The Will to Power, Book I and II An Attempted Transvaluation of all Values

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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condemning this whole world of Becoming as an illusion,
and in discovering a world which would lie beyond it, and would be a
_real_ world. The moment, however, that man perceives that this world
has been devised only for the purpose of meeting certain psychological
needs, and that he has no right whatsoever to it, the final form of
Nihilism comes into being, which comprises _a denial of a metaphysical
world,_ and which forbids itself all belief in a _real_ world. From
this standpoint, the reality of Becoming is the only reality that
is admitted: all bypaths to back-worlds and false godheads are
abandoned--but _this world is no longer endured, although no one wishes
to disown it._

What has actually happened? The feeling of worthlessness was realised
when it was understood that neither the notion of "_Purpose_" nor
that of "_Unity_" nor that of "_Truth_" could be made to interpret
the general character of existence. Nothing is achieved or obtained
thereby; the unity which intervenes in the multiplicity of events is
entirely lacking: the character of existence is not "true," it is
_false_; there is certainly no longer any reason to believe in a _real_
world. In short, the categories, "Purpose," "Unity," "Being," by means
of which we had lent some worth to life, we have once more divorced
from it--and the world now appears _worthless_ to us....

_B._

Admitting that we have recognised the impossibility of _interpreting_
world by means of these three categories, and that from this
standpoint the world begins to be worthless to us; we must ask
ourselves whence we derived our belief in these three categories.
Let us see if it is possible to refuse to believe in them. If we can
_deprive them of their value,_ the proof that they cannot be applied to
the world, is no longer a sufficient reason for _depriving that world
of its value_.

Result: _The belief_ in the categories of reason[2] is the cause
of Nihilism--we have measured the worth of the world according to
categories _which can only be applied to a purely fictitious world._

Conclusion: All values with which we have tried, hitherto, to lend
the world some worth, from our point of view, and with which we have
therefore _deprived it of all worth_ (once these values have been
shown to be inapplicable)--all these values, are, psychologically,
the results of certain views of utility, established for the purpose
of maintaining and increasing the dominion of certain communities:
but falsely projected into the nature of things. It is always man's
_exaggerated ingenuousness_ to regard himself as the sense and measure
of all things.


[Footnote 2: This probably refers

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