“On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense”) is an (initially) unpublished work of Friedrich Nietzsche written in , one year after The Birth of Tragedy. It deals. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Nietzsche has been proclaimed the seminal figure of modern philosophy as well as one of the most creative and critically. This post is part of my ongoing blogging project called “Critical Theory Down to Earth.” In these posts I provide summaries of and brief.

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Nietzsche begins the essay on a misanthropic note. He rails against the arrogance of humanity in thinking so highly of our own intelligence and place in the vast space and time of the cosmos.

He paints this within a Hobbesian view of a competitive, individualistic state-of-nature humanity. Truth comes second, as a social pact to use the same language in reference to an alleged access to the same bare reality. All language is metaphor. As Kant described, we never have naked access to the thing-in-itself. Instead, we only have our representations, composed friedriich linguistic metaphor.

On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense – Wikipedia

Either way, we are wrong. It is impossible to perceive correctly. All language, all representation, hence all experience and cognition, is metaphor.


Metaphor which sticks around long enough, is adopted and repeated by enough people, is forgotten to be metaphor, and thus is felt to be truth. With repetition comes the impression of realness. Truth is aged metaphor, forgotten to be metaphor. To use a concept is to treat different things as if they were the same. Concepts are created by lumping together a collection of objects under some aspect or aspects that they have in common, while ignoring their differences.

Then there is a kind of ideal version of this sameness which is extracted, and used to measure belonging of objects under the concept. Ironically, no object is ever a perfect replication of the extracted ideal.

Of course we ignore that too. For Nietzsche, concepts are far from being transcendental truths. There are no concepts in nature.

Concepts come from us. We commonly maintain the arrogant delusion that nature really is patterned according to human concepts, as if our meager interpretations could encapsulate the workings of total reality.

Criedrich science, we attempt to fit everything into an ordered tower of concepts. Striving for rationality, we maintain a defensive orientation, stuck at the level of need. When we remain connected to metaphor — as in myth and art — we can live life with beauty and creativity.

And it is worth it. Interesting; I have a question though. Nietzsche criticizes the rationalist because he treates man as the measure for everything hence thinking that there is an imminent object infront of him.


Later on he nietzxche talking about rationalist who deals with laws of nature.

Let me simplify by giving two concrete examples: The biologist categorizes organisms treating himself as the measure for everything. To be more precise he criticizes the notion that we can categorize something without knowing the thing-in-itself. So in a sense we would be only categorizing metaphors.

The physicist is invested in examining the laws of nature, e. The physicist creates concepts through mathematics which are completely inviolable, and yet these concepts arise from himself.

Concepts To use a concept is to treat different things as if they were the same. Rational With science, we attempt to fit everything into an ordered tower of concepts.

On Truth and Lies in an Extra-Moral Sense

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