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The Essence of Human Nature and the Fight between Good and Evil - Essay Example

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The Essence of Human Nature and the Fight between Good and Evil

Nietzsche is doubtful of both language and "truth" because they are liable to adopt a fixed perspective toward things.
Words, unlike thoughts, are fixed. Our thoughts can flow and change just as things in the universe flow and change, but a word, once uttered, cannot be changed because language has this tendency toward fixity, it expresses the world in terms of facts and things, which has led philosophers to think of the world as fixed rather than fluid. A world of rigid facts can be spoken about definitively, which is the source of our conception of truth and other absolutes, such as God and morality.
Nietzsche sees the facts and things of traditional philosophy as far from rigid, and subject to all sorts of shifts and changes. He is particularly brilliant in analyzing morality, showing how our concept of "good," for instance, has had opposite meanings at different times. The underlying force driving all change is will, according to Nietzsche. In specific, all drives boil down to a will to power, a drive for freedom and domination over other things. The concept of "good" has had different meanings over time because facts and things depend for their meaning on ever-shifting and struggling wills, there is no such thing as one correct or absolute viewpoint. Every viewpoint is the expression of some will or other rather than try to talk about the "truth," we should try to remain as flexible as possible, looking at matters from as many different perspectives as possible. Nietzsche's ideal "philosophy of the future" is one that is free enough to shift perspectives and overturn the "truths" and other dogmas of rigid thinking. Such philosophy would see moral concepts such as "good" and "evil" as merely surfaces that have no inherent meaning; such philosophy would thus move "beyond good and evil." Nietzsche's ideal philosophers would also turn their will to power inward, struggling constantly against themselves to overcome their own prejudices and assumptions.
Nietzsche's unorthodox views on truth can help to explain his unusual style. Though we can follow trains of thought and make connections along the way, there is no single, linear argument that runs through the book because Nietzsche does not see the truth as a simple, two-dimensional picture; he cannot represent it accurately with a simple linear sketch. Nietzsche sees the world as complex and three-dimensional: more like a hologram than a two-dimensional picture. And just as a hologram is a three-dimensional image made up of infinitesimal two- dimensional fragments, each approximating the whole, Nietzsche presents his worldview in a series of two-dimensional aphorisms, each approximating a more complex worldview (Overall Analysis and Themes, 2005).
Between Nietzsche's first book, The Birth of Tragedy (1872), and one of his last, Beyond Good and Evil (1886), his thinking - that is, his orientation, his very presence - changes significantly. In the latter book, he criticizes the traditional philosophical emphasis on truth as well as its unreflective embrace of 'opposite values', such as appearance and reality. This same metaphysical truth and appearance-reality dualism, however, are essential aspects of his ...Show more

Summary

The concept of good has different meanings due to the fact that different wills have come to appropriate the concept. Meaning and the interpretation are signs that a will is operating on a concept that is truth. The concept of "evil" has to do with devilish things, things that are not holy, things that are ungodly.
Author : mcclurebarton
The Essence of Human Nature and the Fight between Good and Evil essay example
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