A book on ethics and philosophy of values

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In brief, I hold that creative subjectivism is in turn nothing more than a disguised form of nihilism, and we will see this if we read Nietzsche in greater depth.
We will see that Nietzsche allows his latent nihilism to shine through. As we said, if man has to give values to the world, it is because it is devoid of any value in itself, a key proposition in which lies the link between subjectivism and nihilism.
We find it, as it stands, in Nietzsche: Whatever has value in the world does not have value in itself, by its nature - nature is always value-less: but it was given a value at some time as a present - and it was we who gave this present! 1.
Throughout the Nietzschean text, we see the repeated assertion that the world has no value: Whoever were to unveil for us the essence of the world would give us all the most disagreeable disillusionment 2.

So Nietzsche's famous suspicion is not necessarily intended to detect nihilism in order to combat it; it can also be a weapon for nihilism: Man is a reverent animal. But he is also mistrustful; and that the world is not worth what we thought it was, that is about as certain as anything of which our mistrust has finally got hold. The more mistrust, the more philosophy 3.

Nietzsche even offers, in a remarkable paragraph (which I will quote in full for this reason), solutions for "putting up with" the world's lack of value.
He begins by asking the question: What one should learn from artists. - How can we make things beautiful, attractive, and desirable for us when they are not? And I rather think that in themselves they never are.

The answer is to take inspiration from physicians and artists: Here we could learn something from physicians, when for example they dilute what is bitter or add wine and sugar to a mixture - but even more from artists who are really continually trying to bring off such inventions and feats.

Artists blur colours, change angles, and put distance between themselves and the object; in this way they come to make it bearable: Moving away from things until there is a good deal that one no longer sees and there is much that our eye has to add if we are still to see them at all; or seeing things around a corner and as cut out and framed; or to place them so that they partially conceal each other and grant us only glimpses of architectural perspectives; or looking at them through tinted glass or in the light of the sunset; or giving them a surface and skin that is not fully transparent - all this we should learn from artists while being wiser than they are in other matters. For with them this subtle power usually comes to an end where art ends and life begins; but we want to be the poets of our life - first of all in the smallest, most everyday matters 4.

Nietzsche's nihilism shines through. He denies all value to the real world, even though he criticised Christianity for this very reason: That fictitious world has its sources in hatred of the natural (—the real!—), and is no more than evidence of a profound uneasiness in the presence of reality.... This explains everything. Who alone has any reason for living his way out of reality? The man who suffers under it 5.

If Nietzsche can't stand reality, because it lacks value, perhaps we could think that he is affirming the value of the unreal, of the dream, of the ideal. But this is not the case: If we are "disappointed," it is at least not regarding life: rather we are now facing up to all kinds of "desiderata". With scornful wrath we contemplate what are called "ideals" 6.

If value can be found neither in the real nor in the unreal, where can it be found? Nowhere. So where does the difference lie with nihilism, which we have defined as the affirmation that "nothing has value"?
This is perhaps what leads Nietzsche to make this unheard-of admission: That I have hitherto been a thorough-going nihilist, I have admitted to myself only recently: the energy and radicalism with which I advanced as a nihilist deceived me about this basic fact. When one moves toward a goal it seems impossible that "goal-lessness as such" is the principle of our faith 7. Nietzsche thus proclaimed himself a nihilist, even though his doctrine was initially presented as a struggle against nihilism; he came to describe himself as the first perfect nihilist of Europe who, however, has even now lived through the whole of nihilism, to the end, leaving it behind, outside himself 8.

This admission seems to be an admission of failure, of the uselessness of creative subjectivism in countering nihilism. Taking up the fundamental postulate of the latter, emptying the world of all value, subjectivism gives too much to nihilism to be able to counter it at a later stage. In fact, the only axiological position that can overturn nihilism is one that stands on its ground, that is, contradicts it, and asserts that the world has great value in and by itself: this is objectivism.

In order to grasp the final character of creative subjectivism, we need to consider this idea that it carries with it: it is not the world that really has a value in itself, it is man who gives it that value. It is this unprecedented human pride, this absolute anthropocentrism, that I now propose to study.

1. Ibid., §301
2. Human, All Too Human
3. The Gay Science, § 346
4. Ibid., § 299
5. The Antichrist, 15
6. The European nihilism, 16
7. Ibid., 25
8. Ibid., Preface, 3