PHL217H1 Lecture Notes - Friedrich Nietzsche

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17 Nov 2011
Lecture 10: PHL217H1 (Friedrich Nietzsche 1844 – 1900) on the will to truth )
1. Nietzsche’s style: Uses metaphors in his essays to make his points; there is a need
to invent new fables and myths. They are in some sense more truthful than the
previous myths invented by other philosophers. The previous myths corresponded
to reality.
More effort is required to connect threads in Nietzsche’s aphorisms. The
aphoristic style is developed in opposition to systematic philosophers. Nietzsche’s
aphorisms need to be sorted out in a way as to not cause them to be distorted.
Nietzsche has written in a style that sometimes moves from topic to topic without
rhyme or reason.
With Nietzsche, it is important to ask what drives us to gain truth instead of
2.) Nietzsche vs. Kierkegard on the value of truth
Nietzsche’s version of an existential truthfulness is artistic while that of
Kierkegard (truth) is religious.
For Kierkagard, truth is synonymous with value while Nietzsche is interested in
why truth is valued at all.
Kierkagard aimed at a transcendent truth while Nietzsche’s truth is valuable in or
part of this world; the only world there is.
3.) Truth as woman, philosophers as dogmatists
It seems to be that philosophers do not understand women and have been quite
unsuccessful with them. Philosophers are characterized as dogmatists, they
clumsily try to approach the truth rather than with passion and self interest.
Nietzsche says that truth is just one thing we need in our lives; it is not the central
need in life. In fact, he claims that at some point, untruths will be necessary. The
need for untruths has to be considered from a particular perspective.
4.) Nietzsche’s opposition to simple opposites
Truth is presumed valuable without question. Nietzsche asks what makes truth
valuable. Here, Nietzsche points to philosophy in that he says, it could opposites
are merely superstitions. Nietzsche is criticizing traditional philosophy
5.) Nietzsche’s new philosophical breed
He does not need certainty even of his own views. Past philosophers were the
opposite of this in that they had to make certain of their arguments and not make
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