On Truth and Lies in a Non-moral Sense by Friedrich Nietzsche

Posted: September 3rd, 2013





On Truth and Lies in a Non-moral Sense by Friedrich Nietzsche

According to Nietzsche, everything is both a lie and a metaphor. This is mainly because he believes that all the concepts that are fronted by men are metaphors that do not represent what is in the real world. The various concepts are all created by human beings that are designed in common agreement to make communication efficient and effective. However, this fact is easily forgotten by human beings after they create them and later come to deem them as true and to be in conformity with reality. Therefore, if this is what Nietzsche argues to be the truth, then according to him, everything is nothing but a lie and metaphor that fails to represent what is in the real world (Bizzell, and Bruce, 2001).

I fail to agree with Nietzsche on this concept of the truth because from birth, the human mind is born as a tabular rasa; a plain paper. However, through the experiences and realities of this world, brought about with time it is field with much knowledge. With this in mind, it can only be argued that what will be conceived by the mind can only be a representative what is in the reality experienced by the same mind and nothing that is in existence.

Nietzsche believes that humans are removed from reality. What he means is that there lacks absolute truths with the world being forced to come up with its own measures on how to think and live. With this regard, knowledge becomes relative, evolving and depends upon culture. This is in connection to language being a metaphor that is apparent from the absolute truth and reality. Man is therefore detached from reality, since he can neither experience reality nor communicate it. In my opinion, I regard this ideology to be true but only to a certain extent. Reality is relative to the perceiver and thus bringing the idea that there lacks absolute reality. However, everything including reality is experienced in a common space. This means that if man agrees on a certain aspect that it can be deemed as true since they all judge from the same environment.

By giving an example on leaves, Nietzsche was expounding on his view of the world comprising of fragments that are dissimilar to each other. During the creation of concepts, man tends to overlook the fact that there lacks similarity in any two objects or occurrences. Consequently, instead of communicating genuine knowledge, the conceptualization process tends to rob reality its aspect of multiplicity and also obliterates the original richness and vivacity of human experience. The leaf therefore indicates on the multiplicity of life whereby, although the leaves of a tree may share certain characteristics, each leaf is unique and differs from the rest. I agree with this concept of the leaf because when taking into account concept of the leaf, man is able to design the concept “leaf “, by merely overlooking on the underlying differences between one leaf to another. With this regard, the concept “leaf”, therefore becomes a falsification of the reality of leaves (Bizzell, and Bruce, 2001).

Nietzsche is of the belief that a rhetorical style is deliberately artistic and can never exist naturally. In his view, classical orators are perceived as profoundly rhetorical by modern analysts and critics simply because of the existence of an oral form of argument that is considered to be a higher development form than the traditional written form. Nietzsche also perceived language to be rhetoric in the sense that it is used to convey an opinion as opposed to knowledge bringing about the artistic nature of rhetoric. I agree with this view because every time man attempts to design a word to represent an object, there is falsification in the process since there lacks neither any previous experience with the object nor the word in being aware that the two do mesh.

Nietzsche is also critical on the issue of there being an objective truth. This is agreeable because the thought that there exists a right way of perceiving a matter renders humanity to be inflexible in terms of thought. A healthy mind tends to be flexible, rational and strict and recognizes there exists various ways in the consideration of a given matter.


Works Cited

Bizzell, Patricia, and Bruce Herzberg. The rhetorical tradition:Readings from classical times to the present. 2nd edition. Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 2001. Print.

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