This over-rationalization has blinded us to the true essential nature of ourselves and our world—the essential truth is that there is no truth and we continually commit a Cartesian “material falsity,” mistaking the false rationality for reality.While many will argue that Nietzsche and Socrates embody the two opposing views within philosophy, I believe that there is a fundamental affinity in their projects and approaches. I) “We knowers are unknown to ourselves…” Our “treasure,” our “heart,” (matthew ) rests in the expansion of our knowledge; yet, in seeking knowledge we are ignorant of experience, which essentially means we are ignorant to ourselves, the seekers. We must understand the difference between REACTION and REFLECTION—the first is negative, gave birth to morals; the latter is positive, and is now necessary to re-learn in order to see beyond these morals, because in always reacting we forget to, neglect to reflect.It is as if I had suddenly fallen into a deep whirlpool; I am so tossed about that I can neither touch bottom with my foot, nor swim up to the top” (Descartes, Meditations, II, 23-4).exploring the difficulty and despair of looking at ourselves, our actions, our motives.
Nietzsche, better than most any other Western philosopher, understood the power and necessity of Platonic indirection—which means that his style is MORE than style—he does not want you to rationally comprehend his critiques of rationality, but to EXPERIENCE it. This seeking leads to an examination of life (for, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” as he says at 38a in the , the perplexity at the end of the dialogues wherein we discover we do not know the truth that we thought, unreflectively, that we did know.
Like Socrates’ generation of aporia in his interlocutors, Nietzsche often induces a vehement revulsion—but one from which we cannot tear our eyes or minds away from. Just as his interlocutors always run away at the end, refusing to bear Socrates’ revelation of their ignorance any longer, coming to truth is a very difficult process.
For Nietzsche, the Genealogy’s trajectory begins with the birth of morality through its development to its peak, and calls out for its downfall.
1) What is the origin of the ethical categories “good,” “bad,” “evil?
short story, “The Room,” as demonstrated by Eve, her rejection of the “rational,” moral world outside and, yet, her difficult and incomplete reflecting on her current failings to purely connect with Pierre and his insanity.
Or, in , this is much like the reflection Roquentin goes through, the extreme descent into what would only appear to us as insanity, the radical questioning of all presumptions and values—neither easy, nor painless—it may be far ‘better’ in some estimates to be able to not reflect too hard.“O Lord my God, you who have fashioned and refashioned me, tell my longing soul what you are besides what it has seen, that it might see purely what it longs to see.There are many other things, however, which man very much desires to know, and strenuous efforts to examine and to investigate them have been made by thinkers of all classes, and at all times.They differ and disagree, and constantly raise new doubts with regard to them, because their minds are bend on comprehending such things, that is to say, they are moved by desire; and every one of them believes that he has discovered the way leading to a true knowledge of the thing, although human reason is entirely unable to demonstrate the fact by convincing evidence” (Moses Maimonides, “Yesterday’s meditation has thrown me into such doubts that I can no longer ignore them, yet I fail to see how they are to be resolved.Socrates inspires Nietzsche’s poetic or lyric expression of the sickness of modernity and his heavy handed irony. “…we remain necessarily strangers to ourselves…we must mistake ourselves…” Second, note the necessity of not knowing ourselves… this reflection that Nietzsche wants is like the activity Socrates is encouraging in his interlocutors.He uses aphorisms and non-linear narratives, explicit and hyperbolic images and hypothetical interlocutors. Since wisdom is knowing that/what you do not know, the revelation of one’s unknowing generates a compulsion to seek knowledge.Nietzsche understands the degeneration of humanity to be relative to the degradation of society, which is a result of the nihilistic (rationalized) structures of experience (reality).He poses a sharp critique of modernity, of the over emphasis we place on rationality and scientific or mechanistic explanations.It strives to see more, but beyond what it has already seen it sees nothing but darkness. See, Lord, the ears of my heart are in front of you. Let me die, lest I should die indeed; only let me see your face” (Augustine, “There are things …Or rather, it does not see darkness, for ‘in you there is no darkness’ (1 John 1:5); it sees that it cannot see more because of its own darkness. ” (Anselm, “Oh, in the name of all your mercies, O Lord my God, tell me what you are to me! which are acknowledged to be inaccessible to human understanding ….–do note how reaction, here, may seem spontaneous or impulsive, and thus rather good in this model, but that this is not the case; for Nietzsche, reaction is a calculating response, even it if seems immediate (like distinction between the natural and phenomenological attitudes.In the natural attitude, we just go about life; we do not question how value is granted, meaning is formed, or whether the floor will be solid beneath our feet when we step out of bed … the isolation of the “I” …“We have no right to isolated thoughts, whether truthful or erroneous.