- (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--
It is a beautiful passage, in which we can distinguish what held Nietzsche back from a comprehensive clarity. He still believed in, at least worked from, the duality of truth and appearance. In this way it could not become apparent to him that the value is not what derives from the truth/appearance of the world/a thing, he was not (morally) strong enough to reverse this conception, as I have done -- to arrive at the far more useful idea that value (more precisely the act of valuing) gives rise to both appearance and truth.
This is not "the truth" -- it is far more than that, it is the ground at the root of all true/false evaluation. It defines "false" as inconsistent with self-value, and commands that we take it as such! Not many of you will see the consequences of this last bit yet, but it gives a direction to the human intellect, where up until now this strange faculty on top of our ape-ness has merely been accidental, drifting, and only maturing in spite of itself.