nietzsche placed on them. Others are alluded to morefrequently, but raise theoretical questions that would normally callfor careful philosophical development that is largely absent inNietzsche’s books. Commentators have therefore expendedconsiderable effort working out rational reconstructions of thesedoctrines. This section offers brief explanations of three of the mostimportant: the will to power, the eternal recurrence, andperspectivism.

Nietzsche on Truth and the Will - University of Limerick

But Nietzsche argues that we only perceive the surface of things, and our “senses nowhere lead to the truth

Barron's Encyclopedia defines an overman as someone who "has his act together and gets things done." Of course, considering that this is a summary of one part of Nietzsche's ideas, and that the encyclopedia reduces his entire philosophy to one short paragraph, this is not a poor definition....

Nietzsche’s talk about the creation of values challengesphilosophical common sense. It is common, if not altogether standard,to explain values by contrasting them against meredesires. Both are positive attitudes toward some object orstate of affairs (“pro-attitudes”), but valuing seems toinvolve an element of objectivity absent in desiring. (Consider: If Ibecome convinced that something I valued is not in fact valuable, thatdiscovery is normally sufficient to provoke me to revise my value,suggesting that valuing must be responsive to the world; by contrast,subjective desires often persist even in the face of my judgment thattheir objects are not properly desirable, or are unattainable; seethe entries on and .) Nietzsche challenges this basic philosophical conception when hetreats value as “created” rather than discovered in theworld:

Some consider Nietzsche to be one of the first existentialist philosophers along with Søren Kierkegaard.
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Friedrich Nietzsche (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

If we are to affirm our life and the world, however, we had better behonest about what they are really like. Endorsing things under someillusory Panglossian description is not affirmation, butself-delusion. In that sense, Nietzsche’s value oflife-affirmation simultaneously commits him to honesty. And arguably,in fact, no other virtue gets more, or more unqualified, praise in theNietzschean corpus: honesty is “our virtue, the lastone left to us” (BGE 227), and truthfulness is themeasure of strength (BGE 39), or even of value as such:

Nietzsche essay on truth and lies in an extramoral sense

A second value commitment prominent in Nietzsche’s work (andarguably related to his positive assessments of life and power) is thevalue of affirmation. According to Reginster (2006: 2),“Nietzsche regards the affirmation of life as his definingphilosophical achievement”. This theme enters forcefully in BookIV of The Gay Science, which opens with an expression ofdedication to “amor fati”:

The Philosophy of Nietzsche Essay - As Friedrich Nietzsche, ..

But Hussain (2011) persuasively argues that if we shift our focus awayfrom the pursuit of power in any narrow sense to the broader (andquite Nietzschean) idea that growth, strength, power-expansion, andthe like are all manifestations of life, then at least someof Leiter’s philosophical and most of his textual objections canbe avoided. On the resulting picture, Nietzsche’s position readsas a form of ethical naturalism, arguing that expression of thesefundamental life tendencies is good for us precisely because theyare our basic tendencies and we are inescapably intheir grip (Hussain 2011: 159, et passim). It is not clearthat this view can avoid the objection rooted in the possibility ofpessimism (i.e., that the value of life/power cannot follow from itsinescapability for us, since that might be a state to which we arecondemned). Given his engagement with Schopenhauer, Nietzscheshould have been sensitive to the worry. But Hussain (2011) shows thata substantial strand of Nietzschean texts do fit the picture, and thatmany other nineteenth century philosophers who share Nietzsche’santi-supernaturalist commitments were attracted by such naturalistarguments from inescapability.

An Analysis of Nietzsches On Truth and Lies ..

Four strands in Nietzsche’s valuation of honesty deservemention. Some texts present truthfulness as a kind of personalcommitment—one tied to particular projects and a way of life inwhich Nietzsche happens to have invested. For example, in GS2 Nietzsche expresses bewilderment in the face of people who do notvalue honesty:

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