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
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
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
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
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
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