Nietzsche, Truth, and the Horror of Existence

History of Philosophy Quarterly 23 (1):41 - 58 (2006)
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Some argue that for Nietzsche there are truths and that knowledge of them is possible and desirable. Others think that Nietzsche rejects the possibility of truth and that this gives rise to problems of self-contradiction. I argue that there is truth for Nietzsche. The truth is that existence is horrible. Truth exists. We can know this truth. But it would likely mean our annihilation. Thus, truth must be avoided -- which is different from, despite the fact that it will often appear the same as, claiming that truth simply does not exist. We have through long evolution learned to avoid truth.



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Philip J. Kain
Santa Clara University

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