2.1 he criticises past philosophers for
believing in a transcendent world
independent of our senses, and for denying
2.1.1 the idea that there is a transcendent world originates from
the idea of what is valuable (truth, alturism, goodness,
wisdom and so on) cannot have its orgins in its opposites,
the 'lowly deceptive world' of the senses and desires.
188.8.131.52 philosophy is thought of as a priori, but if nietzsche
can show that philiosophical values and
arguments have historical origins, then they aren't
a priori. As a priori ideas would not change through
history or as a result of someone's psychology.
184.108.40.206.1 philosophers have consulted their intuitions to justify moral principles, but they have only
been aware of one morality of which their justifications are only expressions. moralities and
moral principles have a history and are not a priori.
220.127.116.11.2 nietzsche created geneology, which is the method of
looking at historical origins of phlisiohphical and
religious ideas to see how they have developed over
2.1.2 plato has denied perspectivity and
given higher authority to truth.
18.104.22.168 why do we prefer truth over falsity? how much are we
willing to risk in gaining truth. he argues that the will
to truth originates in self-deception, it is not driven by
the value of truth but in fact by drives which aim to
protect a certain kind of life. so when philosopher's
claim they know the truth they are infact being
influenced by a certain set of values
2.2 people should question the value of truth, and
understand that falsity are conditions of life, to
believe this we need to look at oppositional
3 motivational analysis
3.1 nietzsche sees the 'philosophical animal' as striving
for the optimum combination of favourable
conditions which allow them to expand all their
energy, and to achieve the maximum feeling of
power. he therefore sees philosophical beliefs
being guided by intuitions, which are guided by
physiological demands for a certain standard of life.
3.1.1 philosophers may claim that their conclusion has been
reached by 'pure hard reasoning' but they have just found
reasons to support their pre-existing claims, "every great
philosophy is the personal confessions of its author"
22.214.171.124 we should look at why someone holds a particular
belief, this will help us understand their values.
126.96.36.199.1 philosophy is not driven by a pure will to truth, a
philosopher interprets the world in terms of their values.
3.2 as nietzsche argues that our values support a particular kind of life,
one in which we can exert maximum power. if philosophical beliefs
are expressions of values, and values are expressions of
power,then inderectly philisophical beliefs are expressions of
4 truth and interpretation
4.1 nietzsche talks about perspectivism, this is that things
need to be seen in perspective, this is linked to the truth
as he says "there are no truths only interpretations" as
to hold a truth is to look at things from one perspective.
4.1.1 this is linked to the idea of 'foreground
evaluations', that a person is interpreting the world
from what is near (in the foreground) to them
188.8.131.52 he argues that we cannot escape our perspectives and we should embrace them, and that some
perspectives are less distorting than others. (1) a perspective may be aware that its a perspective, being
aware of perspectival knowledge is an improvement in knowledge. (2) the more perspectives that we adopt
we can get a more conception, i.e. the more points of view that we take on board. we need to be flexible and
not be trapped to a certain set of values.
4.1.2 philosophers make the mistake of denying perspectivity
and by interpreting the world through one perspective
and claiming that this perspective is an objective truth,
when really it is just a representation of their values.
4.1.3 he argues that perspectivism applies to sense perceptions: (1) we are adverse to new things, and so our
experience of the world is dominated by emotions, familiar emotions will effect how we see. e.g. we find it
easier to reproduce an image we're familiar with than to remember what is new and different to our sense
emotions. (2) we cannot take in everything we experience as we cannot cognitively manage it, what we select is
guided by our values, e.g. when we see a tree we don't notice all the details of a tree we just notice the outline
and fill in the detail in our head with past experiences and our imagination. with this nietzsche also argue that
our truths are false and rest upon certain assumptions that are guided by our values.
4.1.4 nietzsche uses his idea of perpsectivism to attack the 'laws of nature', he
argues that the regualrity of nature has been interpreted as laws, this serves
a morality of equallity, democracy and atheism (that everyone is equal in the
eyes of the law). he argues that nature can easily be interpreted as power
claims and a dominant will being consistent (hence regularity).
184.108.40.206 we can object that if this was true then ideas
about laws of nature would have come into
existence at the same time as ideas of
atheism and democracy, leonardo da vinci (1650)
contributed to the ideas of laws of nature
while living 150 years prior to ideas of
220.127.116.11.1 Nietzsche can challenge this in two ways: (1) he can argue
that our historical account is wrong, ideas of democracy were
present in 14thC when John Wycliffe argued the bible should
be for everybody to read. (2) the connection between
democracy, atheism and scientific ideas of laws of nature
can all be seen to emerge together over several hundred
years. though this is not precise nietzsche often lacks detail
as he looks at the bigger picture.
4.1.5 perspectivism is a paradox because if a
belief in perspectivism is objectively true then
this contradicts perspectivism, also a belief
in perspectivism is just a perpective, and if
objective knowledge is imppossable then
aren't all perspective equal?
18.104.22.168 he denies this: (1) some perspectives are foreground persectives while others are less
distorting. (2) particular philosophical or moral views are false, e.g. oppositional values.
(3) he is an empiricist so believes that the sense can be trained to become 'fine, loyal,
cautious organs of cognition', while he rejects the idea of synthetic a priori judgements.
4.2 nietzsche see there to be no distinction between
truth and appearance, he argues that we could not
do away with appearance and just have truth, he
links back to the idea that truth and falsity have the
same origin and argues that instead of truth there
are just darker and lighter degrees of appearance
4.2.1 nietzsche gives the development of the relationship between truth
and appearance: (1) we thought the true world could be known to
the true and wise person, plato's view. (2) we thought that truth
was unatainable but promised to the good and the wise person, in
the form of an afterlife in Christianity. (3) we thought that we could
never know the true world but the thought of its existence was
consolation and the source of our moral obligations, as thought by
Kant. (4) if we cannot know anything about the true world it is not
consoling nor can it give us moral obligations. (5) even the idea of
a true world has no use, as nietzsche suggests. (6) if we abolish
the idea of a 'true world', in what sense are appearances just
appearances? they are only thought of as appearances when we
have something to contrast them with, but by getting rid of the 'true
world' there is no contrast. appearances are no more false than
true, as they are all there is.
22.214.171.124 appearances must be understood as what comes first, we then interpret appearances to be
appearances of something. this leads to mistakes though as we then think in terms of substances and
properties. we should resist this interpretation and understand appearances as ever changing
relations. you can only talk about appearances in relation to each other,e.g. shades of red can only be
talked about in relation to each other, this should be used as a model for understanding appearances.
the world is changing and appearances change with it, we should therefore not talk about a 'true
world' beyond appearances.
126.96.36.199.1 appearances can be distorted by perspectives, but perspectives
which are less distorting of appearances are closer to the 'truth'
4.3 will to truth
4.3.1 nietzsche argues that the will to truth so far has misunderstood
truth in terms of opposition of values. it understands truth as
unconditional in two ways: (1) truth is seen as free of perspective,
and so the will to truth aims to free of perspectives and values,
encouraging objective detachement. but nietzsche argues that this
method is impoverishing of life, which is both emotional and
perspectival. (2) it is also unconditional in that it is seen to have
incomparable worth, so the will too truth aims to find the truth 'by
any means necessary' rather than placing truth in relation to life.
the will to truth misrepresents itself as its not 'pure' and is a
representation of a system of values, namely the Ascetic ideal.
188.8.131.52 he argues that when we consciously form beliefs these are unconsciously guided by our values, the will
to truth serves as self-deception, we think we want truth for the value of truth but the desires for it are
guided by the will to power
5.1 Nietzsche is concerned with the subject-predicate structure of language, with the notion of a substance to which we attribute
properties, this structure leads us in to a mistaken metaphysics of substance. to this he refers to the 'i' as we often think that 'i'
refers to something, namely the soul. he is more critical of ' i think' as it rests on many assumptions: that thinking is an activity,
that 'i' am thinking, that something is thinking, that i exist and that we know what it is to think. 'i think' is misleading as it
assumes that we do thinking but in fact a thought comes to us when it wants to, and the process we are referring to might not
be thinking, we are just comparing it to past pocesses that we assume is thinking. to be more accurate we should just say
'thinking', but this is not a sentence and we have to say 'there is thinking', in this was grammar constricts our understanding.
5.1.1 once we recognise that there is no soul in a traditional sense, that it is not immortal or
constant through time,we can redefine the view of the soul, that it's mortal, is multiplicity rather
than identical over time, and that its a social construct and a construct of drives.
5.1.2 he makes the same criticism about 'will' and criticises schopenhauer for it. the idea of a will makes
us believe that it is just one thing when in fact it is a complicated thing. (1) there is an emotional
command, for willing is commanding oneself to do something and with it a feeling of superiority over
that which obeys. (2) is an expectation that the mere commanding on its own is enough for an action
to follow, which increases our sense of power. (3) there is obedience from the command, from which
we also derive pleasure. but we ignore the feeling of compulsion, identifying the 'i' with the 'will'
184.108.40.206 nietzsche thinks that the seduction of language is a
result of physiological value judgements. the notion
of 'i' relates to the idea that we have an eternal soul,
and the 'will', and in particular our concept of 'free
will', serves a particular moral aim.
6 the new philosopher
6.1 he criticises past philosophers for their belief
in a transcendent world of truth and goodness,
and for the ascetic deal of which these ideas
are a part of. he argues that this ideal is an
expression of the philosopher's will to power,
however these beliefs are false and their ideal
demands this world and our instinctual life. he
therefore argues that there will be a new
philosopher who understands the opposition of
values, who reject the ascetic ideal and values
life above all.
6.1.1 the new philosophers must no just have opposing views to the old
philosophers. as all animals seek conditions which allow them to
exert maximum power, so the new philosopher must be a different
animal with different instincts and drives, ones that don't express
themselves best through the ascetic ideal. they will be alligned to
the will t power. they will not have a unconditional wll to truth and
will understand the value of falsity and that just because
something is virtues or makes us happy doesn't mean that it's
good, and likewise that if something makes us unhappy or causes
harm doesn't mean its bad. the ascetic ideal will be rejected as it
is a means of coping with suffering, it provides the comfort of an
eternal life. but nietzsche argues that suffering is a good thing as
it is a means to grow stronger.
220.127.116.11 the new philosopher will travel further towards truth, so they have
to be trained in truthfulness that characterises the ascetic ideal.
but they have to travel beyond the ascetic ideal as it is disguising
the truth. they must overcome the ascetic ideal, mainly within
themselves, this will mean they go beyond good and evil leaving
them without orientation in judgement,they will therefore need to
create a new system of values.
18.104.22.168.1 is this possible though? can you create values? nietzsche argues that
you can, and that we do through creating favourable conditions for
ourselves. but most of us have a need to to obey and to get our moral
values from outside, the new philosopher will have strength though
6.2 free spirits and experimenter
6.2.1 the new philosophers are not the same as free spirits, all new
philosophers are free spirits but not all free spirits are new philosopher. the
free spirits will be help to take down the ascetic ideal, but will not
necessaraly create new values. the free spirits will be drawn to a life of
solitude because they are exceptional, but the new philosopher will 'come
down to' the mass of humanity
22.214.171.124 new philosophers are experimenters, or tempters. (1) they will tempt others by
creating values which others can adopt. (2) they will resist many temptations and
set themselves their own tests to overcome, this is in the aim to make them fully
independent and not dependant on anything, even a detachment of one's values.
(3) they will experiment, these experiments will go beyond conventional morality
and will be considered harsh, they will investigate things to the point of cruelty.
these experiments will help to create values that go beyond good and evil.
6.2.2 sceptic and the critic
126.96.36.199 nietzsche distinguishes between two types of sceptic: (1) the
first has bad nerves and is constitutionally unable to say 'yes'
or 'no' to things, they call this objectivity or the scientific
method. it promotes caution, disinterest and a dampered
down of passionate responses, it is supported by a morality
that decisive answers. (2) does not originate from fear or lack
of nerves, it's suspicious of easy answers and reluctance to
give answers, it will dig deeper to the truth and even call into
question the value of existance itself. this is one aspect of the
188.8.131.52 the new philosopher will also be a critic, that is they will seek to analyse and
define an area of knowledge, to test it for consistency and find its underlying
principles. they draw the boundaries of what can be known, the new philosophers
will have the rigour and neatness of critics, but will be critics in 'body and soul'
that is that they will be critics not just in thought but in the way they live. they will
apply this criticism to themselves, not for the sake of criticism but in order to
create new values.
6.3 the eternal return. there is suffering in the world and the ascetic ideal gave meaning to the suffering by offering the
promise of a transcendental world, but as this doesn't exist what justifies suffering, nietzsche thinks that as humanity is
judged by its highest specimens the suffering is in order to better those higher specimens, as a result the new
philosopher needs to be life affirming, to say yes to all that has been, all there is and all there will be, this is to wish the
eternal return. but to will the eternal return you must (1) not just accept it but want it. (2) you must will all the previous
suffering again. (3) you must accept responsibility for it , you have to be seen as the reason for all the suffering in life.
6.3.1 nietzsche says that to will the eternal return one must resist pity for those suffering, as to pity
someone just adds more pain as the pityer feels pain, also to will the eternal return is to say
yes to life, and suffering is part of life. suffering is also a condition for greatness, so the free
spirit will be thankful for all the past suffering that they have experienced. nietzsche sees there
to be no distinction between belief and life, so the free spirit will not just believe in affirming
life and the eternal return but also embody it , they will live life as the affirmation of life. the new
philosopher will be the 'goal' of humanity to which the ordinary people will only be a means to,
he believes that the new philosophers will have to be bread as they are a psycho-physiological
type of human being.
184.108.40.206 criticism. we could object to nietzsche on a moral level as he sees the 'lower' people needing to be
sacrificed for the 'higher' people, but nietzsche would reject this as it presuposes moral values like
equality. (1) we can criticises the idea of the eternal return, if we are to wish everything happens again
without knowledge that it will happen, and we can do nothing to change it, one acceptable response is 'so
what'. this is not a life affirming answer but it is willing the eternal return. BUT TO YOU HAVE TO WILL THE
ETERNAL RETURN AND ALL OF ITS SUFFERING, NOT JUST OBSERVE IT. IT IS ONE THING TO BE
AWARE OF SUFFERING BUT ANOTHER THING T WILL IT. (2) suppose we could will the eternal return,
then what ? it would make no difference to our lives as we are unable to change anything. Nietzsche
however never discussed how the new philosopher would go about doing it, "it is not the works, it is the
faith that is decisive here".
220.127.116.11.1 (3) nietzsche criticises the ascetic ideal for its unconditional morality, but isn't the
'unconditional yes' to everything the same, isn't he just carrying on the ascetic ideal.
NIETZSCHE SAYS THAT YOU MUST EMBRACE IT ALL, OR NOT AT ALL, AS
EVERYTHING IS ENTANGLED. TO THINK THAT YOU CAN SEPARATE THE
GOOD FROM THE BAD, TRUE FROM THE FALSE, SUFFERING FROM THE
GREATNESS, IT IS ALL AN ILLUSION OF THE ASCETIC IDEAL.
18.104.22.168.1.1 (4) is the idea of the eternal return coherent? (1) the idea of willing every even again is from a perspective outside the cycle of
events, as we are in the perspective of inside the cycle of events we only experience things once. so the perspective embodied
in the eternal return is one which isn't available to us I(any more than the one of unconditional truth.). (2) to will the eternal return
you have to not want things to be different, but life is not indifference it is about wanting to change things. so it is impossible to
affirm life and to not want things to be different. (3) is willing the past from 'this is how it happened' to 'this is how it will happen' a
type of self-deception? the past has happened end of story.
22.214.171.124.1.1.1 (5) to say yes to everything you need to see it in the whole
general picture, not in single events, as to one could not
possibly say yes to single events of horror like the holocaust ,
so to say yes t everything as a whole and not the individual
events is self-deception. BUT NIETZSCHE CAN RESPOND
THAT THE WHOLE POINT OF THE ETERNAL RETURN IS TO
SEE THE SUFFERING AS A MEANS TO THE GREATER END
OF HUMAN LIFE IN ITS HIGHEST FORM.