• 180 Proof
    14.7k
    Also opposition to his metaphysics, which Nietzsche thought was too close to Kantian idealism ...Joshs
    :up:
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    It occurs to me I've never considered N to be anything but a philosophical (though not scientific) naturalist, especially emphasized in his "middle period" from Human, All Too Human to The Gay Science (and also later with On The Genealogy of Morals).180 Proof

    Back when I read through him I always thought the naturalism was just a foil of some kind -- ala Kant's ethics, but inverted. Rather than having to believe in immortality, freedom, and God because without such regulative beliefs human beings wouldn't choose to follow the moral law out of respect, Nietzsche seemed to turn this on its head and say -- given the death of God, here is what you must believe about reality in order to save values from annihilation, but he seemed to leave it open to any sort of belief that works to save valuation itself, since that's what he's mostly concerned with.

    So I guess I read him -- back in the day, and I'm only sharing to give a perspective -- as mostly anti-realist.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    Rather: mostly anti-platonist.
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    Do you think that there is a right way to read Nietzsche?
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    Mostly asking because if someone believes that -- then I sort of feel my original comment was correct. But maybe only in reference to people who believe in correct readings, as opposed to a multitude of correct readings (of course there are bad readings)
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    Feel like stating: I am hoping to find some kind of semblance of understanding on postmodernism, with textual references everyone can read on TPF, so that there is *something like* a shared understanding in our own internet community -- not that it can't be changed or challenged, I'm just going for a shared understanding because originally I thought that we could just discuss the authors, and it seemed that there was some other thoughts going on, interrupting discussion of the authors themselves.

    And then, if we are lucky, we might get over to ethics
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    ↪180 Proof Do you think that there is a right way to read Nietzsche?Moliere
    (a) One can start with reading Freddy's (belated) prefaces to his books where the old philologist makes suggestions for how to read each work.

    (b) I also read him in / against the cultural and historical context within which his books were written (rather than when they were actually published).

    (c) Lastly, maybe most significantly, I think Freddy's books are more profitably read from the perspective of 'Freddy in dialogue with other thinkers & writers' (i.e. texts interpreted in their original historical-cultural-linguisric contexts).

    Freddy's romantic anti-romantic–anti-platonic classicism is the prism through which I've learned to re-read his philosophical writings. So I guess, Moliere, that's a long-winded "Yes" to your question.
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    I am wondering if this paper is accessible? As in, can people still interested read the paper? I have an account on there, and it was free for me, but I had to actually use the academia portal rather than being able to find it through public search engines.


    https://www.academia.edu/43664144/Heideggers_Nietzsche?source=swp_share
  • Moliere
    4.3k


    I think I'm good with there being a right reading. And I would certainly defer to your reading as a right reading, given our relative familiarity. Or, at least, I'd allow others to argue over which reading gets to be the right one -- I'd like that we still acknowledge there's a multiplicity of readings -- and if we are pragmatic in our analysis we'd want to understand those multiple readings so that we might use them to whatever ends we might choose.

    These sorts of thoughts seem at least consistent with the philosophy of Nietzsche, as I understand it.
  • baker
    5.6k
    Freddy180 Proof

    Freddy, Freddy, Freddy, like the two of you have a bromance.
    You think he'd approve of your intimate advances?
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    I mean, if we're masters, does it matter what Fred approves of?
  • baker
    5.6k
    Well, Fred's dead, but there is such a thing as assuming too much familiarity.

    And as for being masters: If that were true, Mr. Proof wouldn't have trouble with people believing things that he thinks are nonsense. Aquila non capit muscas and all that.
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    Maybe, in the sense of your own idea of a master -- that's the case.

    But my idea of a master may say -- over-familiarity is a virtue. And where you denounce my over-familiarity, I feel good, because I'm sticking to the code, to the passion that I've chosen to abnegate nihilism.
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    Or, heh "feel good" betrays my own personal ethic as being mostly hedonistic.

    Nietzsche wouldn't like my attachment to good-feels or stablity or socialism. ;)
  • Joshs
    5.4k
    I am wondering if this paper is accessible? As in, can people still interested read the paper? I have an account on there, and it was free for me, but I had to actually use the academia portal rather than being able to find it through public search engines.Moliere

    I wrote a similar paper, available here in draft form:

    https://www.academia.edu/38288335/Heidegger_Will_to_Power_and_Gestell

    “If we examine Heidegger's treatment of Nietzsche's Will to Power in 'The Word of Nietzsche:" God Is Dead"' , (located in The Question Concerning Technology), it seems that Heidegger identified Nietzsche's thinking of self-transformation of values-structures as the last stand of metaphysics. Heidegger argues "The will to power is the ground of the necessity of value-positing and of the origin of the possibility of value judgment." "The principle of value-positing" comes out of the ground of Being as Will to Power. According to Heidegger's reading, particular value-structures become stabilized by the Will, and present themselves to the subject. This "constant reserve"(William Lovitt's translation, seemingly closely allied with 'standing reserve') belongs to the sphere from out of which the will to power wills itself.
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    Postmodernism tries to make everyone happy and ends up making no one happy.

    Moral relativism makes sense to the extent that pleasure (happiness)/pain (sorrow), their antecedent causes differ from people to people, culture to culture, individual to individual and they do; however, the brain's pain-pleasure system is, to some extent, uniform with respect to what induces pain and pleasure.
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    I'm going to compile the references so far in the thread. I added quick titles to the quotes that aren't apparent what they are. I think this is a good list for my purposes of maybe creating a shared understanding on postmodernism through the lens of Nietzsche, and also including the Hagglund paper because it's topical to the OP).


    Some more thoughts for where I'm going with this. I can see Nietzsche in a similar to to how I see Kant -- sitting in a place between he can be read towards both poles -- in this case, between modernism and postmodernism. This is a pretty common feature of philosophers in general, given the propensity for interpretive categories like "the early/late (philosopher's name"

    Would anyone add anything else?

    Hagglund:
    For your reading pleasure - as well as Tom Storm's: 11 page PDF.Streetlight

    Why use postmodernism:
    Here’s a good argument in favor of making the distinction:

    https://youtu.be/cU1LhcEh8Ms
    Joshs

    Analytic Nietzsche found through Google search engine:
    I'm having a gander at this. I thought maybe, given the breadth of postmodernism so far agreed to, and the other conversation, Nietzsche might be fruitful.

    https://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/761/1/K_Gemes_Truth.pdf

    EDIT: I should be quick to point out that I'm not endorsing the reading of Nietzsche, but using Gemes thoughts to springboard into the OP. Through all this meandering, I am trying to bring it back around
    Moliere


    It occurs to me I've never considered N to be anything but a philosophical (though not scientific) naturalist, especially emphasized in his "middle period" from Human, All Too Human to The Gay Science (and also later with On The Genealogy of Morals). IME, N is neither an existentialist nor a (Jamesian) pragmatist nor a p0m0 'cultural relativist' (nor, if it still needs to be said, a proto-fascist).This paper may be helpful in highlighting those aspects of N's philosophy which are predominately naturalistic as well as referrng to other critical commentaries which corroborate this view.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1171285

    Behold, I teach you the overman. The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go.
    — TSZ, Zarathustra's Prologue
    180 Proof



    Interpretation of Heidegger's Nietzsche paper found through academia.edu's portal:

    I wrote a similar paper, available here in draft form:

    https://www.academia.edu/38288335/Heidegger_Will_to_Power_and_Gestell

    “If we examine Heidegger's treatment of Nietzsche's Will to Power in 'The Word of Nietzsche:" God Is Dead"' , (located in The Question Concerning Technolog
    Joshs
    I am wondering if this paper is accessible? As in, can people still interested read the paper? I have an account on there, and it was free for me, but I had to actually use the academia portal rather than being able to find it through public search engines.


    https://www.academia.edu/43664144/Heideggers_Nietzsche?source=swp_share
    Moliere
  • Joshs
    5.4k
    the brain's pain-pleasure system is, to some extent, uniform with respect to what induces pain and pleasure.Agent Smith

    The brain’s pain/pleasure system is correlated with the success or failure of anticipatory sense making. So the question is, how uniform is sense-making? The answer:

    their antecedent causes differ from people to people, culture to culture, individual to individualAgent Smith
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    @Joshs

    The N-word isn't offensive when it's black on black but it is when white on black.
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    I'm about half-way through the readings at this point. I only get to this stuff when I have the energy after getting life done, so I move at snails pace. Plus I'm a slow reader, anymore.

    Something occurred to me that perhaps this was a too large conceit for lil' ol' me, given the talent available. But I have been enjoying the work. It's been a minute since I've done anything like this, and I have missed philosophy.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    The N-word isn't offensive when it's black on black but it is when white on black.Agent Smith
    Not true. In my experience, that word is always offensive, regardless of color, except when used among intimates – old / close friends & (birth) family.
  • Joshs
    5.4k
    I'm about half-way through the readings at this point. I only get to this stuff when I have the energy after getting life done, so I move at snails pace. Plus I'm a slow reader, anymore.Moliere

    Here’s something to add to your reading, Postmodernism
    and our understanding of science. It’s a solid summary of one of the best representatives of postmodern philosophy of science, Joseph Rouse.


    https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hennie-Loetter/publication/281652523_Postmodernism_and_our_understanding_of_science/links/55f33b3508ae63926cf23bda/Postmodernism-and-our-understanding-of-science.pdf?origin=publication_detail
  • Agent Smith
    9.5k
    The N-word isn't offensive when it's black on black but it is when white on black.
    — Agent Smith
    Not true. In my experience, that word is always offensive, regardless of color, except when used among intimates – old / close friends & family-by-birth.
    180 Proof

    :ok:
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    Thanks for this. It's providing a good frame. Commenting now, though, because I loved this quote:

    This
    postmodern idea on fragmented discourses would lead to
    philosophy of science becoming the exclusive domain of
    highly trained scientists concerned with conceptual issues
    in their own discipline. A plurality of "finite metadiscourses"
    about science would arise where scientists
    reflect on their own discipline "without any great unifying
    ambitions" (Parusnikova 1992:35).

    A bit off topic to the thread, but I immediately went "Exactly!" :D
  • Enrique
    842


    To all concerned: finite metadiscourses are fine within the highly academic sphere, but then what about dissemination, which requires some level of mass appeal? Is the education system in the US and perhaps elsewhere failing because of this perspective of maximum intellectual relativity? Is enlightenment divided and conquered?
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    At this stage of the debates on postmodernism, there is
    still a lot of controversy about the exact definitions of
    modernity and postmodernism. What is clear, however, is
    that postmodernism presents us with a wide variety of
    ideas that can be used in different combinations to
    enlighten aspects of our reality. Thus, different sets of
    ideas can be classified as being postmodern, and it is not
    at all clear that all these ideas can be helpful in a specific
    quest for a better understanding of our world. Sometimes
    they are helpful and sometimes not. In typical
    postmodern fashion one will have to cut and paste
    amongst postmodern ideas; appropriate, transform or
    transcend diverse ideas; construct them into a pastiche
    and apply it locally to determine its worth.
    — Postmodernism and our understanding of Science, conclusion

    A good frame -- it's the uncertainty of modern/post-modern that leads me to assert things like "there is no post-modern philosophy". However, that doesn't mean we can't apprehend a partial understanding of what this post-modernism is about anyways, in broad strokes -- even if we must make ourselves more explicit, and thereby less universal, down the line.

    And what might a purpose be in this understanding? Well, here, we're interested in illuminating ethical implications of post-modernity. And while I started with Derrida I'm switching to Nietzsche because he's just easier to understand :P :D . Furthermore, he's more popular here-abouts. And furthmore, in a way this has been thrust onto us by the would-be culture warriors, as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU1LhcEh8Ms&feature=youtu.be demonstrates -- and, indeed, it's the sort of cultural narrative of post-modernism which also leads me to assert things like "there is no post-modern philosophy" -- because, in the sense that Peterson means the term, there really isn't.

    So our social world is such that an understanding of post-modernism would serve us well, even if it's the sort of understanding that isn't something that would be read by academics. In the spirit of a post-modern philosophy, even this understanding is a bricolage thrown together by the vagaries of accessibility on the internet. But hopefully we'll be in a better place than before.



    I want to start with a brief quote from Leiter to hedge off any sort of argument on what's true in Nietzsche:

    I do not think there is text in Nietzsche that settles this matter, and so this is more a matter of giving the most philosophically appealing reconstruction of his actual explanatory practice. — Nietzsche's Naturalism Reconsidered, top of p11

    Given that our purposes are not to give a philosophically appealing reconstruction of Nietzsche's actual explanatory practice, but to use his work as a better place to understand post-modernism than our own little thoughts, we can easily step aside what the real Nietzsche meant, and leave that question to historians of philosophy and scholars.


    *******

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/706954
    My pleasure, and thanks for the positive feedback. You make an excellent point about the two layers in Derrida's deconstructions. One has to try and keep the distinction clear. In the case of Saussure, it's as if Derrida is siding with Saussure's radical tendency against his obliviously still-phonocentric tendency. He uses a crowbar provided by Saussure in the first place to set his work ajar.

    This "using a crowbar" that @igjugarjuk mentioned in the deconstruction thread is a move which Nietzsche uses in his criticism of truth and morality. Leiter points it out well:

    the Therapeutic Nietzsche has (as I argued in Leiter [2002: 159, 176]) a variety of other rhetorical devices at his disposal beyond the Humean Nietzsche‟s understanding of morality: for example, exploiting the genetic fallacy (leading his readers to think that there is something wrong with their morality because of its unseemly origin) or exploiting their will to truth (by showing that the metaphysics of agency on which their morality depends is false). — Leiter, p12

    He aims for common beliefs which people hold, and he attempts to unseat those beliefs with other beliefs which said persons tend to hold -- so he performs a deconstruction of Christianity by exploiting its desire for Truth.

    Something I think that is kind of funny with Leiter's reading, especially in relation to post-modernism, is that he employs a binary in order to demonstrate why another reading is wrong. While his reading is interesting to me, the article begins to delve too deeply into opinions of academics to be very interesting for our purposes -- but I think his reading serves as a pole in understanding, with Leiter's Nietzsches' playing the part of the Modernist Nietzsche -- Nietzsche as naturalist.

    What makes him a modernist, in this interpretation?

    Let's visit Lötter again to take his frame on modernism vs. postermodernism.

    (Moliere: Nancy Murphy's)... view does however demonstrate that no clear and generally accepted demarcation is possible between modern and postmodern thought. — Lötter, p3

    Again emphasizing here that we aren't looking for necessary or sufficient conditions across all possible scenarios, **6but proposing such things in a particular conversation to bring about clarity**6. In that light, here's Murphy's thesis on modernism:

    ... three central philosophical theses have dominated modern thought up to the middle of the twentieth century. The first is epistemological foundationalism, which she (Murphy 1990:292) defines as the view that knowledge can only be justified by "reconstructing it upon indubitable 'foundational' beliefs." Another dominating modern philosophical thesis is the representational or referential theory of language. Murphy (1990:292) defines this view as one which says that language gets its primary meaning "by representing the objects or facts to which it refers." The third philosophical thesis of modern thought is individualism (atomism) (Murphy 1990:292), which takes the individual "to be prior to the community." — Lötter, p2

    But given the diversity of post-modern writers and ideas, it's important to emphasize that these theses aren't some sort of programmatic set of theses to refute, ala post-modernism -- merely a conceptual bracket, among brackets that we could possibly use, to begin to elucidate modernism, and hence, post-modernism.

    Moving over to Rouse, since he discusses modernism in detail as well:

    Joseph Rouse's discussions of modernity and postmodernism with respect to the philosophy of science revolves around the Lyotardian idea of "global narratives of legitimation" (Rouse 1991b:610). In philosophy of science these metanarratives refer to the importance of the ability to tell a certain kind of story about the history of science which would justify the cultural authority of (natural) science in the Western world (Rouse 1991b:611). Such metanarratives touch on two issues. The one is the crucial role of the story of the spectacular growth of modern science and its wide-ranging influence through its technological applications in the narrative legitimation of modernity, as well as in the counter narratives which subvert the story of modern progress into one of unfolding disaster (Rouse 1991b:611). The other issue touched upon by the metanarratives of modern science is the attempt to justifiably view the history of science in terms of modernist ideas of progress or rational development (Rouse 1991b:611). — Lötter, p 5

    I think that the function of meta-narratives within the philosophy of science works well for the function of meta-narratives in the philosophy of philosophy as well -- narrative legitimation of modernity, and grounding the history of philosophy(edit:spelling) in modernist ideas such as progress or rational development. "narrative legitimation of modernity" is a bit of a "big picture" idea, but let's take Leiter. He seems adamant to put Nietzsche squarely within the rationalist camp, to the point of inventing two Nietzsche's so that he can put the rationalist attributions in that category, and the irrationalist ones in the other, then justify the use of irrationality on the basis of a rational appraisal of the human soul -- so that Nietzsche isn't irrational, but his targets are.

    On the whole that gets along with the theses(SP-correction) on modernity which Nancy Murphy put forward: Foundationalism, Representationalism, and Individualism. The Humean Nietzsche, as Leiter puts it, believes in a human nature which is governed by rules and he is speculating upon the possible rules (representations) which accurately portray the natural human psyche -- located within the body. The sciences serve as foundation within his speculative realism, and I hope no one feels the need to argue the point on Nietzsche and individualism.

    I sort of wonder how Leiter's Nietzsche would exactly stack up to Rouse's division, though, since it's not as clear cut. In the modernist reading of Nietzsche, even, it seems difficult to me to parse what is meta-narrative and what isn't -- and actually this way of reading modernity shows how Nietzsche is sort of in this between place, since he frequently criticizes big-story type philosophies, and as I read him at least, the big stories he puts forward are not meant to be taken literally. (though, I take it, the M-Naturalist Nietzscheans disagree)

    Still, this is a beginning -- a modernist Nietzsche to compare to our post-modern Nietzsche's, and a definition of modernity that at least cites scholarly work.

    ****

    What about post-modernity in Nietzsche?

    I pulled the following from @Joshs reference in his paper linked above:


    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwj92Muu1tf4AhXEmmoFHaBtD_EQFnoECCcQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmonoskop.org%2Fimages%2F4%2F44%2FHeidegger_Martin_The_Question_Concerning_Technology_and_Other_Essays.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0ZeQp-ZJbe8J5UtZGkhvbw

    In a note from the year 1887 Nietzsche poses the question,
    "What does nihilism mean?" (Will to Power, Aph. 2). He answers
    : "That the highest values are devaluing themselves."
    This answer is underlined and is furnished with the explanatory
    amplification : "The aim is lacking; 'Why?' finds no answer."
    According to this note Nietzsche understands nihilism as an
    ongoing historical event. He interprets that event as the devaluing
    of the highest values up to now. God, the supra sensory world
    as the world that truly is and determines all, ideals and Ideas,
    the purposes and grounds that determine and support everything
    that is and human life in particular-all this is here represented
    as meaning the highest values. In conformity with the opinion
    that is even now still current, we understand by this the true,
    the good, and the beautiful; the true, i.e., that which really is ;
    the good, i.e., that upon which everything everywhere depends ;
    the beautiful, i.e., the order and unity of that which is in its
    entirety. And yet the highest values are already devaluing themselves
    through the emerging of the insight that the ideal world
    is not and is never to be realized within the real world. The
    obligatory character of the highest values begins to totter. The
    question arises : Of what avail are these highest values if they
    do not simultaneously render secure the warrant and the ways
    and means for a realization of the goals posited in them?
    — Heidegger, p99 of pdf linked above

    Heidegger says much more, but I think this paragraph is enough for my purposes -- in particular I want to zone in on both nihilism and truth -- and how the first move in the nihilistic pattern, as Heidegger describes Nietzsche, is the devaluation of The Good, The Beautiful, and The True: Plato and Christianity's holy trinity.

    It's this movement of Nietzsche's that can easily be seen as post-modern, especially with respect to his treatment of truth. So I'll switch over to Gemes here who treats of Truth in Nietzsche exclusively. I'll caution -- I think Gemes fits in a place perefectly between Heidegger and Leiter: He wants to redeem Nietzsche of his irrationalism, so to speak. But in so doing he is a lot clearer than Heidegger! :D So I begin with the Heidegger quote because I think H's interpretation of N is a good place for understanding post-modernism in general, and here specifically focusing on Hiedegger's focus on Nietzsche's response to nihilism, which gets us to the overturning of Truth. Be that a weak or strong version of overturning seems to me to be a good point of demarcation between modern and post-modern Nietzsche's -- and hence, as I was hoping, gets us to see the beginnings of a framework -- a distinction -- between modernity and post-modernity that we could share.

    How one treats truth in Nietzsche -- ironic, but really believing in naturalism, or ironic, and spurring big-picture stories of the world, including naturalism -- is a defining feature between these types of thinkers within the frame of modernism/post-modernism.

    Interestingly, Gemes picks up on the same passage of Heidegger -- the madman's story from The Gay Science. Heidegger quoted it in full in his essay, so I'll do so here as well considering these very different thinkers saw inspiration for talking about truth by way of the death of god in Nietzsche:

    The Madman. Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern
    in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly,
    "1 seek God ! I seek God !" As many of those who do
    not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked
    much laughter. Why, did he get lost? said one. Did he lose his way
    like a child? said another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has
    he gone on a voyage? or emigrated? Thus they yelled and laughed.
    The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his
    glances.

    "Whither is God" he cried. "1 shall tell you. We have killed him you
    and 1. All of us are his murderers. But how have we done this?
    How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to
    wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained
    this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we
    moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually?
    Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or
    down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do
    we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder?
    Is not night and more night coming on all the while? Must not
    lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the
    noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell
    anything yet of God's decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is
    dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we,
    the murderers of all murderers, comfort ourselves? What was holiest
    and most powerful of all that the world has yet owned has bled to
    death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us? What
    water is there for us to clean ourselves ? What festivals of atonement,
    what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness
    of this deed too great for us? Must not we ourselves become
    gods simply to seem worthy of it? There has never been a greater
    deed; and whoever will be born after us-for the sake of this deed
    he will be part of a higher history than all history hitherto./I
    Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners ;
    and they too were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last
    he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke and went out.
    "I come too early," he said then; "my time has not come yet. This
    tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering-it has not yet
    reached the ears of man. Lightning and thunder require time, the
    light of the stars requires time, deeds require time even after they
    are done, before they can be seen and heard. This deed is still more
    distant from them than the most distant stars-and yet they have
    done it themselves."

    It has been related further that on that same day the madman
    entered divers churches and there sang his requiem aeternam deo.
    Led out and called to account, he is s aid to have replied each time,
    "What are these churches now if they are not the tombs and
    sepulchers of God ?
    — Nietzsche, The Gay Science

    I quote in full because the passage is important to two of our thinkers on Nietzsche, and also to lay out the aphoristic style -- "True", "truth", "good", "beautiful" are not words used, and yet the paragraph is interpreted in that way. I put this here because that style, I think, is also something that is post-modern about Nietzsche. He forces the reader to pick an interpretation, thereby proving his point by way of the interpretive mechanisms one must use to understand the text -- like all great philosophy, he sets traps for his readers to shake up their beliefs. But unlike a lot of philosophers, he never gives an answer. He just hints at an answer, and makes attempts. THE TRUTH is not at stake -- that is dead. But how we live with that is, because here we are.

    To use Gemes' description:

    4. Why not Untruth rather than Truth?

    In Beyond Good and Evil, among other places, Nietzsche raises the question of the value of truth:

    For all the value that the true, the truthful, the selfless may deserve, it would be possible that a higher and more fundamental value for life might have to be ascribed to deception, selfishness and lust (BGE 2)

    The falseness of a judgment is for us not necessarily an objection to a judgment; in this respect our new language may sound strangest. The question is to what extent it is life preserving, species-preserving, perhaps even species cultivating (BGE 4)

    What we need to note here is the spearating of the pragmatic question of the usefulness of a judgment from the question of its truth value. Philosophers have tended to assume that the fact that a judgment is in the long run useful in helping us order and predict our experience and/or increasing our survival prospects is strong evidence that the judgment is true. yet Nietzsche rejects this alleged link:

    ...a belief, however necessary it may be for the preservation of a species, has nothing to do with truth (WTP 487)

    In this light Nietzsche's rejection of the importance of truth is not so startling. After all, who but an ascetic fanatic would choose to have true but perhaps life-destroying beliefs over false but life-enhancing beliefs? Nietzsche, like many modern philosophers of science, claims there is no clear connection between truth and various pragmatic virtues. Once we separate the question of pragmatic virtues from the question of truth the property of truth loses its importance. Indeed, if pragmatic virtues are no guide to truth it would seem that truth is unobtainable -- for how could we ever recognize it -- and hence doubly unworthy of our interest

    Obviously there's more in the Gemes paper -- and Gemes is still concerned to retain Nietzsche's naturalism, but he gives a very clear explication of the nature of truth in Nietzsche, i.e., that it is well conceptualized as a pragmatic theory of truth, or rather, that Truth is abandoned in favor of Will as a value. For Gemes I'm guessing he'd be like myself in endorsing some kind of non-correspondence theory of truth that still seems to work, but I think Heidegger's interpretation -- and Nietzsche's style -- show how we don't need to make this move. And, given our purposes of trying to understanding post-modernism as distinct from modernism through Nietzsche's philosophy, we won't make this move here.

    But we can see, from the readings here, coming around to @Joshs conclusion from way long ago that it's Nietzsche's conception of truth that serves as a good focal point for understanding this transition.

    Truth itself loses its value as a supreme good in the post-modern concept.

    ****

    So then, if we agree to the above, what to make of a post-modern ethic?

    I think a focus on the particular, as well as an understanding of ones own desires, seem to me to be reasonable beginnings. Truth, The Good -- these are things that we like. We have a part in making these values. They don't exist outside of us at all. One frame for talking about these goods is through desire, and it's an easy enough frame too. It just requires us to say things like "I dislike murder" rather than "Murder is bad"

    It's not that murder is wrong and therefore I follow the law. Rather, it is I who sees murder as wrong and therefore I enforce the law, or pursue the creation of such a law. I am a participant in the moral order, responsible for its activities even though they are not all exclusively "my" activities.

    But this is the fun part, no? I'll leave the above to see if others find it useful in making a distinction between modern/post-modern without relying upon a poster's word for it, at least :).


    6**but proposing things in our conversation to bring about clarity**6 -- couldn't figure out the "edit" well enough, but documenting the change. (also moved this down here for clarity, like a proper footnote)
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    Quite a long post, but the secondary sources don't do anything for me. As for the gist of the 'question' you raise, my interpretation, with respect to philosophy, is:
    modern : aporetic :: post-modern : rhetoric
    significantly influenced by Plato's 'Early-Middle Dialogues' (e.g. Socrates versus Protagoras / Gorgias / Euthyphro...) Simply put, I read Nietzsche or Peirce or Wittgenstein against the likes of Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida & Rorty whereby the latter, IME, flounder in 'discursive relativisms' (i.e. sophistries) from deliberately mis-reading the various conceptual-pragmatic doubts raised by the former.
  • Moliere
    4.3k


    I grant you the truth over Nietzsche -- or, at least, I'm not using Nietzsche to understand Nietzsche, the man -- I'm using Nietzsche's writings to build a collective understanding of modern/post-modern.

    Here you're proposing using Plato's dialogues to understand modern/post-modern -- would you say Nietzsche is somehow modern in this sense? Seems a bit odd, on its face.
  • 180 Proof
    14.7k
    I said Plato's 'Early-Middle Dialogues' inspired my interpretation of the MoDo-p0m0 distinction, not that I "propose using Plato's dialogues" otherwise (as I am not a platonist, essentialist, idealist, etc).
  • Moliere
    4.3k
    Ah, fair enough.

    I suppose part of what I'm trying to do in the above, as well, is not rely upon myself. I'm not trying to argue for my distinction, because then what I'd have to say would only be as interesting as me -- which, while I have my moments, I'll have you know I'm an unbelievably boring fuck ;)

    And, as I said, I grant you the truth on Nietzsche the man. What Nietzsche meant by isn't quite as important to the thread as what we mean by modern/post-modern, and we can only mean something by those terms if we have some coherence of belief, some textual reference, some kind of background -- well, something besides the little thoughts in my head, at least.
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