First Paper - Robert J England II HON 212 Section 007 Edith...

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Robert J. England II HON 212 Section 007 Edith Elwood Paper One Wednesday, February 21, 2007 This is Not a Paper This is not a paper. I did not write this. By convention, I am not telling the truth in claiming these things. However, is this convention telling the truth? There is a complicated connection between truth and social convention, and the language that bridges both. Friedrich Nietzsche, in his On Truth and Lying in an Extra-Moral Sense , takes up this connection and investigates it. “What is truth? . .. [A] sum of human relations which were poetically and rhetorically heightened, transferred, and adorned, and after long use seem solid, canonical, and binding to a nation.” (page 250) Nietzsche claims that truth is only what the movers and shakers of society want it to be; and with the tool of language, those in power can create and manipulate truth for their citizens to abide by. A complex web is thus created among language, truth, knowledge, and convention, and many falsehoods become distorted into real “facts” by this web. It was society that created language; because for society to exist, there must be some complex level of interaction. Language led to the idea of truth – that some set of words is a good, accurate description of some object or phenomena. From truth came knowledge, the actual descriptions of these objects, which in turn led to the need for conventions and generalizations to classify knowledge. In this complex set of creations, one of the worst deceptions ever was created as well. When descriptive language was created, its primary use was intended be for describing things directly; however, according to Nietzsche the human language cannot fully describe things, and is often used instead for indirect similarities such as metaphors. I agree; it is often very difficult
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to find words that even come close to accurate. Furthermore, language as it was created is a tool for deceit, which was very difficult, if not impossible, without language. Language far from achieves its designated purpose, and occasionally serves to undermine those things that were created from it. One of the wonders of human language is the ability to “play” with words. Words need not always have their literal meanings, but can create interesting alternative meanings when used in various ways. One of the most prominent of these uses is the metaphor, the use of words or phrases to have different meanings than they were originally intended. They are used primarily to describe something similar to, yet different than, the direct definitions of the words or phrases. Nietzsche saw verbal descriptions as double metaphors: “First, he translates a nerve stimulus into an image! That is the first metaphor.
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This essay was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course HON 212 taught by Professor Elwood during the Spring '07 term at University of Maine Orono .

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First Paper - Robert J England II HON 212 Section 007 Edith...

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