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Eric Liebregts #115816380 Major Research Paper Wilfred Laurier University, Department of Philosophy Academic Advisors: Dr. Bob Litke and Dr. Renato Cristi August 3, 2012

Nietzsches Critique of Thingness and its Implications on Mainstream Beliefs about Science
We have arranged for ourselves a world in which we are able to live -- by positing bodies, lines, planes, causes and effects, motion and rest, form and content; without these articles of faith no one could endure living! But that does not prove them. Life is not an argument; the conditions of life might include error (GS 121). The senses do not lie the way the Eleatics thought they did, or the way Heraclitus thought they did, -- they do not lie at all. What we do with the testimony of the senses, that is where the lies begin, like the lie of unity, the lie of objectification, of substance, of permanence (TI Reason 2). I have long since declared war [against the] optimism of logicians (LN 38[4]).

ABSTRACT Many intellectuals take a naive, realist, metaphysical stance with respect to logic and the related concepts of ego (in terms of I-ness, not in the Freudian sense), thingness, and causality. This is problematic. In this paper, I will explain Nietzsche's reasons for being

skeptical towards these concepts and suggest that the transformation of sensory experience into concepts is akin to the conversion of analog information to digital form. It is problematic

to take a naive realist stance with respect to the conceptual realm because its representations are inherently lossy with respect to their source, and they create the illusion of exactitude. INTRODUCTION I begin my paper with a sketch of the three levels of reality that Nietzsche identifies: 'the


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actual world' from where we commonly assume our stimuli originate, 'the experiential realm' of raw sensory impressions, and 'the conceptualized realm' -- our world of logicized things 'which we experience as real' (LN 9[106]). I will argue that the transformation or 'carrying across'

(Ubertragung) of information from the experiential realm to the conceptual realm is like the transformation of information from analog to digital form. The same problems -- lossiness

and the illusion of exactitude -- pervade our attempts to logicize or conceptualize our sensory experience. As Nietzsche's critique of logic shows, logic is not a metaphysical reality but a tool in service of life imperatives that allows us to function more effectively in the world. As

Nietzsche puts it, the logician 'actually speaks of nothing but instances which never occur in reality' (WP 478). The concepts of logic, ego, materialism, and causality all presuppose

'identical cases' (LN 40[13]), but such cases cannot be found in the unlogicized realm of raw sensory experience. Because science is built upon the same presupposition as logic is, i.e., realism towards thingness, Nietzsche's critique applies to it as well. Nietzsche sees naive

logical realism as a religious belief, essentially a hangover from the previous Christian moral-aesthetic picture of the world. Nietzsche believes that prior to our scientifically-ordered, empirical world, we experience an immediately perceived 'vivid world of first impressions' (OTL 84), and this uninterpreted world is pictoral or imagistic in form. I will characterize the fluid, streaming, This is in contrast to our In addition

confusing multiplicity of this world of impressions as being analog.

logicized, conceptual world, which can be thought of as being digital in character.

to Nietzsche's remarks, I offer four arguments for thinking that uninterpreted sensory


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information can be described as being analog in character. I will use examples of analog and digital representations to highlight two problems that arise when we attempt to represent an analog phenomenon in a digital form. First, analog to

digital transformations are inherently 'lossy', which is to say that no digital reproduction can preserve all the information of an analog original because it is impossible to finitize the infinite. The second problem is a psychological tendency. Digital representations of analog

phenomena create the illusion of exactitude; their stark, bold character makes it easy for us to overlook that the subject of the digital representation -- the raw sensory information -- seems to be fuzzy and inexact in character. Nietzsche's critique of logic aims to show that we must not be seduced by success in the logicized realm of science into granting metaphysical status to logic, e.g., the idea that the scientific perspective can provide a complete picture of what happens in the experiential realm. Of course, the logical perspective is a highly useful tool that we can use to make life decisions, and it has been very beneficial to the human species. However, we must not lose sight of the

fact that since it is based upon a presupposition -- that identicals are real -- we cannot ascribe to it metaphysical status, as an arbiter of capital-T truth in the experiential world or the actual world. We must not grant the imperatives of logic priority over the imperatives of life,

because logic is a tool created to serve the biological, psychological, and linguistic necessities of life. Since science presupposes logic, a critique of logic is a critique of scientific practice.

Naive realism towards logic, ego, thingness, and causality hide the truth about the unavoidable loss of information involved in the use of these concepts. I want to raise the philosophical profile of analog types of representation. Like the


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professional audio engineer, who uses both analog and digital tools in the recording studio, I hope that intellectuals will learn to use analog representations to complement the digital representations that are so dominant in modern Western philosophy. I also hope that my

discussion of the critique of logic can shed light on some of the so-called 'illogical' or 'contradictory' passages from Nietzsche's writings and show that when viewed from a non-naive logical perspective, his thoughts are actually highly lucid and insightful.

I: THE ACTUAL WORLD, THE EXPERIENTIAL REALM, AND THE REALM OF CONCEPTS Nietzsche suggests that there are three spheres of reality. The first is what I will call

'the actual world', in which everything is bound to and conditioned by everything else (WP 584). This is what we commonly believe to be the source of all of our sensory experience, it is It is 'the outside world'. Although Nietzsche talks about other realms, both of Although we commonly

where we live.

these other realms are encompassed within the one actual world.

talk as if we possess knowledge of the actual world, in fact we can have no direct experience of it because everything we know about it (including the assumption that it exists and is the source of stimuli) comes to us via our senses. All of our impressions of the actual world arrive This makes it difficult (if

to our brains already filtered by the limits of our sensory apparatii.

not impossible) for us to make direct assertions about the actual world. The second stage of reality is our 'immediately perceived' 'vivid world of first impressions' (OTL 84), or what I have been calling 'the experiential realm'. This is the stage at which stimuli from the actual world first encounter the brain. In this realm, these unlogicized

sensations are chaotic and imagistic in character, and they cannot be expressed linguistically.


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We can focus our attention upon the experiential realm by making a deliberate effort to not classify, compare, or conceptualize our sensory information. When we do this, we can see the

character of this realm as a continuous, fluid stream in which there are no discrete elements, but a confusing, flowing multiplicity. Nietzsche describes this realm as the formless, Part of my thesis is that we can

unformulatable world of the chaos of sensations (LN 9[106]). think of this experiential realm as being analog in character.

The third sphere of reality is the familiar, empirical world of scientific assertions and communication, or what I call 'the conceptual realm'. as real (LN 9[106]). behavior. This is 'the world which we experience

In is in this sphere that we make generalizations upon which to base our

We commonly assume that knowledge in this sphere is legitimate information We rarely pay attention to

about 'the actual world', but of course this is a naive assumption.

our passive reception of stimuli; instead we immediately leap from the reception of a stimulus, e.g., a loud 'bang!' (the experiential realm), to identifying the source of that sound, e.g., a cannon firing (the conceptual realm). However, since Nietzsche wants us to avoid being naive

realists, he wants us to resist the temptation to jump immediately to the conceptual realm of things, to the idea that what one hears is a specific 'thing', without understanding that it is the sensation, the 'bang', that is actually first received by the brain. According to this model, a stimulus that we assume originates in the actual world passes through two stages before reaching the conceptual realm. In the first stage, the move from This stage of

the actual world to the experiential world, there is a trimming of information. trimming is passive. can be transmitted:

Only the information that fits within the 'bandwidth' of the sensory organ


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Sense perception happens without our awareness: whatever we become conscious of is a perception that has already been processed (LN 34[30]).

Our eyes can only detect a narrow spectrum of light, and so infrared and ultraviolet light information is not detected, and of course our vision must be pointed in a specific direction, meaning that light information from behind us is also not detected. Of course other

organisms may have more (or less) developed sensory receptors, i.e., different 'bandwidths', but all sensory organs have a limit to what they can receive. This means that before a stimulus ever reaches our brain, i.e., the experiential realm, many other potential stimuli have been lost because of the biological limits of our sensory apparatus. I am not particularly

interested in this first stage of processing because we can know very little (if anything) about how it functions, other than to make the claim that we probably receive less information in our brain than is available to it. To make any claims about this process, we would require direct

access to the source -- the actual world -- and of course this is problematic if not impossible. My concern is with the second stage of processing, where the raw sensory data of the experiential realm is transferred to the logicized, conceptual sphere. I believe that we can

make meaningful observations about this process works because we can examine the original, raw, experiential information and compare it to the processed, logicized version of it in the conceptual realm. Although for most people the processing that takes place at this stage is

done so quickly that it seems unconscious, Nietzsche believes that we can make ourselves conscious of this process.
[The conceptual realm] remains protected and closed off from the immeasurable multiplicity in the experiences [of the experiential realm][...][.] [It] is presented only with a selection of


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experiences -- experiences, furthermore, that have been simplified, made easy to survey and grasp, thus falsified -- so that it in turn may carry on this simplification and making graspable (LN 37[4]).

Although the process seems automatic and unconscious for most adults, it takes years for a newborn to efficiently and properly conceptualize raw sensory information. What Nietzsche wants us adults to realize is that this transfer of information from the experiential realm to the conceptual realm can be observed, although he admits that this is not easy for most people to do:
That every thought [or impression] first arrives many-meaninged and floating, really only as the occasion for attempts to interpret or for arbitrarily fixing it, that a multitude of persons seem to participate in all thinking -- this is not particularly easy to observe: fundamentally, we are trained in the opposite way, not to think about thinking as we think (LN 38[1]).

I accept Nietzsche's challenge and want to make an attempt to characterize this process. My thesis is that the transfer of information from the experiential realm to the conceptual realm is like the transfer of analog information to a digital form. Although digitized representations can be highly useful, we must be aware of the two key issues that arise: lossiness and the illusion of exactitude. Like digital audio, our logical world -- the world of 'things' -- requires us to divide up the world and slot each chunk into discrete categories. However, like a sound wave, the

experiential world doesn't seem to be neatly divisible in this way, and so any time we apply our logico-linguistic apparatus to our sensory experience, we are making an approximation. No

matter how much detail we manage to achieve in a logical account, information about the world will always be missing because logic is digital and the experiential world seems to be analog. It is a mistake to think that logic could ever give us a complete picture of our


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experience, however well-defined and useful such a picture becomes.

It is an error to be

prejudiced against alternative, i.e., non-logical or analog, perspectives on the world because no logical or 'digital' picture of the experiential world can ever be complete, and in many cases, an 'analog' picture might be more appropriate to use than a 'digital' one. II: THE CRITIQUE OF LOGIC AND A GENEALOGY OF NAIVE LOGICAL REALISM
Such erroneous articles of faith, which were passed on by inheritance further and further, and finally almost became part of the basic endowment of the species are for example: that there are enduring things; that there are identical things; that there are things (GS 110). Logic is tied to the condition: assuming that identical cases exist. Indeed, in order to think and conclude logically, the fulfillment of this condition must first be feigned. That is: the will to logical truth cannot realize itself until a fundamental falsification of all events has been undertaken (LN 40[13]). [T]he psychological derivation of the belief in things forbids us to speak of 'things-in-themselves' (WP 473). We set up a word at the point at which our ignorance begins, at which we can see no further, e.g., the word 'I', the word 'do', the word 'suffer': -- these are perhaps the horizon of our knowledge, but not 'truths' (WP 482).

Nietzsche's critique of logic calls into question the realist perspective with respect to thing-ness. Because the existence of identicals is a presupposition of logic, it is a mistake to

believe that any thing, e.g., your television, that pen, a cat, actually is separated in such a way in the raw, uninterpreted experiential realm. Although our conceptual apparatus allows us to

speak in terms of televisions, pens, cats, and shoes, when we subject these things to scrutiny, we find no clear boundary between [SHOE] and [NOT-SHOE] in terms of language or in terms of physics. Although the main target of Nietzsches critique is logic, because scientific practice

presupposes logicality, a critique of logic is a critique of scientific thinking. In linguistic terms, the lack of a clear distinction between [SHOE] and [NOT-SHOE] is


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readily understandable. There is no end to the debate about what distinguishes [SHOE] from [NOT-SHOE], e.g., whether the footwear under consideration is more appropriately categorized [SANDAL] or [BOOT]. The central feature of a linguistic community is an approximate

consensus about the way in which sensory information is grouped into conceptual categories. The common feature of linguistic communities in general is logical realism, in agreeing to play the linguistic game of realism about things. If you say, 'the book is in the car', you are

assuming that you and the other person have similar conceptions of what [BOOK] and [CAR] signify in terms of raw sensory experience. But in order for this agreement on conceptions to

function, we must already accept the fundamental presupposition of logic: that it is really possible to divide up our sensory experience in such a manner in the first place. words, we have to agree to act as logical realists. In other

This process of "simplification, coarsening,

emphasizing, and elaborating [is what enables] [...] all 'recognition', all ability to make oneself intelligible" (WP 521). What Nietzsche wants us to realize is that although we must employ a logical realist perspective to live and communicate, this by no means entails that we must believe that either the experiential realm or the actual world is structured in this way. be skeptical about logical realism and still continue to employ logical realism in order to communicate and make generalizations in our lives. At the microscopic level, there is no clear boundary marking exactly where the heel of a shoe ends and the air around the shoe begins because infinite divisibility prevents any such absolute demarcation. The 'atoms' of rubber at the edge of the shoe share electrons with the 'atoms' of air surrounding the shoe. No matter how closely we examine the edge of the shoe, We can

we cannot achieve a level of resolution where we find a clean break between [SHOE] and


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[NOT-SHOE]. The 'atoms' of rubber appear to bleed into the 'atoms' of air, and so there is no precise point where [SHOE] becomes [NOT-SHOE]. Of course, one might argue that we simply

haven't explored deeply enough and haven't yet reached a level where we can observe the division, and this is a definite possibility. However, we have no scientific evidence to suggest

that this is the case, only pure speculation. The weight of scientific evidence suggests that atomism does not exist in the realm of physics, i.e., that there is no bottom-level, indivisible substrate of matter. Logic can only function by being applied to a world that is already divided into 'things', into discrete linguistic categories, into atomic units. "Our belief in things is the precondition of

our belief in logic" (WP 516), which is simply to say that like the X's and Y's of an algebraic equation, the categories we employ when making statements about the world, like [FOOD] and [APPLE], are similarly unreal. The mechanism of logic requires us to be realists with respect to

'things' in the actual world, and we need these approximations to make generalizations about the world and to communicate with others. Nietzsche's argument is not that people shouldn't

use logical realism to make generalizations about the world, but that philosophers must realize that logic is built upon the presumption that identicals exist, and so logic is not an a priori metaphysical arbiter of truth. The danger occurs when philosophers brazenly attempt to

construct theories upon the basic assumption of logic -- that 'things' are real -- without realizing that it is based upon a presumption.
People projected their three 'inner facts' out of themselves and onto the world -- the facts they believed in most fervently, the will, the mind, and the I. They took the concept of being from the concept of the I, they posited 'things' as beings in their own image, on the basis of their concept of I as cause. Is it any wonder that what they rediscovered in things later is only what they had put into them in the first place? -- Even the 'thing', to say it again, the concept of a thing,


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is just a reflex of the belief in the I as cause... And even your atom, my dear Mr. Mechanist and Mr. Physicist, how many errors, how much rudimentary psychology is left in your atom! Not to mention the 'thing-in-itself', the horrendum pudendum of metaphysicians! The error of thinking that the mind caused reality! And to make it the measure of reality! And to call it God! (TI: The Four Great Errors 3)

The concepts of ego and causality all require the same presupposition as logic does -the existence of identicals -- and so the critique of logic, skepticism towards 'things', applies to them as well. Nietzsche argues that Descartes' cogito -- 'I think, therefore I am' -- is built upon

a linguistic requirement, not metaphysical truth. Although Descartes extends his radical skepticism to almost all aspects of his experience, he fails to apply it to the presupposition of identicals. Although his radical skepticism is sound methodology, his reconstructive strategy, His observation that

his identification of a secure starting point as the ego, is problematic.

thinking is happening by no means entails that there is some accompanying 'thing' that thinks. Descartes' skepticism doesn't go deep enough; the Cartesian ego retains unquestioned realism towards thingness.
'There is thinking: therefore there is something that thinks': this is the upshot of all of Descartes' argumentation. But that means positing as true a priori our belief in the concept of substance -that when there is thought there has to be something 'that thinks' is simply a formulation of our grammatical custom that adds a doer to every deed (WP 484). 'The subject' is the fiction that many similar states in us are the effect of one substratum: but it is we who first created the 'similarity' of these states; our adjusting them and making them similar is the fact, not their similarity (--which ought rather to be denied--) (WP 485).

When we say 'I think', the 'I' here may be no different than the 'it' in the phrases, 'It is raining', or 'It is important that you brush your teeth', where the subject 'it' is a syntactic expletive -- a grammatical unit that contributes nothing to the meaning of a sentence, but merely acts as a grammatical placeholder ( The onus


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of proof is on the philosopher who believes in 'I's-in-themselves' to prove that the 'I' is real, and not simply a grammatical requirement. Descartes seems to have mistaken a grammatical imperative for a metaphysical one.
Our bad habit of taking a mnemonic, an abbreviative formula, to be an entity, finally as a cause, e.g., to say of lightning 'it flashes'. Or the little word 'I'. To make a kind of perspective in seeing the cause of seeing: that was what happened in the invention of the 'subject', the 'I'! (WP 548)

Of course one might object and say, 'How could there be thinking that is independent of a thinker? The idea of thoughts existing without a thinker thinking them is unimaginable'. If we

However, this objection is nothing more than an invalid argument from incredulity.

accept the notion that believing something doesn't make it true, we must also accept the corollary, that not being able to believe something doesn't make it false. Few people in

ancient times would have believed that the world was round or that it orbited the sun, but of course that didn't change the fact of the matter, and it is perhaps no different for the naive Cartesians.
That thinking is even a measure of the real -- that what cannot be thought is not -- is the crude non plus ultra of a moralist credulity (trusting in a fundamental truth principle at the fundament of things), itself an extravagant assertion contradicted at every moment by our experience (LN 2[93]). It thinks: but to say the it is just that famous old I well that is just an assumption or opinion, to put it mildly, and by no means an immediate certainty. In fact, there is already too much packed into the it thinks: even the it contains an interpretation of the process, and does not belong to the process itself. People are following grammatical habits here in drawing conclusions, reasoning that thinking is an activity, behind every activity something is active, therefore--. Following the same basic scheme, the older atomism looked behind every force that produces effects for that little lump of matter in which the force resides, and out of which the effects are produced, which is to say: the atom (BGE 17).

Causal determinists fail to appreciate that their world of 'causes' and 'effects' is built


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upon a similar foundation of realism towards thingness: in this case, events.

When we say 'X

causes Y', we are being logical realists, i.e, we unquestioningly accept that there are discrete events X and Y in the world, and so we fail to grasp that 'cause' X and 'effect' Y are not actually discrete entities in the experiential realm. We tend to ignore that any 'state' is a type of In any change from

atomic unit, and atomic units cannot be found in the experiential realm. 'state' X to 'state' Y, there is a continuum of change.

The deterministic picture requires us to

imagine a series of jumps from 'state' to 'state', but offers no explanation of how such leaps are possible.
Cause and effect: there is probably never such a duality; in truth a continuum faces us, from which we isolate a few pieces, just as we always perceive a movement only as isolated points, i.e., do not really see, but infer. The suddenness with which many effects stand out misleads us; it is a suddenness only for us. There is an infinite number of processes that elude us in this second of suddenness. An intellect that saw cause and effect as a continuum, not, as we do, as arbitrary division and dismemberment -- that saw the stream of the event -- would reject the concept of cause and effect and deny all determinedness (GS 112). At length we grasp that things -- consequently atoms, too -- effect nothing: because they do not exist at all -- that the concept of causality is completely useless. -- A necessary sequence of states does not imply a causal relationship between them (-- that would mean making their effective capacity leap from 1 to 2, to 3, to 4, to 5). There are neither causes nor effects. Linguistically we do not know how to rid ourselves of them. But that does not matter. If I think of the muscle apart from its 'effects', I negate it -- [...] Interpretation by causality a deception -- A 'thing' is the sum of its effects, synthetically united by a concept, an image (WP 551).

The intellectual tendency to see causes and effects (rather than seeing the process as a continuous singularity) seems to come from the fact that our intellect highlights certain aspects of the process, making them stand out for us. We are trained to focus our attention upon certain aspects of the change and to ignore other aspects, but this by no means entails that these highlighted aspects are real. An organism with different biological requirements might

conceptualize the process in an entirely different manner, focusing upon the 'events' that stand


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out for him, upon the events that he believes he can temporarily grasp and perhaps exert influence upon. The intellect requires this presumption in order to function, but by no means

does that make the results of this process of approximation real.

The principle of identity has behind it the 'apparent fact' of things that are the same. A world in a state of becoming could not, in a strict sense, be 'comprehended' or 'known'; only to the extent that the 'comprehending' and 'knowing' intellect encounters a coarse, already-created world, fabricated out of mere appearances but become firm to the extent that this kind of appearance has preserved life -- only to this extent is there anything like 'knowledge'; i.e., a measuring of earlier and later errors by one another (WP 520).

Nietzsche sees the trend towards naive logical realism in philosophy -- most commonly manifested in the belief that science can provide a complete picture of the world -- as a remnant of the Christian moral picture of the world. In both modes of thought, it is assumed In the Christian perspective,

that nature conforms to some overarching, metaphysical 'law'.

the world conforms to the laws dictated by God, and in the modern logical perspective, the world conforms to the 'laws of nature'. This naive 'scientific' perspective has retained the

basic assumption of Christian morality and has simply replaced one source of 'law' with another. The basic underlying assumption that the world is understandable and governed

by laws in the first place is left unchallenged. This is the naive logical realism that Nietzsche finds so problematic.
The presupposition that things are, at bottom, ordered so morally that human reason must be justified -- is an ingenuous presupposition and a piece of naivete, the after-effect of belief in God's veracity -- God understood as the creator of things (WP 471).

Nietzsche's critique applies equally to the Christian as to the naive logical realist in philosophy. First, the idea that the world is understandable is a metaphysical claim because it

speaks from a perspective that is necessarily outside of the realm of physics, i.e., of what can be


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observed empirically.

The claim is about physics itself, and therefore it cannot be justified by

appeal to anything that is observable by scientists, i.e., by anything that occurs within the realm of science. For one to make any metaphysical judgment, i.e., to determine how things 'really are', one requires an external perspective from which to judge. However, without the Here, the

existence of a supernatural deity, this higher perspective is impossible to attain.

Christian can at least offer a religious argument in his defense; the logical realist is actually in a worse position, for he has absolutely nothing to fall back upon. The 'scientific' realist is oblivious to the fact that his argument rests upon a belief that is more religious than rational. His arrogance, his conviction that he is supremely rational, is dangerous and unscientific, not to mention incorrect.
You must forgive an old philologist like me who cannot help maliciously putting his finger on bad tricks of interpretation: but this conformity of nature to law, which you physicists are so proud of, just as if exists only because of your interpretation and bad philology. It is not a matter of fact, not a text, but instead only a nave humanitarian correction and a distortion of meaning that you use in order to comfortably accommodate the democratic instincts of the modern soul! Everywhere, equality before the law in this respect, nature is no different and no better off than we are (BGE 22).

Second, the idea that the world is understandable is essentially nothing more than a moral-aesthetic argument: we tend to prefer simple, harmonious pictures over more complex, messy ones. However, a preference is not a criterion of truth. The problem here is that we

have assumed that it is our sensory apparatus, rather than our faculty of reason, that is to blame for the incommensurability of experience and logic. Both the Christian and the logical

realist posit a 'real world' in opposition to an 'apparent world', which they take to be a corrupted, inaccurate version of the former. They choose the pretty picture -- a logically- or divinely-ordered world -- without asking whether this picture actually corresponds to their


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The logical realist assumes that the world is ordered because he cannot imagine

it being any other way, but this is fallacious reasoning, an invalid argument from incredulity that makes the same mistake as the argument used to defend the cogito earlier. The problem with this moral-aesthetic outlook is that it gives the erroneous expectation that there are existing natural laws out there that structure nature and are waiting to be discovered. What this view ignores, however, is that all scientific discoveries are a result of a

particular mode of observing the world, i.e., the realist stance with regards to thingness. While the Christian can point to passages in the Bible that support his view that the world follows 'divine law', the naive realist in the scientific realm can point to no source for his 'natural law' other than nature itself, which is a tautology. The naive realists are asking us to

accept as a matter of faith their assertion that the world is governed by an underlying set of laws without offering a valid argument to support such a view. III: ARGUMENTS FOR AN ANALOG EXPERIENTIAL REALM
'Completely true to nature!' -- what a lie: How could nature ever be constrained into a picture? The smallest bits of nature are infinite! And so he paints what he likes about it. And what does he like? He likes what he can paint! (GS, 'The Realistic Painter') The treacherous and blind hostility of philosophers towards the senses: It is not the senses that deceive. Our nose, of which, as far as I know, no philosopher has ever spoken with due respect, is as yet the most delicate scientific instrument in existence: it is capable of registering vibrations where even the spectroscope fails (WP 461).

The main argument of this section is that the experiential realm of raw, uninterpreted sensory information seems to be infinitely divisible or 'smooth', as opposed to the finite, discrete, conceptual realm that we operate within when we communicate and make


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I want to make an analogy here between the realms of human cognition My claim is that the experiential realm of

introduced in Section I and different types of media.

raw sensory information is like an analog medium, and the logicized conceptual realm is like a digital medium. Although it may appear at first glance that this claim is the same type of metaphysical speculation that Nietzsche opposes, it should be understood that nothing about this assertion goes beyond the information that we have access to in the experiential realm. While of

course my claim cannot be proven conclusively, it has the benefit of being refutable, unlike the logical realists' position. My argument is simply that upon close inspection of our raw sensory

information, it seems to be not structured according to a finite logical or digital framework, and so we have good reason to characterize it as being analog in character: infinitely continuous and infinitely divisible. My argument could be refuted by the identification of a single aspect of the experiential realm that is discrete and non-continuous. My argument in this section

draws upon four pieces of evidence: Zeno's paradoxes of motion, the indefinability of elements, the irrationality of numbers in nature, and the divergence of science. Zeno of Elea puts forth three paradoxes that demonstrate essentially the same point: that the infinite divisibility of both time and space make motion, from a finitized, logical perspective, problematic. The most famous of Zeno's paradoxes, and the paradox that I will An arrow fired by Adam at Ben must first

draw upon for this discussion, is the arrow paradox. reach the halfway point between Adam and Ben.

However, in order to reach the halfway

point, the arrow must first reach the point that is halfway between Adam and the halfway point, i.e., the one-quarter point. However, in order to reach the one-quarter point, the arrow


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must first reach the one-eighth point, and so on ad infinitum. number of points or 'states' between Adam and Ben.

There seem to be an infinite

Furthermore, it seems as if the arrow can never even begin to traverse the distance between Adam and Ben because there are an infinite number of points between the starting point, i.e., the arrow still being in contact with Adam's bowstring, and the very next point, i.e., its having left Adam's bowstring. Motion doesn't seem possible at all from a finitized

perspective because the problem of infinite divisibility pervades even the first 'step' of the process of motion from point A to B. If we assume that logic is real, i.e., that it is embedded in Zeno shows

reality, we are asserting that every real situation will lend itself to logical analysis. that this task of logical analysis in which every point is tagged cannot be completed.

Of course, our sensory experience tells us that motion is possible, and that it is constantly happening all around us. In this case, sensory evidence trumps our expectation What, then, are we to make of Zeno's paradoxes?

that logic is adequate to capture motion.

Zeno seems to be pointing to the continuous, non-discrete, non-finite, analog character of motion. Whenever we attempt to conceptualize motion into a series of steps, we are No matter how refined our observations

confronted with the problem of infinite divisibility.

become, our description requires that the arrow 'jump' from 'point' to 'point', because we can find no fundamental, atomic unit of space or of time. What Zeno seems to be suggesting is

that since motion seems to take place within a continuum and not within an atomicized, grid like structure, the mathematical, logical perspective is inadequate to fully describe it. a bit further and say that our experience of motion seems to be non-logicizable or non-digitizable; in other words, it appears to be analog in character. I will go


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My second argument for an analog experiential realm is what I call the indefinability of elements. At first glance, it appears that we do have digital experience: the periodic table.

However, given any chunk of metal -- a gold coin for example -- it is impossible to say with certainty that such-and-such a sample of metal is 'gold' because parts of the 'gold' coin are always at different stages of radioactive decay than other parts of the coin, and are thus not strictly identical to each other.
There is nothing unchanging in chemistry: this is only appearance, a mere school prejudice. We have slipped in the unchanging, my physicist friends, deriving it from metaphysics as always. To assert that a diamond, graphite, and carbon are identical is to read off the facts naively from the surface. Why? Merely because no loss in substance can be shown on the scales! Very well, they have something in common; but the activity of molecules during the transformation, which we cannot see or weigh, turns one material into something different -- with specifically different properties (WP 623).

Even if we were to definitively describe a single 'atom' of 'gold', the problem is that all 'atoms', including that one, are constantly changing, and so our description, that such-and-such a collection of properties counts as 'gold', would apply to that 'atom' for only a fleeting instant. "In order to think and infer it is necessary to assume beings: logic handles only formulas for what remains the same" (WP 517), but contemporary science suggests that the world we experience is in constant flux: not even two neighboring 'atoms' of 'gold' in a coin are identical. Logic requires that 'things' be arranged into identical 'types' and, most importantly, that these 'things' remain the same over a period of time. However, empirical scientific evidence indicates that neither of these conditions hold true with respect to the experiential realm. This is a paradox that cuts to the core of our logically-based scientific worldview. scientists must be willing to be non-logical in order to begin working at all. My third argument for an analog experiential world points to the irrationality of all It shows that


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'numbers' in nature.

Someone objecting to my argument for an analog experiential realm If

might say, 'But there are numbers and ratios in the natural world -- e.g., pi, the golden ratio. we can identify these numbers, how can you deny that logical structures are real?' In

response to this objection, I would point out that neither of the above mathematical relations are, technically speaking, ratios -- they are all irrational numbers, meaning they cannot be represented as fractions; their decimal places continue to infinity with no predictable pattern. Although the number 0.3333 (repeating) involves an infinite number of decimal places, it is a rational number because it can be represented by the fraction 1/3. Pi (3.1415...) and the 'golden' ratio (1.61803...) have infinite decimal places but cannot be represented by fractions. We can only ever approximate their value. In other words, they are not rational because they Pythagoras of

cannot be expressed as ratios of one whole number to another whole number.

Samos was highly distressed by the discovery of irrational numbers because they called into question his belief that numbers were the basis of the world. The naive logical realists of

today should be similarly distressed by the observation that none of the so-called 'ratios' of nature can be expressed as relations of one whole number to another because they are all irrational. My final piece of evidence for an analog experiential world is what I call the increasing divergence of science. It is certainly plausible that the experiential realm is digital and not analog. If it were digital, i.e., made up of discrete atomic units, we would expect

developments in the realm of science to lead towards greater unity and less complexity. However, this doesn't seem to be the case. into more and more subfields, not less. As science progresses, it appears to be diverging

Although it could be the case that science will reach a


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point where these disunities will begin to resolve, we have no evidence -- only hopeful speculation -- to support this claim. It seems like the only way to cling to the belief in a digital

experiential world in the face of this argument would be to claim that scientists simply don't know what they are doing. realist would, either. I do not subscribe to this notion, and I doubt that any logical

Although it is true that we can (and should) question the findings of

science, and that there surely are incompetent scientists out there, the idea that the vast majority of scientists are systematically deceiving the public is an accusation that requires evidence, of which there is very little. It also seems unlikely that a logical realist would make

such an argument, since it undermines the very perspective to which he subscribes: the logical, 'scientific' view. IV: LOSSINESS AND THE ILLUSION OF EXACTITUDE
In the form in which it comes, a thought is a sign with many meanings, requiring interpretation or, more precisely, an arbitrary narrowing and restriction before it finally becomes clear (LN 38[1]). [W]ithout accepting the fictions of logic, without measuring reality against the wholly invented world of the unconditioned and self-identical, without a constant falsification of the world through numbers, people could not live that a renunciation of false judgments would be a renunciation of life, a negation of life. To acknowledge untruth as a condition of life (BGE 4). [S]eeing things as similar and making things the same is the sign of weak eyes (GS 228).

I believe that it is meaningful to characterize our conceptual realm of 'things' as being digital in character, i.e., divided into discrete atomic units, and the experiential realm as being analog in character, i.e., not logicized in this way. Whenever we try to transfer an experience,

e.g., the taste of a particular wine, into a concept, e.g., 'dry', 'woody', we have to do something similar to an analog to digital conversion. The problem is that all analog to digital conversions


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are 'lossy' in character because a logical system can only ever approximate an analog source. In order for certain features to be highlighted, certain other features must be omitted from the picture. If we desire clarity, we must omit certain 'minor' or 'irrelevant' details, and this

means that the clarity of a digital representation of an analog original entails incompleteness, despite what our life instinct for efficient decision-making would like us to believe. In this

section, I describe two problems faced by digital representations of analog originals: 1) the illusion of exactitude and 2) lossiness. A few examples will help to illustrate the fundamentally different representational character of analog and digital media. An old-style analog clock has an hour and a minute hand, while a newer digital clock has a numerical readout of the current time. In the realm of The

music, vinyl records and magnetic tape are analog media, while CDs and mp3s are digital.

theoretical difference between analog and digital representations is the way in which the copy is related to the original source. The difference between analog and digital audio media can

be described in the following way:

The relation between the configuration of particles on the tape recording is one of analogy; that is, the specific density and distribution of particles resembles the characteristics of the waves/cycles in their amplitude and frequency, their loudness and pitch. [...] Even though the sound recording, on tape or vinyl, is a different material form from the acoustic event of the sound, there remains an isomorphic relation, or one of similitude, between them. [...] In the case of digital recording there exists no resemblance, no analogy between the configuration of digits and the sound. The digits in no way 'look like' the sound. The relation between the copy and the original in the case of digital reproduction is much more one of difference than in the case of analog recording (Poster, p. 79).

The analog clock face is an analogical representation of the circular movement of the sun across the sky; it is a mechanized version of the original sundial. When we refer to an

analog clock, we are constantly reminded of the infinite nature of what we are attempting to


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represent -- time.

If we see that the minute hand is somewhere between the '3' and the '4', However,

we can approximate the current time as being about 17 minutes past the hour.

with a digital clock, we can overlook the infinitely continuous character of time because the digits give us the appearance of precision. that the current time is 6:17'. We can say, in no uncertain terms, 'The clock says

The problem that I want to highlight is that we must not forget,

when referring to a digital representation of an analog phenomenon like time, that what we can achieve digitally is only ever the illusion of exactitude. Although we can gain greater and

greater precision in our digital timing mechanisms, a digital clock can never do what an analog clock does: sweep through all of the possible time values in its trip around the circle. All digital representations of analog phenomena require that its input values be trimmed and approximated before the value can be expressed. richness of the original infinitely continuous source. The second issue that affects digital representations of analog originals is the inherent lossiness involved. No digital version can retain all the information contained in an analog original because it is impossible to finitize the infinite. A digital system can never achieve Analog representations can retain the full

infinite resolution, and so a certain amount of information will be lost in any transfer from analog to digital. When we digitize a sound wave, for example, we divide the wave into

millions of tiny time slices or 'samples' and then assign each sample a numerical value that most closely approximates the height of the sound wave during that microscopic chunk of time. On

a standard compact disc, a sound wave is divided into 44 100 slices per second (44.1 kHz), and each sample is given a 16-bit binary value, which means that there are 216 or 65 536 ways to describe the position of the sound wave at any given moment. The series of 16-character


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binary values might look like the following, but of course there are 44 100 of them per second: 0010101110101010 1101001010101000 0010110111011011 1001001001001000 1010001011010101 1011101101100010 ... Higher quality digital media can now attain 24-bits of resolution and a sample rate of 192 kHz. This means that for each second, there would be 192 000 of the following 24-character binary values: 101000101010110101001010 001010010011010010101011 101101101101000101010101 110100010110110100101011 010111010010110001011010 000101100010100110101010 ... The problem is that no matter how refined our digitization technology becomes, i.e., no matter how many bits we use and how many samples we take per second, we can never achieve infinity. The process of digitization takes the original analog sound wave, which possesses

infinite resolution, and finitizes it by slotting each 'snapshot' of the sound wave into a discrete numerical position. A digital signal can never represent a curve; it can only ever achieve a

staircase pattern with smaller and smaller steps, as illustrated below:


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FIGURE 1: from online resource at

This is what is meant by the inherent 'lossiness' of analog to digital transfers.


a digital medium can attain a very high level of resolution, there will always be a difference between where the original analog sound wave is and where the digital version approximates it to be. Although we can achieve greater and greater specificity with our digital, numerical

representations, we will never exhaust the number of decimal places at our disposal, and so some information from the analog original will always be trimmed away before it can be expressed in a digital format. Because a digital signal can only ever approximate a curve, information must always be omitted in the conversion from analog to digital. Many audiophiles argue that digital media, like CDs and mp3s, lack the 'warmth', 'depth', and 'presence' of older analog media like vinyl and magnetic tape. As my analysis suggests, these analog enthusiasts are not mere Luddites --

analog representations actually do retain more information than their digital counterparts. The vinyl enthusiasts are correct when they argue that Abbey Road on CD seems to be 'missing something' compared to the vinyl album, and their hunch, that digital audio will never achieve analog quality, is also correct.


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The philosophical point that I want to make is that the same problems that are inherent in analog to digital conversions -- lossiness and the illusion of exactitude -- are inherent in any attempt to transfer information from the analog experiential realm into the digital logico-linguistic conceptual realm of 'things'. Our logico-linguistic picture of the world is

similarly 'lossy' with respect to its analog source, the experiential realm, and we humans have a tendency to mistake the clarity of our concepts for completeness -- we tend to be realists with respect to the concepts we employ. The problematic nature of the transformation of

information from the experiential realm to the conceptual realm is one of Nietzsche's main philosophical concerns.


[H]ow far we still are from the time when artistic energies and the practical wisdom of life join with scientific thought so that a higher organic system will develop in relation to which the scholar, the physician, the artist, and the lawmaker, as we now know them, would have to appear as paltry antiquities! (GS 113) The first consequence of this need [to alleviate fear] is that causation gets attributed to something we are already familiar with, something we have already encountered and registered in memory. This forecloses the possibility that anything novel, alien, or previously unencountered can be a cause. -- So we are not looking for just any type of explanatory cause, we are looking for a chosen, preferred type of explanation, one that will most quickly and reliably get rid of the feeling of unfamiliarity and novelty, the feeling that we are dealing with something we have never encountered before, -- the most common explanation. -- Result: a certain type of causal attribution becomes increasingly prevalent, gets concentrated into a system, and finally emerges as dominant, which is to say it completely rules out other causes and explanations (TI: The Four Great Errors 5). In a certain sense, the whole of asceticism belongs here: a few ideas have to be made ineradicable, ubiquitous, unforgettable, fixed, in order to hypnotize the whole nervous and intellectual system through these fixed ideas and ascetic procedures and lifestyles are a method of freeing those ideas from competition with all other ideas, of making them unforgettable (GM II: 3). The strange family resemblance of all Indian, Greek, and German philosophizing speaks for itself


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clearly enough. Where there are linguistic affinities, then because of the common philosophy of grammar (I mean: due to the unconscious domination and direction through similar grammatical functions), it is obvious that everything lies ready from the very start for a similar development and sequence of philosophical systems; on the other hand, the way seems as good as blocked for certain other possibilities of interpreting the world. Philosophers of the Ural-Altaic language group (where the concept of the subject is the most poorly developed) are more likely to see the world differently (BGE 20).

The goal of my paper has been to identify and dispel the prejudice in philosophy against non-logical representations of the world. Without a sound argument for logical realism, we

should take a neutral, skeptical stance towards the concepts of I-ness, thingness, and causality because all of these concepts require us to make the same presupposition as we must make with logic. Philosophers who wish to dismiss out of hand what I call analog interpretations of

the experiential realm must first offer an argument to show that the logical, digital perspective is the only possible option. The silence on this issue in philosophical discourse is unsettling.

It is incredible that many Nietzsche scholars, such as Brian Leiter and Maudemarie Clark, fail to address this issue, which is a central theme of Nietzsche's late writings. Anyone who believes that Nietzsche's philosophy can accommodate a strict causal deterministic perspective has either not read the much of Nietzsches late work or does not take it seriously. Without a

strong argument showing why this central topic should be ignored, the views of these Nietzsche scholars should be considered disingenuous if not outright wrong. What are some examples of analog representations, and how might we incorporate them into our philosophic systems of thought? One example might be the case of memory. I believe that we can make a relevant distinction between semantic or 'factual' memory, such as the date of Jen's birthday, remembered impressions, such as the look on Bob's face when he saw that snake, and muscle memory, such as how to throw a curveball. I believe that we can


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characterize the first kind of memory as being primarily digital, and the second and third types as primarily analog. Of course, we can apply a process of digitization to sense impressions and muscle memories; we can say that Bob looked 'terrified' when he saw that snake, and we can say that you throw a curveball by 'snapping your wrist when you release the baseball'. However, I

believe it is fair to say that both of the above 'digitized' representations are inadequate because they are missing quite a bit of information about the impression or procedure that is being described. Few people who witnessed Bob's reaction to the snake would say that 'terror'

completely describes the hilarious nature of the event, and I doubt that anyone would be able to throw a proper curveball after hearing nothing but the above instruction. Arguably, no amount of digital description could ever produce the same effect as the original sense impression ('If only you had seen the look on Bob's face! You just had to be

there!'), nor could it substitute for actual practice throwing curveballs. Analog memory, e.g., sense impressions and muscle memory, differs fundamentally from digital memory like remembered 'facts'. I can successfully communicate the full meaning of a digital memory like

'Jen's birthday is August 10th' with such a logico-linguistic representation; there is no need to actually experience Jen's birthday to comprehend everything that the speaker intends to communicate. VI: MAKING SENSE OF SOME OF NIETZSCHE'S 'ILLOGICAL' ASSERTIONS I hope that my paper can shed light upon some of the less immediately accessible, so-called 'illogical' passages from Nietzsche's late work and has demonstrated the tremendous


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implications of the non-logical perspective. some of these passages.

In the final section of my paper, I will explore

Logic is tied to the condition: assuming that identical cases exist. Indeed, in order to think and conclude logically, the fulfillment of this condition must first be feigned. That is: the will to logical truth cannot realise itself until a fundamental falsification of all events has been undertaken. From which it follows that a drive rules here which is capable of both means, firstly of falsifying, then of implementing a single viewpoint: logic does not originate in the will to truth (LN 40[13]).

At first glance, this passage seems to contradict itself.

How can Nietzsche say that

truth and falsity are the same thing? Passages like these, read in isolation without a full understanding of the non-logical perspective, are often cited as evidence that Nietzsche's arguments are illogical and nonsensical. What Nietzsche is saying, in the terminology that I

have introduced in this paper, is that in order to ascertain 'logical truth' -- e.g., whether said 'object' in front of me is [CHAIR] or [NOT-CHAIR] -- I must first convert my analog sense data into a digital form, and any analog to digital conversion is 'lossy' because it must emphasize certain details at the expense of others. Before I can begin to decide to which category said

object belongs, I must make a choice about which qualities of the object are relevant to the [CHAIR] vs. [NOT-CHAIR] distinction and which qualities are not. This 'feigning', this smoothing over of irrelevant differences -- irrelevant from the perspective of the person making this particular categorization -- is the fundamental falsification at the heart of every logical truth, and it is what allows us to make logical assertions in the first place.
Will to truth is a making firm, a making true and durable, an abolition of the false character of things, a reinterpretation of it into beings. 'Truth' is therefore not something there, that might be found or discovered -- but something that must be created and that gives a name to a process, or rather to a will to overcome that has in itself no end -- introducing truth, as a process in infinitum, and active determining -- not a becoming-conscious of something that is in itself firm and determined (WP 552).


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The difficulty with this passage is that Nietzsche seems to be making a truth claim about truth, but his claim is essentially that truth doesn't exist. truth isn't real? How can he say that it is true that

Again, with a robust understanding of the non-logical perspective and its The infinite character

relation to 'truth', we can see that his point is actually highly insightful.

of our sensory experience -- what I call its analog nature -- means that our investigation into the 'essence' of a 'thing' seems to be endless. There is no final substratum of existence and no As I discussed in Section

definitive, unchanging set of laws upon which the universe is based.

II of this paper, Nietzsche sees the belief in 'natural law' as a holdover from the earlier Christian moral picture of the world, in which 'divine law' rules the universe. positions are examples of naive logical realism, all is not in vain. Although both of these

We still can make logical

claims about the actual world, and, as experience demonstrates, these claims are often highly beneficial to the person making them. The mistake lies in assuming, without supporting 'Truth'

evidence, that we can attain an endpoint, in other words, that 'the truth' is 'out there'.

is a useful concept and a useful process, but we should not elevate it to metaphysical status, as a 'something there, that might be found or discovered'.
The interpretive character of everything that happens. There is no event in itself. What happens is a group of phenomena selected and synthesized by an interpreting being (LN 1[115]).

This passage might be cited by a postmodernist who wishes to claim that Nietzsche supports their view that we can interpret someone's words however we like. However, I

believe that we can rectify this mistake with reference to the analog/digital distinction that I have introduced in this paper. The problem is that Nietzsche is referring here to digital,

logico-linguistic assertions about the analog actual world, not to digital assertions about other


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already digitized concepts, as the postmodernists seem to read it.

If Dave says, 'That car is

blue', he has digitized the analog sense data that he has received, and this seems to be the kind of process to which Nietzsche refers in the above passage. Dave has had to interpret and

approximate his experience in order to slot it into the linguistic categories that he has at his disposal. As I argued in Section IV, this process of analog to digital conversion is inherently

'lossy', which is to say simply that Dave has had to employ a logical realist perspective with respect to identicals, e.g., [CAR] and [RED], to make his assertion. If Fred now makes the assertion, 'Dave said that that car is red', this is a fundamentally different type of assertion from the one that Dave made earlier. Fred is making a digital

assertion about another digital assertion, and digital to digital conversions are not inherently lossy. Fred's claim can be checked against Dave's claim and be shown to be incorrect because This is, in fact, the strength (and the very purpose) of

there is no inherent data loss here.

digitization: once we have something in digital form, exact digital copies can be produced and transmitted. Of course, there can be technical problems with digital to digital transfers, e.g.,

perhaps Fred misheard what Dave said, or for whatever reason Fred believes that Dave meant 'red' even though he said 'blue'. My point here is that with digital to digital conversions, we The

can verify Fred's claim by simply asking Dave whether he meant 'blue' or 'red'.

postmodernists' claim, that Nietzsche says that we can interpret a person's words however we like, does not recognize the fundamental difference between analog to digital and digital to digital conversions: the first type is inherently lossy and the second is not.
'Completely true to nature!' -- what a lie: How could nature ever be constrained into a picture? The smallest bits of nature are infinite!


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And so he paints what he likes about it. And what does he like? He likes what he can paint! (GS, 'The Realistic Painter')

In this passage, Nietzsche is referring not specifically to visual artists, but to the naive logical realists of the intellectual sphere, who believe that they can construct a complete picture of reality. Of course, what naive logical realists forget is that the world we experience These theorists, who

through our sense seems to be as infinite inwardly as it is outwardly.

think that they can define everything in the universe, do not realize that their causal mechanistic perspective cannot define any 'thing' in the universe, because infinity pervades even 'the smallest bits of nature'. If we understand that no two things can occupy the same If

space at the same time, then how do we explain a cue ball 'causing' a colored ball to move? the cue ball can never actually come in contact with the colored ball, then how can it impart motion upon it?

The typical response offered by the causal mechanist is to say that some sort However, this

of force of repulsion transfers energy from the cue ball to the colored ball.

response is clearly inadequate from the mechanist's own basic position, which is that all events in the world are explainable mechanistically. it 'bridge the gap' between the two balls? What explains this repulsive force? How does

If we cannot explain this repulsive force, then

clearly not everything in the universe can be explained mechanistically, and when we investigate further, it appears that in fact nothing can be fully explained in terms of the causal mechanistic picture. Once we grasp that a complete picture of anything in the universe is impossible, we can begin to understand what the Will to Power, as the fundamental principle of the Nietzschean world, entails. In the same way as a painter is limited by his abilities and the medium he


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works within, the scientist is limited by his abilities and the medium he works within, i.e., logic. What the painter paints and what the scientist describes is based upon what he can paint or describe, and not by what is actually 'out there', despite what he would like to believe. The

Impressionist painters made a breakthrough, both artistically and philosophically, when they realized that their role is to represent not what is objectively 'out there' in the landscape, but rather to represent the stimuli, the 'impression', that one's mind constructs on the basis of the sensory inputs one receives from the environment. Science operates in essentially the same way, in that all of the scientist's 'findings' are limited by what he can observe and what he can describe. What the scientists 'finds' is not

some 'thing' 'out there' in the world, but a picture built around the limits of his senses and the constructs of logic, which is itself derived from the imperatives of the Will to Power. What the

scientist 'finds' is not metaphysical 'truth', but an already highly refined, interpreted picture that the human organism employs to make generalizations to increase his life power. What

the Will to Power constructs or 'paints' is therefore not what is actually 'out there' in the actual world, but a representation of what serves its particular interests, i.e., 'what it likes'. The Will

to Power does not waste energy on matters that are of no consequence to it, and it this discarding of irrelevant information is the precondition for logic.
[I]n a world where there is no being, a certain calculable world of identical cases must first be created by illusion: a tempo in which observation and comparison are possible, etc. '[I]llusoriness' is a trimmed and simplified world on which our practical instincts have worked. It suits us perfectly: we live in it, we can live in it -- proof of its truth for us ... : [T]he world apart from our condition of living in it, the world we have not reduced to our being, our logic and our psychological prejudices does not exist as a world 'in-itself'[.] [I]t is essentially a world of relationships: it could have a different face when looked at from each different point: its being is essentially different at every point, every point resists it -- and these summations are in every case entirely incongruent (LN 14[93]).


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This passage is a neat summary of the non-logical perspective and the critique of logic, and it places us in the context of the Heraclitean world where 'the only constant is change', i.e., 'a world where there is no being'. When we recognize this fundamental character of the

experiential realm, we can see that the assumption of identicals, i.e., the precondition for logic, is a useful illusion and nothing more. There is nothing pejorative about this kind of 'illusion';

Nietzsche is simply referring to the fact that such a world of identicals is the product of an active, creative process rather than a passive reception of things as they are 'out there' in the world. The logical realist perspective thus attained is a result of practical concerns, and the We can abandon the idea of

fact that it is more or less successful is proof of its truth for us.

capital-T truth and still recognize that the concept of truth (or more accurately, truths) is meaningful to us, as a provisional assumption (WP 497) that can help us make decisions in our lives.


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Ansell-Pearson, Keith and Diethe, Carol. Nietzsche: On the Genealogy of Morality. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2006. Bittner, Rudiger. Nietzsche: Writings from the Late Notebooks. Cambridge, UK, 2003. Cambridge University Press,

Breazeale, Daniel. Philosophy and Truth: Selections from Nietzsches Notebooks of the Early 1870s. Humanity Books, Amherst, New York, 1979. Horstmann, Rolf-Peter and Norman, Judith. Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil. University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2002. Kaufmann, Walter. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Will to Power. Inc., New York, 1968. Cambridge

Vintage Books / Random House,

Poster, Mark. Authors Analog and Digital from Whats the Matter with the Internet?. Electronic Mediations, Vol. 3. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2001. Ridley, Aaron and Norman, Judith. Nietzsche: The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols, and Other Writings. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2005. Williams, Bernard. 2001. Nietzsche: The Gay Science. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK,