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PHIL 367 - Lecture (Apr. 11th)

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PHIL 367
Susan Judith Hoffmann

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th April 11 Twilight of the Idols Idols = deceptive tendencies like the Socratic tendencies. The hammer is the instrument that destroys, that deconstructs, and is at the same time the tuning fork for the new music, the new work of art that Nietzsche wants to create. What the has in mind is are-evaluation of all values. How does one call all values into question? This “question mark” is so big and so black that it casts a shadow on the man who casts it down. How can one find a perspective from which one might call all values into question? Criticizes Schopenhauer's Will for its dependence on the Kantian thing-in-itself, on the neumenal realm. Schopenhauer holds onto the metaphysical pretense of a sundered existence. Also now criticizes Wagner. He criticizes the worship of reason, the worship of a true world behind the real one, Christian morality, liberalism, utilitarianism, and the contemporary ideal of science. What does he substitute? The notion that this opposition between the true and apparent world is a lie that we are condemned. All conceptualization is a lie, but a necessary lie. All systems are lies. All reality is a lie. But they are necessary lies for evolutionary reasons. Perceptions group together its impressions into fictitious units (categories?) Animals who do not do this need more time to process stimuli. Thus, the grouping into fictitious units is an evolutionary trait. Thus, human beings blur individuals together into abstract concepts. Yet, there is no evolutionary trait for us when we form abstract concepts. We falsify individuals under universal concepts; we overlook their individuality, and we project our concepts on the world. We think of these concepts as unchanging and eternal, and knowledge of these forms as certain and perfect. These concepts are based on a lie, but they become the true world. We invest all our value in this abstract realm, and the empirical world becomes fraught with frustration. But this true world – the world that we have projected ourselves – is a metaphysical illusion. This error is a necessary error, and it emerges from the fact that all thought is self-interpretation. The contents of consciousness always vary, but what is always constant is the relation of thought to itself. Any error common to all thought will be an error of thought's own self-interpretation. Any true thought about thought must remain mysterious. To avoid infinite regress – self-awareness of self – thought has to think of itself as another, as if it was not itself. Thus: the ego. Yet we have no clue what this is, despite us interpreting everything through it. The ego is some kind of single unitary thing (Platonic soul, which becomes the gap between the self and soul.) In fact, the physical atom is a projection of the fictional self, because all interpretation is self-interpretation. What is external reality really? a chaos of sensation, a chaos if flux. The fiction of substances, of materialism, was posited to satisfy a human need for order, an emotional need. Causality is also a fiction. It is a belief that we can have no knowledge of. The mechanistic view of the world is a human interpretation; to call the world a machine is to give it too much honour. even natural laws are social convention. “Being” is created by thinking. It is foisted upon us as a cause for our existence. These lies must be deconstructed, de-masked. He wants to de-deify nature, and he wants to unmask/deconstruct the essentialist understanding of human beings and the world. He wants to naturalize human nature, that the soul, ego, I is not an autonomous causal agent. Empirically, the will is nothing more than a mental cause that does not really exist. Humans are subject to same laws as plants/animals; the human being (the self)is a product physically and mentally of influences such as sex, nationality, soil, food, and develops accordingly. He believes that the I is the body, bodily existence. He develops persons as bodies with certain predisposition
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