Robert J. England II
HON 212 Section 007
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
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)
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
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