A TRIZ look at Nietzsche's Philosophy

Y. B. Karasik
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

In the work "On the advantage and disadvantage of history for life" Nietzsche claimed that animals are happy because they immediately forget what happens to them:

"Consider the herd grazing before you. These animals do not know what yesterday and today are but leap about, eat, rest, digest and leap again; ... and for that reason neither melancholy nor bored. It is hard for a man to see this, for he is proud of being human and not an animal and yet regards its happiness with envy because he wants nothing other than to live like the animal, neither bored nor in pain, yet wants it in vain because he does not want it like animal. Man may well ask the animal: why do you not speak to me of your happiness but only look at me ? The animal does not want to answer and say: because I always immediately forget what I wanted to say - but then it already forgot this answer and remained silent."

According to Nietzsche, remembering past is what makes people unhappy. Any person who is familiar with the TRIZ "9 Windows" approach would immediately realize the deficiencies of Nietzsche philosophy. He looks at the problem of happiness/unhappiness through just one window of TRIZ, through the past. But what is about other windows ? Let's take a look through the future.

Could it be that people are unhappy because they anticipate (or worry about) the future rather than remember the past ? Of course, this could be. Moreover, most people are unhappy because of these worries rather than because of the grieving over the past.

Let's go to other TRIZ windows now. Why would not take a look at the problem of happiness from the standpoint of subsystem or supersystem ? First, the following question has to be answered: what is a subsystem (and a supersystem) of happiness ? Physical pleasure is definitely its subsystem. So, it is enough not only to deprive a man memory to make him happy (as Nietzsche's work suggests) but also to blunt his feelings.

The exercise can continue on and on. But it is clear already now that knowledge of TRIZ (unlike Nietzsche's philosophy) is definitely advantageous for life !