addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupsimageimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruseryahoo

Nietzsche 101: "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense"

"Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing."

Thus begins Nietzsche's essay "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense."  



This meetup is week 1 of a 5 part "course" whose intent is to provide a basic understanding of several key themes in Nietzsche's thought.

• wk 1: "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense"

• wk 2: "Prejudice of Philosophers" from "Beyond Good and Evil" 

• wk 3-5: "Genealogy of Morals"

The reading for week 1 is an early work.  But within this short essay can be found the beginnings for much that came after.

Let's take a look at the opening sentence:

• "Once upon a time" is an interesting way to begin a philosophical essay

• "clever beasts" is an interesting way to refer to mankind

• knowledge as "invented" is an interesting... well, you get the idea...

Other Philosophers simply don't write like this.  Perhaps one may disagree with Nietzsche's conclusions (I would not be one of them), but it would be hard to argue against Nietzsche as probably the most original, and certainly the best Stylist, of all Philosophers*.

Other questions that arise within the essay:

• why prefer the truth?

• what is a word?

We will do a close read of the text as a means to engage with the ideas through group discussion.

No prior knowledge of Nietzsche is assumed, and newcomers to Philosophy are welcome.


* Originality, of course, is not indicative of truth.  Style, however, is a different matter.

A LINK TO THE TEXT  http://imrl.usu.edu/6890/OnTruthandLies.pdf


Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    I did not find you. Was there a meetup sign?

    1 · May 7, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm not signed up for Monday.

      May 7, 2014

    • Ann

      Okay - if you decide to sign up, feel free to text me if you don't see us.

      May 7, 2014

  • Jenny T.

    Would love to go, but tired out from weekend camping trip. Have fun guys:)

    May 4, 2014

  • mariann

    As soon as he wrote about actors acting more royally than any king, I automatically thought of Plato. We can all agree that Platonism (and Christianity for that matter) is happy to have art mimic the good and the noble, but we never actually take it to task for its noble -lies-… ethics which are consequentialist, not de-ontological. "So long as it is able to deceive without injuring, that master of deception, the intellect, is free…" In the case of Plato, it is the injury to the state that is of consequence, which justifies the use of the Good.

    1 · May 1, 2014

    • Rick O.

      "justifies the use of the good" - nice.

      May 1, 2014

  • Rick O.

    "The drive toward the formation of metaphors is the fundamental human drive."
    If so, in what sense should we speak of the drive towards truth, of religion, of art, as different things. If this drive is fundamental, then would the creation of religion, science, art be from the same source? The fundamental drive is the drive to create. To be more.

    1 · May 1, 2014

    • mariann

      Nietzsche seems to distinguish between art which embodies the "human drive toward metaphor formation" (I personally like metafiction) and the artist's immediate sense-data… and religion or science which rely on dead concepts of what is "good" or "natural." The key difference here is metaphor -formation- not adherence to dead metaphors.

      May 1, 2014

    • Rick O.

      Good distinction - I like the 'dead concepts' - I would say metaphor but in this case it is not. :) If all acts of the intellect are acts of deception, then the trick isn't to get away from this, but to acknowledge it and to look at the source of the deception. In the end of the essay Nietzsche compares the "masterpiece of deception in times of misfortune" compared to the "type of man who executes his in times of happiness." This is where he admires the Greeks. Pre-Socratic Greeks, that is. Nietzsche, I think, is laying the groundwork for "the problem of Socrates" - a good topic for our discussion. This is elaborated at great length in "Birth of Tragedy" coming soon to a meetup near you!

      1 · May 1, 2014

  • mariann

    Just finished the first two pages. I love his claim that all ethics are consequentialist, that philosophers don't love the language of "truth" for the sake of truth, but because such a shared language protects us from harm and fraud. If we didn't believe truth to have a consequential good, we would be "indifferent" to it. Also, what -about- those linguistic conventions?? Where is the reality of the Word??

    1 · April 27, 2014

    • Rick O.

      If a "word is a copy in sound of a nerve stimulus" (two metaphors removed) then I would think yes, 'convention' is going down the wrong path? - But I'm not well versed in questions of language. Course that shouldn't stop me...

      May 1, 2014

    • mariann

      By linguistic conventions, I mean shared language, or a shared systems of metaphors

      May 1, 2014

  • mariann

    Cue huge tantrum! I can't come on Mondays. Fred is my favorite!

    April 24, 2014

    • Rick O.

      well, there's always the message boards in the meantime. hmm, I think I hear the grumblings of a "Nietzsche 201?"

      April 26, 2014

    • mariann

      Yes. In the meantime, before spring classes end in time for Nietzsche 201, I will participate meaningfully in message board discussions.

      April 27, 2014

  • Chad B.

    Rick, your faithful service will be recorded in CPM memory for the all-imploding infinitude of time.

    2 · April 24, 2014

14 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy