Plato vs. Nietzsche

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Johnny Lee

Plato versus Nietzsche
The central ideas that two great philosophers, Plato and Friedrich Nietzsche, talked about were the reality and appearance; and what they mainly focused on is where we as humans stand between these two. Of course, regarding the fact that Plato and Nietzsche lived in different time periods, they had their differences that conflict with each other’s theories. But they do have something to agree upon; they both argue that humans live in an illusory world of our own that we think is reality when we actually are not. One important idea they disagree on is their concepts on what is reality and what is truth. Plato’s theory is mostly based on his cave allegory where he explains human’s conditions. I will explain the similarities and differences between Plato and Nietzsche through the cave allegory. Starting from a base point, Plato and Nietzsche both state that there are deceptions and illusions in the world. First, according to the cave allegory by Plato, he believes the “shadows”(Plato 64) to be what’s keeping us from utilizing our knowledge to its fullest value. The “shadows” are metaphors that represent our acts of relying on our senses to identify objects in life. They are only the appearances of the actual objects, meaning that we are not getting the genuine concept that is concealed by the appearances. He explains that the objects humans see in the visible world are far from the truth and their true forms. On the contrary, Nietzsche does not believe that the “shadows” are actually what Plato says they are. Although Nietzsche does believe that there are illusions in the world that humans are commonly deceived by, he argues that what deceives us in the world is our language and not the appearances of objects. He explains that concepts are the main cause that deceives humans because “a concept is produced by overlooking what is individual and real”(Nietzsche 878). And this is where language part comes in. The language helps...
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