Essay On Truth And Lies

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Yet the treatment of truth in these texts is not identical.

Whereas in the earlier essay Nietzsche is more interested in the exact method by which truth is constructed, the later work underscores instead the dangers of appealing to truth as the justification for one’s pursuits; meanwhile, both works are concerned with envisioning the sort of person who faces reality without traditional truth as its basis, in the former termed the “intuitive man” and in the latter the “thinkers” (contrasted with adherents to an ascetic ideal).

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In “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense,” Friedrich Nietzsche seems to point to truth as the primal fallacy, a sort of forgotten social contract from which stems all modernity and society. .] that which shall count as ‘truth’ from now on” (81).

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Acting as a precursor to semiotics, Nietzsche draws a distinction between what is signifying, i.e. essence, with the very possibility of comprehending essence being a notion toward which Nietzsche remains skeptical. Essentially, posits Nietzsche, the desire to exist socially demanded a means of overcoming Hobbesian human nature (later figured into his idea of the will-to-power[1]), which was done by establishing a common language and designating those who demonstrate self-interest in its use as ‘liars.’ Meanwhile, says Nietzsche, all use of language is a lie.

Every concept originates through our equating what is unequal.

Although all concepts are metaphors invented by humans (created by common agreement to facilitate ease of communication), writes Nietzsche, human beings forget this fact after inventing them, and come to believe that they are "true" and do correspond to reality.

Initially, however, Nietzsche makes the kind of sweeping parable-like account for truth’s origin which would be characteristic of his later work: “But at the same time, from boredom and necessity, man wishes to exist socially and with the herd; therefore, he needs to make peace [. The moral command of society is ultimately “to lie with the herd” (84).

Characteristically, Nietzsche is depicting these events as necessitated by the nature of his conclusions.


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