Nietzsche’s “How the ‘Real World’ at last Became a Myth”
Nietzsche’s How the ‘Real World’ at Last Became a Myth appears in Twilight of the Idols (1889). In this short, sequential, text he outlines what he subtitles as the “History of an Error”. The genealogy traces the notion of the division of the world into reality and appearance from its original mystic formulation (“I, Plato, am the Truth”), through the Platonic cave, the neo-platonist Christian interpretation, onto the Kantian noumenon and suprasensible ground of morality. From there, after it finds its most pure expression in the sterile Kantian thing-in-itself, the notion becomes increasingly suspect, culminating in its dismissal, and with it, the entire dichotomy of apparent/real, representation/thing-in-itself. Both the suprasensible “real world” and the apparent world of representation are overcome.
Nietzsche, with characteristic modesty, concludes that it is precisely at the moment when this millennia old metaphysical error has been completely eviscerated, with humanity now free from the specter of an all powerful beyond, that his text Thus Spoke Zarathustra truly begins.