Perceiving as the activity of this culture after nihilism is artificial and perceives in works only what we — the artificial beings by nature — value. Nietzsche asks himself the question: “What does it mean ‘to perceive’?”, and answers: “To take something to be true: is to say yes to something.” Self and world cannot be played against one another, they belong together, inseparably, as reciprocal perceptive action, as Nietzsche knew: “The animal knows nothing of itself, nor does it know anything of the world.” There can be no authoritative measure in autopoetics surpassing that which created the authority to begin with. But this does not make us self-legislators in Kant‘s sense and in that of the Enlightenment, this would only be the case if we had to yield to a (universal) law of consequence. Even the self-imposed rule becomes obsolete for me at the same moment it has made its contribution to my art of living. As Nietzsche tells us: “The creator must always be a destroyer…, only the appreciation of value itself… cannot destroy itself. “But how can the individual possibly discover whether his or her life fulfills itself — without criteria and without assured methods? Together with Nietzsche we should respond to a postmodern cynicism which calls upon us to vegetate, homeless in our own world, and to renounce identity once and for all with an affirmative: THIS life is not for me! I WANT a different one! Whether life fulfills itself cannot be discovered with the aid of a eudaemonistic ethics and its self-examination, nor even through general inquiry. The existential interest in the lie diagnosed by Nietzsche concerns most intimately self-delusion. Everything which reaches our consciousness and is interpreted by it is subject to this tendency to deceive oneself in the futile interest of survival, to blandish what is bad, to ruin what was perfectly good. Happiness as well as suffering are noticeable and for this basic reason cannot be helpful in allowing a self-fulfilling life to become evident.
Wolfgang Schirmacher, Ph.D., is a continental philosopher, professor of philosophy and founder of the pioneering Media and Communications Division at the European Graduate School (EGS). An internationally renowned Arthur Schopenhauer scholar, he is the President of the International Schopenhauer Association. Dr. Schirmacher is also the Arthur Schopenhauer Chair at EGS.
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- The Challenge of Nihilism (syndaxvuzz.wordpress.com)