November 21, 2010

You Can't Handle the Truth

In amongst the usual drivel on Nietzsche, I would like to insert this, from Ronald Bogue's discussion of Deleuze and Guattari: Nietzsche's "new conception of thought", via Gilles Deleuze,
is antithetical to the traditional, dogmatic image of thought in three ways.  First, the element of such a thought is not truth but meaning and value, the categories of such a thought being 'not truth and falsity but the noble and the base, the high and the low' (Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, p. 102).  Second, the enemy of such a thought is not error, a force external to thought that diverts it from its natural course, but stupidity, a base way of thinking internal to thought: 'there are imbecile thoughts, imbecile discourses, that are made up entirely of truths; but these truths are base, they are those of a base, heavy and leaden soul' (NP, p.105).  Finally, such a thought does not require method, which protects thought from error, but the violence of 'forces which take hold of thought'.  Violence must be done to thought 'as thought, a power, the force of thinking, must throw it into a becoming active' (NP, p. 108).      -- Ronald Bogue, Deleuze and Guattari, p. 19
Bogue sums up this thought by saying that "Thought is always interpretation and evaluation, and it is either noble or base, depending on the forces that seize hold of it.  When thought becomes active, it results in a joyous destruction of all that is negative and a creation of new possibilities of life" (Bogue, p. 19).  For me, it is certainly about that, but also about radical responsibility: one is ultimately responsible for one's own thought and subsequent action.  There are no truths but the ones we create, and we are ultimately responsible for what we create.

This, more than the abortion that is the general conception of his superman, is the ground zero of Nietzsche's contribution.

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