nietzsche summary

nietzsche summary - English 110 Friedrich Nietzsches"On...

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English 110 Friedrich Nietzsche’s “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense” Friedrich Nietzsche’s essay, “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense”, challenges the foundations of truth, contending that truth is merely an illusion that is fixed steadfast in language and arbitrary convention. The illusion of truth is perpetuated by the ambiguities and vagueness in language, and it relies on canonical, preconceived notions and beliefs to be perceived as the truth. The primary argument of Nietzsche’s composition is simple enough to understand. However, diluting his complex philosophical writings into a concise summary, while still retaining the details of his ideas, is near impossible. After discussing a hypothetical situation involving the creation of knowledge, Nietzsche comments that “one might invent such a fable, and yet he still would not have adequately illustrated how miserable, how shadowy and transient, how aimless and arbitrary the human intellect looks within nature” (451). Human intellect is such a minute aspect of nature. The belief that human intellect can provide an objective view into the truth is ignorant and narrow-minded. Nietzsche asserts that deception and dissimulation is pervasive in language, and that such activity “is the means by which weaker, less robust individuals preserve themselves – since they have been denied the chance to wage the battle for existence with horns or with the sharp teeth of beasts of prey” (452). He brings to light these negative aspects of man “fluttering around the solitary flame of vanity” (452) and questions how the righteous, pure drive for truth could have even arisen under such characteristics.
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