For our episode on Nietzsche's On Truth and Lie in the Extra-Moral Sense, I've created a guide that you'll find here.
Here's an excerpt from the Introduction:
Nietzsche’s question in On Truth and Lie in the Extra-Moral Sense is how a drive for truth could ever have arisen when the purpose of our intellects is the development of social strategies for survival, strategies that are grounded in various forms of deception and self-deception (including the “forgetting” of our own impulses). What does Nietzsche mean by “drive for truth,” and what does it mean for some truths (and lies) to be “extra-moral” or “nonmoral”?
Nonmoral truths turn out to stand in opposition to the drive for truth, despite the fact that they are implicated in its origins. We seek nonmoral truths initially for the sake of survival – for their “pleasant, life-affirming consequences”; and subsequently as part of the more positive “celebration of life” that we see in artistic activity. By contrast, the drive for truth involves scientific and philosophical pretensions to absolute truths that are “beyond human life” – which is to say not relativized to our limited cognitive capacities and interests. They are moralized just to the extent that they posit values that serve some purpose other than life and seek something that transcends the objects of our biologically conditioned impulses, whether “the good” (in our ethical concerns) or absolute truth (in our scientific and philosophical pursuits). In Kantian terms (and we shall see that Nietzsche’s epistemology in this essay is heavily influenced by Kant): nonmoral truths concern the appearances – and acknowledge them as such – whereas the drive to truth seeks and confuses the appearances with things-in-themselves (leading to various sorts of errors). So the drive for truth here looks something like Kant’s Reason before its excesses have been curtailed by critique.
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-- Wes Alwan