Concept of Truth andperspectivism in The Purpose:Prepared by:Heenaba Zalaheenabazala05@gmail.com
Nietzsche‟s perspectivism: The term „perspective‟ comes from the language of vision. We literally see things from and with a particular perspective. Our eyes are located at a particular point in space, from which some things are visible and others are not, e.g. the top of the table, but not its underneath. A scene looks different from different perspectives – from high up, we can see further and things look smaller, from below things „loom‟ over us and we cannot see very far. For Example,
In this image for the man who standing in the ankle deep water, “it‟s not deep” but forthe man who is sinking “it is”.
See how „interpretations‟ for one object differ person to person.
Nietzsche talks about „perspective‟ when he is relating beliefs to our values. He uses the word „interpretation‟ to mean a belief about something as if it is like this or that. An interpretation is an understanding of the world from a particular perspective; and so interpretations, like perspectives, relate back to our values. Different perspectives are defined by different values; differences in belief are not themselves enough. Two people with different religious beliefs, for instance, may occupy the same perspective if their beliefs reflect the same underlying set of values. So Nietzsche is saying that philosophical beliefs about truth and goodness are part of a particular perspective on the world, a short-sighted, distorting perspective.
Nietzsche‟s concept of Truth: According to Nietzsche there is not any universal definition of truth. So he says:“There are no truths.” Nietzsche points that an individual tries to „create‟ truth or truths. So truth exists in an individual‟s perspective only. An individual‟s perspective depends upon his or her personal/subjective experiences. So when a writer writes he or she creates a truth from his or her individual perspective. That‟s why there are possibilities that the „created‟ truth is biased. Because of contradictory perspectives one can not rely on the truth/reality which is shown. It can be deceptive.
How can one who believes that one‟s conception of truth depends on the perspective from which one writes also posit anything resembling a universal truth? Given this idea that there is no truth outside of a perspective, a transcendent truth, how can a philosopher make any claims at all which are valid outside his personal perspective? In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche begins with a chapter entitled “On the Prejudices of Philosophers.” Almost immediately he begins to tear into the lack of integrity on the part of traditional philosophers who present their ideas as the product of pure reason. Nietzsche declaims, “they pose as having discovered and attained their real opinions through the self-evolution of a cold, pure, divinely unperturbed dialectic: while what happens at bottom is that a prejudice, a notion, an „inspiration,‟ generally a desire of the heart sifted and made abstract, is defended by them with reasons sought after the event”.
Truth is not attainable.True reality is always hidden. If we are doomed (or blessed, depending on your perspective) to always view the world from our own point of view, then one can never know an absolute truth. Nietzsche states that in light of perspectivism the very idea of an absolute truth is unintelligible, so there can be no absolute truth to be known. Nietzsche perceives that a person cannot act while examining his actions with an uncertain eye. A person must believe his or her actions to be the true and just ways to act even if this belief is a lie. In The Will to Power, he writes this idea as “truth is the kind of error without which a certain being could not live” (The Will to Power 493). To see that this “certain kind of being” to which he is referring is definitely humanity, one need only look to Beyond Good and Evil, where he says that “for the purpose of preserving beings such as ourselves, such judgements [synthetic a priori judgements] must be believed to be true; although they might of course still be false judgements!” (BGE I.11). Therefore, we humans need to act as if we are certain of what we are doing even though we cannot be certain.
The Purpose: The Purpose by T. P. Kailasam is a drama in two acts. The story is based on Adiparva from The Mahabharata. The story moves around Eklavya and Arjuna and their purpose behind learning archery. Both want to learn archery from the great Dronacharya. Dronacharya teaches archery to Arjuna but can not accept Eklavya‟s proposal because of his promise to Arjuna. Arjuna wants to become the great archer of the world. And Eklavya explains that he wants to learn archery to save lives of innocent animals. Arjuna‟s purpose behind learning archery is self centered while Eklavya‟s purpose is noble. Rejected by Guru Drona, Eklavya leaves the ashrama but with the firm decision to learn archery. Eklavya put Guru Drona‟s idol and because of his hard work and gurubhakti becomes the great archer.
In the 2nd act Eklavya is far ahead than Arjuna in archery. In anger Arjuna says that he will tell everyone that Guru Drona has not kept his vow. To save his Guruji from social criticism Eklavya gives his thumb as gurudakshina. After giving his thumb in gurudakshina Eklavya realizes that his purpose behind learning archery was to save lives of innocent animals but now he can not look into the eyes of the animals. The drama ends with Eklavya crying.
Concept of Truth and perspectivism in ThePurpose: In The Purpose T. P. Kailasam has highlighted the character of Eklavya. Arjuna is potrayed as an anti hero. Eklavya is nobler than Arjuna. So the story told by Maharshi Ved Vyasa in The Mahabharata is conflicting with the story told by T. P. Kailasam in The Purpose. Readers can not accept Arjuna in a negative role because our mind has been conditioned to see Arjuna as the greatest archer of the world, as a noble man. This truth is shown by Ved Vyasa and we have accepted it. In The Purpose T. P. Kailasam‟s Aklavya is greater than Arjuna. Though Eklavya is a Nishdha boy his purpose in learning archery is for the betterment of others. In actuality it is the duty of the prince but the prince,Arjuna is selfish.
The readers are looking at one story from different perspectives and that are of the writers. Both the writers have created truths in their individual perspectives. Their individual perspectives are contradictory. The Mahabharata is the story of kings and prices and in The Purpose T. P. Kailasam has given voice to a marginalized. According to Nietzsche there is not any universal definition of truth so the readers can‟t rely on the contradictory perspectives for to attain truth because what the writers have written is their subjective experiences and the reality presented by them is complex. We can not prove Ved Vyasa right and T. P. Kailasam wrong or vice versa. So the reality presented by the writers is just their individual perspective not the truth.