Oedipus & the Self-fulfilling Prophecy. As usual, Freud was wrong!


This article argues that the myth of Oedipus expresses and/or represents the Self-fulling Prophecy (exempli gratia, described by the Social Psychology). At the same time, this article states that the myth of Oedipus is not allegory and/or representation of the Freudian psychosexual development!!

The myth of Oedipus becomes an opportunity to show the kind of mis-interpretations made by psychoanalyses and psychoanalysts. The latter, in fact, tends: to create false beliefs; and, to attribute false meanings to “events”.

In accordance with a logical and epistemological reflection/analysis, psychoanalytic theories can gain only two states of truth. They can be: valid and/or invalid.

If they are invalid, they can not be applied anywhere.

If they are valid, they must be applied to psychoanalyses itself.

This, however, determines the invalidity of the psychoanalytic Paradigm, which would inevitably turn to implode on itself.

Exempli gratia, psychoanalytic theories turn out to be:
• on the one hand, the “fruit” of primary defensive processes (characterized by a state of confusion between the inside and the outside world, leading to a distorted view of reality, which is typical of psychosis) acted and/or done by the same creators and supporters of psychoanalyses. Examples of these primary defensive processes are: projection; primitive idealization; omnipotent control; etc …;
• on the other hand, the “fruit” of projective identification made by patients who, living a state of “psychic vulnerability”, identify themselves in those constructs due the high level of impressionableness / suggestibleness.

In other words, psychoanalytic theories would create ex post confirmation of themselves, creating “reality”, which would never have been if they had never existed!!

In conclusion, psychoanalytic constructs are new idols, which exist only for the faith that their “priests” place in them.

They are not idols of stone, but they are idols of void words and/or void interpretation. Idols that, however, require dogmas to survive. Dogmas that psychoanalysts have defended with the mis-use and abuse of psychiatry since the beginning of psychoanalyses with Freud.

At the end, they are only a “new form” of Superstition.


Epis L. (2012/2015), in the book De Nova Superstitione, wrote about the “difficulties” that the Psychological Sciences have to comply with the criteria of the Scientific Paradigm.

The Psychological Sciences, in fact, are a set of disciplines: which have an heterogeneous epistemological status; and, which are characterized by a low logical-epistemological reflection and awareness (Epis L. 2012/2015). The latter takes different aspects and forms, due: how these disciplines are able to meet the criteria of the Scientific Paradigm; and, the type of biases, which characterize that particular disciplinary area.

If we consider these two criteria (that I wrote supra/above), Psychological Sciences can be divided into four main areas.

The first macro-area includes: Physiological Psychology; Cognitive Psychology; Experimental Psychology. Despite the limitations of its methodology and its own kind of biases, this area has “full citizenship” inside the Scientific Paradigm. Indeed, it is able to comply with: the experimental scientific method (pro tempore); the test of Validity (Logical Positivism); and, the principle of falsification (Popper).

The second macro-area is the Soft Psychology. This area is a “limbo” of ambiguity, confusion and uncertainty. The constructs are based on, and created with, a wide use of correlation. The latter, due the fact of the crud factor, makes these constructs be a mere social creation that, at the end, is based only on “political” choices, which have their reasons in matters of opportunity and/or interest.

Some of them are connected with the relationship that exists between Power and Knowledge. A relationship, which inside the Social Sciences, is stronger than everywhere else.

Indeed, inside this Limbo, opposite theories and constructs coexist. All of them are both never entirely refuted and never fully corroborated. So, the success and/or application of one of these theories instead of another one, depends only for “political choice” (with the widest extension of the term).

Not only. These constructs become glasses that are able to change the perception of Reality in the direction of those theories. Hence, they are able to create ex post a pseudo-corroboration, which is, nothing more and nothing less, a “conjuring trick” that is used to “deride” the gullible people.

The third macro-area is the psychopathology. This area has nothing to do with Science. Science, in fact, is a descriptive language. Science has the aim to describe the reality without telling what is “normal” and what is “abnormal”. On the contrary, psychopathology is a normative language, as well as Law and Moral Sciences. But, everything uses normative language is just a “political” manifestation and/or choice.

Every time someone approaches this discipline, indeed, he/she should remember that psychopathology is in permanent violation of Hume’s Law.

The fourth macro-area is constituted by psychoanalyses. The latter is not: either Science, as it does not use descriptive language; or Normative Discipline, as it does not use normative language.

Psychoanalyses is only a set of “confabulations” that are expressed with expressive language. Therefore, psychoanalyses has nothing to do with: truth and/or validity.

All its theories and constructs are only the “fruit” of the projections that are made by the psychoanalysts. These projections, then, are transformed by psychoanalysts, due the fact of their own delirium of omnipotence, in “universal” constructs and theories that pretend to explain the thoughts of others !!!!!!

In other words, psychoanalyses is the product of the primary processes and primary defences of the psychoanalysts. Psychoanalyses is the psychotic side of Psychology.

An evidence of this is given by the interpretation, which was made by Freud, of the Oedipus myth.

The myth of Oedipus and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The physical laws rule the structure of the universe and everything happens inside it. The psycho-social laws rule the structure and dynamics of the groups of any kind and formation.

The “social beings” follow the psycho-social laws as the atoms and/or “celestial bodies” fallow the laws of physics.

The ancients people knew this Truth. They illustrated it with the language of myth.

One of these laws establishes that:
• Every society is based on an Order that is ruled by an Authority;
• every Social Order and every Authority are doomed to change over time;
• “the changement” is generated by the same actions, which the pro tempore Authority does for attempting to: preserve the status quo and its Power; prevent the “changement”; prevent the prophecy from becoming truth.

The Greek myths repeat this law countless times.

The Kingdom of Uranus is overturned by the Kingdom of Cronus. The Kingdom of Cronus is overflowed by the Kingdom of Zeus. Prometheus, then, prophesies that the Kingdom of Zeus will be overturned by a New Order.

Zeus himself will prepare his own adversary … … so Zeus will learn that one thing is to serve and another thing is to reign … … … … . By Zeus, I care less than nothing. He can rule this kingdom as he wishes. His reign is not long” (Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound).

This concept is illustrated for the macro-cosmos with the stories of gods. For the micro-social-cosmos, the same concept is illustrated with the legends of cultural heroes. Exempli gratia: Perseus and Oedipus.

Acrisius (king of Corinth) received a prophecy. He would be killed by his nephew. So, he tried to prevent the realization of the prophecy. But, this made the prophecy become truth.

In the myth of Oedipus, this concept is repeated twice. The first time, Laius (king of Thebes; Oedipus natural father) received the prophecy that his son would have killed him. To prevent the prophecy from becoming true, Laius made several actions. Subsequently, Oedipus received the prophecy that he would have killed his father (which he thought to be the king of Corinth). To prevent the prophecy from becoming true, Oedipus made several actions. Well, at the end, the sum of all those actions, which were made by Laius and Oedipus to prevent their prophecies from becoming true, made their prophecies become true.

In other words, the myth of Oedipus (far and far away … from representing the phallic stage of the psychosexual development of Freud) is, more than anyone else, the representation of the self-fulfilling prophecy, which is the king of all the psycho-social mechanisms and underlie the social structure and dynamics of every kind of groups.

The concept, which the Greek myth expresses, is the inability and impossibility of men and gods to fights and to rebel against Fate. Once, Fate decides the destiny of men and gods, nothing can prevent it.

On the contrary, everything is done to prevent the prophecy from becoming true will inevitably lead the prophecy at its realization.

This concept was repeated from the Greek myth to our days.

Tolkien, for example, makes Galadriel say about her mirror: “Remember that the Mirror shows many things, and not all have yet come to pass. Some never come to be, the unless those that behold the visions turn aside from their path to prevent them” (Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings).

Before him, William Shakespeare represents this concept in most of his works. Exempli gratia, Macbeth is a tragedy based entirely on self-fulfilling prophecy. The tragedy starts with a prophecy that three witches give to the protagonist. According to this prophecy, Macbeth will become king, but he will need to be careful to Macduff. So, it is only due the prophecy that Macbeth: kills the king to replace him; and, wipe out the family of Macduff. The latter fact caused the revenge of Macduff , which doomed Macbeth to die.

Also the children-literature illustrates this concept.

The saga of Harry Potter is an example. The whole saga, indeed, is based on a self-fulfilling prophecy. The prophecy was not made to the protagonist, but to the anti-hero: Voldemort. The latter, in attempting to prevent the prophecy from becoming true, makes the prophecy become true.

Kung Fu Panda is another example. The first movie starts with a vision that is received by Master Oogway. Master Oogway sees that Tai Lung escapes from the prison where he is detained. Shipo, to prevent the vision from becoming true, starts all the coincidences that will make the vision be true. A concept that was summed up by Master Oogway: “sometimes certain events are caused with the actions that are done to prevent them“.

The same protagonist of the story, the bumbling panda Po, who was not good at kung-fu more than everyone else, is a result of the self-fulfilling prophecy. He becomes the Legendary Dragon Warrior only due the fact that Master Oogway made this “prophecy”.

Plenty of movies, then, expresses with concept.

The Secret Kingdom is one of them.

The saga of Star Wars is another one.
Star Wars’ saga is entirely based on self-fulfilling prophecies.

The prophecies are visions that the protagonists are able to get through the Force.

Anakin becomes a Jedi in the first episode (The Phantom Menace) only due a prophecy. Padme dies in the third episode (The Revenge of Siths) only due a prophecy.

Anakin chooses to pass to the dark side of the Force (in the third episode) only due the actions that are done by his Jedi-Masters. The Jedi-Masters, indeed, attempt to prevent “their fears” from becoming true. So, “their fears” become a “new prophecy” about Anakin, a prophecy that takes the place of the previous one. At the end, the actions, which are done by the Jedi-Masters to prevent their fears from becoming true, make their fears become true.

In the six episode, Anakin (now, Lord Vader) kills the Emperor and the kingdom of the Siths (as the first prophecy told) only because the Emperor attempted to prevent: that prophecy from becoming true; and, the loss of his Power.

Etc … Etc … .

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

So, what is the self-fulfilling prophecy?

The self-fulfilling prophecy is the king of all psycho-social mechanisms. There are no psychosocial dynamics that do not express it.

The self-fulling prophecy rules: the role played by individuals within groups; the social identity formation.

It is a “belief” that makes itself be true, due the fact that it is believed.

In other words, there is a recursive dialogical relationship between a “belief” and its “realization“. One creates the other one and vice versa.

To give you a pictorial image, you can think to the painting of Escher: “drawing hands”.

This recursive dialogical relationship exists: both, at the level of “beliefs”; and, at the level of “actions”.

In other words, the events are created by the actions, which are made to prevent “those events” from becoming true. Instead of preventing the events from becoming true, those actions will evocate them.

This is an aspect of self-fulfilling prophecy.


The answer is simple. This is just an application of the Lex Naturalis. It is the third law of motion that is applyed to social life. If a body A acts with a force F on a body B, then the body B will act towards the body A with a force F of equal intensity and direction, but of opposite direction.

In Philosophy and History of Religions, this concept has been represented, exempli gratia, with the Tao / Dao.

On the contrary, inside the academic literature of Social Sciences, this construct was expressed in 1948 with Merton. According to the author: “… a prophecy … for the sole reason of having been pronounced, manufactures the alleged incident, expected or predicted, confirming thus its veracity“. Beliefs determinate Actions; Actions create ex post “confirmation” of initial Beliefs (even if they are false). There is no separation between the “dimension of the actions” and the “dimension of beliefs”. They are linked in a strong: bond; connection; union; … and/or, as I prefer to say, dialogical recursive relationship. So according to Merton: “The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true. This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning” (Merton R. K., 1948, The Self Fulfilling Prophecy, in Antioch Review, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 193 – 210).

Merton took his inspiration from the Thomas’ Theorem which states: “If men define certain situations as real, they are real in their consequences“.

In fact, Beliefs determine Attitudes. Attitudes produce Behaviors. Behaviors cause Responses (confirmation bias). Responses lead ex post “pseudo-corroboration” to the initial belief, creating an infinitevicious cycle“.

The self-fulfilling prophecy, therefore, is the “genetic sub-layer” of any phenomena of the Psychological and Social Sciences. Nothing happens, unless there is a self-fulling prophecy.

The Labeling Theory recognizes it inside the Social Sciences, since the Labeling Theory expresses, at the end, nothing more than the self-fulling prophecy.

Popper, on the contrary, recognized it inside the Philosophy of Sciences and/or Epistemology. According to Popper, self-fulling prophecy is the criterium (criterion) that is able to make a distinction between Social Sciences and Natural Sciences.

You will not believe Me, if I tell you that Popper called the self-fulling prophecy the Oedipus effect.

Exempli gratia, Popper wrote: “One of the ideas I had discussed in  The Poverty of Historicism was the influence of a prediction upon the event predicted. I had called this the “Oedipus effect“, because the oracle played a most important role in the sequence of events which led to the fulfilment of its prophecy. … For a time I thought that the existence of the Oedipus effect distinguished the social from the natural sciences. But in biology, too—even in molecular biology—expectations often play a role in bringing about what has been expected” (Popper, Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography).

Why was Freud wrong?

The mistake of Freud is self-evident. The myth of Oedipus does not express any stage of the psychosexual development.

So, why does Freud see in the myth of Oedipus the most important representation of the phallic stage?

After the death of his father (1896), Freud (who was self-analyzing his dreams) came to the conclusion that: he wished sexually his mother; and he considered his father like a dangerous rival. This happened in the absence of real seduction episodes.

In other words, Freud was a victim of its primary processes and its primary defenses. He projected his retrospective interpretations (which he made self-analyzing his own dreams) in the outside world. So, he came to see them everywhere: in the stories of his patients; in Greek myths; etc … .

Once, his own (mis)interpretations were projected to the outside world, due his own delirium of omnipotence, Freud argued his theories were able to explain the “normal development” of all human beings!!

So, it is clear that psychoanalyses, at the end, is nothing more and nothing less that a set of psychotic delusions that are made by psychoanalysts.

Psychoanalytic theories say nothing about: the World; and, the Human Thought. They speak only about the psychiatric problems of the psychoanalysts who created them.

The deception of psychoanalyses

Psychoanalyses is only a Discursive Practice that is based on retrospective interpretations a là Weik, which are created with interpretative games.

These interpretations have nothing to do with truth and the knowledge of the Self.

The meanings are induced by: the same psychoanalytic theories, which become glasses that are able to deform the whole Reality; and, the same expectations of psychoanalysts, who push to create confirmation of their beliefs.

In other words, psychoanalyses becomes a sort of “brainwashing” that is done on people, who are in a “vulnerable psychic” state.

The patients internalize: theories; psychoanalytic models; expectations of their psychoanalysts; etc…. At the end, they play those internalized roles for projective identification.

In other words, psychoanalyses itself does nothing. It is a way to deride people. If something happens, it is only for the action of the psychosocial mechanism of self-fulling prophecy.

Unfortunately, the prophecies that are done by psychoanalyses do not lead to anything good. Like the witches of Macbeth, they push people into a Shakespearean tragedy.

Those people, who “save” themselves, are “characters” of a self-fulfilling prophecy that was made by “someone else”, who (surely) was not a psychoanalysts.

You can read also: Epis L., De Nova Supertstitione. Unfortunately, the book (at the present tense) is only published in Italian. Link to e-book: De Nova Superstitione – Saggio

Edipo & la Profezia che si autoavvera. Come al solito, Freud aveva torto!

Vedere la versione in Inglese.

Link pagina Web: http://www.lukae.it/?p=1207

Link all’articolo in PDF: Oedipus & the Self-fulfilling Prophecy – Article

Chi vuole approfondire l’argomento può leggere: Epis L., De Nova Supertstitione. Link all’e-book: De Nova Superstitione – Saggio

A Critical Study on How the Psychopathological Construct of Antisocial Personality and Psychopathy Has Imploded. An Alternative Empirical Theory Overthrows the Psychopathological Explanation.


The First Part of this Post have been published in PDF like an Article with Index, Bibliography, etc… . You can get a copy (only for personal use): either on the page “Law & Criminology“; or on the page “Psychology & Epistemology“. The title is: “A Critical Study on How the Psychopathological Construct of Antisocial Personality and Psychopathy Has Imploded. The Implosion of the Construct“.

Alternatively, you have a link here: A Critical Study on How the Psychopathological Construct of Antisocial Personality and Psychopathy Has Imploded – The Implosion of the Construct – Article

The Second Part of this Post (about “the Alternative Empirical Theory that Overthrows the Psychopathological Explanation“) will be published with delay, due the reasons that I illustrated in the “Communication” of the 24 Dicember 2015 (see: “Comunicati stampa – Press Release“).

However, a very brief and partial idea about the content of the Second Part could be get (incidentally) from the De Nova Superstitione (that I have already published in Italian both like Post and like book in PDF on this website). In particular, you can see: De Nova Superstitione, Chapter III, “L’Inganno del Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc“, paragraph: “La Pervasività dell’Influenza Sociale“.

You can translate it in English, even if some people have already told Me that the translations (that have been done by the computers) are NOT good.



Many persons asked Me to translate the De Nova Superstitione in English. Most of the people, indeed, cannot read Italian. Moreover, the translations, which are done by computers, are not good. They can translate efficiently basic statements, but not structured discourses.

The De Nova Superstitione has “captured” and caught a lot of interest for two reasons.

The first one is about the main topic and aim of the Book: a Critical Study about the Epistemological Status of Psychology, Psychopathology and Psychoanalysis. In particular, the discourse about the Law of Hume and Psychopathology was much appreciated. It has been, indeed, a quite neglected topic, so long so far, in Psychology.

The second one is about an incidental argument, which I used like example to prove the weakness and misuses of the Psychopathological Constructs. This argument focuses on the construct of antisocial personality and behaviors. It was proved (with: empirical studies; and, logic arguments) how this construct imploded. Furthermore, an alternative Empirical Theory (which is able to explain those phenomena) was presented.

As, at the present tense, I do not have time to translate in English the De Nova Superstitione, I decided to write a brief Post to allow people to read about how psychopathological constructs are weak and misused.

This is a very actual topic, nowadays.

This Post reports studies and original ideas that have been done, written and presented (by the writer), since 2005/2006.  Actually, this critical study has been well known (… worldwide …) by several criminologists and psychologists since 2005/2006. On the contrary, it was not accessible and reachable for every other person. Outside the niche, it was not easy to get it, at all.

It happened for different reasons. But, one of them was that clinical psychologists do not like that people know how much weak their “constructs” are!! They tend: to “hide” all these critical studies; and, to “dissuade” and to “hinder” this kind of research in University.

So, unless you are not already famous and important, your critical studies have few chances to reach the general public. In particular, it happens when they do not support the monopolies of knowledge (a là Innis), which (… inside each discipline …) conserve the relationship of power among the members.

This is why, you can read about them ten years later their development and presentation.



This article shows how the psychopathological construct of antisocial personality and behaviours has imploded. Furthermore, a New Empirical Theory, which is able to explain those phenomena, is presented. This theory was developed in 2005/2006 by the writer. Then, it has been presented to several criminologists and psychologists (… worldwide …) since 2005/2006. Now, this article allows everyone to know about this critical study.


Rationale – Background


The Paradigm of Antisocial Personality and Behaviour has always been a very weak and misused construct since the beginning. It is a good example of how the psychopathological constructs became a “modern scientific” form / manifestation of the Human Superstition. Ordronaux (1873) was the first author, who became aware about this. Indeed, he stated that this concept is “… an attempt to return to belief in demon possession of the Middle Ages and a revision to superstition”[1]. From that time, the number of the researchers, who criticized this construct and “how” it is used, increased.

Exempli gratia, Kinberg (1946) said that the concept of psychopath “should be abrogated as theoretically unsatisfactory, practically misleading and destructive to scientific thinking”. Karpman (1948) stated that it is “a myth … a nonexistent entity”.  Vaillant regarded this construct to be a misleading stereotype.

Blackburn (1988) affirmed: “it must be concluded that the current concept of psychopathic or antisocial personality remains «a mythical entity» …”[2].

Calvaldino (1998) suggested that this construct is nothing more than “a moralism masquerading as medical science”. He updated both the Blackburn’s critics and the Ordronaux’s critics. The former, indeed, admitted that: “such a concept is little more than a moral judgment masquerading as clinical diagnosis”. The latter argued[3] that: “the only disease to which the moral nature is subject is sin”.

Toch (1998) observed that the term was a form of negative counter-transference.

Shadish et al. (1999) underlined how the process of validation of the psychopathological construct has never been completed.

Cooke, Michie and Hat (2006), reported how this construct is quite controversial in the academic literature. In the same year, the present writer presented and illustrated “how” the construct: imploded on itself; was lacking in any scientific criteria; and, could be explained with a more Empirical Theory that was able to abandon these modern forms of Superstitions.

Although all these critics were well proved and based, they were neglected and refuted by the establishment. The latter, according to the Kuhn’s theory (1962; 1970), was committed to defend the Paradigm. The critical views were: denied; ridiculed; not taught. The researchers, who dared to show interest in them, were actively: dissuaded; discouraged; isolated. Their studies and works were hindered. They were also attacked with argumenta ad personam. The latter is a strategy that is largely used by psychologists to defend their inconsistent constructs (Epis, 2011/2015).

So, the establishment, instead of considering those critics and improving its constructs, has weakened and weakened them, meantime.

For instance, Hill, Murray and Thorley (1986) warned their colleagues that: “… psychopathic personality is an intriguing tale of confusion and inconsistency”.

Blackburn (1988) made the same critics with “softer” and “more indirect” words. He advised clearly that the construct had a very weak point. According to him, “the taxonomic error of confounding different universes of discourse” was present in the construct. This error leaded to create “a diagnostic category that embraces a variety of deviant personalities. Such a category is not a meaningful focus for theory and research, nor can it facilitate clinical communication and prediction”.

Nevertheless, as I told supra (above), the establishment refused to consider all those warnings. Instead of working for decreasing the heterogeneity of the construct, they increased it as much as they could!! At the end, the construct became so heterogeneous to include two opposite and contradictory types in the same set: the criminal psychopath; and, the non-criminal psychopath.

In other words, several psychologists put into the same set: serial killers (such as Jack the Ripper) committed to criminal activities; and, people (such as Mather Teresa of Calcutta) who, on the contrary, were committed to pro-social behaviours!! Some criminologists attempted to reduce all the violations of the Criminal Law like a manifestation of psychopathy!!

Please, do not think that they were joking. I have also thought it (in first instance), but they were not joking at all. They were strongly “devoted” and convinced in what they were saying. All their career and social prestige came from that!!

So, the present writer had to recognize the self-evident implosion of the psychopathological construct for the reasons that you can read infra (below).


Antisocial Personality’s Construct: Birth, Development and Implosion

Before explaining the reasons of the implosion of the construct, a brief résumé (about the “lifespan” of the antisocial personality’s paradigm) is given.  It will be very useful to understand: both, the biases that work in the creation and in the confirmation of the psychopathological paradigms; and, how superstitions can even appear “scientific beliefs”, once they are masked to psychopathological constructs!!


Birth and Development

The first label, which described the antisocial personality and behaviours, was: “manie sans delire” (Pinel, 1801). Then, this construct was called: “moral derangement” or “derangement in the moral faculties” (Rush, 1812); “moral insanity” (Pritchard, 1835). At the end, the label has become: antisocial personality disorder (e.g., DSM IV – R); psychopathy (e.g., Lange-Eichbaum, 1931; Henderson, 1939; English Mental Health Act, 1983; Cleckley, 1976; Hare, 1980); sociopathic personality disorder or asocial personality disorder (e.g., Gelder M., Gath D. and Mayou R., 1983); dissocial personality disorder (e.g., ICD-1O[4], F 60.2); and so on.

If you want, you can invent another name!! We need it!!

This construct is a good example of how the psychopathological discourse is completely dominated by: plenty of biases; a lot of fallacies; trickeries such as that one of nominalism; and, an absent epistemological awareness and reflection (Epis, 2011/2015).

The first label, which described the antisocial personality and behaviours, was: “manie sans delire” (Pinel, 1801). Pinel wanted to explain the behaviour of some people who were: violent and social dangerous; committed to criminal activities; cruel and callous; inclined to kill the others. As he could not explain this phenomenum, he used the ancient trickery of the nominalism. He gave a name to something that he was not able to understand (at all). So, he created the illusion to have explained and understood something that he did not!! Bateson (1972) called this trickery: explanatory principle. Actually, psychopathology (… most of the times …) is nothing more and nothing less than: an explanatory principle; and/or, the ancient trickery of nominalism.

This point is pretty important to understand: both, one of the intellectual dishonesties (a là Lakantos) that belong to the clinical psychologists; and, how Psychopathology became a new set for gathering different forms of the modern Superstitions.

So …, I will give you a brief example, … before proceeding with our discourse.

Do you know Treponema Pallidum? It is a micro-organism that causes an infection to the Central Nervous System. Well …, it happened that the human beings (before discovering this microbe) considered “mental ill” the people who were suffering from this infection!! This micro-organism (alone) was the responsible of the 15% of all the psychiatric population. This is how, superstation works. A physical concrete problem (the real cause) is neglected and transferred to an inexistence dimension: a “thought’s illness” (a false and fabricated cause)[5]!?!? There is not any difference from believing in psychopathology to believing in demons’ possession. The psychosocial mechanisms, which underlie and lead those phenomena, are exactly the same. They are used to explain whatever human beings are not able to explain, using the trickery of the nominalism!! So, nowadays, instead of calling a Shaman and/or a Priest, people call a more “modern and fashionable” psychologist!!!! But, there is no change, except (… maybe …) that Shamans and Priests were better than Psychologists!!

Oh God …, save us from psychologists!

So …, now you know “what” psychopathology is and “how” psychopathology works and explains the phenomena. Therefore, we can proceed in our speech.

Although Pinel used psychopathology, like an explanatory principle, for explaining the violent and cruel behaviour, soon this construct moved away from the objective facts (the criminal activities; the social dangerousness; and the cruel behaviours) to landing at “ghostly and eerie traits” that allows any kind of abuse, misuse and interpretation.

Indeed, this construct was re-baptized: moral derangement (Rush, 1812); moral insanity (Pritchard, 1835); … and it ended to include whoever acted in a different manner from the others. It was immediately declined to wide abuses and misuses.

So, as you remember, Ordronaux (1873) had to report how it was an attempt to mask superstitious ideas for science.

According to Prichard (1835), moral insanity (at the end; and, behind the usual doctrinal and technical words and jargon) was just to perform: “the common actions of life in a different way from that usually practised” by the majority. So …, singular, and/or eccentric, and/or wayward persons were all considered moral insane. Therefore, moral insanity showed clearly another aspect of the true nature of psychopathology: to be an instrument of homologation and social control a là Foucault. To be an instrument to force everyone: to be an uncritical lemming; to follow the flock like a sheep. If you do not follow uncritically the flock, … you are “insane”!!

It is exactly how it happened in the Past: the same substance with different forms. People, who do not believe in the superstitions/beliefs of the Majority, nowadays are accused to be mentally insane, whereas, in the Past, they were accused to be heretics, etc…!!

Do you remember Socrates? Actually, he is a very good example.

Oleson (1998) defines Socrates like an eccentric Sophist. Although he presented (in a very peaceful manner) original ideas, Socrates was considered “the most dangerous man in Athens” (Lindsay, 1918). He was accused of: corrupting the young people of Athens; introducing new Gods; etc… . At the end, he was executed for those false “irrelevant and untrue rumours”. If you think that he was an isolated case, you do not have any idea, how much you are wrong[6]!!

Indeed, most of the peaceful men of this World, who have dared to present a mere original and/or different idea from those that were wanted and supported by establishment, have been always persecuted. “Scientists and statesmen alike have been persecuted by established authority. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela …” as they simply stood “against the powers of established orthodoxy when they disagreed with the existing order” (Eysenck, 1995)[7].

Oleson (1998) supported the idea of Eysenck (1995) using the studies of Ellis (1927) who argued: “that society sought to imprison its great men at every opportunity”.

So…, this is how the majority of times, these constructs are used. Rarely, are they used against serial killers such as Jack the Ripper!! The latters are not as common as media attempt to make people believe!! Actually, they are pretty unusual. Those few cases are used by Power to create social panic. This is a good mean to: both, make people believe in the “rightness” of those superstitions; and, make people renounce their rights and civil liberties to “get” security (a là Bauman)!?!?

Although Milton (1981) stated that the notion of moral insanity, nowadays, has few in common with the construct of antisocial personality and psychopathy, he is right only, and only if, we compare moral insanity with the definitions that were given by: the DSM-IV-R; and, some National Acts such as the English Mental Health Acts 1983. On the contrary, he is hugely wrong if we compare it with the everyday practice that has been done by psychologists and clinicians.

Indeed, only the formers require the presence of objective criminal activities. The latters, on the contrary, have developed (in the practice; and, in the literature) a construct that is used wider and wider than Prichard’s moral insanity.

Whereas moral insanity was (… at least …) connected with an objective behaviour (to act in a different manner from majority), the construct of antisocial personality and psychopathy has lost any link with: both, objective facts; and, criminal behaviours.

Psychologists and clinicians reduced it to be a mere set of personality traits. As personality traits are also very arbitrary and weak creations, the construct came back to be an incongruent, contradictory, unfalsifiable theory. In practice, personality traits allow any kind of interpretation and misinterpretation without any limit. So …, the construct bended to any sort of abuse and misuse. It was not a case, indeed, that two opposite and incompatible types were originated by the same construct: the criminal psychopaths; and, the non-criminal psychopaths.

Whereas the formers are committed to cruel and criminal activities; the latters are normal, pro-social persons, who are well integrated in the society. Just to give an example, Mather Teresa of Calcutta was considered a non-criminal psychopath by several clinicians.

This leaded to a construct that was unable to satisfy any principle of demarcation[8].

Indeed, it was unable to satisfy both the test of validity and the principle of falsification. Any kind of behaviour (both antisocial; and pro-social) was used to confirm the diagnoses, once they were done!! So, they could not be verified and checked with any contra-factual evidence. In other words, once an arbitrary diagnosis is done by a psychologist, any behaviour is retrospectively interpreted to be a confirmation of the diagnosis itself!!

This was one of the reasons that made some researchers take critical positions on this construct, as I wrote in the introduction.

As Kanner said, at the end of the circus and pseudo-scientific jargons (which are used by psychologists to making their superstitions look like science): “a psychopath is somebody you don’t like”.

Please, note: I do not deny the existence of crimes and criminals. I believe: they must be punished. But, I fight the attempt to re-introduce a new “hunting to the witches” a là Maleus Maleficarum[9].

An evidence of how psychologists misuse this construct is given by the necessity, which most Parliaments had, to limit with law its application[10]. Nevertheless, psychologists did not care about law[11]!! So, they extended widely and widely the application of their construct. Therefore, more and more persons committed to pro-social behaviours were considered psychopaths.

This leaded to the creation of a very contradictory construct.  Some authors split the paradigm in two different constructs: the antisocial personality (which kept a connection with an objective criminal activity); and, the psychopathy (which was connected only with personality traits).

Other authors kept a unique paradigm. So, antisocial personality and psychopathy became two different degree of the same “mental illness”.

The increment of the number of the diagnostic scales increased the contradictions among the diagnoses. Most of the time, the diagnoses are made only on “sensations and feelings”, which clinicians have at the moment without using any scale.  This phenomenon was proved during the hearings of the English Mental Health Tribunal. During the contra-examination, it was proved that the diagnoses were done without considering any diagnostic scale (e.g., DSM-IV-R; PCL-R). They were made only using a vague and unclear “clinical experience”. The latter is an “elegant word”, a jargon, which clinicians use, to say that they decided without fallowing any criterion, but their feelings as they had in that moment!!!!

Most of the times, the scales are used only ex post. Before, clinicians decide if somebody is psychopath or not. Then, clinicians create, with a retrospective interpretation (a là Weick), a connection between the factual elements and the theoretical items of the construct, forcing the comparison and assessment.

Epis (2011/2015) used this construct to prove how the functional fixation, the absence of any epistemological awareness and reflection, the confirmation bias, and other fallacies, work within the psychopathological constructs.


A very interesting example, of how the paradigm imploded, is given by Lilienfeld (1994). This is just an example. But, endless other examples can be given.

Lilienfeld (1994) arrived to formulate and to support a theory with an incoherent logical structureP AND NOT P.

The author discovered a positive correlation between persons that were diagnosed psychopaths and/or antisocial with the existing scales and the frequency of altruistic and pro-social behaviours.

Instead of inferring incoherence, and/or a contradiction, inside the Paradigm, he elaborated a “wonderful” auxiliary assumption to save it.

He concluded that “the assessment of psychopathy might need to incorporate behaviors that are heroic or altruistic (e.g. helping individual … )” as in their absence a “substantial subset of psychopaths (who) perform frequent pro social behaviors” could not be detected and they may result “false-negative”.

In other words, he suggested like diagnostic criterion for the antisocial behaviour, the pro-social behaviour!! He made an incoherent and illogical reasoning that can be synthetized with the logical model: P AND NOT P.

This is a documented case, which is a good example of how psychologists: both, think most of the times in their everyday activities; and, develop their constructs!!

Although the strong establishment’s blind effort to save this inconsistent Paradigm, the Paradigm imploded.

Interlude: It is time for a “Scientific Revolution” a là Kuhn.

So …, … nowadays …, only few defamed Rebels …:

  1. “guilty” for having reported the inconsistency of the paradigm;
  2. “guilty” for having refused to prostitute themselves to a corrupt System and its “Servants”;
  3. “guilty” for having rejected to worship the illogical and superstitious constructs / idols that psychologists sell for science;

can advance a “Bold” New Hypothesis a la’ Popper, which is able to overthrow the existing collapsing paradigm with a New Empirical One!!

This article, indeed, reports a brief résumé (6.000/7.000 words) of the ideas that Dr Luca Epis presented in his Dissertation in Criminology in 2005/2006. Those ideas and thesis became the object of a very “deep and strong disagreement” between Prof David Farrington and Dr Luca Epis.

Nevertheless, this disagreement was also the change for: making the corruption of the System be evident; proving the trickeries, illegalities and unlawfulness, that the Establishment does for “fighting” whoever dare prove its lies; and, so on.

This is the beginning of a “Scientific Revolutiona la’ Kuhn.

These are the chronicles of Bold Researchers, Bold Rebels, and their “Scientific Revolution”!!

… It is in progress to be published …


A New Theory Overthrows the Psychopathological Explanation

Theoretical Backgrounds

The Ambivalent Nature of the Human Behaviour

The Pervasive Nature of the Social Influence 

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and the Human Behaviour as a Natural Adaptation to the Environment

 The Epis’ Theory

 First Passage

 Second Passage



[1] This quotation has also been done by McCord and McCord (1964).

[2] Blackburn’s critics were caused mainly by the heterogeneity of the construct of psychopathy.  Indeed, the latter includes a large amount of different types!

[3] Against the moral insanity, which was the antisocial personality’s name, that was used at his time.

[4] The aim of the International Classification Diseases (ICD) is to promote an international uniformity in the classification of the ailments. Its origin was in the work of Jacques Bertillon, who produced the Bertillon Classification of Causes of Death at the International Statistical Institute in Chicago. The latter became the Manual of International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death (ICD). In the 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO / OMS) assumed the responsibility for revising the ICD every 10 years.

[5] This happens also when the real cause is social.

[6] Other very famous similar cases are: Giordano Bruno; Thomas More; etc… .

[7] “Research funds are suddenly cut off, even though promised. Irrelevant and untrue rumours are spread to impugn the offender. He may lose his job, or at least fail to be promoted. He may be barred from the library and other facilities; privileges of all kinds may be withdrawn. In extreme cases, he may be suffering bodily attacks, his family may be threatened, bombs may be planted under his car, he may be burnt at the stake – it is difficult to list all the sanctions orthodoxy can muster to assert its right to be regarded as guardian of truth” (Eysenck, 1995).

[8] The problem of demarcation focuses on the method of scientific investigation. In particular, it refers to the criterion that is used to mark the boundary between what science is and what science is not. Exempli gratia, this criterion was: the induction for the Empiricism; the test of validity per the Logical Positivism; and the principle of falsification for Popper.

[9] The Malleus Maleficarum was the book, which was published by two Dominican Monks (Kraemer and Sprenger) in 1487 for “diagnosing” the “witches”. It was the “precursor” of DSM!!

[10] Some Nations (such as England) request an objective criminal activity. Other Nations (such as Scotland) deny the existence of this “mental illness”.

[11] There are plenty of examples that support this.

NIETZSCHE ON RULE OF LAW AND DEMOCRACY – PART I (Introduction; Nietzsche’s Nihilism & Empiricism)


Nietzsche on Rule of Law and Democracy è stato pubblicato in forma integrale.  Il Saggio in PDF con l’Indice, la Bibliografia, le note a piè di pagina, etc …, lo potete trovare nella pagina DIRITTO & CRIMINOLOGIA.


Nietzsche on Rule of Law and Democracy have been published.

The Book in PDF with IndexBibliography, etc … is available in the page LAW & CRIMINOLOGY.


Although this study presents and elaborates the philosophy of Nietzsche about Rule of Law and Democracy, it is an analysis of the Simmonds’ Legal Theory. Simmonds was Reader of Jurisprudence at the University of Cambridge in 2005/2006. Right at that time, he developed and published an article, Law as a Moral Archetype, where he presented (for the first time) “his” Legal Theory. This study reports one the first criticisms, which were done, about “his” Legal Theory as it was published and lectured at that time.

It is argued that Simmonds’ Legal Theory is not original at all. Simmonds took previous ideas of other philosophers (such as: Plato; Saint Augustine; Ockham; and the Italian Ardigò) to elaborate a “different theory” from Finnis’ Legal Theory, which (on the contrary) took a lot from Saint Aquinas. But, Simmonds did not archive a good result, as he “corrupted” the former philosophical ideas to something that (at the end): sounded “weird” and “discriminatory”; leaded to totalitarian and intolerant views.

Furthermore, this study presents the Epis’ Legal Theory (as it was formulated at that time): Law as a Social Prototype.



Truth, Nihilism and the “empiricism” of Nietzsche

According to Vattimo G. (1974; 1986; 1988; 1992), Nietzsche prepared the groundwork for the Post-Modernism. This is supported by the strong relationship between the Nietzsche’s Nihilism and the Post-Modernism’s view. Indeed, Nietzsche was “the prime theorist of nihilism in modernity … (and) … also one of the prime precursors of postmodern theory in the philosophical tradition. This means, then, that Nietzsche’s thought contains large elements of what—in retrospect—may be called “postmodern”. It also suggests that to a certain extent his theory of modernity may in fact be prophetic of postmodernity” (Woodward A. 2002).

Even if I disagree with Vattimo G. (1986; 1988; 1992) and Woodward A. (2002), this study starts analysing Nietzsche’s Nihilism.

Nietzsche’s Nihilism is the logical answer at any attempt (made by Humanity) to investigate the foundation of Truth, Values and Life’s meaning, inside metaphysical realms inhabited by Gods and Idols, instead of the physical and empirical one. Nietzsche explained this, using the paradigm of Christian Morality.

But, Nietzsche’s philosophy is not a Discourse pro or contra either metaphysics or physics in themselves. Nietzsche’s philosophy does not want analysing the different theories of knowledge for supporting one of them, instead of another one. Simply, Nietzsche wanted to put the individual at the centre of his philosophy. He wanted to suggest a change of prospective. According to Nietzsche, the singular individuals are the source of their own Truth, their own Values and their own Life-meaning.

Indeed, all the time human beings attempt to look for an answer outside them(selves), they fall into nihilism. There is NOT any empirical reality outside the individual experience. The empiricism of Nietzsche is not Materialism and/or Reductionism (against any metaphysical reality in itself). It is not also scientism. But, the empiricism of Nietzsche is an individual empiricism for the reasons that are clarified infra (below).



After Nihilism proved that: no absolute Truth exists; all the different points of view have the same epistemic value and dignity; no Certainty is real; etc …; … individuals found themselves in front of a choice. On one hand, they could choose to believe in, and to live for, their own Truth (that comes from their own living experiences). On the other hand, they can choose to “believe” in, and to serve, the point of view of someone else.

Knowledge and Power

Nietzsche would have agreed with Foucault that Power and Knowledge are the two faces of the same coin. The society, indeed, is nothing more than a relationship of power among people. People are divided in two main groups: Masters and Slaves. The form (which those two groups and their bond take) changes: from Time to Time; from Culture to Culture; from Legal System to Legal System. But, at the end, the substance is always the same. Few persons lead; the majority follows.

Knowledge, Ethics and Education, are functional means for this kind of hierarchical structure. As Power cannot employ brutal physical force to make people serve its own interests in the modern societies, the role of creeds, beliefs and propaganda, is dramatically increased.

Indeed, beliefs have become the new form of “slavery’s chains”. They are used by Power to make people serve its own interests. But, beliefs have nothing to do with Truth. Simply, to believe is to have faith in something like a dogma. Persons do not have any knowledge about their beliefs, but they are certain of something as someone else told it!!!! In other words, people accept as true, rely on, anything that is stated and supported by Authority, Social Pressure and Groupthink. These forces make people live and believe in a Hyper-Reality (which they build for their own aims), but Hyper-Reality is NOT Reality. Hyper-Realty is a Realm of illusions and lies. People have faith in those beliefs (and act in compliance of them) as a sheep follows the flock!!!!. But faith, … it does not matter in / for What (Religion; Science; State; etc…) is always been one of the worst mean to archive Knowledge. This is Nietzsche’s message.

Nowadays, the framework of Weick’s studies about sensemaking and enactment could be operatively used to explain as Power uses and misuses beliefs to pursue its own aims. They should not be limited for approaching only the working contexts inside the Companies. Actually, they are very useful for analyzing the general social dynamics.

From Knowledge to Nihilism

As knowledge has served and has been serving Power and its interests, any investigation on beliefs’ foundations turns to be untrue.

Gods and Idols are used to found most beliefs as they cannot be founded anywhere else. Moreover, God was (in a retrospective way) the first Global Panopticon!! As Power could not control people 24 hours per day, Power makes people believe that God can. So, people complied with Power’s Will, fearing the punishment of God. In other words, God was employed by Power like a Panopticon’s gaoler!!!! God’s job was: to watch everyone 24 hours per day; to punish those people who disobey or infringe Authority’s norms. But, a God reduced to be a Panopticon’s gaoler is not anymore God. Can you believe in an omnipotent Being, who created the entire universe to make all His Creation be a Panopticon? Can you believe in a God who reduced Himself to be a Panopticon’s Gaoler and/or a Prison Director?!?!?!?

No, it is not believable.

 “I conjure you, my brethren, remain true to the earth and believe not those who speak onto you of hopes beyond the compass of the earth! Poisoners are they, whether they know it or not”

Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, Prologue, III.

Why are Gods and Idols used to found Truth and Values?

Surely has God been a good mean of Social Control.

Yet, God has been and is a way to exit from the Agrippa’s trilemma (also called: Munchhausen trilemma).

The Agrippa’s trilemma is an Epistemological Argument that goes back to Ancient Greek Skepticism. In the modern time, Hans Albert has re-formulated it. According to Albert, the Munchhausen trilemma is able to prove the impossibility to found and to justify any truth and/or value with any existing method (deductive; inductive; causal; transcendental; logical; etc …). The trilemma proves the impossibility to found any truth. Any attempt, indeed, falls into one of these three cases:

  1. regressive argument ad infinitum or progress ad infinitum. Each proof requires a further proof ad infinitum. This argumentum: both, is not practicable; and, does not provide any certain foundation;
  2. vicious circle and/or circular argument (known in scholasticism as diallelus). The belief is based on circularity (a logical circle in the deduction). At a certain stage of the chain of arguments, a proof needs for its own foundation a previous “proof”, which needs for its own foundation the subsequent proof!! In other words, the latter is based on the former; the former on the latter. Exempli gratia, A is based on B, B is based on C, C is based on D. But, D is based on A. This is a circle. It does not lead to: both, any certain foundation; and, any final proof;
  3.  break of searching. At a certain point, people get tired to look for proofs and evidences of their beliefs. So, they end their researches at some stages. They create an assumption. An assumption is nothing more than a hypothesis that is not proved. Yet, they pretend those assumptions to be self–evident (axiomatic argument)!! But, this is nothing more than cheating.  According to Albert, even if an axiomatic argument can appear “reasonable” to lay people, it is nothing more than a random suspension of the principle of sufficient reason. It does not lead to any certain proof. It leads only to: both, Dogmas; and, ipse dixit!

So, at the end, Truth and Values cannot be found with any method. Thus, God was employed like “break of searching”. God was able to link together: the axiomatic argument with the Authority argument.

But, God was not the source of the beliefs that were founded on Him!

As we told supra (above), those truths and values were “all too human things”.

Where you see ideal thing, I see – human, alas all too human things

Friedrich W. Nietzsche, Human All Too Human

Nietzsche used the Catholic religion like paradigm. Christian beliefs, indeed, have changed continually from Time to Time to serve the Power’s interests. Those changes were not a change of mind of God, but they were a change in the historical interests of the pro tempore Power.

According to Weick’s framework, Power uses beliefs to make people work in compliance with its aims. The beliefs have been used and have been in the progress of being used by Power like human software. To make a computer do something, you need software. In the same way, to make people do something, you need to make them believe something.

The paradigm of God works also for idols.

Science, Psychology, Technology, Economics, Finance, Political Ideologies, etc…, could be idols. They are idols each time they demand faith. They are idols each time people have faith in them. They are idols each time they ask for homologation.

There is no difference in having faith in them and/or in God. There is no difference for people to homologate themselves in God’s Will and/or in Psychological / economical / political / etc … / constructs. All of them are human creations.

The social mechanisms behind faith and homologation are the same. Both of them, soon or later, lead to intolerance, discrimination, fanaticism, violence, and all the worst actions that Humanity has done in the History.

As Dominican monks were able to commit the most ferocious atrocities “in the name of” God, due the same blind faith (nowadays) scientists, psychologists, statesmen, financiers, …, can commit any kind of atrocity “in the name of” their new Idols. Instead of a Theocratic Tyranny (with its Holly Inquisition), these idols will found a Technocratic Tyranny (with its Profane Inquisition[1]). But, both of them are the same. Both of them demand homologation, faith, submission to the Power’s will. Sciences, indeed, is just a Power’s matter. The same beliefs and truths, which are part of the Scientific Paradigm, are consequences of the relationships of power among the members of that Scientific Community (Lyotard). Changes in the relationships of power become changes in the beliefs and in what is assumed to be true in that Paradigm, …, and vice versa. Power and Knowledge are the same, as we told supra (above).

Into Nihilism. The Choice: are You a Master or a Slave?

As Truth cannot be reached by any Science, any Religion, any Discipline, and any Methodology; …

As Truth and Justice, at the end, are nothing more than the interest of the most Powerful a là Trasimacus; …

As Power is, in its very Nature, the force to impose one point of view onto any others; …

… People find themselves into Nihilism.

So, the question is: is it possible to survive into Nihilism?

According to Nietzsche, it is.

Nihilism states only that it is not possible to found any Truth and/or Value in the external World. Each person should become the source of his/her own Truth and Values. Some people are able; other people are not. The latter prefer to follow the truth and values of other people instead of theirs own.

In other words, Nihilism marks the boundary between Masters and Slaves. Masters are those people who are able to trust themselves and to determinate their own Truth and Values.

On the contrary, slaves need to “trust” and to “serve” the point of view of someone else.

So, Nihilism puts the human beings in front of a choice.

Nihilism asks: “Are you a Master or a Slave?”

The answer depends from the individual ability to stand alone into Nihilism or not.

A Master is able to: stand-alone into Nihilism; go against the flow; be different from the flock; be creator of his own universe, truth, values, and life-meaning.

A Slave is not able. He/she prefers acting like a sheep and/or lemming. He/she needs: to follow uncritically the flock; to homologate and to uniform him/herself to the group to feel “normal”; to believe that who acts differently from the group is crazy. Psychopathology is the creed of the slaves. Psychopathology is a creation of the slaves’ thought. They demand norms and models. They need to homologate themselves to those norms and models. To be a flock of sheep, they need to be uniformed to those norms and models. Thus, they cannot tolerate anything that is different from their norms and models. Everything is different, indeed, must: either, be eliminated; or, be forced to conform to their norms and models. Everything is different from them, it is a threat and menace to: the flock; the Only-Allowed-Thought. As they think themselves normal, sane, right, …, everything is different must be abnormal, insane, crazy. As it/he/she is insane, they feel themselves to be justified, to force it/he/she to homologate to the flock. So, psychopathology has become the New Profane Inquisition. Psychopathology has become the justification and the instrument to make people: uniform to the flock; be uncritical servants of the Power and its Only-Allowed-Thought. Psychopathology has become a “mean” to create a new form of slavery. To be “normal” is to comply with, to believe in, the Only-Allowed-Thought.    

So, which will your answer be, when you find yourself in front of Nihilism?


From Nihilism to Individual Empiricism: the implosion of the dichotomy between Nietzsche’s Philosophy and Christian Religion!!   

Once human beings find themselves alone into Nihilism, they can only make one of the two above choices.

People, who are overwhelmed by fear, will look for a shelter into the point of view of someone else. They will not be able to live without absolute certainties; so, they will ask for someone, who is able to give them dogmas. They will look for an Only-Allowed-Thought at which uniform themselves. On the contrary, individuals, who are able to stand alone into Nihilism, will find a new beginning. Paradoxically, although Nietzsche’s speech seemed to be against the Christian God, they discover themselves “God’s sons”!!!!

According to the Bible, God made human beings look like Him. God was the Creator. He was the first being able to stand alone into Nihilism. Hence, his sons should be creators; his sons should be able to stand alone into Nihilism; … as He did at the beginning of the Time.

The superman of Nietzsche is this. According to Thus Spake Zarathustra, he is able to transmute himself into a Child (after having been a camel and a lion).  The Child is the final step of his evolution. The Child is a creator. The Child is able to stand alone into Nihilism without fearing it.

But, whereas God was the creator of the entire Universe, the child is the creator of his own universe.

God was not a lemming. Could His Sons be lemmings?

God was not a sheep. Could His sons be uncritically followers of the flock?!?!

Thus, I disagree:

  1. both, with Woodward A. (2002), who describes Nietzsche like a nihilist who simply attempts to destroy any value to lead to a complete nihilism;
  2. and, with Vattimo (1998), who thinks that it is not possible to go over Nihilism (exempli gratia, searching a new foundation for Truth and Values), but it is possible only to change our attitude to it. In other words, Vattimo suggests accepting to live in a meaningless World.

Nietzsche does not abandon the idea of Truth. He suggests to change prospective.

The sense of truth. – I approve of any form of scepticism to which I can replay, “Let’s try it!” But I want to hear nothing more about all the things and questions that don’t admit of experiment. This is the limit of my “sense of truth”; for there, courage has lost its right” (Gay Science, 51).


From Man to Super-Man

The individuals, who are able to pass through the three stages (camel; lion; Child), arrive to transmute themselves from men to super-men.

This means two things. On one hand, people discover themselves sons of God. On the other hand, society cannot long to be a flock of sheep.

Society has also to transmute itself from a flock of sheep to group of free Individuals, who are able to co-exist and to collaborate in their own (very strong) differences.

Only this kind of society will be a true Democracy.

Indeed, no democracy (at all) can exist among flocks of sheep as homologation is the worst kind of Tyranny.

It does not matter the form and/or the name that has been taken by tyranny. It does not matter the reason “in the name of” which, Homologation is demanded.

Without a doubt, flocks of sheep are always dominated by a Totalitarian Regime as they demand homologation. The only difference among these Regimes is about: the degree of how tyranny is overt or covert; and, the concrete historical / cultural form that has been taken by the Regime itself.

As we are going to explain in Part III, Democracy can exist only, and only if, there are free Individuals, who are not homologated among them.  


[1] Psychopathology is: a new Malleolus Maleficarum (Epis, 2011/2015); the form that has been taken and has been in the progress of being taken by the Profane Inquisition. Indeed, it is used to “attack” whoever acts and/or believes differently from the flock. It is used to commit and to justify any modern atrocity “in the name of”: Homologation; and, Only-Allowed-Thought. Most of the times, it is used to (even) create the behaviours and situations that are used to justify (later) its use / intervention. It is an instrument able to trick the Legal System (with all its Rights and Liberties).

NIETZSCHE ON RULE OF LAW AND DEMOCRACY – PART II (Simmonds’ Legal Theory & Epis’ Legal Theory)


Simmonds’ Legal Theory

At the University of Cambridge …,

… that “marvellous University” where the “Right Very Most” finest minds are (!!!!) …,

… there was a Reader in Jurisprudence who thought to have discovered the “hot water” in 2005!!

He was a very lovely and enjoyable person. Indeed, rarely have I found (in the entirely World) so pleasant lectures. Each time I demonstrated the inconsistency and wrongfulness of one of his theories and/or teachings, he was used to reply that those theories/teachings were thought by one of the Finest Cambridge Mind!! For most people, a sufficient reason to prove the rightness of those theories / teachings!! Of course, populaces agreed with him, clapping at those “self-evident” words.

On the contrary, I was used to laugh a lot. I found so hilarious his sense of humour that I laughed so much that I wept for Happiness!! His lectures were so entertaining and mirthful that they were a blessing break from the usual pedant, doctrinaire and hollow, vain Cambridge speech.

Simmonds (2005a; 2005b) claimed to have archived a Legal Theory able to support “an understanding of law as a substantive moral idea” versus “an understanding of the law as a morally neutral instrument, serviceable for wicked purposes as well as good”. But, his theory is: both, wrong; and, NOT original at all. It was copied from Plato and the Italian Ardigò. Actually, the theories of Plato and Ardigò were far, … far… , far better than Simmonds’ theory. The latter was a bad copy, which “corrupted” the good ideas of the formers.

Simmonds believed to have overcome the conflict between Rule of Law and the “mundane view of law” with his Legal Theory: Law as a Moral Archetype. According to Simmonds, Law is an “approximation to an intellectual archetype”. His theory is based on two assumptions:

  1. the first postulate is: Law is “structured by archetype”;
  2. the second postulate is: the “archetype is an intrinsically moral idea”.

But, both his postulates / assumptions are wrong!!

Moreover, although Simmonds attempts to deny that his archetype lives in a metaphysical realm, he fails to prove this.

At a first look, Simmonds’ theory seems to be a mere reformulation of the two platonic worlds.  The strong affinity between Simmonds and Plato is supported by the example of archetype, he used: the concept of triangle.

Simmonds rejected the empirical definition (which had been made by Euclid[1]) as he preferred an understanding of triangle in term of: degrees of approximation between a geometrical form and an ideal archetype of triangle. Does it sound like Plato (!!), does it not?

Indeed, he wrote: “So triangles do not constitute triangles by satisfying a set of criteria” (!) “but by approximating to an ideal archetype; and not all triangles are equally triangles: they are triangles to the degree to which they approach the ideal” (Simmonds, 2005a)[2].

There is only one difference between Plato and Simmonds. For the former, there is not prejudice and discrimination among triangles. Triangles are equally triangles, even if they can have different forms and characteristics. Equilateral triangles, isosceles triangles, scalene triangles, right triangles, obtuse triangles, acute triangles are all equally triangles for a Platonic idea of triangle. But, for Simmonds, they are not equal, since they reflect a different degree of approximation to the ideal archetype of triangle!!

But, are we sure that exist only an ideal archetype of triangle?!?!

Why is the existence of six different ideal archetypes of triangle not possible?!?!

Is it possible that those six different archetypes of triangle come from a common meta-archetype of triangle?!?!

And, if so it is …, are we sure that the function / role / nature of this meta-archetype of triangle is to discriminate among triangles?!?!

No, we are not. Simmonds was hugely wrong.

Law of Hume versus Simmonds’ Moral Archetype 

According to the Law of Hume, this meta-archetype belongs to a Descriptive Realm. It does not belong to any Normative Realm. So, it cannot be used to discriminate among triangles. It can only say if A is: either, a triangle; or, not a triangle. In other words, it defines the entities that belong to the set of triangles. If we apply it to Law, it will be the same. The Archetype will only say if something belongs, or not, to Law.

That is all, Folks.

But Simmonds makes his archetype say something of very different.

According to Simmonds, not all triangles are equally triangles but “they are triangles to the degree to which they approach the ideal”.

In other words, Simmonds violated the Law of Hume. He passed from an entity, which belongs to the Descriptive Realm, to an entity, which belongs to a Normative Realm. He confused between these two dimensions.

Simmonds’ archetype is not an archetype. It is a normative choice that has been masked behind a descriptive form.

For this reason, he arrived to state that: “not all triangle are equally triangles: they are triangles to the degree to which they approach the ideal”.

All the Legal Theory of Simmonds is based on this huge mistake. He confound between the Descriptive Realm and the Normative Realm.

An entity can only belong to one of these two Realms. An entity cannot pass from one of them to another one. So, Simmonds’ Legal Theory implodes in itself. On one hand, it was the result of a very wrong reasoning (which was done by one of the “finest Cambridge mind”). Simmonds misused philosophical ideas without: having awareness of them and their implications; knowing what he was doing!! On the other hand, if he knew what he was doing, he was willingly cheating. He used one of the most antique logical fallacies.

As a result (it does not matter how or why), he created a wrong and dangerous theory able to “prostituting” itself to support any intolerant and totalitarian Regime, which wants to impose its own ideal onto any other one else!!

Ideals, indeed, change: from Culture to Culture; from Time to Time; from Person to Person; etc… .

The Holy Inquisition, on the contrary, would have found very interesting the Legal Theory of Simmonds!!

Simmonds Background

Where does Simmonds’ Legal Theory come from?

The University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge have a long tradition of rivalry. Thus, when Oxford says A, Cambridge says Z.

It makes quite easy their job!!

As Finnis (Oxford) had taken a lot from Saint Aquinas (Aristotelism), Simmonds (Cambridge) was forced to take a lot from: Saint Augustine (Platonism); and Ockham, who opposed his teaching to those of Aquinas.

So, Finnis and Simmonds played this historical endless recursive game between these two Universities and these two opposite philosophical points of view.

But, Simmonds “corrupted” the ideal of Plato with Ockham’s philosophy.

From Saint Augustine, Simmonds took: the strong dualism; and, the idea of Law as a Moral Archetype. The imperfect human beings tend endless to, without reaching it, a Moral Archetype.

From Plato, Simmonds took: both, the Theory of Form (Phaedo); and, the Doctrine of Love. From the former, Simmonds took his first postulate[3]. As nothing in the World is more than a shadow (Plato, Cavern’s Myth), Law comes from an immaterial ideal that is neither physical nor mental. According to Plato, this ideal comes from nowhere in the space-time, as it lives in a Metaphysical World (the World of Ideas). From the Doctrine of Love, Simmonds took the dynamical relationship between Law and its Ideal.

But, neither Plato nor Augustine stated what Simmonds affirmed later: “not all triangles are equally triangles” as “they are triangles to the degree to which they approach the ideal” (Simmonds, 2005a).

Simmonds took this idea from Ockham’s thought. Ockham fought Aquinas’ teachings. As Simmonds wanted to fight Finnis’ theory, he: either, had to pick up from Ockham; or, had to create something new.

Simmonds picked up from Ockham (… it was far easier…).

According to Ockham, Moral and Legal norms cannot be found with reason (and/or introspection a là Finnis and Saint Aquinas). Behaviours are good only if they are conformed to God’s commands. There is no intrinsic reason in them. Good and Bad are only the outcome of arbitrary norms / commands of God. So, even the wickedest things can be the absolute Good if God commands them.  Bad is only to disobey to (to not comply with) God’s norms and/or commands.

Now, Simmonds does not speak about God, as God has never ever commanded anything. Moreover, nowadays, God is an unfashionable argument among Scholars. On the contrary, the Moral Archetype is based on Power’s Will. As there is not any intrinsic reason of what Good is (Ockham), Simmonds’ Moral Archetype becomes an arbitrary normative entity used by Power to make triangles homologate to its Will. So, Simmonds’ Moral Archetype discriminates among triangles. This is the reason why not all triangles are equally triangles. They are “triangle” due the degree to which they comply with Power’s Will.

At the end, the Legal Theory of Simmonds has opened the doors to any Totalitarian Regime behind vacuum, in appearance agreeable, void words.

Nietzsche versus Simmonds

Where you see ideal thing, I see – human, alas all too human things

Friedrich W. Nietzsche, Human All Too Human

Both Nietzsche and I agree that different triangles have different forms and characteristics[4] as different Human Beings have different: Culture; Race; Ethnicity; Nationality; Ideas; Beliefs; Experiences; etc… . BUT, neither Nietzsche nor I agree with Simmonds when he says that “not all triangles are equally triangles” as “they are triangles to the degree to which they approach the ideal” of  triangle.

This is for the reasons I have explained supra (above) et infra (below).

Prototype versus Archetype

When Simmonds speaks about Moral Archetypes, he creates:

  1. a surreal hybrid: between Plato’s Epistemology and Ockham’s Ethics;
  2. and, a monster (chimera) which continuously swing between a Descriptive Realm / Dimension and a Normative Realm / Dimension.

Simmonds does not have any clear idea about the difference: between Epistemology and Ethics; between Descriptive Realm and Normative Realm. Simmonds’ Legal Theory confounds the Nature of Law with the Political Domain of a Legal System.

On the contrary, when I speak about Law as a Social Prototype, I speak about empirical things. I speak about a Descriptive Theory that explains the Nature of Law without: both/either, entering inside the normative contents; and/or, judging among triangles. I keep a distinction: from Epistemology to Ethics; from the Descriptive Realm to the Normative Realm.

What is a Social Prototype?

A Social Prototype is exactly the opposite of the Simmonds’ Moral Archetype. To understand the prototype, you have to change the perspective. You cannot start from any metaphysical Realm, but you have to start from the empirical and physical Realm.

Simmonds, indeed, made the same mistake of Raz (Epis L., 2015). As he could not found “his” theory in the empirical facts, he founded it entirely onto ontology and metaphysics. It was a way to deny the reality of facts. But, Law does not come from any metaphysical Realm!! On the contrary, Law comes from the historical living experience of a society.

As this writing is to say, Law as a Social Prototype is the final evolution of the Ardigò’s Social Ideal. On the contrary, Simmonds Law as a Moral Archetype is the last regression of the Ardigò’s theory from a Positive Stage to a Metaphysical Stage.

According to Ardigò (1901), every society creates its own Social Ideal (Idealità Sociale). The Social Ideal does not come from any metaphysical Realm. It is the natural outcome that is caused by the inborn and innate Law of the Nature. They are “written” inside: both, the Social Organism; and, the Human Beings.

The Social Ideal is also called Justice. It is: the Specific Force of the Social Organism; the set of the implicit norms (Natural Law) that are naturally created by the Society and its members. Those norms are innate and necessary. The Social Organism, indeed, cannot exist without them.

So, Ardigò created an empirical theory that was able to sketch out a framework for understanding the two dimensions of the Legal System: the implicit dimension (Social Ideal); and, the explicit dimension (Positive Law). But, Ardigò gave merely a sketch. He was not able to find and to indicate those innate and inborn mechanisms.

Epis’ Social Prototype ends “what” Ardigò started. Epis’ Social Prototype applies the framework of the Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Social Cognition, to Ardigò’s Social Ideal.

Indeed, in all its dimensions, Law is nothing more and nothing less than a particular kind of social norm. So, Law as a Social Prototype is a very empirical and positive theory able to explain:

  1. the Nature of Law;
  2. the Legal Interpretation;
  3. the relationship and dynamics between the implicit and explicit Legal Dimensions;
  4. the innate psychosocial mechanisms that rule the Legal System;
  5. the whole Legal Domain / Realm in its every levels and aspects.

Law as a Social Prototype is also able to explain the relationship among Morality, Justice and Law. All of them are sub-sets of the main set of the social norms.

Whereas several scholars have linked the moral norms to the legal norms, none of them was able to explain their relationship. They refused to proceed with an interdisciplinary approach. They refused to apply the Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Social Cognition, to their disciplines. So, their theories are weak, … very weak.

Simmonds’ Moral Archetype is an example of this in Jurisprudence. Wikstrom’s Situational Action Theory of Crime Causation is another example of this in Criminology. Indeed, Epis has always advised Wikstrom to improve his theory and studies, using the Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Social Cognition, since 2006. For instance, you can give a look to Epis’ writing: Morality and Crime.

Finally, Law as Social Prototype resolves several legal and philosophical problems such as: the violation of the Law of Hume; the conflict between Natural Law and Positive Law.

Epis’ Prototype and Simmonds’Archetype: the Final Conflict

Simmonds’ Moral Archetype and Epis’ Social Prototype represent the final opposite views that are possible to have about the Nature of Law.

They evolve and synthesis all the previous Legal Thought.  Simmonds re-elaborated the antique theological and metaphysical perspectives into a modern lay one.  Epis re-elaborated the empirical and positive legal theories (which have been developed inside the Legal and Philosophical Thought) into an Integrated and Interdisciplinary Theory. Exempli gratia, Epis enriched and advanced the Ardigò’s Legal Thought with the framework of the Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology and Social Cognition. At the end, Epis’ Legal Theory is able to:

  1. understand the Legal Phenomenum in its Whole Unity;
  2. illustrate the different layers, strata and levels, which constitute the Legal Reality;
  3. describe “how” those levels work and interact together.

In other words, Epis’ theory is a Model, which is able to consider all the different factors and variables of the function: f (Law). Of course, the Model has some limits!! It considers only the factors that belong to the Social and Psychological Sciences. In other words, it cannot tell you “how” the fly of a butterfly in Amazon Forest can affect a legal proceeding in Italy. But, actually, … it can … in somehow.

According to the Chaos’ Theory, the movement of atoms, which has been caused by a Brazilian butterfly, can influence the outcome of a rain and/or a storm in Italy. For instance, at least, it can make some drops of rain and/or hail fall more somewhere instead of somewhere else. A little difference of few millimetres and/or centimetres can cause an unpredicted slip to a Lawyer, who is going to notify a Legal Act. Well, if the Lawyer has waited for the last legal day (as most of the time, they do), this little unpredicted bother (… which was caused by an innocent Brazilian butterfly…) is a sufficient factor[5] that, alone, is able to affect deeply the entire legal proceeding[6].

Exempli gratia, there is no time for notifying the summons before the end of the legal term. This will cause: the invalidity of the notification of the summons; and, the loss of the rights.

This is “why”, I strongly advice Lawyers (… and more generally any reasonable person …) to not wait for the last moment. Fate is a capricious Child, with an extraordinary sense of humour. So, you cannot ever know when He decides to play a joke on you.

According to Nietzsche, the Simmonds’ archetype is an idol as: it comes from metaphysics; and, it demands faith.

On the contrary, the Epis’ Social Prototype is not an idol. It does not demand faith. It is a descriptive theory that is able to indicate those clear psychosocial mechanisms that rule entirely the Law’s Realm.

Law and Responsibility

Law itself is neutral. Legal Systems themselves are neutral.

Law is not: either moral or amoral; either good or bad.

As Bernard Show said: “everything has its abuse as well its use”.

Law’s moral qualification depends mainly on “how” people use Law.

Indeed, every Legal System can be misused and abused. For instance, different weights and measures can be applied from case to case. Although the norms, rights and liberties, are formally the same for every person (Paper Rights), they can be applied substantially in a very different way from person to person (Real Rights).  Exempli gratia, the norms and facts can be interpreted in different ways[7]. Moreover, Economical and Psychological factors can deny people to access their Rights and Liberties.  Different economic conditions make people have different degrees in the access to their Rights and Liberties. Social Pressure, Groupthink, Propaganda, Authority’s Compliance, Psychopathological Constructs and Standard Deviations do not allow any free determination. If there is not any real free determination, no responsibility exists at all. Responsibility asks for a real and substantial individual freedom. So, no responsibility can exist in a flock of sheep. People, at the end, discover themselves to be nothing more than slaves “in chains”, who pay for responsibilities of other persons.

So …, the question is: who is the responsible one for the actions that are done by the flock of sheep?

Well…, the answer is obvious. The shepherd, who leads the flock, is responsible with all his guard dogs[8].

Responsibility and Democracy cannot exist in a flock of sheep. They need a different kind of social group. The flock of sheep must to be transmuted in a group of Free Individuals. This will be possible if, and only if, the Human Being transmutes himself from man to superman.

Epis’ Legal Theory: Law as Social Prototype. A new Legal Theory able to overcome: both, the Law of Hume; and, the conflict between Natural Law and Positive Law.

Law as a Social Prototype is a Legal Theory able to overcome: both, the Law of Hume; and, the conflict between Natural Law and Positive Law.

Law as a Social Prototype overcomes the Law of Hume as it belongs only to the Descriptive Realm. This theory clarifies: the Nature of Law; and, “how” the Legal Domain works in all its different aspects and levels. In other words, it tells us everything about “triangles” (a là Simmonds) without judging among “triangles”.

Law as a Social Prototype overcomes the conflict between Natural Law and Positive Law. It explains clearly the relationship and dynamic forces between these two Legal Dimensions of a Legal System: the implicit dimension (Social Ideal / Natural Law); and, the explicit dimension (Positive Law). It evolves the Ardigò’s framework with the inborn psychosocial mechanisms, which govern those intrinsic natural processes. Without them, Law and Society cannot exist.

As both the implicit norms and the explicit norms are social norms, it is possible to understand clearly the underlying forces behind their endless recursive interaction.

But, … wait a moment, I have already heard Simmonds’ legal theory with a better formulation!! Simmonds “thieves” the Italian Ardigò of his ideas!!

Whereas I recognize the Ardigò’s Thought, Simmonds took a lot from Ardigò without: both, recognizing it; and, evolving his’ framework.

Actually, Simmonds regressed and retreated the empirical ideas of Ardigò from a Positive Stage to a Metaphysical Stage. Moreover, he “transmuted” the Ardigò’s theory from a good descriptive theory to a huge philosophical nonsense: something that was tremendously in violation of the Law of Hume.

Simmonds took a lot from Ardigò; it is self-evident. Ardigò was one of first philosopher, who clearly described the Legal Domain and Dynamics like a recursive endless interaction between an implicit dimension (Social Ideal / Justice) and an explicit dimension (Positive Law)[9].

Simmonds has simply translated the Ardigò’s theory in English. Instead of using the Italian terms, Social Ideal and Justice, he used Moral Ideal and Moral Archetype.

But, the structure, the dynamics and the connexions between the implicit and explicit Domains, are those that Ardigò used.

There is only one difference. Whereas Ardigò evolved the previous Thought from a Metaphysical Stage to a Positive Stage, Simmonds regressed it from a Positive Stage to a Metaphysical Stage!!

On the contrary, Epis wanted to advance the Ardigò’s Positive Thought. Actually, he did it as it was explained supra (above).

Justice and Morality

The philosophy of Nietzsche criticizes any attempt to found the Rule of the Law “outside the compass of the earth”. But, Nietzsche is not amoral. Nietzsche does not renounce values. On the contrary, Nietzsche advanced a Positive Idea of Morality. The Positivism of Nietzsche was an Individual Positivism. As I explained supra (above), he overturned the perspective.

So, Nietzsche’s Morality and Ardigò’s Justice can be integrated.

Whereas Morality comes from the Living Experience of each Individual, Justice comes from the Living Experience of each Social Organism (Society).

In other words, something is either just or unjust in terms of Social Life and Existence; something is either good or bad in terms of Individual Life and Existence. Both of them are the best values’ adaptations, which both an Individual and a Social Organism can do, living in those particular historical environments, they experienced.

So, the Social Dimension and the Individual Dimension coexist in harmony.

Between Justice and Morality, the same dialogical recursive interaction, which exists between the implicit and explicit Legal Domains, happens. Justice is the outcome of the Social Dialectic among the different Individual Moralities. But, Justice leads the Social Organism, leaving as freer as it is possible the Individuals.

When Morality moves from Society to Individuals, Morality and Justice (Social Ideal) overlap. This is not good. It means that all the Individual Dimensions are uniformed and homologated to the Social One. As a result, Justice cannot be the outcome of the Social Dialectic among the different moralities and values of the Individuals. As Individuals have to conform themselves to the Social Ideal, they cannot have and develop any their own different Real Morality and Values. In fact, a homologated individual is nothing more than a lemming and/or a sheep of the flock. Homologation becomes part of his/her habitus, forma mentis. As the Social Ideal does not come from the Social Dialectic among the ununiformed individual moralities and values, the Social Ideal comes from somewhere else.

So the question is: Where does Social Ideal come from?

If it does not come from the Social Dialectic among the different moralities of the Individuals that are at the bottom of the Social Pyramid, then it can only come from the top of the Social Pyramid. It means that the Social Ideal is a creation of the Power. It is an arbitrary construct that has been created by Power to advantage its own interests. As Power does not want to reveal the Real Nature of the Social Ideal to its servants, Power presents its Social Ideal like an Idol. But, Social Norms (it does not matter if they are: Law; Morality; Values; etc…) do not come from any Metaphysical Realm. Social Norms are the most concrete and empirical thing that can exist. As I have widely explained and demonstrated, Social Norms come from the Social Conflict and Social Dynamic Forces that govern and underlie the Social Organism.

So, the Individual Morality cannot be homologated to the Social Ideal. If it happens, Justice is reduced to be “the interest of the most powerful” a là Trasimacus.

This is why Nietzsche does not want believers, but people who trust themselves.

“… Verily, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! … Ye say, ye believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is Zarathustra! Ye are my believers: but what account are all believers! Ye had not yet sought yourselves: then did ye find me. So do all believers; therefore all believers is of so little account. Now do I bid you lose me and find yourself; and only when ye have all denied me, will I return unto you.” (Thus Spake Zarathustra, I, XXII).

On the contrary, if each individual is free to create his own Morality, then Justice is the outcome of the Social Dialectic among all these different views. So, Justice comes from the bottom of the Pyramid, instead of the top. In this case, a Real Democracy can exist.

Only Individuals, who are really free and self-determined, are equal forces that are able to equilibrate and to balance the forces of the other individuals, who are members of that Social Organism. So, each Individual can be an Independent Power that is able to limit the Power of the other persons. This equilibrium of forces is the best insurance for the Democracy.

Moreover, Individuals can only live and testify their own values and truths. The only things, they can know and understand, are their unique living experience. Each time they acts, attests and say, something that come from outside their own individual experience, they make themselves be ridiculous. Indeed, they do something without having any idea of what they are doing. They are just marionettes in the hands of someone else, who uses them like stupid pawn.  This is as: “Ultimately, no one can extract from things, books included, more than he already knows. What one has no access to through experience one has no ear for” (Ecce Homo, Why I write good book, I).

Each person is the Best Adaptation to his/her particular kind of Historical Experience.

Each person brings to the Social Dialectic his/her particular Experience, Morality, Truth.

This is essential for the survival of the Social Organism. The ability of the Society to adapt itself to the new circumstances depends entirely on the ability of its individual members to adapt themselves to the new circumstances. If they are (or have to be) uniformed to an Ideal, then they cannot adapt themselves to the new circumstances (as they come). As a result, Society will be unable to adapt itself to the new situations. So, the Social Organism will be dying.

Homologation is Death: Social and Individual Death.

Who preaches for homologation is a “priest” of death. Nowadays, psychologists are them. They preach for: homologation; standard deviations and their constructs. The latters are, at the end, nothing more and nothing less than moral ideals (that are expressed with a misleading form). They are instruments that are used to control people. They are instrument that are used to homologate people to the Power’s Will. But, they lead to one of the most dangerous outcome, as I explained supra (above).

At the end, Nietzsche recognizes the importance of the Rule of the Law inside the actual level of Conciseness of the Humanity. But, the Rule of the Law does not come from Metaphysics. The Rule of the Law comes from: the Individual and Social Empirical Live; and, the Rational and Logical Thinking that is made on these Experiences. Nietzsche would have agreed with Ardigò.

Rule of Law like Supremacy of Law above Power

Rule of Law could be understood like the Legal Principle: pacta sunt servanda.

It is a Latin brocard[10] that means: the agreements have to be respected.

Pacta sunt servanda is the first and essential principle for any Legal System and any Social Organism. Any Legal System and any Social Organism to exist needs this principle. Indeed, no Legal System, no Social Organism can exist without it. If the agreements are not respected, then an endless conflict and war will exist among the members of the Social Organism. So, the Social Organism will be weak and divided. Therefore, it will be defeated by another Social Group that it is able to:

  1. both, have more free and ununiformed individuals;
  2. and, have a stronger cohesion among its members.

The former makes the Social Organism be stronger. The absence of homologation (among the Social Members) allows the Social Group: to deal with wider different situations and environments; to adapt itself better to the new circumstances.

The latter makes a good balance between the Individual Freedom and the Social Needs.

If everyone respects the other different views …;

if everyone complies with the principle Pacta sunt servanda …;

solidarity and empathy are the natural outcome.

As a result, the Society will have cohesion.

But, the principle pacta sunt servanda does not apply with the same intensity to every agreement.  Indeed, the Social Contract is the highest Pactum. The Social Contract is both an implicit and an explicit agreement among individuals, who decide to form a Society and/or Nation. It contains the main values (Social Ideal) of the Society. The Social Contract is the hard core of the Ardigò’s Social Ideal.

As the Government receives its powers from the Social Contract[11], Government has only those powers that the Social Contract gives to it. So, Government must comply with: both, the regulations that limit its power and its exercise; and, the values and legal principles that come from the Social Ideal.

In other words, this means that Rule of the Law is the Supremacy of the Law above the Power. Power is submitted to the Social Ideal that comes from the Historical Social Dialectic among free Individuals with different Moralities and Values.

Only in these terms, an impersonal Power a là Ardigò can lead the Society.

On the contrary, we have a Power that betrays the Social Ideal to impose its own tyranny. Therefore, the Social Ideal will be reduced to be a Horse of Troy as I wrote in Rule of Law and English Legal System.

According to Nietzsche, individuals learn from their Living Experiences the Prudence. Prudence advices people to use the Rule of the Law as a mean.

Rule of law as a mean. – Law, reposing on compacts between equals continues to exist for so long as the power of those who have concluded these compacts remains equal or similar; prudence created law to put an end to feuding and to useless squandering between forces of similar strength. But just as definitive an end is put to them if one party has become decisively weaker than the other: then subjection enters in and law ceases, but the consequence is the same as that previously attained through the rule of law. For now it is the prudence of the dominant party which advises that strength of the subjected should be economized and not uselessly squandered: and often the subjected find themselves in more favourable circumstances than they did when they were equals. – The rule of law is thus a temporary means advised by prudence, not an end” (Human, All too Human, II, 26).

Accounting to Nietzsche, the Rule of the Law has two origins.

The former is originated inside a Utopian Society where everyone is formally and substantially equal to any other person. In this case, Rule of Law comes from a Social Contract that is done by Equal Forces. Rule of Law is the outcome of the Social Experience that has been done by those equal forces/persons. They have learned that it is useless an endless conflict among them for the reasons I explained supra (above).

The latter is originated inside a society where there is not a substantial equality among its members. Nevertheless, the dominant persons have learned that it is sager to economize their forces than to waste them with useless conflicts.

In both the cases, the Rule of the Law does not come from Metaphysics. Rule of Law comes from the Individual and Social Living Experience. It is a conscious, empirical and rational, choice.

In other words, the Rule of the Law is a mean to avoid the Hobbesian bellum omnium contra omnes (Hobbes, 1909). But, Nietzsche does not advice to create a Leviathan a là Hobbes (1909). Nietzsche recommends, on the contrary, overturning the perspective. This leads, as I explained, to Ardigò’s Social Ideal. So, at the end, the Rule of the Law is not compatible with the Simmonds’ Moral Ideal.

The Simmonds’ Moral Ideal is a Horse of Troy for the tyranny of the Leviathan. In fact, Popper (1995) declared Plato an enemy of the Open Society. But, Simmonds did not consider Popper. Maybe, he neglected him: … Popper was not a member of his College!! Maybe, Simmonds did it: … he was also an enemy of the Open Society!!

On the contrary, the Rule of the Law is compatible with the Ardigò’s Social Ideal.  The Ardigò’s Social Ideal and Epis’ Social Prototype are the mean for the creation of a real Democracy. They are friend of an Open Society!!

[1] According to Euclid, a triangle is a two dimensional geometrical form with: both, three angles, whose sum (α + β + γ) is equal to 180°; and, three sides, which are composed by a straight line segment, whose the length of one of them is never: both, the same; and, longer; … the sum of the others two.

[2] Simmonds (2005b) repeated this concept: “Actual instances of triangles constitute triangles in virtue of the degree to which they approximate to the ideal “triangle” of mathematical definition. So the triangles that one comes across do not constitute triangles by fully satisfying a set of criteria, but by approximating to an ideal archetype. Indeed, not all triangles are equally triangles: they are triangles to the degree to which they approach the ideal”.

[3] The first postulate is: Law is “structured by archetype”.

[4] Some of them are equilateral triangles; some of them are isosceles triangles; some of them are scalene triangles; some of them are right triangles; some of them are obtuse triangles; some of them are acute triangles.

[5] Which is not considered by my model.

[6] Actually, this example is taken by real cases. It happened that lawyers, who waited for the last useful day for notifying a summons, slipped and broke one of their legs. So, their clients lost all their rights.

[7] So, even if the Paper Rights tells that an identical Legal System exists for everyone, the Reality is different. The Legal System changes from person to person.

[8] Nowadays, we live in a very strange time. The responsible one is always the poorest sheep. The shepherd is never responsible with his guard dogs!!

[9] Ardigò was one Italian scholar. He belongs to the Italian Positivism.

[10] Brocards are Legal Principles that have been created during the Medieval Age. They have been taken by the Roman Law (which was considered an expression of Natural Law). The name “brocard” came from the name of the bishop of Worms, Burchard, who died in 1025. The bishop Burchard wrote 20 volumes: Regulae Ecclesisticae. These books are a collection of maxims and sayings. Some of those Legal Principles were collected in those tomes.

[11] The Government does not receive those powers from God.



Epistemology and Morality versus Politics: from the creation of the Superman to the realization of Utopia   

I agree with Thomas Mann (1948). Nietzsche is “remote from politics”[1].

Nevertheless, the demand to investigate the “political philosophy” of Nietzsche springs out from the different attempts (which have been done from time to time) to use his “innocently spiritual” Thought (Thomas Mann, 1948) to support anti-democratic Regime.

Although Schutte (1984) and Detwiler (1990) argue that the Nietzsche’s Thought can justify “highly authoritarian systems of government”, Nietzsche is against any anti-democratic Regime. This is clear, as I wrote supra (above). Nietzsche defends and supports the Individual Freedom. His philosophy is ontological incompatible with any totalitarian Regime. Individual Freedom and authoritarian Regimes cannot co-exist together.

Indeed, according to Montinari (1975): “all’interno di una … democrazia … non puo’ mancare una “dimensione Nietzsche”, la dimensione … della liberta’ di spirito che nasce dalla carica critica, razionale e liberatrice del suo pensiero e che non si stanca mai di rimettere tutto in questione[2].

Nietzsche’s Thought was corrupted by Elisabeth Nietzsche Foster (his sister). She made Nietzsche’s Thought be compatible with the German political ideology of Nazism (Montinari, 1975; Wicks, 2004)[3].

But, Nietzsche’s Philosophy was clearly anti-Nazism.

The anti-Nazism of Nietzsche is self-evident from:

  1. his anti-racism;
  2. his idea that “the concept of “pure blood” is the opposite of a harmless concept”;
  3. his anti-anti-Semitism (Duffy M. F. and Mittelman W., 1988);
  4. the idea of man like a free thinker;
  5. his ideas about idols;
  6. etc… .

On the contrary, Hunt (1991) argues that the Nietzsche’s Thought can be interpreted in any possible way, due its ambiguity. So, Nietzsche can appear: anarchist; totalitarian; liberal; etc…; … as Nietzsche expressed himself like a Sphinx (Blondel, 1991).  But, Nietzsche does “not hold any of the standard political ideologies” (Hunt, 1991). So, it is meaningless an account such as that one of Ansell-Pearson (1994). The latter attempted: before, proving that “Nietzsche is liberal individualist”; then, explaining “on which he departs from liberalism”!!

This sketch indicates how much Nietzsche’s work was strongly misunderstood.

Paradoxically, Nietzsche predicted this outcome.

“But it would be a complete contradiction of myself if expected ears and hands for my truth already today: that I am not heard today, that no one today knows how to take from me, is not only comprehensible; it even seems to be right” (Ecce Homo, Why I write good book, I).

For these reasons, I agree with Warren (1985) when he says: “… that the Nietzsche’ s thought has entered the cannon of political philosophy in an unsatisfactory manner, and that the relation of Nietzsche and political philosophy needs to be reconceived”. Nevertheless, I do not agree with Warren (1985) on the “strategy for doing” this re-evaluation. Instead of starting from the centrality of the philosophy of power and human agency, I suggest to follow the exegetic criteria, which Nietzsche gave us in Ecce Homo: “Listen to me! For I am thus and thus. For not, above all, confound me with what I am not!!” (Ecce Homo, Prologue).

The mistake to use the concept of Will to Power comes from a “literal application” of this expression without understanding what it means.

Will to Power does not refer to individuals. It refers to the World itself.

As individuals are parts of the World, they participate to Will to Power.

This world is the will to power — and nothing besides! And you yourselves are also this will to power — and nothing besides! (Nietzsche, Will to Power, 1067).

Will to power is the Dynamical Force that makes World / Existence be.  It looks like the concept of Spirit that is used inside the Hermeneutic Philosophy (Gadamer, Heidegger, Betti, etc…). Indeed, according to Davey (1991): “… there is a substantial hermeneutic foundation to his thinking which has, astoundingly, been neglected”.

The present writer affirms that the political thought of Nietzsche should be extracted by his moral and epistemological philosophy. The political philosophy of Nietzsche is an indirect consequence of his moral and epistemological ideas.

The difficulty to understand Nietzsche comes from the ambiguity of his discourse. His aphorisms look like Buddhist Zen Koans. Nietzsche used ambiguity as, at the end, “no one can extract from things, books included, more than he already knows. What one has no access to through experience one has no ear for” (Ecce Homo, Why I write good book, I). So, long explanations are useless!!

“Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood. The latter perhaps wounds his vanity; but the former wounds his heart, his sympathy, which always says: “Ah, why would you also have as hard a time of it as I have?”” (Beyond the Good and Evil, 290).

The political idea of Nietzsche is to create a Utopian Society that is composed by free Individuals. As Individuals must be the opposite of lemmings, the Utopian Society has to be the opposite of a flock of sheep.

Nietzsche expressed his anti-authoritarian view, exempli gratia, in On the New Idol (Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, I). The State is described to be an Idol that imposes its Moral Ideal a là Simmonds onto its servants. So, between the Power of the State (Leviathan) and the Simmonds’ Moral Ideal (the Cultural Paradigm that is imposed by the State) there is a strong bond. This is clear from the Nietzsche’s works, even if his Cultural Aspects and Implications have usually been underestimated (Blondel, 1991).

Although some authors have attempted to restrict the interpretation of On the New Idol to some particular types of forms of Government (Sokel, 1983; Strong, 1976), these interpretations “have nothing to do with the text of On a New Idol” (Hunt, 1991)[4].

On the New Idol refers to every State that has not transmuted itself from the flock of Sheep to the Utopian Society.  Indeed, sheep/lemmings have always homologated themselves to something that was given to them. On the contrary, a group of free individuals is made by free spirits. This is clear from the literature that has influenced Nietzsche’s work. Exempli gratia, Holderlin (1822; 1994) was one of his preferred writers (Blondel, 1991)[5].

Nietzsche does not want a society of imitators (lemmings).

Imitators. – A: “What? You want no imitators?” B: “I do not want people to imitate me; I want everyone to set his own example, which is what I do”. A: “Thus –?” (Gay Science, 255)

Nietzsche does not want believers. Believers are servants of idols.

All the conflicts and wickedest things have been the consequence of believers’ determinations. They want to impose their own Moral Ideal (a là Simmonds) onto any other one. The Christian Church gave an example of this with its Holy Inquisition. To save the soul of people from the fire of the Inferno and Satan, Inquisitors created the Hell on the Earth.  Like real devils, they enjoyed: to torture and to burn people; to commit any atrocity. They were servants of Satan; they were not ministers of God at all. They betrayed God. They killed Him and His Teaching!!

Nowadays, this is done with the New Profane Inquisition. Psychopathology is used and misused to reload the Hell on the Earth (Epis L., 2011/2015). Its constructs, standard deviations and demand of Homologation, are the new Idols “… in the name of …” new and old forms of abuse, torture and violence, can be done.

The only way to exist from this foolishness is to create Utopia.

The only way to create Utopia is to transmute the Human Being from man to superman.

This is possible only proceeding with the three passages described by Nietzsche: Camel; Lion; Child. Nietzsche’s philosophy has several Alchemical Elements. Indeed, these three passages are a new metaphor for the three Alchemical Stages: Nigredo (the Black Stage Alchemicae Operae); Albedo (the White Stage Alchemicae Operae); Rubedo (the Red Stage Alchemicae Operae). But, I do not know about These Enigmatic Things! So, I cannot tell you about Them. Yet, you may read other writers such as: Zosimus Alchemista (Zosimos of  Pannopolis); Maria Prophetissima (Mary the Prophetess; Mary the Jewess); Stephanus Alexandrinus (Stephanos of Alexandria; Stephen of Alexandria); Pseudo-Democritus; Gabir Ibn Hayyan; Senior Zadith; Paolo di Taranto; Basilius Valentinus (Johann Tholde); …; Julius Evola (1931); … and/or someone else, who knows about Them.

The superman is what I descried in the first chapter. So, I will not long more on this topic. Yet, I want to tell something about the view of Thiele.

I disagree with the “heroic individualism” presented by Thiele (1990).

“The Hero has the fate of Tantalus, whose reach is insufficient and whose efforts unending. For the fruit of his struggle is unattainable: he is a mortal who seeks immortality, a man who desires to be a god. But as he reaches for what he cannot grasp, he also grows in power, and therefore welcomes the temptation to overstep his limits. Unaware or contemptuous of the boundaries of human life, the hero is forever in state of transgression. He is hubristic, and he both suffers and glories in his struggles to be more than he is fated to be”.

Thiele (1990) has completely misinterpreted the concept of hero of Nietzsche. On the contrary, Thiele (1990) described the ideal of the romantic hero, exempli gratia, that one, which was used by Byron (1841) in his Childe Harold’s pilgrimage.

The superman is a different kind of hero.


  1. overcomes his old nature of follower;
  2. transcends duality and the antinomy between egoistic and un-egoistic[6], reaching the Unity[7];
  3. goes “beyond the Good and Evil” to obtain the condition describe by Alexander Pope in An Essay an Man: “Self-love and Social are the same”.

Nietzsche does not desire to be god. Nietzsche does not want to create a new idol. He wants to be a Child[8] (Thus Spake Zarathustra, I, I) as I explained supra (above).

“…“Dead are all the gods: now do we desire the Superman to live” – let this be our final will at the great noontide!” (Thus Spake Zarathustra, XX, III).

The Child is a creator of his own values. The Child has awareness. The Child reaches the Unity that has been described by Alexander Pope with his masterpiece: An Essay on Man.

“Nothing is foreign: Parts relate to whole:

One all-extending all-preserving Soul;

Connects each being, greatest with the least;

Made Beasts in aid of Man, and Man of Beast;

All serv’d, all serving! Nothing stands alone;

The chain holds on, and where it ends, unknown”.

Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man.

Nietzsche expressed this interdipende (exempli gratia) with these words: “Thou great star! What would be thy happiness if thou hadst not those for whom thou shiniest!” (Thus Spake Zarathustra, Zarathustra’s Prologue).

The aim of superman is: to find himself … “…find yourself…” (Thus Spake Zarathustra); to be free from any others … “… become what you are” (Thus Spake Zarathustra). It is not to dominate the other persons, but to allow them to be also free.

The aim of superman is to be genuine: “Are you genuine? Or just a play-actor? A representative? Or the actual thing represented? – Ultimately you are even just an imitation play-actor …” (Twilight of the Idols, Maxims and Barbs, XXXVIII).

The aim of superman is to go beyond the duality good and evil: “Good and evil are the prejudice of God” (Gay Science, 259).

For all these reasons, I disagree with Thiele (1990).

“To say it again, little of “ill will” can be shown in my life; neither would I be able to speak of barely a single case of “literally ill will”. On the other hand all too much of pure folly!” (Ecce Homo, Why I write good books, I).

This pure folly is: the pure folly of creating a better human being; the pure folly to create a Utopian Society.

A Society where the Human Being has transmuted: “All … passions in … virtues, and all … devils (in) angels” (Thus Spake Zarathustra, I, V). A Society where “the noble man also helps the unfortunate, but not – scarcely – out of pity, but rather than from an impulse generated by superabundance of power” (Beyond Good and Evil, 260).

A New Hope: from a flock of sheep to a “group” of Free Individuals

The individuals, who are able to pass through the three stages (Camel; Lion; Child), arrive to transmute themselves from men to super-men.

This means two things. On one hand, they transmute themselves. On the other hand, they transmute the Society whose they are members. As they are not any more lemmings, Society is not any more a flock of sheep.Society transmutes itself from a flock of sheep to a group of free Individuals, who are able to co-exist and to collaborate in their own (very strong) differences. So, a true Democracy will begin.

As I wrote supra (above), no democracy (at all) can exist among flocks of sheep. Since they are enslaved by homologation, only Tyranny exists.

It does not matter the form and/or the name that has been given to this tyranny. It does not matter the reason “… in the name of …” Homologation is demanded.

Flocks of sheep are always dominated by a Totalitarian Regime. They ask for homologation. They ask for idols. They are not able to live in a different way.

On the contrary, Utopia is made by Free Individuals.

So, you have to choose: do you want to be a lemming/sheep or a Free Individual?

Do you want to stay in a flock of sheep or to create Utopia?

Only you, by yourself, can decide. Only you, by yourself, can free yourself. No God, No Bodhisattwa, No other one else, can help you in this.

It is Time for a New Hope. It is Time for a New Era / Epoch.

It is Time for who is ready.

[1] Thomas Mann (1947), Nietzsche’s Philosophy in the Light of Contemporary Events, Washington: Library of Congress

[2] “ Inside a Democracy … a “Nietzsche’s dimension” cannot miss. It is the dimension of the “freedom of Spirit” that comes from the critical, rational and liberating, power of his thought, which re-put everything under re-examination without getting tired”.

[3] Elisabeth Nietzsche Foster and her husband Bernhard Foster were both Nazis. They lived in Paraguay. When, they came in Germany to take care Friedrich Nietzsche, Elisabeth used the philosophy of her brother to elevate her position in the Nazis Society. In Paraguay, Elisabeth and her husband worked actively “to establish an Arian, anti-Semitic German Colony called” Nueva Germania (Wicks R. 2004). This is how the Nietzsche’s Thought was made compatible with the nationalism of Hitler and Mussolini (Wicks R. 2004).

[4] Sokel (1983) restricts the application of on the New Idol only to “ossified bureaucratised State”; whereas Strong (1976), only to “nationalistic States”.

[5] Holderlin (1822; 1994) in the Hyperion wrote: “… The person who wants the State to be a school for morality has no idea how much he is sinning. None the less, wanting the State to be his heaven, man has created a hell. The State is a rough walnut shell covering life, nothing more. It is the wall of the garden in which men grow flowers and fruits. But what use is the garden wall if the soil is dry?”.

These ideas are present in the On the New Idol of Nietzsche.

[6] “The propositions over which everybody is in fundamental agreement – not to speak of everybody’s philosophers, the moralists and other hollow-heads and cabbage-heads – appear with me as naïve blunders: for example that belief that “un-egoistic” and “egoistic” are antithesis, while the ego itself is merely a “higher swindle”, an “ideal”. There are neither egoistic nor un-egoistic actions: both concepts are psychologically nonsense!” (Ecce Homo, Why I write good books, V).

“What makes one heroic? – To approach at the same time one’s highest suffering and one’s highest hope” (The Gay Science, 268).

[7] The concept of unity is so clear, so evident, obvious, in his writing: “An “idea” – the antithesis Dionysian and Apollonian – translated into metaphysic; history itself as the evolution of this “idea”; in tragedy this antithesis elevate to unity; from this perspective things which had never before caught sight of one another suddenly confronted with one another, illuminated by one another and comprehended…” (Ecce Homo, The birth of Tragedy, I).

[8] “Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the spirit become a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion a child”

“But tell me, my brethren, what the child can do, which even the lion could not do? Why hath the preying lion still to become a child?

Innocence is the child, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy Yea.

Aye, for the game of creating, my brethen, there is needed a holy Yea unto life: its own will, willeth now the spirit; his own world winneth the world’ outcast” …

Something about Lie-Detectors


Whereas some of the English speaking Countries use Lie-Detectors, other Nations (such as the Wisest and Sagest Italy) do not! This article, very briefly, shows why Lie-Detectors should not be trusted. Exempli gratia, they could be perilous and dangerous instruments during police enquires and/or any other investigation of Truth.

In other word, Lie Detectors could not be more trustable then Medieval “Trial of Ordeal” and/or Judicium Dei!! Why? Read the article and get the answer by Yourself!

 “And after all, what is a lie? Tis but

The truth in masquerade; and I defy

Historians, heroes, lawyers, priests to put

A fact without some leaven of a lie.

The very shadow of true truth would shut

Up annals, revelations, poesy,

And prophecy …

Praised be all liars and all lies!”

Lord Byron, Don Juan

Introduction: lies and human ability to recognise them.

It is believed that abilities to recognize lies have been developed from the earliest human history. They were supposed necessary skills for human survivor (Swanson C. R., Chamelin N. C. and Territo L., 1996). Nevertheless, the homo sapiens sapiens does not seem to have succeed in this “adaptation”! Their abilities to identify lies are not higher then chance (Ekman and O’ Sullivan, 1991). Indeed, even though most people believe to be able to recognize deceiving, very few of them (independently by their professions and experiences) are able to perform better then chance (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004; Kraut and Poe, 1980; De Paulo and Pfeifer, 1986). In some empirical cases, data showed performances lower then chance (Porter S., Woodworth M. and Birt A. R., 2000).

Only the U. S. secret agents of Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) have performed better then chance. They had a score of 64% in deceptions’ identification (Ekman P. and O’Sullivan M., 1991). In other words, they are wrong one third of the cases!! Good job (!), considering the consequences of their actions!

The ability of human beings to read the verbal and not verbal communication of the others was the first kind of lie detector. It was believed (from the Ancient Time) that: when a person lies, he/she is nervous for his/her sense of guilty. Hence, liars manifest physiological arousal and behaviours such as: looking down; avoid gazing at the eyes of accusers; moving their “big toe in circle”; getting dry their mouths (Swanson C. R., Chamelin N. C. and Territo L., 1996; Segrave K., 2004). According to Segrave (2004), Vedas have described some of these clues since Antiquity. More recent studies (from: psychology; ethology; physiology) seem to have confirmed the tendency of the human beings to express their deceiving with some verbal and not verbal signs.

Ekman, O’Sullivan, Friesen and Scherer (1991) suggest that the combination of the verbal and facial clues allowed performances of 86% in lie detector. But, this study has not been confirmed by others literature!

The failing to detect lies (using the verbal and not verbal clues) is originated, according to Vrij A. (2000), from observers’ will, as they “do not want to detect lies”. I do not believe this is the reason. I consider reason: the unreliable nature of these signs. They could be, simply, neutral expressions of emotional states that can: be originated by different sources; indicate opposite feelings. Thus, any associations between these signs and lies …: could be arbitrary; and follow observers’ expectances. Furthermore, human beings react differently each other’s. So, it is not possible to individuate behavioural patterns able to indicate lying. Evidences are given by the study of: Akehurst et. al. (1996);  Kapardis (2005). According to the latter, people are more accurate in recognition their own lying patters of behaviours rather than others.  This implies the existence of different patters of behaviour from person to person.

There are a lot of evidences about the unreliable nature of these indicators. For instance: the eye blinking, considered a deception – indicator (Kapardis, 2005; Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004), has not been confirmed by other studies (Mehrabian, 1971). Then, the avoidance of looking at the other peolple’s eyes does not mean necessary: lying. It can also indicate politeness (e.g. staring is considered aggressive behaviour). Next, it could indicate simply: shyness; etc… .

Further, some authors (Swanson C. R., Chamelin N. C. and Territo L., 1996) consider “opening wider the eyes” like a clue of deceiving. But, this sign can, on the other hand, simply indicate: a state of surprise; and/or the wish to “see clearer” (Eibel-Eibelfeldt, 1993).

More, the higher pitch of voice, considered a good indicator for lying (Kapardis, 2005), correlates also with intimate relation (Eibl-Eibelsfeldt, 1993).

Although Vrij (2000) thinks that “some behaviour are more likely to occur when people are lying”, I believe they caused by different factors (of opposite nature) that do not allow any trustable use.

One of these opposite factors can be: both the fear of the deceiver and the fear of the innocent to be involved in an unpleasant situation (Swanson C. R. Chamelin N. C. and Territo L., 1996). This is as the emotional and physiological arousal is “the same” for every feeling.

Thus, I agree with Kapardis (2005) that human beings are not good lie detectors.

Consequently, we are going to focus on the “technological” lie detectors: voice lair detectors (psychological stress evaluator); and polygraph.


Technology employed in the recognition of deceiver: voice lair detectors; polygraph.

Psychological Stress Evaluator (PSE)

According with Kapardis (2005) and Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M. (2004), Psychological Stress Evaluator (PSE) is based on some assumptions. One of these is that: physiological stress produces changes in the voice of liars. Hence, the Psychological Stress Evaluator attempts to identify low frequency changes in the voice to recognize the presence of a higher stress. The “micro-tremor in the vocal muscles” is used like indicator. Although the PSE could be employed in a wide range of application (Kapardis, 2005; Segrave K., 2004), different studies report it does not perform better then chance (Kapardis, 2005; Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004).

The changes in the voice, indeed, are not characteristic features of lying. They follow a wide range of emotions (Lykken D. T., 1988; Eibl-Eibesfeldt I., 1993). For instance, they can be produced by: the uncomfortable feeling caused by a “particular question”; and/or by the person who makes the question; and/or by the situation itself.

In these cases, one can result “liar” even telling the truth.


A better instrument, with less application then PSE, is the polygraph.

The polygraph attempts to recognize those physiological changes linked with offenders’ fear to be identified like liar (Howitt D., 2002).

Many items are measured (poly = many; graph = measures). They are: respiration; heart rates; blood pressure; electro-derma response.

According to Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M. (2004), Kapardis A. (2005), Raskin D. C. (1989) and Vrij A. (2000), there are different techniques: the relevant – irrelevant technique (R-I); the control question test (CQT); the guilty knowledge test or Information Test (GKT)[1].

Relevant – irrelevant technique (R-I)

The R-I method assumes that: the fear to be identified like liar produces more physiological responses to relevant questions then the irrelevant ones (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004).  This assumption does not always work. A strong emotional response (to the relevant questions) can be given by: both liars; and truthful people (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004; Gale A., 1988). Is can fallow “the simple fact that innocent” people are “anxious about the outcome”. So, they produce positive responses to the relevant questions (Kapardis A., 2000). Moreover, the literature indicates that R-I has not met an acceptable internal and external validity (Ruskin D. C., 1989).

Control question test (CQT)

The CQT method applies three types of questions: neutral questions; relevant questions; control questions (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004; Ruskin D. C., 1989; Vrij, 2000). The control questions are the key feature of this test. The physiological reactions, exhibited during the control questions[2], are confronted with subjects’ reactions exhibited during relevant questions (Ruskin D. C., 1989; Vrij A., 2000).

This method has several problems. The difficulty to construct control questions “that will elicit stronger physiological responses in the innocent than relevant question about the crime” (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004; Ruskin D. C., 1989; Vrij, 2000). The increase of emotional arousal in innocent subjects that can be caused by different reasons, not related to the sense of guilty (Vrij A., 2000).  The weakness of its theoretical foundation and logical rationale (Ben-Shakher G., 2002). The inadequate standardization (Ben-Shakher G., 2002). The lack of physiological responses’ objective quantification (Ben-Shakher G., 2002). The problem of contamination from not – physiological responses (Ben-Shakher G., 2002). The examinees’ belief about the infallibility of the test (Vrij A., 2000). In absence of this latter, the physiological reactions can be inappropriate to the outcome of a reliable test.

Guilty knowledge test or Information Test (GKT)

The GKT is considered one of the best methods for detecting lying (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004; Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E., 2002), even though little work has been done for its implementation (Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E., 2002). According to Ruskin D. C. (1989), Vrij A. (2000), Kapardis A. (2005), the questions[3] are constructed using unknown material about the scene of crime. This material can be known only by: examiners; people present at the criminal scene. The test has the form of a multiple-choice test. It is aim is not to discover deception, but presence of “guilty knowledge”. The guilty knowledge is detected observing strong physiological reactions with alternatives related to the crime scene.

One of the best discriminator, between the presence of guilty knowledge and its absence, appears to be the electro dermal responses (Kapardis A. 2005; Raskin D. C., 1989).

According to Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E. (2002), this method can resolve different problems that rose with the formers’.

First of all, it applies standard procedure. Thus, all the examinees go through some experiences. Second of all, the risk of results’ bias with not-physiological information is decreased. Next, its “accuracy can be estimated from laboratory studies”. Finally, the risk of false positive is reduced.

Although these positive elements support the GKT, this method has also several limitations: the availability of enough items (unknown about the crime) to use in the questions (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004); the fact that details used by examiners was not perceived by guilty subjects (Vrij A., 2000). The examinees could also forget details (Vrij A., 2000). Then, there are few trained polygraphers, as this method is not included in most of the training programs (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004). Further, the limit number of real crimes in which can be used (Kapardis A., 2005; Vrij A., 2000). Moreover, the main limit of this method is its feature of recognising only guilty knowledge. Hence, offenders can always say they were present to criminal scenes like witness but they were not the offender (Vrij A., 2000). Also, innocent eyes-witness (who denied their presence to avoid to be involved) could be considered offenders (Vrij A., 2000).

As a consequence, I firmly disagree with Kapardis (2005) and Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E. (2002) when they affirm the CKT able to protect “innocent suspects from being falsely classified as guilty”!?!?!?

Bias factors operating with every method

Independently by methods, a wide range of factors can also bias polygraph results. They are: the experience of examiners (Kapardis A., 2005); the talent of examinees in lying (Kapardis A. 2005); the use of countermeasures by examinees (Vrij A., 2000; Gudjonsson G. H., 1988; Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E., 2002; Honts C. R. and Amato S. L., 2002)[4]; the confirmation bias, e.g. when examiners know examinees to be suspects (Howitt D., 2002).

In addition, the theoretical foundations and assumptions, on which the polygraph tests are based, have received strong radical critics (Ney T., 1988; Lykken D. T., 1988). Ney T. (1988), after having identified polygraph testing’s four assumptions[5], concludes these are false. The reasons are: people may control their physiological reactions; “specific emotional stimuli cannot predict emotion” as we cannot know how the individual cognition evaluates an “emotional stimulus”; “relationship between the different parameters of emotion is … weak”; “individual may vary between themselves across a number of parameters of emotion”.

Lykken D. T. (1988) argues that the human beings are not “equipped with a distinctive physiological responses that” they emit when they lie. A thesis confirmed by Bull R. M. (1988), who states that does not exist such thing as special physiological responses produced by people when they lie.

Another problem (few considered by the literature) is the inability of the polygraph to distinguish between lies and false memory. In this case, people can result truthful even if they tell something that is not true. The lies-detector “measures” what people “feel” to be true, not what is objective true.

The large amounts of mistakes made by polygraph tests (false positive; false negative) confirm the reasons (supra illustrated) of the critics’ good foundation. According to Carroll D. (1988), false positives are more than false negatives.

The reliability of the laboratory studies emphasized by some writers (such as: Ben-Shakher G. and Elaad E., 2002) was criticized by Howitt (2002). The latter argues laboratory studies not a good instrument to verify the accuracy of polygraph. The examinees are set in different emotional contexts respect those of real criminal investigations. Failing the set – up laboratory polygraph test does not imply anything. Failing a polygraph examination during a police investigation can have serious consequences even if one is innocent.

People, without a strong alibi, prefer confessing false crime rather then to defend their innocence. If they confess a false crime, they have more soft criminal consequences then defending their innocence. Moreover, a good legal defence needs economic resources than not everyone can have.

I disagree with psychologists that believe false confessions (made after a positive polygraph) to be consequences of doubts about memories (Vrij A., 2000). They could be, more likely, a rational choice caused by a Legal System that gives too importance to Psychology! It is better for an innocent (without a good alibi) confessing false crimes rather than challenging polygraph results in the Court. The latter choice will lead to stronger criminal consequences!!

Brainwaves analysis of guilty knowledge & functional magnetic imaging (fMRI)

A possible solution, at these lacks of accuracy, can be seen in the brainwaves analysis of guilty knowledge. According to Kapardis (2005), this method is characterised by detecting P3 or P300 brainwaves. They are supposed to be event-related waves evocated by uncommon stimuli with special significance for people. These waves are assumed to detect guilty knowledge with a better accuracy then CKT.

Using functional magnetic imaging (fMRI), it is possible to individuate areas of the brain that are used when people pay attention and try to control errors (anterior cingulated gyrus and prefrontal cortex).

This system is believed to guarantee a higher accuracy, and at least to exclude countermeasures bias (Kapardis A., 2005).

Personally, I think that these beliefs (like always happened) follow newer methods’ enthusiasm! First of all, it is too early to express any kind of appreciation on these methodologies. They are not been used a lot. Only after some real applications in legal settings, we could “appreciate” both the weaknesses and strengths of these methods. Second of all, the neurosciences are a perilous field! Indeed, the images and brain area activations could be determined always by different processes and functions (e.g. Benso F., 2013). In other word, it is always the REALITY (the material facts) to give meaning to the images of neurosciences, not vice versa!! Third, the data in neurosciences are mediated by computer’ software. They cannot be trusted so much. They are not always able to reflect REALITY.

Anyways, at the end, remember: “everything has its abuse as well as it is use” (Bernard Show).


Although the mankind have been attempting to find a system able to discriminate between true and lie since Antiquity (Segrave K., 2005), human beings have not succeeded in this research. The results are contradictory. The degree of errors is still elevated. The literature is divided into two “parties”. One is for a sceptic idea about lie detectors (Nye T., 1988; Carrol D., 1988; Lykken D. T. 1988; etc…); the other one supports them, despite of their weakness (Barland G. H., 1988; OTA, 1993; etc…).

Whereas polygraphs had a wide use in USA, some European States do not allow lie detectors: both in criminal setting during the investigation and in front of Courts. Polygraphs are not also allowed in labour personnel selection. These decisions have been made: due the high degree of inaccuracy; and, due ethics issues.

All in all, “a lie detector does work as long as the subject believes it works. A good examiner scares the crap out of you. It’s theatre” (Leonard Saxe)[6].

But, Truth and Justice should not be the outcome of theatrical representations!!

[1] Other methods exist, even if they are less used, such as: relevant – relevant procedure (Bartol C. R. and Bartol A. M., 2004); the directed lie control test (Ruskin D. C., 1989). The former was an attempt to resolve some weakness of the R-I method; the second one has been the attempt to resolve some problems of the CQT.

[2] Such as: denying a behaviour that likely every people do.

[3] Used in this method.

[4] Even if some authors does not believe in the effectiveness of the countermeasures used to bias the polygraph (tongue biting; foot tensing; counting sheep or backwards); others studies show that people trained in using countermeasures can be able to beat the polygraph test (Vrij A. 2000). Honts C. R. and Amato S. L. (2002) reports, for instance, how the different countermeasures work with the different methods (R-I, CQT and GKT).

[5] The four assumptions are: the human beings cannot control their physiological reactions and behaviours; “specific emotions can be predicted by specific stimuli”; “there are specific relationships between parameters of behaviour”; there are no differences in the response of people (Ney T. 1988).

[6] This quotation has been reported by Segrave K. (2005).