1. Method of Inquiry

466 (Jan.-Fall 1888)

It is not the victory of science that distinguishes our nineteenth century, but the victory of scientific method over science.

467 (Spring-Fall 1887)

History of scientific method, considered by Auguste Comte as virtually philosophy itself.

468 (Spring-Fall 1887)

The great methodologists: Aristotle, Bacon, Descartes, Auguste

469 (Jan.-Fall 1888)

The most valuable insights are arrived at last; but the most valuable insights are methods.

All the methods, all the presuppositions of our contemporary science were for millennia regarded with the profoundest contempt; on their account one was excluded from the society of respectable people--one was considered as an "enemy of God," as a reviler of the highest ideal, as "possessed."

We have had the whole pathos of mankind against us--our conception of what "truth" should be, what service of truth should be, our objectivity, our method, our silent, cautious, mistrustful ways were considered perfectly contemptible--

At bottom, it has been an aesthetic taste that has hindered mankind most: it believed in the picturesque effect of truth, it demanded of the man of knowledge that he should produce a powerful effect on the imagination.

This looks as if an antithesis has been achieved, a leap made; in reality, the schooling through moral hyperbole prepared the way step by step for that milder of pathos that became incarnate in the scientific character--

The conscientiousness in small things, the self-control of the religious man were a preparatory school for the scientific character: above all, the disposition that takes problems seriously, regardless of the personal consequences--

2. The Epistemological Starting Point

470 (1885-1886)

Profound aversion to reposing once and for all in any one total view of the world. Fascination of the opposing point of view: refusal to be deprived of the stimulus of the enigmatic.

471 (1885-1886)

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.--These concepts an inheritance from a former existence in a beyond

472 (1883-1888)

Contradiction of the alleged "facts of consciousness." Observation is a thousand times more difficult, error perhaps a condition of observation in general.

473 (1886-1887)

The intellect cannot criticize itself, simply because it cannot be compared with other species of intellect and because its capacity to know would be revealed only in the presence of "true reality," i.e., because in order to criticize the intellect we should have to be a higher being with "absolute knowledge." This presupposes that, distinct from every perspective kind of outlook or sensual-spiritual appropriation, something exists, an "in-itself."--But the psychological derivation of the belief in things forbids us to speak of " things-in-themselves . "

474 (Nov.1887-March 1888)

That a sort of adequate relationship subsists between subject and object, that the object is something that if seen from within would be a subject, is a well-meant invention which, I think, has had its day. The measure of that of which we are in any way conscious is totally dependent upon the coarse utility of its becoming-conscious: how could this nook-perspective of consciousness permit us to assert anything of "subject" and "object" that touched reality!--

475 (1885-1886)

Critique of modern philosophy: erroneous starting point, as if there existed "facts of consciousness"--and no phenomenalism in introspection.

476 (1884)

"Consciousness"--to what extent the idea of an idea, the idea of will, the idea of a feeling (known to ourselves alone) are totally superficial! Our inner world, too, "appearance"!

477 (Nov.1887-March 1888)

I maintain the phenomenality of the inner world, too: everything of which we become conscious is arranged, simplified, schematized, interpreted through and through--the actual process of inner "perception," the causal connection between thoughts, feelings, desires, between subject and object, are absolutely hidden from us--and are perhaps purely imaginary. The "apparent inner world" is governed by just the same forms and procedures as the "outer" world. We never encounter "facts": pleasure and displeasure are subsequent and derivative intellectual phenomena--

"Causality" eludes us; to suppose a direct causal link beween thoughts, as logic does--that is the consequence of the crudest and clumsiest observation. Between two thoughts all kinds of affects play their game: but their motions are too fast, therefore we fail to recognize them, we deny them--

"Thinking," as epistemologists conceive it, simply does not occur: it is a quite arbitrary fiction, arrived at by selecting one element from the process and eliminating all the rest, an artificial arrangement for the purpose of intelligibility--

The "spirit," something that thinks: where possible even "absolute, pure spirit"--this conception is a second derivative of that false introspection which believes in "thinking": first an act is imagined which simply does not occur, "thinking," and secondly a subject-substratum in which every act of thinking, and nothing else, has its origin: that is to say, both the deed and the doer are fictions.

478 (March-June 1888)

One must not look for phenomenalism in the wrong place: nothing is more phenomenal (or, more clearly:) nothing is so much deception as this inner world which we observe with the famous "inner sense."

We have believed in the will as cause to such an extent that we have from our personal experience introduced a cause into events in general (i.e., intention a cause of events--).

We believe that thoughts as they succeed one another in our minds stand in some kind of causal relation: the logician especially, who actually speaks of nothing but instances which never occur in reality, has grown accustomed to the prejudice that thoughts cause thoughts--.

We believe--and even our philosopers still believe--that pleasure and pain are causes of reactions, that the purpose of pleasure and pain is to occasion reactions. For millennia, pleasure and the avoidance of displeasure have been flatly asserted as the motives for every action. Upon reflection, however, we should concede that everything would have taken the same course, according to exactly the same sequence of causes and effects, if these states of "pleasure and displeasure" had been absent, and that one is simply deceiving oneself if one thinks they cause anything at all: they are epiphenomena with a quite different object than to evoke reactions; they are themselves effects within the instituted process of reaction.

In summa: everything of which we become conscious is a terminal phenomenon, an end--and causes nothing; every successive phenomenon in consciousness is completely atomistic--And we have sought to understand the world through the reverse conception--as if nothing were real and effective but thinking, feeling, willing!--

479 (Jan.-Fall 1888)

The phenomenalism of the "inner world." Chronological inversion, so that the cause enters consciousness later than the effect.--We have learned that pain is projected to a part of the body without being situated there--we have learned that sense impressions naively supposed to be conditioned by the outer world are, on the contrary, conditioned by the inner world; that we are always unconscious of the real activity of the outer world--The fragment of outer world of which we are conscious is born after an effect from outside has impressed itself upon us, and is subsequently projected as its "cause"--

In the phenomenalism of the "inner world" we invert the chronological order of cause and effect. The fundamental fact of "inner experience" is that the cause is imagined after the effect has taken place--The same applies to the succession of thoughts: --we seek the reason for a thought before we are conscious of it; and the reason enters consciousness first, and then its consequence--Our entire dream life is the interpretation of complex feelings with a view to possible causes--and in such way that we are conscious of a condition only when the supposed causal chain associated with it has entered consciousness.

The whole of "inner experience" rests upon the fact that a cause for an excitement of the nerve centers is sought and imagined --and that only a cause thus discovered enters consciousness: this cause in no way corresponds to the real cause--it is a groping on the basis of previous "inner experiences," i.e., of memory. But memory also maintains the habit of the old interpretations, i.e., of erroneous causality--so that the "inner experience" has to contain within it the consequences of all previous false causal fictions. Our "outer world" as we project it every moment is indissolubly tied to the old error of the ground: we interpret it by means of the schematism of "things," etc.

"Inner experience" enters our consciousness only after it has found a language the individual understands--i.e., a translation of a condition into conditions familiar to him--; "to understand" means merely: to be able to express something new in the language of something old and familiar. E.g., "I feel unwell"--such a judgment presupposes a great and late neutrality of the observer--; the simple man always says: this or that makes me feel unwell --he makes up his mind about his feeling unwell only when he has seen a reason for feeling unwell.--I call that a lack of philology; to be able to read off a text as a text without interposing an interpretation is the last-developed form of "inner experience"-- perhaps one that is hardly possible--

480 (March-June 1888)

There exists neither "spirit," nor reason, nor thinking, nor consciousness, nor soul, nor will, nor truth: all are fictions that are of no use. There is no question of "subject and object," but of a particular species of animal that can prosper only through a certain relative rightness; above all, regularity of its perceptions (so that it can accumulate experience)--

Knowledge works as a tool of power. Hence it is plain that it increases with every increase of power--

The meaning of "knowledge": here, as in the case of "good" or "beautiful", the concept is to be regarded in a strict and narrow anthropocentric and biological sense. In order for a particular species to maintain itself and increase its power, its conception of reality must comprehend enough of the calculable and constant for it to base a scheme of behavior on it. The utility of preservation --not some abstract-theoretical need not to be deceived--stands as the motive behind the development of the organs of knowledge--they develop in such a way that their observations suffice for our preservation. In other words: the measure of the desire for knowledge depends upon the measure to which the will to power grows in a species: a species grasps a certain amount of reality in order to become master of it, in order to press it into service.

3. Belief in the "Ego." The Subject

481 (1883-1888)

Against positivism, which halts at phenomena--"There are only facts"--I would say: No, facts is precisely what there is not, only interpretations. We cannot establish any fact "in itself": perhaps it is folly to want to do such a thing.

"Everything is subjective," you say; but even this is interpretation. The "subject" is not something given, it is something added and invented and projected behind what there is.--Finally, is it necessary to posit an interpreter behind the interpretation? Even this is invention, hypothesis.

In so far as the word "knowledge" has any meaning, the world is knowable; but it is interpretable otherwise, it has no meaning behind it, but countless meanings.--"Perspectivism."

It is our needs that interpret the world; our drives and their For and Against. Every drive is a kind of lust to rule; each one has its perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives to accept as a norm.

482 (1886-1887)

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."

483 (1885)

Through thought the ego is posited; but hitherto one believed as ordinary people do, that in "I think" there was something of immediate certainty, and that this "I" was the given cause of thought, from which by analogy we understood all other causal relationships. However habitual and indispensable this fiction may have become by now--that in itself proves nothing against its imaginary origin: a belief can be a condition of life and nonetheless be false.

484 (Spring-Fall 1887)

"There is thinking: therefore there is something that thinks": this is the upshot of all Descartes' argumentation. But that means positing as "true à 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. In short, this is not merely the substantiation of a fact but a logical-metaphysical postulate--Along the lines followed by Descartes one does not come upon something absolutely certain but only upon the fact of a very strong belief.

If one reduces the proposition to "There is thinking, therefore there are thoughts," one has produced a mere tautology: and precisely that which is in question, the "reality of thought," is not touched upon--that is, in this form the "apparent reality" of thought cannot be denied. But what Descartes desired was that thought should have, not an apparent reality, but a reality in itself.

485 (Spring-Fall 1887)

The concept of substance is a consequence of the concept of the subject: not the reverse! If we relinquish the soul, "the subject," the precondition for "substance" in general disappears. One acquires degrees of being, one loses that which has being.

Critique of "reality": where does the "more or less real," the gradation of being in which we believe, lead to?--

The degree to which we feel life and power (logic and coherence of experience) gives us our measure of "being", "reality", not appearance.

The subject: this is the term for our belief in a unity underlying all the different impulses of the highest feeling of reality: we understand this belief as the effect of one cause--we believe so firmly in our belief that for its sake we imagine "truth", "reality", substantiality in general.-- "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--).

486 (1885-1886)

One would have to know what being is, in order to decide whether this or that is real (e.g., "the facts of consciousness"); in the same way, what certainty is, what knowledge is, and the like.-- But since we do not know this, a critique of the faculty of knowledge is senseless: how should a tool be able to criticize itself when it can use only itself for the critique? It cannot even define itself!

487 (1883-1886)

Must all philosophy not ultimately bring to light the preconditions upon which the process of reason depends?--our belief in the "ego" as a substance, as the sole reality from which we ascribe reality to things in general? The oldest "realism" at last comes to light: at the same time that the entire religious history of mankind is recognized as the history of the soul superstition. Here we come to a limit: our thinking itself involves this belief (with its distinction of substance, accident; deed, doer, etc.); to let it go means: being no longer able to think.

But that a belief, however necessary it may be for the preservation of a species, has nothing to do with truth, one knows from the fact that, e.g., we have to believe in time, space, and motion, without feeling compelled to grant them absolute reality.

488 (Spring-Fall 1887)

Psychological derivation of our belief in reason.--The concept "reality", "being", is taken from our feeling of the "subject".

"The subject": interpreted from within ourselves, so that the ego counts as a substance, as the cause of all deeds, as a doer.

The logical-metaphysical postulates, the belief in substance, accident, attribute, etc., derive their convincing force from our habit of regarding all our deeds as consequences of our will--so that the ego, as substance, does not vanish in the multiplicity of change.--But there is no such thing as will.--

We have no categories at all that permit us to distinguish a "world in itself" from a "world of appearance." All our categories of reason are of sensual origin: derived from the empirical world. "The soul", "the ego"--the history of these concepts shows that here, too, the oldest distinction ("breath", "life")--

If there is nothing material, there is also nothing immaterial. The concept no longer contains anything.

No subject "atoms". The sphere of a subject constantly growing or decreasing, the center of the system constantly shifting; in cases where it cannot organize the appropriate mass, it breaks into two parts. On the other hand, it can transform a weaker subject into its functionary without destroying it, and to a certain degree form a new unity with it. No "substance", rather something that in itself strives after greater strength, and that wants to "preserve" itself only indirectly (it wants to surpass itself--).

489 (1886-1887)

Everyting that enters consciousness as "unity" is already tremendously complex: we always have only a semblance of Unity.

The phenomenon of the body is the richer, clearer, more tangible phenomenon: to be discussed first, methodologically, without coming to any decision about its ultimate significance.

490 (1885)

The assumption of one single subject is perhaps unnecessary; perhaps it is just as permissible to assume a multiplicity of subjects, whose interaction and struggle is the basis of our thought and our consciousness in general? A kind of aristocracy of "cells" in which dominion resides? To be sure, an aristocracy of equals, used to ruling jointly and understanding how to command?

My hypotheses: The subject as multiplicity

Pain intellectual and dependent upon the judgment "harmful": projected.

The effect always "unconscious": the inferred and imagined cause is projected, follows in time.

Pleasure is a kind of pain.

The only force that exists is of the same kind as that of the will: a commanding of other subjects, which thereupon change.

The continual transitoriness and fleetingness of the subject. "Mortal soul."

Number as perspective form.

491 (1885-1886)

Belief in the body is more fundamental than belief in the soul: the latter arose from unscientific reflection on the agonies of the body (something that leaves it. Belief in the truth of dreams--).

492 (1885)

The body and physiology the starting point: why?--We gain the correct idea of the nature of our subject-unity, namely as regents at the head of a communality (not as "souls" or "life forces"), also of the dependence of these regents upon the ruled and of an order of rank and division of labor as the conditions that make possible the whole and its parts. In the same way, how living unities continually arise and die and how the "subject" is not eternal; in the same way, that the struggle expresses itself in obeying and commanding, and that a fluctuating assessment of the limits of power is part of life. The relative ignorance in which the regent is kept concerning individual activities and even disturbances within the communality is among the conditions under which rule can be exercised. In short, we also gain a valuation of not-knowing, of seeing things on a broad scale, of simplification and falsification, of perspectivity. The most important thing, however, is: that we understand that the ruler and his subjects are of the same kind, all feeling, willing, thinking--and that, wherever we see or divine movement in a body, we learn to conclude that there is a subjective, invisible life appertaining to it. Movement is symbolism for the eye; it indicates that something has been felt, willed, thought.

The danger of the direct questioning of the subject about the subject and of all self-reflection of the spirit lies in this, that it could be useful and important for one's activity to interpret oneself falsely. That is why we question the body and reject the evidence of the sharpened senses: we try, if you like, to see whether the inferior parts themselves cannot enter into communication with us.

4. Biology of the Drive to Knowledge.


493 (1885)

Truth is the kind of error without which a certain species of life could not live. The value for life is ultimately decisive.

494 (1885)

It is improbable that our "knowledge" should extend further than is strictly necessary for the preservation of life. Morphology shows us how the senses and the nerves, as well as the brain, develop in proportion to the difficulty of finding nourishment.


If the morality of "thou shalt not lie" is rejected, the "sense for truth" will have to legitimize itself before another tribunal:-- as a means of the preservation of man, as will to power.

Likewise our love of the beautiful: it also is our shaping will. The two senses stand side-by-side; the sense for the real is the means of acquiring the power to shape things according to our wish. The joy in shaping and reshaping--a primeval joy! We can comprehend only a world that we ourselves have made.

496 (1884)

Of the multifariousness of knowledge. To trace one's own relationship to many other things (or the relationship of kind)-- how should that be "knowledge" of other things! The way of knowing and of knowledge is itself already part of the conditions of existence: so that the conclusion that there could be no other kind of intellect (for us) than that which preserves us is precipitate: this actual condition of existence is perhaps only accidental and perhaps in no way necessary.

Our apparatus for acquiring knowledge is not designed for "knowledge."

497 (1884)

The most strongly believed a priori "truths" are for me provisional assumptions; e.g., the law of causality, a very well acquired habit of belief, so much a part of us that not to believe in it would destroy the race. But are they for that reason truths? What a conclusion! As if the preservation of man were a proof of truth!

498 (1884)

To what extent even our intellect is a consequence of conditions of existence--: we would not have it if we did not need to have it, and we would not have it as it is if we did not need to have it as it is, if we could live otherwise.

499 (1885)

"Thinking" in primitive conditions (pre-organic) is the crystallization of forms, as in the case of crystal.--In our thought, the essential feature is fitting new material into old schemes (= Procrustes' bed), making equal what is new.

500 (1885-1886)

Sense perceptions projected "outside": "inside" and "outside"--does the body command here--?

The same equalizing and ordering force that rules in the idioplasma, rules also in the incorporation of the outer world: our sense perceptions are already the result of this assimiliation and equalization in regard to all the past in us; they do not follow directly upon the "impression"--

501 (1886-1887)

All thought, judgment, perception, considered as comparison, has as its precondition a "positing of equality," and earlier still a "making equal." The process of making equal is the same as the process of incorporation of appropriated material in the amoeba.

"Memory" late, in so far as here the drive to make equal seems already to have been subdued: differentiation is preserved. Remembering as a process of classification and pigeonholing: who is active?

502 (1885)

One must revise one's ideas about memory: here lies the chief temptation to assume a "soul," which, outside time, reproduces, recognizes, etc. But that which is experienced lives on "in the memory"; I cannot help it if it "comes back," the will is inactive in this case, as in the coming of any thought. Something happens of which I become conscious: now something similar comes--who called it? roused it?

503 (1884)

The entire apparatus of knowledge is an apparatus for abstraction and simplification--directed not at knowledge but at taking possession of things: "end" and "means" are as remote from its essential nature as are "concepts." With "end" and "means" one takes possession of the process (one invents a process that can be grasped); with "concepts," however, of the "things" that constitute the process.

504 (1883-1888)

Consciousness--beginning quite externally, as coordination and becoming conscious of "impressions"--at first at the furthest distance from the biological center of the individual; but a process that deepens and intensifies itself, and continually draws nearer to that center.

505 (1885-1886)

Our perceptions, as we understand them: i.e., the sum of all those perceptions the becoming- conscious of which was useful and essential to us and to the entire organic process--therefore not all perceptions in general (e.g., not the electric); this means: we have senses for only a selection of perceptions--those with which we have to concern ourselves in order to preserve ourselves. Consciousness is present only to the extent that consciousness is useful. It cannot be doubted that all sense perceptions are permeated with value judgments (useful and harmful--consequently, pleasant or unpleasant). Each individual color is also for us an expression of value (although we seldom admit it, or do so only after a protracted impression of exclusively the same color; e.g., a prisoner in prison, or a lunatic). Thus insects also react differently to different colors: some like this color, some that; e.g., ants.

506 (1884)

First images--to explain how images arise in the spirit. Then words, applied to images. Finally concepts, possible only when there are words--the collecting together of many images in something nonvisible but audible (word). The tiny amount of emotion to which the "word" gives rise, as we contemplate similar images for which one word exists--this weak emotion is the common element, the basis of the concept. That weak sensations are regarded as alike, sensed as being the same, is the fundamental fact. Thus confusion of two sensations that are close neighbors, as we take note of these sensations; but who is taking note? Believing is the primal beginning even in every sense impression: a kind of affirmation the first intellectual activity! A "holding-true" in the beginning! Therefore it is to be explained: how "holding-true" arose! What sensation lies behind "true"?

507 (Spring-Fall 1887)

The valuation "I believe that this and that is so" as the essence of "truth." In valuations are expressed conditions of preservation and growth. All our organs of knowledge and our senses are developed only with regard to conditions of preservation and growth. Trust in reason and its categories, in dialectic, therefore the valuation of logic, proves only their usefulness for life, proved by experience--not that something is true.

That a great deal of belief must be present; that judgments may be ventured; that doubt concerning all essential values is lacking--that is the precondition of every living thing and its life. Therefore, what is needed is that something must be held to be true--not that something is true.

"The real and the apparent world"--I have traced this antithesis back to value relations. We have projected the conditions of our preservation as predicates of being in general. Because we have to be stable in our beliefs if we are to prosper, we have made the "real" world a world not of change and becoming, but one of being.

5. Origin of Reason and Logic

508 (1883-1888)

Originally a chaos of ideas. The ideas that were consistent with one another remained, the greater number perished--and are perishing.

509 (1883-1888)

The earthly kingdom of desires out of which logic grew: the herd instinct in the background. The assumption of similar cases presupposes "similar souls." For the purpose of mutual agreement and dominion.

510 (1883-1888)

On the origin of logic. The fundamental inclination to posit as equal, to see things as equal, is modified, held in check, by consideration of usefulness and harmfulness, by considerations of success: it adapts itself to a milder degree in which it can be satisfied without at the same time denying and endangering life. This whole process corresponds exactly to that external, mechanical process (which is its symbol) by which protoplasm makes what it appropriates equal to itself and fits it into its own forms and files.

511 (1885-1886)

Equality and similarity.

1. The coarser organ sees much apparent equality;

2. the spirit wants equality, i.e., to subsume a sense impression into an existing series: in the same way as the body assimilates inorganic matter.

Toward an understanding of logic: the will to equality is the will to power--the belief that something is thus and thus (the essence of judgment) is the consequence of a will that as much as possible shall be equal.

512 (1885)

Logic is bound to the condition: assume there are identical cases. In fact, to make possible logical thinking and inferences, this condition must first be treated fictitously as fulfilled. That is: the will to logical truth can be carried through only after a fundamental falsification of all events is assumed. From which it follows that a drive rules here that is capable of employing both means, firstly falsification, then the implementation of its own point of view: logic does not spring from will to truth.

513 (Fall 1886)

The inventive force that invented categories labored in the service of our needs, namely of our need for security, for quick understanding on the basis of signs and sounds, for means of abbreviation:--"substance", "subject", "object", "being", "becoming" have nothing to do with metaphysical truths.--

It is the powerful who made the names of things into law, and among the powerful it is the greatest artists in abstraction who created the categories.

514 (March-June 1888)

A morality, a mode of living, tried and proved by long experience and testing, at length enters consciousness as a law, as dominating--And therewith the entire group of related values and states enters into it: it becomes venerable, unassailable, holy, true; it is part of its development that its origin should be forgotten.-- That is a sign it has become master--

Exactly the same thing could have happened with the categories of reason: they could have prevailed, after much groping and fumbling, through their relative utility--There came a point when one collected them together, raised them to consciousness as a whole--and when one commanded them, i.e., when they had the effect of a command--From then on, they counted as à priori, as beyond experience, as irrefutable. And yet perhaps they represent nothing more than the expediency of a certain race and species --their utility alone is their "truth"--

515 (March-June 1888)

Not "to know" but to schematize to impose upon chaos as much regularity and form as our practical needs require.

In the formation of reason, logic, the categories, it was need that was authoritative: the need, not to "know," but to subsume, to schematize, for the purpose of intelligibility and calculation--(The development of reason is adjustment, invention, with the aim of making similar, equal--the same process that every sense impression goes through!) No pre-existing "idea" was here at work, but the utilitarian fact that only when we see things coarsely and made equal do they become calculable and usable to us--Finality in reason is an effect, not a cause: life miscarries with any other kinds of reason, to which there is a continual impulse--it becomes difficult to survey--too unequal--

The categories are "truths"' only in the sense that they are conditions of life for us: as Euclidean space is a conditional "truth." (Between ourselves: since no one would maintain that there is any necessity for men to exist, reason, as well as Euclidean space, is a mere idiosyncracy of a certain species of animal, and one among many--)

The subjective compulsion not to contradict here is a biological compulsion: the instinct for the utility of inferring as we do infer is part of us, we almost are this instinct--But what naivete to extract from this a proof that we are therewith in possession of a "truth in itself"!--Not being able to contradict is proof of an incapacity, not of "truth."

516 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888)

We are unable to affirm and to deny one and the same thing: this is a subjective empirical law, not the expression of any "necessity" but only of an inability.

If, according to Aristotle, the law of contradiction is the most certain of all principles, if it is the ultimate and most basic, upon which every demonstrative proof rests, if the principle of every axiom lies in it; then one should consider all the more rigorously what presuppositions already lie at the bottom of it. Either it asserts something about. actuality, about being, as if one already knew this from another source; that is, as if opposite attributes could not be ascribed to it. Or the proposition means: opposite attributes should not be ascribed to it. In that case, logic would be an imperative, not to know the true, but to posit and arrange a world that shall be called true by us.

In short, the question remains open: are the axioms of logic adequate to reality or are they a means and measure for us to create reality, the concept "reality," for ourselves.?--To affirm the former one would, as already said, have to have a previous knowledge of being--which is certainly not the case. The proposition therefore contains no criterion of truth, but an imperative concerning that which should count as true.

Supposing there were no self-identical "A", such as is presupposed by every proposition of logic (and of mathematics), and the "A" were already mere appearance, then logic would have a merely apparent world as its condition. In fact, we believe in this proposition under the influence of ceaseless experience which seems continually to confirrn it. The "thing"--that is the real substratum of "A"; our belief in things is the precondition of our belief in logic. The "A" of logic is, like the atom, a reconstruction of the thing--If we do not grasp this, but make of logic a criterion of true being, we are on the way to positing as realities all those hypostases: substance, attribute, object, subject, action, etc.; that is, to conceiving a metaphysical world, that is, a "real world" (--this, however, is the apparent world once more--).

The very first acts of thought, affirmation and denial, holding true and holding not true, are, in as much as they presuppose, not only the habit of holding things true and holding them not true, but a right to do this, already dominated by the belief that we can gain possession of knowledge, that judgments really can hit upon the truth;--in short, logic does not doubt its ability to assert something about the true-in-itself (namely, that it cannot have opposite attributes).

Here reigns the coarse sensualistic prejudice that sensations teach us truths about things--that I cannot say at the same time of one and the same thing that it is hard and that it is soft. (The instinctive proof "I cannot have two opposite sensations at the same time"--quite coarse and false.)

The conceptual ban on contradiction proceeds from the belief that we are able to form concepts, that the concept not only designates the essence of a thing but comprehends it--In fact, logic (like geometry and arithmetic) applies only to fictitious entities that we have created. Logic is the attempt to comprehend the actual world by means of a scheme of being posited by ourselves; more correctly, to make it formulatable and calculable for us--

517 (Spring-Fall 1887)

In order to think and infer it is necessary to assume beings: logic handles only formulas for what remains the same. That is why this assumption would not be proof of reality: "beings" are part of our perspective. The "ego" as a being (--not affected by becoming and development).

The fictitious world of subject, substance, "reason" etc., is needed--: there is in us a power to order, simplify, falsify, artificially distinguish. "Truth" is the will to be master over the multiplicity of sensations:--to classify phenomena into definite categories. In this we start from a belief in the "in-itself" of things (we take phenomena as real).

The character of the world in a state of becoming as incapable of formulation, as "false," as "'self-contradictory." Knowledge and becoming exclude one another. Consequently, "knowledge" must be something else: there must first of all be a will to make knowable, a kind of becoming must itself create the deception of beings.

518 (1885-1886)

If our "ego" is for us the sole being, after the model of which we fashion and understand all being: very well! Then there would be very much room to doubt whether what we have here is not a perspective illusion--an apparent unity that encloses everything like a horizon. The evidence of the body reveals a tremendous multiplicity; it is allowable, for purposes of method, to employ the more easily studied, richer phenomena as evidence for the understanding of the poorer. Finally: supposing everything is becoming, then knowledge is possible only on the basis of belief in being.

519 (1883-1888)

If there "is only one being, the ego" and all other "being" is fashioned after its model--if, finally, belief in the "ego" stands or falls with belief in logic, i.e., the metaphysical truth of the categories of reason; if, on the other hand, the ego proves to be something in a state of becoming: then--

520 (1885)

Continual transition forbids us to speak of "individuals," etc; the "number" of beings is itself in flux. We would know nothing of time and motion if we did not, in a coarse fashion, believe we see what is at "rest" beside what is in motion. The same applies to cause and effect, and without the erroneous conception of "empty space" we should certainly not have acquired the conception of space. 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.

521 (Spring-Fall 1887)

On "logical semblance"-- The concepts "individual" and "species" equally false and merely apparent. "Species" expresses only the fact that an abundance of similar creatures appear at the same time and that the tempo of their further growth and change is for a long time slowed down, so actual small continuations and increases are not very much noticed (--a phase of evolution in which the evolution is not visible, so an equilibrium seems to have been attained, making possible the false notion that a goal has been attained--and that evolution has a goal--).

The form counts as something enduring and therefore more valuable; but the form has merely been invented by us; and however often "the same form is attained," it does not mean that it is the same form--what appears is always something new, and it is only we, who are always comparing, who include the new, to the extent that it is similar to the old, in the unity of the "form." As if a type should be attained and, as it were, was intended by and inherent in the process of formation.

Form, species, law, idea, purpose--in all these cases the same error is made of giving a false reality to a fiction, as if events were in some way obedient to something--an artificial distinction is made in respect of events between that which acts and that toward which the act is directed (but this "which" and this "toward" are only posited in obedience to our metaphysical-logical dogmatism: they are not "facts").

One should not understand this compulsion to construct concepts, species, forms, purposes, laws ("a world of identical cases") as if they enabled us to fix the real world; but as a compulsion to arrange a world for ourselves in which our existence is made possible:--we thereby create a world which is calculable, simplified, comprehensible, etc., for us.

This same compulsion exists in the sense activities that support reason--by simplification, coarsening, emphasizing, and elaborating, upon which all "recognition," all ability to make oneself intelligible rests. Our needs have made our senses so precise that the "same apparent world" always reappears and has thus acquired the semblance of reality.

Our subjective compulsion to believe in logic only reveals that, long before logic itself entered our consciousness, we did nothing but introduce its postulates into events: now we discover them in events--we can no longer do otherwise--and imagine that this compulsion guarantees something connected with "truth." It is we who created the "thing," the "identical thing," subject, attribute, activity, object, substance, form, after we had long pursued the process of making identical, coarse and simple. The world seems logical to us because we have made it logical.

522 (1886-1887)

Ultimate solution.--We believe in reason: this, however, is the philosophy of gray concepts. Language depends on the most naive prejudices.

Now we read disharmonies and problems into things because we think only in the form of language--and thus believe in the "eternal truth" of "reason" (e.g., subject, attribute, etc.)

We cease to think when we refuse to do so under the constraint of language; we barely reach the doubt that sees this limitation as a limitation.

Rational thought is interpretation according to a scheme that we cannot throw off..

6. Consciousness

523 (March-June 1888)

Nothing is more erroneous than to make of psychical and physical phenomena the two faces, the two revelations of one and the same substance. Nothing is explained thereby: the concept "substance" is perfectly useless as an explanation. Consciousness in a subsidiary role, almost indifferent, superfluous, perhaps destined to vanish and give way to a perfect automatism--

When we observe only the inner phenomena we may be compared with the deaf-and-dumb, who divine through movements of the lips the words they do not hear. From the phenomena of the inner sense we conclude the existence of invisible and other phenomena that we would apprehend if our means of observation were adequate and that one calls the nerve current.

We lack any sensitive organs for this inner world, so we sense a thousandfold complexity as a unity; so we introduce causation where any reason for motion and change remains invisible to us --the sequence of thoughts and feelings is only their becoming visible in consciousness. That this sequence has anything to do with a causal chain is completely unbelievable: consciousness has never furnished us with an example of cause and effect.

524 (Nov. 1887-March 1888)

The role of "consciousness."--It is essential that one should not make a mistake over the role of "consciousness": it is our relation with the "outer world" that evolved it. On the other hand, the direction or protection and care in respect of the co-ordination of the bodily functions does not enter our consciousness; any more than spiritual accumulation: that a higher court rules over these things cannot be doubted--a kind of directing committee on which the various chief desires make their votes and power felt. "Pleasure," "displeasure" are hints from this sphere; also the act of will; also ideas.

In summa: That which becomes conscious is involved in causal relations which are entirely withheld from us--the sequence of thoughts, feelings, ideas in consciousness does not signify that this sequence is a causal sequence; but apparently it is so, to the highest degree. Upon this appearance we have founded our whole idea of spirit, reason, logic, etc. (--none of these exist: they are fictitious syntheses and unities), and projected these into things and behind things!

Usually, one takes consciousness itself as the general sensorium and supreme court; nonetheless, it is only a means of communication: it is evolved through social intercourse and with a view to the interests of social intercourse--"Intercourse" here understood to include the influences of the outer world and the reactions they compel on our side; also our effect upon the outer world. It is not the directing agent, but an organ of the directing agent.

525 (1888)

My proposition compressed into a formula that smells of antiquity, Christianity, scholasticism, and other muskiness: in the concept "God as spirit," God as perfection is negated--

526 (March-lune 1888)

Where a certain unity obtains in the grouping of things, one has always posited spirit as the cause of this coordination: for which notion there is no ground whatever. Why should the idea of a complex fact be one of the conditions of this fact? or why should the notion of a complex fact have to precede it as its cause?--

We shall be on our guard against explaining purposiveness in terms of spirit: there is no ground whatever for ascribing to spirit the properties of organization and systematization. The nervous system has a much more extensive domain; the world of consciousness is added to it. Consciousness plays no role in the total process of adaptation and systematization.

527 (1886-1887)

Physiologists, like philosophers, believe that consciousness increases in value in proportion as it increases in clarity: the clearest consciousness, the most logical and coldest thinking, is supposed to be of the first rank. However--by what measure is this value determined?--In regard to release of will, the most superficial, most simplified thinking is the most useful--it could therefore--etc. (because it leaves few motives over).

Precision in action is antagonistic to far-seeing providentiality, the judgments of which are often uncertain: the latter is led by the deeper instinct.

528 (1886-1887)

Principal error of psychologists: they regard the indistinct idea as a lower kind of idea than the distinct: but that which removes itself from our consciousness and for that reason becomes obscure can on that account be perfectly clear in itself. Becoming obscure is a matter of perspective of consciousness.

529 (March-June 1888)

Tremendous blunders:

1. the absurd overestimation of consciousness, the transformation of it into a unity, an entity: "spirit", "soul", something that feels, thinks, wills--

2. spirit as cause, especially wherever purposiveness, system, co-ordination appear;

3. consciousness as the highest achieveable form, as the supreme kind of being, as "God";

4. will introduced wherever there are effects;

5. the "real world" as a spiritual world, as accessible through the facts of consciousness;

6. knowledge as uniquely the faculty of consciousness wherever there is knowledge at all.


every advance lies in an advance in becoming conscious; every regression in becoming unconscious; (--becoming unconscious was considered a falling back to the desires and senses --as becoming animal--)

one approaches reality, "real being", through dialectic; one distances oneself from it through the instincts, senses, mechanism--

to resolve man into spirit would mean to make him into God: spirit, will, goodness--all one; all good must proceed from spirituality, must be a fact of consciousness; any advance toward the better can only be an advance in becoming conscious

7. Judgment. True--False

In the case of Kant, theological prejudice, his unconscious dogmatism, his moralistic perspective, were dominant, directing, commanding.

The proton pseudos: how is the fact of knowledge possible? is knowledge a fact at all? what is knowledge? If we do not know what knowledge is, we cannot possibly answer the question whether there is knowledge.--Very well! But if I do not already "know' whether there is knowledge, whether there can be knowledge, I cannot reasonably put the question "what is knowledge?" Kant believes in the fact of knowledge: what he wants is a piece of naivete: knowledge of knowledge!

"Knowledge is judgment!" But judgment is a belief that something is thus and thus! And not knowledge! "All knowledge consists of synthetic judgments" of universal validity (the case is thus and not otherwise in every case), of necessary validity (the opposite of the assertion can never occur).

The legitimacy of belief in knowledge is always presupposed: just as the legitimacy of the feelings of conscience-judgments is presupposed. Here moral ontology is the dominant prejudice.

The conclusion is therefore:

1. there are assertions that we consider universally valid and necessary;

2. necessity and universal validity cannot be derived from experience;

3. consequently they must be founded, not upon experience, but upon something else, and derive from another source of knowledge!

(Kant infers (1) there are assertions which are valid only under a certain condition; (2) this condition is that they derive, not from experience, but from pure reason.)

Therefore: the question is, whence do we derive our reasons for believing in the truth of such assertions? No, how our belief is caused! But the origin of a belief, of a strong conviction, is a psychological problem: and a very narrow and limited experience often produces such a belief! It already presupposes that there is not "data à posteriori" but also data à priori, "preceding experience." Necessity and universal validity could never be given to us by experience: why does that mean that they are present without any experience at all?

There are no isolated judgments!

An isolated judgment is never "true," never knowledge; only in the connection and relation of many judgments is there any surety.

What distinguishes the true from the false belief? What is knowledge? He "knows" it, that is heavenly!

Necessity and universality can never be given by experience! thus they are independent of experience, prior to all experience! That insight that occurs a priori, therefore independently of all experience, out of sheer reason, is "a pure form of knowledge"!

"The basic laws of logic, the law of identity and the law of contradiction, are forms of pure knowledge, because they precede all experience."--But these are not forms of knowledge at all! they are regulative articles of belief.

To establish the à priori character (the pure rationality) of the judgments of mathematics, space must be conceived as a form of pure reason.

Hume had declared: "There are no synthetic à priori judgments." Kant says: But there are! Those of mathematics! And if there are such judgments, perhaps there is also metaphysics, a knowledge of things by pure reason!

Mathematics is possible under conditions under which metaphysics is never possible. All human knowlege is either experience or mathematics.

A judgment is synthetic; i.e., it connects different ideas.

It is à priori; i.e., every connection is a universally valid and necessary one, which can never be given by sense perception but only through pure reason.

If there are to be synthetic a priori judgments, then reason must be in a position to make connections: connection is a form. Reason must possess the capacity of giving form.

531 (1885-1886)

Judgment is our oldest belief, our most habitual holding-true or holding-untrue, an assertion or denial, a certainty that something is thus and not otherwise, a belief that here we really "know"-- what is it that is believed true in all judgments?

What are attributes?--We have not regarded change in us as change but as an "in itself" that is foreign to us, that we merely "perceive": and we have posited it, not as an event, but as a being, as a "quality"--and in addition invented an entity to which it adheres; i.e., we have regarded the effect as something that effects, and this we have regarded as a being. But even in this formulation, the concept "effect" is arbitrary: for those changes that take place in us, and that we firmly believe we have not ourselves caused, we merely infer to be effects, in accordance with the conclusion: "every change must have an author";--but this conclusion is already mythology: it separates that which effects from the effecting. If I say "lightning flashes," I have posited the flash once as an activity and a second time as a subject, and thus added to the event a being that is not one with the event but is rather fixed, "is" and does not "become."--To regard an event as an "effecting," and this as being, that is the double error, or interpretation, of which we are guilty.

532 (1885)

Judgment--this is the belief: "This and that are so." Thus there is in every judgment the avowal of having encountered an "identical case": it therefore presupposes comparison with the aid of memory. The judgment does not produce the appearance of an identical case. Rather it believes it perceives one: it works under the presupposition that identical cases exist. Now, what is that function that must be much older and must have been at work much earlier, that makes cases identical and similar which are in themselves dissimilar? What is that second function, which on the basis of the first, etc. "Whatever arouses the same sensation is the same": but what is it that makes sensations the same, "accepts" them as the same? There could be no judgments at all if a kind of equalization were not practiced within sensations: memory is possible only with a continual emphasizing of what is already familiar, experienced.--Before judgment occurs, the process of assimilation must already have taken place; thus here, too, there is an intellectual activity that does not enter consciousness, as pain does as a consequence of a wound. Probably an inner event corresponds to each organic function; hence assimilation, rejection, growth, etc.

Essential: to start from the body and employ it as guide. It is the much richer phenomenon, which allows of clearer observation. Belief in the body is better established than belief in the spirit.

"No matter how strongly a thing may be believed, strength of belief is no criterion of truth." But what is truth? Perhaps a kind of belief that has become a condition of life? In that case, to be sure, strength could be a criterion; e.g., in regard to causality.

533 (Spring-Fall 1887)

Logical certainty, transparency, as criterion of truth ("omncillud verum est, quod clare et distincte percipitur." Descartes): with that, the mechanical hypothesis concerning the world is desired and credible.

But this is a crude confusion: like simplex sigillum veri. How does one know that the real nature of things stands in this relation to our intellect?--Could it not be otherwise? that it is the hypothesis that gives the intellect the greatest feeling of power and security, that is most preferred, valued and consequently characterized as true?--The intellect posits its freest and strongest capacity and capability as criterion of the most valuable, consequently of the true--

"True": from the standpoint of feeling--: that which excites the feeling most strongly ("ego");

from the standpoint of thought--: that which gives thought the greatest feeling of strength;

from the standpoint of touch, seeing, hearing--: that which calls for the greatest resistance.

Thus it is the highest degrees of performance that awaken belief in the "truth," that is to say reality, of the object. The feeling of strength, of struggle, of resistance convinces us that there is something that is here being resisted.

534 (1887-1888)

The criterion of truth resides in the enhancement of the feeling of power.

535 (1885)

"Truth": this, according to my way of thinking, does not necessarily denote the antithesis of error, but in the most fundamental cases only the posture of various errors in relation to one another. Perhaps one is older, more profound than another, even ineradicable, in so far as an organic entity of our species could not live without it; while other errors do not tyrannize over us in this way as conditions of life, but on the contrary when compared with such "tyrants" can be set aside and "refuted."

An assumption that is irrefutable--why should it for that reason be "true"? This proposition may perhaps outrage logicians, who posit their limitations as the limitations of things: but I long ago declared war on this optimism of logicians.

536 (Jan.-Fall 1888)

Everything simple is merely imaginary, is not "true." But whatever is real, whatever is true, is neither one nor even reducible to one.

537 (1885-1888)

What is truth?--Inertia; that hypothesis which gives rise to contentment; smallest expenditure of spiritual force, etc.

538 (1883-1888)

First proposition. The easier mode of thought conquers the harder mode;--as dogma: simplex sigillum veri.-- Ditto: to suppose that clarity proves anything about truth is perfect childishness--

Second proposition. The doctrine of being, of things, of all sorts of fixed unities is a hundred times easier than the doctrine of becoming, of development--

Third proposition. Logic was intended as facilitation; as a means of expression--not as truth--Later it acquired the effect of truth--

539 (March-June 1888)

Parmenides said, "one cannot think of what is not",--we are at the other extreme, and say "what can be thought of must certainly be a fiction.''

540 (1885)

There are many kinds of eyes. Even the sphinx has eyes-- and consequently there are many kinds of "truths," and consequently there is no truth. Spencer.

541 (March-June 1888)

Inscriptions for the Door of a Modern Madhouse

"What is thought necessarily is morally necessary." Herbert

"The ultimate test of the truth of a proposition is the conceivability of its negation." Herbert Spencer.

542 (Nov. 1887-March 1888)

If the character of existence should be false--which would be possible--what would truth, all our truth, be then?--An unconscionable falsification of the false? The false raised to a higher power?--

543 (Nov. 1887-March 1888)

In a world that is essentially false, truthfulness would be an antinatural tendency: such a tendency could have meaning only as a means to a higher power of falsehood. In order for a world of the true, of being, to be invented, the truthful man would first have to be created (including the fact that such a man believes himself "truthful").

Simple, transparent, not in contradiction with himself, durable, remaining always the same, without wrinkle, volt, concealment, form: a man of this kind conceives a world of being as "God" in his own image.

For truthfulness to be possible, the whole sphere of man must be very clean, small and, respectable; advantage in every sense must be with the truthful man.--Lies, deception, dissimulation must arouse astonishment--

544 (1885-1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888)

Increase in "dissimulation" proportionate to the rising order of rank of creatures. It seems to be lacking in the inorganic world-- power against power, quite crudely cunning begins in the organic world; plants are already masters of it. The highest human beings, such as Caesar, Napoleon (Stendhal's remark on him), also the higher races (Italians), the Greeks (Odysseus); a thousandfold craftiness belongs to the essence of the enhancement of man-- problem of the actor. My Dionysus ideal--The perspective of all organic functions, all the strongest instincts of life: the force in all life that wills error; error as the precondition even of thought. Before there is "thought" there must have been "invention"; the construction of identical cases, of the appearance of sameness, is more primitive than the knowledge of sameness.

8. Against Causalism

545 (1885)

I believe in absolute space as the substratum of force: the latter limits and forms. Time eternal. But space and time do not exist in themselves. "Changes" are only appearances (or sense processes for us); if we posit the recurrence of these, however regular, nothing is established thereby except this simple fact, that it has always happened thus. The feeling that post hoc is propter hoc can easily be shown to be a misunderstanding; it is comprehensible. But appearances cannot be "causes"!

546 (1885-1886)

The interpretation of an event as either an act or the suffering of an act (--thus every act a becoming-other, presupposes an author and someone upon who "change" is effected.

547 (1885-1886)

Psychological history of the concept "subject." The body, the thing, the "whole" construed by the eye, awaken the distinction between a deed and a doer; the doer, the cause of the deed, conceived ever more subtly, finally left behind the "subject."

548 (1885-1886)

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"!

549 (1885)

"Subject", "object", "attribute"--these distinctions are fabricated and are now imposed as a schematism upon all the apparent facts. The fundamental false observation is that I believe it is I who does something, suffer something, "have" something, "have" a quality.

550 (1885-1886)

In every judgment there resides the entire, full, profound belief in subject and attribute, or in cause and effect (that is, as the assertion that every effect is an activity and that every activity presupposes an agent); and this latter belief is only a special case of the former, so there remains as the fundamental belief the belief that there are subjects, that everything that happens is related attributively to some subject.

I notice something and seek a reason for it; this means originally: I seek an intention in it, and above all someone who has intentions, a subject, a doer: every event a deed--formerly One saw intentions in all events, this is our oldest habit. Do animals also possess it? As living beings, must they not also rely on interpretations based on themselves?--

The question "why?" is always a question after the causa finalis' after the "what for?" We have no "sense for the causa efficiens": here Hume was right; habit (but not only that of the individual!) makes us expect that a certain often-observed occurrence will follow another: nothing more! That which gives the extraordinary firmness to our belief in causality is not the great habit of seeing one occurrence following another but our inability to interpret events otherwise than as events caused by intentions. It is belief in the living and thinking as the only effective force--in will, in intention--it is belief that every event is a deed, that every deed presupposes a doer, it is belief in the "subject." Is this belief in the concept of subject and attribute not a great stupidity?

Question: is intention the cause of an event? Or is that also illusion?

Is it not the event itself?

551 (March-June 1888)

Critique of the concept "cause".- We have absolutely no experience of a cause; psychologically considered, we derive the entire concept from the subjective conviction that we are causes, namely, that the arm moves--But that is an error. We separate ourselves, the doers, from the deed, and we make use of this pattern everywhere--we seek a doer for every event. What is it we have done? We have misunderstood the feeling of strength, tension, resistance, a muscular feeling that is already the beginning of the act, as the cause, or we have taken the will to do this or that for a cause because the action follows upon it--cause, i.e.,-

There is no such thing as "cause"; some cases in which it seemed to be given us, and in which we have projected it out of ourselves in order to understand an event, have been shown to be self-deceptions. Our "understanding of an event" has consisted in our inventing a subject which was made responsible for something that happens and for how it happens. We have combined our feeling of will, our feeling of "freedom," our feeling of responsibility and our intention to perform an act, into the concept "cause": causa efficiens and causa finalis are fundamentally one.

We believed that an effect was explained when a condition was detected in which the effect was already inherent. In fact, we invent all causes after the schema of the effect: the latter is known to us--Conversely, we are not in a position to predict of any thing what it will "effect." The thing, the subject, will, intention--all inherent in the conception "cause." We search for things in order to explain why something has changed. Even the atom is this kind of super-added "thing" and "primitive subject"--

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--

In summa: an event is neither effected nor does it effect. Causa is a capacity to produce effects that has been super-added to the events--

Interpretation by causality a deception--A "thing" is the sum of its effects, synthetically united by a concept, an image. In fact, science has emptied the concept causality of its content and retained it as a formula of an equation, in which it has become at bottom a matter of indifference on which side cause is placed and on which side effect. It is asserted that in two complex states (constellations of force) the quanta of force remain constant.

The calculability of an event does not reside in the fact that a rule is adhered to, or that a necessity is obeyed, or that a law of causality has been projected by us into every event: it resides in the recurrence of "identical cases".

There is no such thing as a sense of causality, as Kant thinks. One is surprised, one is disturbed, one desires something familiar to hold on to--As soon as we are shown something old in the new' we are calmed. The supposed instinct for causality is only fear of the unfamiliar and the attempt to discover something familiar in it--a search, not for causes, but for the familiar.

552 (Spring-Fall 1887)

Against determinism and teleology.-- From the fact that something ensues regularly and ensues calculably, it does not follow that it ensues necessarily. That a quantum of force determines and conducts itself in every particular case in one way and manner does not make it into an "unfree will." "Mechanical necessity" is not a fact: it is we who first interpreted it into events. We have interpreted the formulatable character of events as the consequence of a necessity that rules over events. But from the fact that I do a certain thing, it by no means follows that I am compelled to do it. Compulsion in things certainly cannot be demonstrated: the rule proves only that one and the same event is not another event as well. Only because we have introduced subjects, "doers," into things does it appear that all events are the consequences of compulsion exerted upon subjects--exerted by whom? again by a "doer." Cause and effect--a dangerous concept so long as one thinks of something that causes and something upon which an effect is produced.

a. Necessity is not a fact but an interpretation.

b. When one has grasped that the "subject" is not something that creates effects, but only a fiction, much follows.

It is only after the model of the subject that we have invented the reality of things and projected them into the medley of sensations. If we no longer believe in the effective subject, then belief also disappears in effective things, in reciprocation, cause and effect between those phenomena that we call things.

There also disappears, of course, the world of effective atoms: the assumption of which always depended on the supposition that one needed subjects.

At last, the "thing-in-itself" also disappears, because this is fundamentally the conception of a "subject-in-itself." But we have grasped that the subject is a fiction. The antithesis "thing-in-itself" and "appearance" is untenable; with that, however, the concept "appearance" also disappears.

c. If we give up the effective subject, we also give up the object upon which effects are produced. Duration, identity with itself, being are inherent neither in that which is called subject nor in that which is called object: they are complexes of events apparently durable in comparison with other complexes--e.g., through the difference in tempo of the event (rest--motion, firm--loose: opposites that do not exist in themselves and that actually express only variations in degree that from a certain perspective appear to be opposites. There are no opposites: only from those of logic do we derive the concept of opposites--and falsely transfer it to things).

d. If we give up the concept "subject" and "object," then also the concept "substance"--and as a consequence also the various modifications of it, e.g., "matter," "spirit," and other hypothetical entities, "the eternity and immutability of matter," etc. We have got rid of materiality.

From the standpoint of morality, the world is false. But to the extent that morality itself is a part of this world, morality is false.

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 processus in infinitum, an active determining--not a becoming conscious of something that is in itself firm and determined. It is a word for the "will to power."

Life is founded upon the premise of a belief in enduring and regularly recurring things; the more powerful life is, the wider must be the knowable world to which we, as it were, attribute being. Logicizing, rationalizing, systematizing as expedients of life.

Man projects his drive to truth, his "goal" in a certain sense outside himself as a world that has being, as a metaphysical world, as a "thing-in-itself," as a world already in existence. His needs as creator invent the world upon which he works, anticipate it; this anticipation (this "belief" in truth) is his support.

All events, all motion, all becoming, as a determination, degrees and relations of force, as a struggle--

As soon as we imagine someone who is responsible for our being thus and thus, etc. (God, nature), and therefore attribute to him the intention that we should exist and be happy or wretched, we corrupt for ourselves the innocence of becoming. We then have someone who wants to achieve something through us and with us.

The "'welfare of the individual" is just as imaginary as the "welfare of the species": the former is not sacrificed to the latter, species viewed from a distance is just as transient as the individual. "Preservation of the species" is only a consequence of the growth of the species, i.e., the. overcoming of the species on the road to a stronger type.

[Theses.] That the apparent "purposiveness" ("that purposiveness which endlessly surpasses all the arts of man") is merely the consequence of the will to power manifest in all events; that becoming stronger involves an ordering process which looks like a sketchy purposiveness; that apparent ends are not intentional but, as soon as dominion is established over a lesser power and the latter operates as a function of the greater power, an order of rank, of organization is bound to produce the appearance of an order of means and ends.

Against apparent "necessity": --this is only an expression for the fact that a force is not also something else.

Against apparent "purposiveness": --the latter only an expression for an order of spheres of power and their interplay.

9. Thing-in-Itself and Appearance

553 (1886-1887)

The sore spot of Kant's critical philosophy has gradually become visible even to dull eyes: Kant no longer has a right to his distinction "appearance" and "thing-in-itself"--he had deprived himself of the right to go on distinguishing in this old familiar way, in so far as he rejected as impermissible making inferences from phenomena to a cause of phenomena--in accordance with his conception of causality and its purely intra-phenomenal validity-- which conception, on the other hand, already anticipates this distinction, as if the "thing-in-itself" were not only inferred but given.

554 (1885-1886)

Causalism.--It is obvious that things-in-themselves cannot be related to one another as cause and effect, nor can appearance be so related to appearance; from which it follows that in a philosophy that believes in things-in-themselves and appearances the concept "cause and effect" cannot be applied. Kant's mistakes

In fact, the concept "cause and effect" derives, psychologically speaking, only from a mode of thought that believes that always and everywhere will operates upon will--that believes only in living things and fundamentally only in "souls" (and not in things). Within the mechanistic view of the world (which is logic and its application to space and time), that concept is reduced to the formulas of mathematics--with which, as one must emphasize again and again, nothing is ever comprehended, but rather designated and distorted.

555 (1885-1886)

Against the scientific prejudice.--The biggest fable of all is the fable of knowledge. One would like to know what things-in-themselves are; but behold, there are no things-in-themselves! But even supposing there were an in-itself, an unconditioned thing, it would for that very reason be unknowable! Something unconditioned cannot be known; otherwise it would not be unconditioned! Coming to know, however, is always "placing oneself in a conditional relation to something" one who seeks to know the unconditioned desires that it should not concern him, and that this same something should be of no concern to anyone. This involves a contradiction, first, between wanting to know and the desire that it not concern us (but why know at all, then?) and, secondly, because something that is of no concern to anyone IS not at all, and thus cannot be known at all.--

Coming to know means "to place oneself in a conditional relation to something"; to feel oneself conditioned by something and oneself to condition it--it is therefore under all circumstances establishing, denoting, and making-conscious of conditions (not forthcoming entities, things, what is "in-itself").

556 (1885-1886)

A "thing-in-itself" just as perverse as a "sense-in-itself," a "meaning-in-itself." There are no "facts-in-themselves," for a sense must always be projected into them before there can be "facts."

The question "what is that?" is an imposition of meaning from some other viewpoint. "Essence," the "essential nature," is something perspective and already presupposes a multiplicity. At the bottom of it there always lies "what is that for me?" (for us, for all that lives, etc.)

A thing would be defined once all creatures had asked "what is that?" and had answered their question. Supposing one single creature, with its own relationships and perspectives for all things, were missing, then the thing would not yet be "defined".

In short: the essence of a thing is only an opinion about the "thing." Or rather: "it is considered" as the real "it is," the sole "this is."

One may not ask: "who then interprets?" for the interpretation itself is a form of the will to power, it exists (but not as a "being,' but as a process, a becoming) as an affect.

The origin of "things" is wholly the work of that which imagines, thinks, wills, feels. The concept "thing" itself just as much as all its qualities.--Even "the subject" is such a created entity, a "thing" like all others: a simplification with the object of defining the force which posits, invents, thinks, as distinct from all individual positing, inventing, thinking as such. Thus a capacity as distinct from all that is individual--fundamentally, action collectively considered with respect to all anticipated actions (action and the probability of similar actions).

557 (1885-1886)

The properties of a thing are effects on other "things": if one removes other "things," then a thing has no properties, i.e., there is no thing without other things, i.e., there is no "thing-in-itself."

558 (Spring-Fall 1887)

The "thing-in-itself" nonsensical. If I remove all the relationships, all the "properties," all the "activities" of a thing, the thing does not remain over; because thingness has only been invented by us owing to the requirements of logic, thus with the aim of defining, communication (to bind together the multiplicity of relationships, properties, activities).

559 (Nov. 1887-March 1888)

"Things that have a constitution in themselves"--a dogm idea with which one must break absolutely.

560 (Spring-Fall 1887)

That things possess a constitution in themselves quite apart from interpretation and subjectivity, is a quite idle hypothesis: it presupposes that interpretation and subjectivity are not essential, that a thing freed from all relationships would still be a thing.

Conversely, the apparent objective character of things: could it not be merely a difference of degree within the subjective?--that perhaps that which changes slowly presents itself to us as "objectively" enduring, being, "in-itself"--that the objective is only a false concept of a genus and an antithesis within the subjective?

561 (1885-1886)

Suppose all unity were unity only as an organization? But the "thing" in which we believe was only invented as a foundation for the various attributes. If the thing "effects," that means: we conceive all the other properties which are present and momentarily latent, as the cause of the emergence of one single property; i.e., we take the sum of its properties--"x"--as cause of the property "x": which is utterly stupid and mad!

All unity is unity only as organization and co-operation--just as a human community is a unity--as opposed to an atomistic anarchy, as a pattern of domination that signifies a unity but is not a unity.

562 (1883-1888)

"In the development of thought a point had to be reached at which one realized that what one called the properties of things were sensations of the feeling subject: at this point the properties ceased to belong to the thing." The "thing-in-itself" remained. The distinction between the thing-in-itself and the thing-for-us is based on the older, naive form of perception which granted energy to things; but analysis revealed that even force was only projected into them, and likewise--substance. "The thing affects a subject"? Root of the idea of substance in language, not in beings outside us! The thing-in-itself is no problem at all!

Beings will have to be thought of as sensations that are no longer based on something devoid of sensation.

In motion, no new content is given to sensation. That which IS, cannot contain motion: therefore it is a form of being.

N.B. The explanation of an event can be sought firstly: through mental images of the event that precede it (aims);

secondly: through mental images that succeed it (the mathematical-physical explanation).

One should not confuse the two. Thus: the physical explanation, which is a symbolization of the world by means of sensation and thought, can in itself never account for the origin of sensation and thought; rather physics must construe the world of feeling consistently as lacking feeling and aim--right up to the highest human being. And teleology is only a history of purposes and never physical!

563 (1886-1887)

Our "knowing" limits itself to establishing quantities; but we cannot help feeling these differences in quantity as qualities. Quality is a perspective truth for us; not an "in-itself."

Our senses have a definite quantum as a mean within which they function; i.e., we sense bigness and smallness in relation to the conditions of our existence. If we sharpened or blunted our senses tenfold, we should perish; i.e., with regard to making possible our existence we sense even relations between magnitudes as qualities.

564 (1885-1886)

Might all quantities not be signs of qualities? A greater power implies a different consciousness, feeling, desiring, a different perspective; growth itself is a desire to be more; the desire for an increase in quantum grows from a quale; in a purely quantitative world everything would be dead, stiff, motionless.-- The reduction of all qualities to quantities is nonsense: what appears is that the one accompanies the other, an analogy--

565 (Fall 1886)

Qualities are insurmountable barriers for us; we cannot help feeling that mere quantitative differences are something fundamentally distinct from quantity, namely that they are qualities which can no longer be reduced to one another. But everything for which the word "knowledge" makes any sense refers to the domain of reckoning. weighing, measuring, to the domain of quantity; while, on the other hand, all our sensations of value (i.e., simply our sensations) adhere precisely to qualities, i.e., to our perspective "truths" which belong to us alone and can by no means be "known"! It is obvious that every creature different from us senses different qualities and consequently lives in a different world from that in which we live. Qualities are an idiosyncrasy peculiar to man; to demand that our human interpretations and values should be universal and perhaps constitutive values is one of the hereditary madnesses of human pride.

566 (Nov. 1887-March 1888)

The "real world," however one has hitherto conceived it, it has always been the apparent world once again.

567 (March-June 1888)

The apparent world, i.e., a world viewed according to values; ordered, selected according to values, i.e., in this case according to the viewpoint of utility in regard to the preservation and enhancement of the power of a certain species of animal.

The perspective therefore decides the character of the "appearance"! As if a world would still remain over after one deducted the perspective! By doing that one would deduct relativity!

Every center of force adopts a perspective toward the entire remainder, i.e., its own particular valuation, mode of action, and mode of resistance. The "apparent world," therefore, is reduced to a specific mode of action on the world, emanating from a center.

Now there is no other mode of action whatever; and the "world" is only a word for the totality of these actions. Reality consists precisely in this particular action and reaction of every individual part toward the whole--

No shadow of a right remains to speak here of appearance--

The specific mode of reacting is the only mode of reacting; we do not know how many and what kinds of other modes there are.

But there is no "other," no "true," no essential being--for this would be the expression of a world without action and reaction--

The antithesis of the apparent world and the true world reduced to the antithesis "world" and "nothing."--

568 (March-June 1888)

Critique of the concept "true and apparent world."-- Of these, the first is a mere fiction, constructed of fictitious entities.

"Appearance" itself belongs to reality: it is a form of its being; i.e., in a world where there is no being, a certain calculable world of identical cases must first be created through appearance: a tempo at which observation and comparison are possible, etc.

Appearance is an arranged and simplified world, at which our practical instincts have been at work; it is perfectly true for us; that is to say, we live, we are able to live in it: proof of its truth for us--

The world, apart from our condition of living in it, the world that we have not reduced to our being, our logic and psychological prejudices, does not exist as a world "in-itself"; it is essentially a world of relationships; under certain conditions it has a differing aspect from every point; its being is essentially different from every point; it presses upon every point, every point resists it--and the sum of these is in every case quite incongruent.

The measure of power determines what being possesses the other measure of power; in what form, force, constraint it acts or resists.

Our particular case is interesting enough: we have produced a conception in order to be able to live in a world, in order to perceive just enough to endure it--

569 (Spring-Fall 1887)

Our psychological perspective is determined by the following: 1. that communication is necessary, and that for there to be communication something has to be firm, simplified, capable of precision (above all in the [so-called] identical case). For it to be communicable, however, it must be experienced as adapted, as "recognizable." The material of the senses adapted by the understanding, reduced to rough outlines, made similar, subsumed under related matters. Thus the fuzziness and chaos of sense impressions are, as it were, logicized;

2. the world of "phenomena" is the adapted world which we feel to be real. The "reality" lies in the continual recurrence of identical, familiar, related things in their logicized character, in the belief that here we are able to reckon and calculate;

3. the antithesis of this phenomenal world is not "the true world," but the formless unformulable world of the chaos of sensations--another kind of phenomenal world, a kind "unknowable" for us;

4. questions, what things "in-themselves" may be like, apart from our sense receptivity and the activity of our understanding, must be rebutted with the question: how could we know that things exist? "Thingness" was first created by us. The question is whether there could not be many other ways of creating such an apparent world--and whether this creating, logicizing, adapting, falsifying is not itself the best-guaranteed reality; in short, whether that which "posits things" is not the sole reality; and whether the "effect of the external world upon us" is not also only the result of such active subjects--The other "entities" act upon us; our adapted apparent world is an adaptation and overpowering of their actions; a kind of defensive measure. The subject alone is demonstrable; hypothesis that only subjects exist--that "object" is only a kind of effect produced by a subject upon a subject a modus of the subject.

10. Metaphysical Need

570 (Nov. 1887-March 1888)

If one is a philosopher as men have always been philosophers, one cannot see what has been and becomes--one sees only what is. But since nothing is, all that was left to the philosopher as his "world" was the imaginary.

571 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888)

To assert the existence as a whole of things of which we know nothing whatever, precisely because there is an advantage in not being able to know anything of them, was a piece of naivete of Kant, resulting from needs, mainly moral-metaphysical.

572 (1883-1888)

An artist cannot endure reality, he looks away from it, back: he seriously believes that the value of a thing resides in that shadowy residue one derives from colors, form, sound, ideas, he believes that the more subtilized, attenuated, transient a thing or a man is, the more valuable he becomes; the less real, the more valuable. This is Platonism, which, however, involved yet another bold reversal: Plato measured the degree of reality by the degree of value and said: The more "Idea", the more being. He reversed the concept "reality" and said: "What you take for real is an error, and the nearer we approach the 'Idea', the nearer we approach 'truth'. "--Is this understood? It was the greatest of rebaptisms; and because it has been adopted by Christianity we do not recognize how astonishing it is. Fundamentally, Plato, as the artist he was, preferred appearance to being! lie and invention to truth! the unreal to the actual! But he was so convinced of the value of appearance that he gave it the attributes "being","causality" and "goodness", and "truth", in short everything men value.

The concept of value itself considered as a cause: first insight. The ideal granted all honorific attributes: second insight.

573 (Jan.-Fall 1888)

The idea of the "true world" or of "God" as absolutely immaterial, spiritual, good, is an emergency measure necessary while the opposite instincts are still all-powerful--

The degree of moderation and humanity attained is exactly reflected in the humanization of the gods: the Greeks of the strongest epoch, who were not afraid of themselves but rejoiced in themselves, brought their gods close to all their own affects--.

The spiritualization of the idea of God is therefore far from being a sign of progress: one is heartily conscious of this when considering Goethe--in his case, the vaporization of God into virtue and spirit is felt as being on a coarser level--

574 (1883-1888)

Senselessness of all metaphysics as the derivation of the conditioned from the unconditioned.

It is in the nature of thinking that it thinks of and invents the unconditioned as an adjunct to the conditioned; just as it thought of and invented the "ego" as an adjunct to the multiplicity of its processes; it measures the world according to magnitudes posited by itself--such fundamental fictions as "the unconditional","ends and means'',"things","substances", logical laws, numbers and forms.

There would be nothing that could be called knowledge if thought did not first re-form the world in this way into "things", into what is self-identical. Only because there is thought is there untruth.

Thought cannot be derived, any more than sensations can be; but that does not mean that its primordiality or "being-in-itself" has been proved! all that is established is that we cannot get beyond it, because we have nothing but thought and sensation.

575 (1885-1886)

"Knowledge" is a referring back: in its essence a regressus in infinitum. That which comes to a standstill (at a supposed causa prima, at something unconditioned, etc.) is laziness, weariness

576 (1883-1888)

Psychology of metaphysics: the influence of timidity.

That which has been feared the most, the cause of the most powerful suffering (lust to rule, sex, etc.), has been treated by men with the greatest amount of hostility and eliminated from the "true" world. Thus they have eliminated the affects one by one --posited God as the antithesis of evil, that is, placed reality in the negation of the desires and affects (i.e., in nothingness).

In the same way, they have hated the irrational, the arbitrary, the accidental (as the causes of immeasurable physical suffering). As a consequence, they negated this element in being-in-itself and conceived it as absolute "rationality" and "purposiveness."

In the same way, they have feared change, transitoriness: this expresses a straitened soul, full of mistrust and evil experiences (the case of Spinoza: an opposite kind of man would account change a stimulus).

A creature overloaded and playing with force would call precisely the affects, irrationality, and change good in a eudaemonistic sense, together with their consequences: danger, contrast, perishing, etc.

577 (Spring-Fall 1887)

Against the value of that which remains eternally the same (vice Spinoza's naivete; Descartes' also), the values of the briefest and most transient, the seductive flash of gold on the belly of the serpent vita--

578 (Spring-Fall 1887)

Moral values even in theory of knowledge: trust in reason--why not mistrust? the "true world" is supposed to be the good world--why? appearance, change, contradiction, struggle devalued as immoral; desire for a world in which these things are missing; the transcendental world invented, in order that a place remains for "moral freedom" (in Kant); dialectic a way to virtue (in Plato and Socrates: evidently because Sophistry counted as the way to immorality); time and space ideal: consequently "unity" in the essence of things; consequently no "sin," no evil, no imperfection --a justification of God; Epicurus denied the possibility of knowledge, in order to retain moral (or hedonistic) values as the highest values. Augustine, later Pascal ("corrupted reason"), did the same for the benefit of Christian values; Descartes' contempt for everything that changes; also that of Spinoza

579 (1883-1888)

Psychology of metaphysics.--This world is apparent: consequently there is a true world;--this world is conditional: consequently there is an unconditioned world;--this world is full of contradiction: consequently there is a world free of contradiction;-- this world is a world of becoming: consequently there is a world of being:--all false conclusions (blind trust in reason: if A exists, then the opposite concept B must also exist). It is suffering that inspires these conclusions: fundamentally they are desires that such a world should exist; in the same way, to imagine another, more valuable world is an expression of hatred for a world that makes one suffer: the ressentiment of metaphysicians against actuality is here creative.

Second series of questions: for what is there suffering?--and from this a conclusion is derived concerning the relation of the true world to our apparent, changing, suffering, contradictory world: (1) Suffering as a consequence of error: how is error possible? (2) Suffering as a consequence of guilt: how is guilt possible? (--experiences derived from nature or society universalized and projected to the sphere of "in-itself"). If, however, the conditioned world is causally conditioned by the unconditioned world, then freedom to err and incur guilt must also be conditioned by it: and again one asks, what for?--The world of appearance, becoming, contradiction, suffering, is therefore willed: what for?

The error in these conclusions: two opposite concepts are constructed--because one of them corresponds to a reality, the other "must" also correspond to a reality. "Whence should one derive this opposite concept if this were not so?"--Reason is thus a source of revelation concerning being-in-itself.

But the origin of these antitheses need not necessarily go back to a supernatural source of reason: it is sufficient to oppose to it the real genesis of the concepts. This derives from the practical sphere, the sphere of utility; hence the strength of the faith it inspires (one would perish if one did not reason according to this mode of reason; but this is no "proof" of what it asserts).

The preoccupation with suffering on the part of metaphysicians--is quite naive. "Eternal bliss": psychological nonsense. Brave and creative men never consider pleasure and pain as ultimate values--they are epiphenomena: one must desire both if one is to achieve anything--. That they see the problem of pleasure and pain in the foreground reveals something weary and sick in metaphysicians and religious people. Even morality is so important to them only because they see in it an essential condition for the abolition of suffering.

In the same way, their preoccupation with appearance and error: cause of suffering, superstition that happiness attends truth (confusion: happiness in "certainty", in "faith").

580 (Spring-Fall 1887)

To what extent the basic epistemological positions (materialism, idealism) are consequences of evaluations: the source of the supreme feelings of pleasure ("feelings of value") as decisive also for the problem of reality!

--The measure of positive knowledge is quite subsidiary or a matter of indifference: as witness the development of India.

The Buddhistic negation of reality in general (appearance = suffering) is perfectly consistent: undemonstrability, inaccessibility, lack of categories not only for a "'world-in-itself," but an insight into the erroneous procedures by means of which this whole concept is arrived at. "Absolute reality," "being-in-itself" a contradiction. In a world of becoming, "reality" is always only a simplification for practical ends, or a deception through the coarseness of organs, or a variation in the tempo of becoming.

Logical world-denial and nihilation follow from the fact that we have to oppose non-being with being and that the concept "becoming" is denied. ("Something" becomes.)

581 (Spring-Fall 1887)

Being and becoming.--"Reason", evolved on a sensualistic basis, on the prejudices of the senses, i.e., in the belief in the truth of the judgments of the senses.

"Being" as universalization of the concept "life" (breathing), "having a soul", "willing, effecting," "becoming".

The antithesis is: "not to have a soul," "not to become," "not to will." Therefore: "being" is not the antithesis of non-being, appearance, nor even of the dead (for only something that can live can be dead).

The "soul," the "ego" posited as primeval fact, and introduced everywhere where there is any becoming.

582 (1885-1887)

Being--we have no idea of it apart from the idea of "living."-- How can anything dead "be"?

583 (March-June 1888)

( A )

I observe with astonishment that science has today resigned itself to the apparent world; a real world--whatever it may be like--we certainly have no organ for knowing it.

At this point we may ask: by means of what organ of knowledge can we posit even this antithesis?--

That a world accessible to our organs is also understood to be dependent upon these organs, that we understand a world as being subjectively conditioned, is not to say that an objective world is at all possible. Who compels us to think that subjectivity is real, essential?

The "in-itself" is even an absurd conception; a "constitutioning-itself" is nonsense; we possess the concept "being," "thing," only as a relational concept--

The worst thing is that with the old antithesis "apparent" and "true" the correlative value judgment "lacking in value" and "absolutely valuable" has developed.

The apparent world is not counted as a "valuable" world; appearance is supposed to constitute an objection to supreme value. Only a "true" world can be valuable in itself--

Prejudice of prejudices! Firstly, it would be possible that the true constitution of things was so hostile to the presuppositions of life, so opposed to them, that we needed appearance in order to be able to live--After all, this is the case in so many situations; e.g., in marriage.

Our empirical world would be determined by the instincts of self-preservation even as regards the limits of its knowledge: we would regard as true, good, valuable that which serves the preservation of the species--

a. We possess no categories by which we can distinguish a true from an apparent world. (There might only be an apparent world, but not our apparent world.)

b. Assuming the true world, it could still be a world less valuable for us; precisely the quantum of illusion might be of a higher rank on account of its value for our preservation. (Unless appearance as such were grounds for condemnation?)

c. That a correlation exists between degrees of value and degrees of reality (so that the supreme values also possess the supreme reality) is a metaphysical postulate proceeding from the presupposition that we know the order of rank of values; namely, that this order of rank is a moral order--Only with this presupposition is truth necessarily part of the definition of all the highest values.

( B )

It is of cardinal importance that one should abolish the true world. It is the great inspirer of doubt and devaluator in respect of the world we are: it has been our most dangerous attempt yet to assassinate life.

War on all presuppositions on the basis of which one has invented a true world. Among these is the presupposition that moral values are the supreme values.

The supremacy of moral valuation would be refuted if it could be shown to be the consequence of an immoral valuation --as a special case of actual immorality--it would thus reduce itself to an appearance, and as appearance it would cease to have any right as such to condemn appearance.

( C )

The "will to truth" would then have to be investigated psychologically: it is not a moral force, but a form of the will to power. This would have to be proved by showing that it employs every immoral means: metaphysicians above all.

We are today faced with testing the assertion that moral values are the supreme values. Method in investigation is attained only when all moral prejudices have been overcome:--it represents a victory over morality--

584 (March-June 1888)

The aberration of philosophy is that, instead of seing in logic and the categories of reason means toward the adjustment of the world for utilitarian ends (basically, toward an expedient falsification), one believed one possessed in them the criterion of truth and reality. The "criterion of truth" was in fact merely the biological utility of such a system of systematic falsification; and since a species of animals knows of nothing more important than its own preservation, one might indeed be permitted to speak here of "truth." The naivete was to take an anthropocentric idiosyncrasy as the measure of things, as the rule for determining "real" and "unreal": in short, to make absolute something conditioned. And behold, suddenly the world fell apart into a "true" world and an "apparent" world: and precisely the world that man's reason had devised for him to live and settle in was discredited. Instead of employing the forms as a tool for making the world manageable and calculable, the madness of philosophers divined that in these categories is presented the concept of that world to which the one in which man lives does not correspond--The means were misunderstood as measures of value, even as a condemnation of their real intention--

The intention was to deceive oneself in a useful way; the means, the invention of formulas and signs by means of which one could reduce the confusing multiplicity to a purposive and manageable schema.

But alas! now a moral category was brought into play: no creature wants to deceive itself, no creature may deceive--consequently there is only a will to truth. What is "truth"?

The law of contradiction provided the schema: the true world, to which one seeks the way, cannot contradict itself, cannot change, cannot become, has no beginning and no end.

This is the greatest error that has ever been committed, the essential fatality of error on earth: one believed one possessed a criterion of reality in the forms of reason--while in fact one possessed them in order to become master of reality, in order to misunderstand reality in a shrewd manner--

And behold: now the world became false, and precisely on account of the properties that constitute its reality: change, becoming, multiplicity, opposition, contradiction, war. And then the entire fatality was there:

1. How can one get free from the false, merely apparent world? (--it was the real, the only )

2. how can one become oneself as much as possible the antithesis of the character of the apparent world? (Concept of the perfect creature as an antithesis to the real creature; more clearly, as the contradiction of life--)

The whole tendency of values was toward slander of life; one created a confusion of idealist dogmatism and knowledge in general: so that the opposing party also was always attacking science

The road to science was in this way doubly blocked: once by belief in the "true" world, and again by the opponents of this belief. Natural science, psychology was (1) condemned with regard to its objects, (2) deprived of its innocence--

In the actual world, in which everything is bound to and conditioned by everything else, to condemn and think away anything means to condemn and think away everything. The expression "that should not be," "that should not have been," is farcical-- If one thinks out the consequences, one would ruin the source of life if one wanted to abolish whatever was in some respect harmful or destructive. Physiology teaches us better!

--We see how morality (a) poisons the entire conception of the world, (b) cuts off the road to knowledge, to science, (c) disintegrates and undermines all actual instincts (in that it teaches that their roots are immoral).

We see at work before us a dreadful tool of decadence that props itself up by the holiest names and attitudes.

585 (Spring-Fall 1887; rev. Spring-Fall 1888)

Tremendous self-examination: becoming conscious of oneself, not as individuals but as mankind. Let us reflect, let us think back; let us follow the highways and byways!

( A )

Man seeks "the truth": a world that is not self-contradictory, not deceptive, does not change, a true world--a world in which one does not suffer; contradiction, deception, change--causes of suffering! He does not doubt that a world as it ought to be exists; he would like to seek out the road to it. (Indian critique: e.g. the "ego" as apparent, as not real.)

Whence does man here derive the concept reality--Why is it that he derives suffering from change, deception, contradiction? and why not rather his happiness?--

Contempt, hatred for all that perishes, changes, varies-- whence comes this valuation of that which remains constant? Obviously, the will to truth is here merely the desire for a world of the constant.

The senses deceive, reason corrects the errors; consequently, one concluded, reason is the road to the constant; the least sensual ideas must be closest to the "true world."--It is from the senses that most misfortunes come--they are deceivers, deluders, destroyers.--

Happiness can be guaranteed only by being; change and happiness exclude one another. The highest desire therefore contemplates unity with what has being. This is the formula for: the road to the highest happiness.

In summa: the world as it ought to be exists; this world, in which we live, is an error--this world of ours ought not to exist.

Belief in what has being is only a consequence: the real primum mobile is disbelief in becoming, mistrust of becoming, the low valuation of all that becomes--

What kind of man reflects in this way? An unproductive, suffering kind, a kind weary of life. If we imagine the opposite kind of man, he would not need to believe in what has being; more, he would despise it as dead, tedious, indifferent--

The belief that the world as it ought to be is, really exists, is a belief of the unproductive who do not desire to create a world as it ought to be. They posit it as already available, they seek ways and means of reaching it. "Will to truth"--as the impotence of the will to create.

To know that something is thus and thus:

To act so that something becomes thus and thus:

Antagonism in the degree of power in different natures.

The fiction of a world that corresponds to our desires: psychological trick and interpretation with the aim of associating everything we honor and find pleasant with this true world.

"Will to truth" at this stage is essentially an art of interpretation: which at least requires the power to interpret.

This same species of man, grown one stage poorer, no longer possessing the strength to interpret, to create fictions, produces nihilists. A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning: the pathos of "in vain" is the nihilists' pathos--at the same time, as pathos, an inconsistency on the part of the nihilists.

Whoever is incapable of laying his will into things, lacking will and strength, at least lays some meaning into them, i.e., the faith that there is a will in them already.

It is a measure of the degree of strength of will to what extent one can do without meaning in things, to what extent one can endure to live in a meaningless world because one organizes a small portion of it oneself.

The philosophical objective outlook can therefore be a sign that will and strength are small. For strength organizes what is close and closest; "men of knowledge," who desire only to ascertain what is, are those who cannot fix anything as it ought to be.

Artists, an intermediary species: they at least fix an image of that which ought to be; they are productive, to the extent that they actualy alter and transform; unlike men of knowledge, who leave everything as it is.

Connection between philosophers and the pessimistic religions: the same species of man (--they ascribe the highest degree of reality to the most highly valued things--).

Connection between philosophers and moral men and their evaluations (--the moral interpretation of the world as meaning: after the decline of the religious meaning--).

Overcoming of philosophers through the destruction of the world of being: intermediary period of nihilism: before there is yet present the strength to reverse values and to deïfy becoming and the apparent world as the only world, and to call them good.

( B )

Nihilism as a normal phenomenon can be a symptom of increasing strength or of increasing weakness:

partly, because the strength to create, to will, has so increased that it no longer requires these total interpretations and introductions of meaning ("present tasks," the state, etc.);

partly because even the creative strength to create meaning has declined and disappointment becomes the dominant condition. The incapability of believing in a "meaning," "unbelief."

What does science mean in regard to both possibilities?

1. As a sign of strength and self-control, as being able to do without healing, comforting worlds of illusion;

2. as undermining, dissecting, disappointing, weakening.

( C )

Belief in truth, the need to have a hold on something believed true, psychological reduction apart from all previous value feelings. Fear, laziness.

The same way, unbelief: reduction. To what extent it acquires a new value if a true world does not exist (--thus the value feelings that hitherto have been squandered on the world of being, are again set free).

586 (March-June 1888)

The "True" and the "Apparent World"

( A )

The seductions that occur from this concept are of three kinds

a. an unknown world:--we are adventurers, inquisitive-- that which is known seems to weary us (--the danger of this Concept lies in its insinuation that "this" world is known to us--);

b. another world, where things are different; something in us calculates, our still submission, our silence, lose their value-- perhaps everything will turn out well, we have not hoped in vain --the world where things are different, where we ourselves-- who knows?--are different--

c. a true world: this is the most amazing trick and attack that has ever been perpetrated upon us; so much has become encrusted in the word "true," and involuntarily we make a present of all this to the "true world": the true world must also be a truthful world, one that does not deceive us, does not make fools of us: to believe in it is virtually to be compelled to believe in it (--out of decency, as is the case among people worthy of confidence--).

The concept "the unknown world" insinuates that this world is "known" to us (is tedious--);

the concept "another world" insinuates that the world could be otherwise--abolishes necessity and fate (useless to submit oneself--to adapt oneself--);

the concept "the true world" insinuates that this world is untruthful, deceptive, dishonest, inauthentic, inessential--and consequently also not a world adapted to our needs (--inadvisable to adapt oneself to it; better to resist it).

We therefore elude "this" world in three ways:

a. by our inquisitiveness--as if the more interesting part were elsewhere;

b. by our submission--as though it were not necessary to submit oneself--as if this world were not a necessity of the ultimate rank:

c. by our sympathy and respect--as if this world did not deserve them, were impure, were not honest with us--

In summa: we have revolted in three ways: we have made an "x" into a critique of the "known world."

( B )

First step toward sobriety: to grasp to what extent we have been seduced--for things could be exactly the reverse:

a. the unknown world could be a stupid and meaner form of existence--and "this" world might be rather enjoyable by comparison;

b. the other world, far from taking account of our desires which would find no fulfillment in it, could be among the mass of things that make this world possible for us: to get to know it might be a means of making us contented;

c. the true world: but who is it really who tells us that the apparent world must be of less value than the true one? Does our instinct not contradict this judgment? Does man not eternally create a fictitious world for himself because he wants a better world than reality? Above all: how do we arrive at the idea that our world is not the true world?--it could be that the other world is the "apparent" one (in fact the Greeks thought of, e.g., a shadow kingdom, an apparent existence, beside true existence). And finally: what gives us the right to posit, as it were, degrees of reality? This is something different from an unknown world-- it is already a wanting to know something of the unknown-- The "other," the "unknown" world--very good! But to say "true world" means "to know something of it"--That is the opposite of the assumption of an "x" world--

In summa: the world "x" could be in every sense more tedious, less human, and less worthy than this world.

It would be another thing to assert the existence of "x" worlds, i.e., of every possible world besides this one. But this has never been asserted--

( C )

Problem: why the notion of another world has always been unfavorable for, or critical of "this" world--what does this indicate?--

For a people proud of itself, whose life is ascending, always thinks of another kind of being as a lower, less valuable kind of being; it regards the strange, the unknown world as its enemy, as its opposite; it feels no inquisitiveness, it totally rejects the strange--A people would never admit that another people was the "true people."--

It is symptomatic that such a distinction should be at all possible--that one takes this world for the "apparent" one and the other world as "true."

The places of origin of the notion of "another world": the philosopher, who invents a world of reason, where reason and the logical functions are adequate: this is the origin of the "true" world;

the religious man, who invents a "divine world": this is the origin of the "denaturalized, anti- natural" world;

the moral man, who invents a "free world": this is the origin of the "good, perfect, just, holy" world.

What the three places of origin have in common: the psycho-logical blunder, the physiological confusions.

By what attributes is the "other world," as it actually appears in history, distinguished? By the stigmata of philosophical, religious, moral prejudice.

The "other world," as illumined by these facts, as a synonym for nonbeing, nonliving, not wanting to live--

General insight: it is the instinct of life-weariness, and not that of life, which has created the "other world."

Consequence: philosophy, religion, and morality are symptoms of decadence.

11. Biological Value of Knowledge

587 (1885-1886)

It might seem as though I had evaded the question of "certainty." The opposite is true; but by inquiring after the criterion of certainty I tested the scales upon which men have weighed in general hitherto--and that the question of certainty itself is a dependent question, a question of the second rank.

588 (1883-1886)

The question of values is more fundamental than the question of certainty: the latter becomes serious only by presupposing that the value question has already been answered.

Being and appearance, psychologically considered, yield no "being-in-itself,, no criterion of "reality," but only for grades of appearance measured by the strength of the interest we show in an appearance.

There is no struggle for existence between ideas and perceptions but a struggle for dominion: the idea that is overcome is not annihilated, only driven back or subordinated. There is no annihilation in the sphere of spirit--

589 (1885-1886)

"Ends and means"
"Cause and effect"
"Subject and object"
"Acting and suffering"
"Thing-in-itself and appearance"

as interpretations (not as facts) and to what extent perhaps necessary interpretations? (as required for "preservation")--all in the sense of a will to power.

590 (1885-1886)

Our values are interpreted into things. Is there then any meaning in the in-itself? ! Is meaning not necessarily relative meaning and perspective? All meaning is will to power (all relative meaning resolves itself into it).

591 (1885)

The desire for "solid facts" epistemology: how much pessimism there is in it!

592 (1883-1888)

The antagonism between the "true world," as revealed by pessimism, and a world possible for life--here one must test the rights of truth. It is necessary to measure the meaning of all these "ideal drives" against life to grasp what this antagonism really is: the struggle of sickly, despairing life that cleaves to a beyond, with healthier, more stupid and mendacious, richer, less degenerate life. Therefore it is not "truth" in struggle with life but one kind of life in struggle with another.--But it wants to be the higher kind!-- Here one must demonstrate the need for an order of rank--that the first problem is the order of rank of different kinds of life,

593 (1885-1886)

To transform the belief "it is thus and thus" into the will "it shall become thus and thus."

12. Science

594 (1883-1888)

Science--this has been hitherto a way of putting an end to the complete confusion in which things exist, by hypotheses that "explain" everything--so it has come from the intellect's dislike of chaos.--This same dislike seizes me when I consider myself: I should like to form an image of the inner world too, by means of some schema, and thus triumph over intellectual confusion. Morality has been a simplification of this kind: it taught that men were known, familiar.--Now we have destroyed morality--we have again become completely obscure to ourselves! I know that I know nothing of myself. Physics proves to be a boon for the heart: science (as the way to knowledge) acquires a new charm after morality has been eliminated--and because it is here alone that we find consistency, we have to construct our life so as to preserve it. This yields a sort of practical reflection on the conditions of our existence as men of knowledge.

595 (1884)

Our presuppositions: no God: no purpose: finite force. Let us guard against thinking out and prescribing the mode of thought necessary to lesser men!!

596 (1886-1887)

No "moral education" of the human race: but an enforced schooling in [scientific] errors is needed, because "truth" disgusts and makes one sick of life--unless man is already irrevocably launched upon his path and has taken his honest insight upon himself with a tragic pride.

597 (1886-1887)

The presupposition of scientific work: belief in the unity and perpetuity of scientific work, so the individual may work at any part, however small, confident that his work will not be in vain.

There is one great paralysis: to work in vain, to struggle in vain.

The accumulative epochs, in which force and means of power are discovered that the future will one day make use of; science an intermediary station, at which the more intermediary, more multifarious, more complicated natures find their most natural discharge and satisfaction--all those who should avoid action.

598 (Nov. 1887-March 1888)

A philosopher recuperates differently and with different means: he recuperates, e.g., with nihilism. Belief that there is no truth at all, the nihilistic belief, is a great relaxation for one who, as a warrior of knowledge, is ceaselessly fighting ugly truths. For truth is ugly.

599 (1885-1886)

The "meaninglessness of events": belief in this is the consequence of an insight into the falsity of previous interpretations, a generalization of discouragement and weakness--not a necessary belief.

The immodesty of man: to deny meaning where he sees none.

600 (1885-1886)

No limit to the ways in which the world can be interpreted; every interpretation a symptom of growth or of decline.

Inertia needs unity (monism); plurality of interpretations a sign of strength. Not to desire to deprive the world of its disturbing and enigmatic character!

601 (1885-1886)

Against peaceableness and the desire for reconciliation. The attempt at monism belongs here.

602 (1884)

This perspective world, this world for the eye, tongue, and ear, is very false, even if compared for a very much more subtle sense-apparatus. But its intelligibility, comprehensibility, practicability, and beauty begin to cease if we refine our senses; just as beauty ceases when we think about historical processes; the order of purpose is already an illusion. It suffices that the more superficially and coarsely it is conceived, the more valuable, definite, beautiful, and significant the world appears. The deeper one looks, the more our valuations disappear--meaninglessness approaches! We have created the world that possesses values! Knowing this, we know, too, that reverence for truth is already the consequence of an illusion--and that one should value more than truth the force that forms, simplifies, shapes, invents.

"Everything is false! Everything is permitted!"

Only with a certain obtuseness of vision, a will to simplicity, does the beautiful, the "valuable" appear: in itself, it is I know not what.

603 (1885)

That the destruction of an illusion does not produce truth-- but only one more piece of ignorance, an extension of our "empty space, an increase of our "desert"--

604 ( 1885-1886)

"Interpretation," the introduction of meaning not "explanation" (in most cases a new interpretation over an old interpretation that has become incomprehensible, that is now itself only a sign). There are no facts, everything is in flux, incomprehensible, elusive; what is relatively most enduring is--our opinions.

605 (Spring-Fall 1887)

The ascertaining of "truth" and "untruth," the ascertaining of facts in general, is fundamentally different from creative positing, from forming, shaping, overcoming, willing, such as is of the essence of philosophy. To introduce a meaning--this task still remains to be done, assuming there is no meaning yet. Thus it is with sounds, but also with the fate of peoples: they are capable of the most different interpretations and direction toward different goals.

On a yet higher level is to posit a goal and mold facts according to it; that is, active interpretation and not merely conceptual translation.

606 (1885-1886)

Ultimately, man finds in things nothing but what he himself has imported into them: the finding is called science, the importing --art, religion, love, pride. Even if this should be a piece of childishness, one should carry on with both and be well disposed toward both--some should find; others--we others!--should import!

607 (Spring-Fall 1886)

Science: its two sides: in regard to the individual; in regard to the cultural complex (level);

--valuations from one side or the other are mutually antagonistic.

608 (1886-1887)

The development of science resolves the "familiar" more and more into the unfamiliar:--it desires, however, the reverse, and proceeds from the instinct to trace the unfamiliar back to the familiar.

In summa, science is preparing a sovereign ignorance, a feeling that there is no such thing as "knowing," that it was a kind of arrogance to dream of it, more, that we no longer have the least notion that warrants our considering "knowledge" even a possibility--that "knowing" itself is a contradictory idea. We translate a primeval mythology and vanity of mankind into the hard fact: "knowledge-in-itself" is as impermissible a concept as is "thing-initself." Seduction by "number and logic," seduction by "laws."

"Wisdom" as the attempt to get beyond perspective valuations (i.e., beyond the "will to power"): a principle hostile to life and decadent, a symptom as among the Indians, etc., of the weakening of the power of appropriation.

609 (1884)

It is not enough that you understand in what ignorance man and beast live; you must also have and acquire the will to ignorance. You need to grasp that without this kind of ignorance life itself would be impossible, that it is a condition under which alone the living thing can preserve itself and prosper: a great, firm dome of ignorance must encompass you.

610 (1884)

Science--the transformation of nature into concepts for the purpose of mastering nature--belongs under the rubric "means."

But the purpose and will of man must grow in the same way, the intention in regard to the whole.

611 (1883-1888)

We find that the strongest and most constantly employed faculty at all stages of life is thought--even in every act of perceiving and apparent passivity! Evidently, it thus becomes most powerful and demanding, and in the long run it tyrannizes over all other forces. Finally it becomes "passion-in-itself."

612 (Spring-Fall 1887)

To win back for the man of knowledge the right to great affects! after self-effacement and the cult of "objectivity" have created a false order of rank in this sphere, too. Error reached its peak when Schopenhauer taught: the only way to the "true," to knowledge, lies precisely in getting free from affects, from will; the intellect liberated from will cannot but see the true, real essence of things.

The same error in arte as if everything were beautiful as soon as it is viewed without will.

613 (Fall 1888)

Competition between affects and the dominion of one of the affects over the intellect.

614 (1884)

To "humanize" the world, i.e., to feel ourselves more and more masters within it--

615 (1884)

Among a higher kind of creatures, knowledge, too, will acquire new forms that are not yet needed.

616 (1885-1886)

That the value of the world lies in our interpretation (--that other interpretations than merely human ones are perhaps somewhere possible--); that previous interpretations have been perspective valuations by virtue of which we can survive in life, i.e., in the will to power, for the growth of power; that every elevation of man brings with it the overcoming of narrower interpretations; that every strengthening and increase of power opens up new perspectives and means believing in new horizons--this idea permeates my writings. The world with which we are concerned is false, i.e., is not a fact but a fable and approximation on the basis of a meager sum of observations; it is "in flux," as something in a state of becoming, as a falsehood always changing but never getting near the truth: for--there is no "truth."

617 (1883-1885)

To impose upon becoming the character of being--that is the supreme will to power.

Twofold falsification, on the part of the senses and of the spirit, to preserve a world of that which is, which abides, which is equivalent, etc.

That everything recurs is the closest approximation of a world of becoming to a world of being:--high point of the meditation.

From the values attributed to being proceed the condemnation of and discontent with becoming, after such a world of being had first been invented.

The metamorphoses of what has being (body, God, ideas, laws of nature, formulas, etc.)

"Beings" as appearance; reversal of values; appearance was that which conferred value--.

Knowledge-in-itself in a world of becoming is impossible; so how is knowledge possible? As error concerning oneself, as will to power, as will to deception.

Becoming as invention, willing, self-denial, overcoming of oneself: no subject but an action, a positing, creative, no "causes and effects."

Art as the will to overcome becoming, as "eternalization," but shortsighted, depending on the perspective: repeating in miniature, as it were, the tendency of the whole.

Regarding that which all life reveals as a diminutive formula for the total tendency; hence a new definition of the concept "life" as will to power.

Instead of "cause and effect" the mutual struggle of that which becomes, often with the absorption of one's opponent; the number of becoming elements not constant.

Uselessness of old ideals for the interpretation of the totality of events, once one knows the animal origin and utility of these ideals; all, moreover, contradictory to life.

Uselessness of the mechanistic theory--it gives the impression of meaninglessness.

The entire idealism of mankind hitherto is on the point of changing suddenly into nihilism--into the belief in absolute worthlessness, i.e., meaninglessness.

The destruction of ideals, the new desert; new arts by means of which we can endure it, we amphibians.

- Presupposition: bravery, patience, no "turning back," no haste to go forward. (N.B. Zarathustra adopts a parodistic attitude toward all former values as a consequence of his abundance.)

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