When is truth a bad thing?
On the question of truth I have been saying things that have put me in opposition with people with whom I share much. That I regret, but I cannot refrain from reiterating my position, since I cannot betray the ‘truth’ as I see it.
In science and for science truth is a prime virtue. Without truth science is the antithesis of science and is far worse than ignorance.
In the practical walks of life, truth is vital. Without truth you lose your way in the walks of life.
In poetry truth is a fault. Truthfulness and veracity are needful for poetry, but not verity.
In philosophy truth is a deceptive demon. Truthfulness and veracity are the very soul of philosophy, but not verity.
Science deals with a determinate object. There truth has its proper place.
Philosophy is concerned with absolutes and with the absolute. There truth is death.
Philosophy presents a vision, an essentially transient view of reality from an evenescent viewpoint. If it deny equal truthfulness to alternative viewpoints it thereby destroys its sole ground of meaningfulness.
Mystics dwell closest to the heart of Reality. But it is only their subjective experience that is valuable. Their articulations of that experience become hurtful when they lay claim to truth.
Plato always sang the praises of alêtheia, but alêtheia for Plato was not truth but reality: not the meretricious ‘reality’ of things we can see and touch and measure, but the reality of intelligible forms beheld in active phronêsis, as I have shown in chapters six and seven of Plato: An Interpretation.
Of all modern philosophers, it was only Nietzsche who saw all of this in the clearest light, especially in Beyond Good and Evil, “Part One: On the Prejudices of Philosophers”.