Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche - HTML preview

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Chapter I. Prejudices Of Philosophers

1. The Will to Truth, which is to tempt us to many a hazardous enterprise, the famous Truthfulness of which all philosophers have hitherto spoken with respect, what questions has  this  Will  to  Truth  not  laid  before  us!  What  strange,  perplexing,  questionable questions! It is already a long story; yet it seems as if it were hardly commenced. Is it any wonder if we at last grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn impatiently away? That this Sphinx teaches us at last to ask questions ourselves? WHO is it really that puts questions to us here? WHAT really is this "Will to Truth" in us? In fact we made a long halt at the question as to the origin of this Will--until at last we came to an absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question. We inquired about the VALUE of this Will. Granted that we want the truth: WHY NOT RATHER untruth? And uncertainty? Even ignorance? The problem of the value of truth presented itself before us--or was it we who presented ourselves before the problem? Which of us is the Oedipus here? Which the Sphinx? It would seem to be a rendezvous of questions and notes of interrogation. And could it be believed that it at last seems to us as if the problem had never been propounded before, as if we were the first to discern it, get a sight of it, and RISK RAISING it? For there is risk in raising it, perhaps there is no greater risk.

2. "HOW COULD anything originate out of its opposite? For example, truth out of error? or the Will to Truth out of the will to deception? or the generous deed out of selfishness? or  the  pure  sun-bright  vision  of  the  wise  man  out  of  covetousness?  Such  genesis  is impossible; whoever dreams of it is a fool, nay, worse than a fool; things of the highest value must have a different origin, an origin of THEIR own--in this transitory, seductive, illusory,  paltry  world,  in  this  turmoil  of  delusion  and  cupidity,  they  cannot  have  their source. But rather in the lap of Being, in the intransitory, in the concealed God, in the 'Thing-in-itself--  THERE  must  be  their  source,  and  nowhere  else!"--This  mode  of reasoning  discloses  the  typical  prejudice  by  which  metaphysicians  of  all  times  can  be recognized, this mode of valuation is at the back of all their logical procedure; through this "belief" of theirs, they exert themselves for their "knowledge," for something that is in the end solemnly christened "the Truth." The fundamental belief of metaphysicians is THE BELIEF IN ANTITHESES OF VALUES. It never occurred even to the wariest of them to doubt here on the very threshold (where doubt, however, was most necessary); though they had made a solemn vow, "DE OMNIBUS DUBITANDUM." For it may be doubted,  firstly,  whether  antitheses  exist  at  all;  and  secondly,  whether  the  popular valuations and antitheses of value upon which metaphysicians have set their seal, are not perhaps  merely  superficial  estimates,  merely  provisional  perspectives,  besides  being probably made from some corner, perhaps from below--"frog perspectives," as it were, to borrow an expression current among painters. In spite of all the value which may belong to the true, the positive, and the unselfish, it might be possible that a higher and more fundamental  value  for  life  generally  should  be  assigned  to  pretence,  to  the  will  to delusion, to selfishness, and cupidity. It might even be possible that WHAT constitutes the value of those good and respected things, consists precisely in their being insidiously related, knotted, and crocheted to these evil and apparently opposed things--perhaps even in  being  essentially  identical  with  them.  Perhaps!  But  who  wishes  to  concern  himself  with such dangerous "Perhapses"! For that investigation one must await the advent of a new order of philosophers, such as will have other tastes and inclinations, the reverse of those hitherto prevalent--philosophers of the dangerous "Perhaps" in every sense of the term. And to speak in all seriousness, I see such new philosophers beginning to appear.

3.  Having  kept  a  sharp  eye  on  philosophers,  and  having  read  between  their  lines  long enough, I now say to myself that the greater part of conscious thinking must be counted among the instinctive functions, and it is so even in the case of philosophical thinking; one has here to learn anew, as one learned anew about heredity and "innateness." As little as  the  act  of  birth  comes  into  consideration  in  the  whole  process  and  procedure  of heredity, just as little is "being-conscious" OPPOSED to the instinctive in any decisive sense; the greater part of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly influenced by his  instincts,  and  forced  into  definite  channels.  And  behind  all  logic  and  its  seeming sovereignty of movement, there are valuations, or to speak more plainly, physiological demands, for the maintenance of a definite mode of life For example, that the certain is worth more than the uncertain, that illusion is less valuable than "truth" such valuations, in spite of their regulative importance for US, might notwithstanding be only superficial valuations, special kinds of maiserie, such as may be necessary for the maintenance of beings  such  as  ourselves.  Supposing,  in  effect,  that  man  is  not  just  the  "measure  of things."

4. The falseness of an opinion is not for us any objection to it: it is here, perhaps, that our new  language  sounds  most  strangely.  The  question  is,  how  far  an  opinion  is  life- furthering,  life-  preserving,  species-preserving,  perhaps  species-rearing,  and  we  are fundamentally  inclined  to  maintain  that  the  falsest  opinions  (to  which  the  synthetic judgments a priori belong), are the most indispensable to us, that without a recognition of logical fictions, without a comparison of reality with the purely IMAGINED world of the absolute  and  immutable,  without  a  constant  counterfeiting  of  the  world  by  means  of numbers,  man  could  not  live--that  the  renunciation  of  false  opinions  would  be  a renunciation of life, a negation of life. TO RECOGNISE UNTRUTH AS A CONDITION OF LIFE; that is certainly to impugn the traditional ideas of value in a dangerous manner, and a philosophy which ventures to do so, has thereby alone placed itself beyond good and evil.

5. That which causes philosophers to be regarded half- distrustfully and half-mockingly, is not the oft-repeated discovery how innocent they are--how often and easily they make mistakes and lose their way, in short, how childish and childlike they are,--but that there is not enough honest dealing with them, whereas they all raise a loud and virtuous outcry when the problem of truthfulness is even hinted at in the remotest manner. They all pose as though their real opinions had been discovered and attained through the self-evolving of  a  cold,  pure,  divinely  indifferent  dialectic  (in  contrast  to  all  sorts  of  mystics,  who, fairer and foolisher, talk of "inspiration"), whereas, in fact, a prejudiced proposition, idea, or "suggestion," which is generally their heart's desire abstracted and refined, is defended by them with arguments sought out after the event. They are all advocates who do not wish to be regarded as such, generally astute defenders, also, of their prejudices, which they dub "truths,"-- and VERY far from having the conscience which bravely admits this  to itself, very far from having the good taste of the courage which goes so far as to let this be understood, perhaps to warn friend or foe, or in cheerful confidence and self-ridicule. The  spectacle  of  the  Tartuffery  of  old  Kant,  equally  stiff  and  decent,  with  which  he entices us into the dialectic by-ways that lead (more correctly mislead) to his "categorical imperative"-- makes us fastidious ones smile, we who find no small amusement in spying out the subtle tricks of old moralists and ethical preachers. Or, still more so, the hocus- pocus  in  mathematical  form,  by  means  of  which  Spinoza  has,  as  it  were,  clad  his philosophy  in  mail  and  mask--in  fact,  the  "love  of  HIS  wisdom,"  to  translate  the  term fairly and squarely--in order thereby to strike terror at once into the heart of the assailant who  should  dare  to  cast  a  glance  on  that  invincible  maiden,  that  Pallas  Athene:--how much  of  personal  timidity  and  vulnerability  does  this  masquerade  of  a  sickly  recluse betray!

6.  It  has  gradually  become  clear  to  me  what  every  great  philosophy  up  till  now  has consisted of--namely, the confession of its originator, and a species of involuntary and unconscious auto-biography; and moreover that the moral (or immoral) purpose in every philosophy has constituted the true vital germ out of which the entire plant has always grown. Indeed, to understand how the abstrusest metaphysical assertions of a philosopher have been arrived at, it is always well (and wise) to first ask oneself: "What morality do they (or does he) aim at?" Accordingly, I do not believe that an "impulse to knowledge" is the father of philosophy; but that another impulse, here as elsewhere, has only made use of knowledge (and mistaken knowledge!) as an instrument. But whoever considers the fundamental impulses of man with a view to determining how far they may have here acted  as  INSPIRING  GENII  (or  as  demons  and  cobolds),  will  find  that  they  have  all practiced philosophy at one time or another, and that each one of them would have been only  too  glad  to  look  upon  itself  as  the  ultimate  end  of  existence  and  the  legitimate LORD  over  all  the  other  impulses.  For  every  impulse  is  imperious,  and  as  SUCH, attempts  to  philosophize.  To  be  sure,  in  the  case  of  scholars,  in  the  case  of  really scientific men, it may be otherwise--"better," if you will; there there may really be such a thing as an "impulse to knowledge," some kind of small, independent clock-work, which, when well wound up, works away industriously to that end, WITHOUT the rest of the scholarly impulses taking any material part therein. The actual "interests" of the scholar, therefore, are generally in quite another direction--in the family, perhaps, or in money- making, or in politics; it is, in fact, almost indifferent at what point of research his little machine is placed, and whether the hopeful young worker becomes a good philologist, a mushroom  specialist,  or  a  chemist;  he  is  not  CHARACTERISED  by  becoming  this  or that.  In  the  philosopher,  on  the  contrary,  there  is  absolutely  nothing  impersonal;  and above all, his morality furnishes a decided and decisive testimony as to WHO HE IS,-- that is to say, in what order the deepest impulses of his nature stand to each other.

7.  How  malicious  philosophers  can  be!  I  know  of  nothing  more stinging than the joke Epicurus  took  the  liberty  of  making  on  Plato  and  the  Platonists;  he  called  them Dionysiokolakes. In its original sense, and on the face of it, the word signifies "Flatterers of Dionysius"--consequently, tyrants' accessories and lick-spittles; besides this, however, it is as much as to say, "They are all ACTORS, there is nothing genuine about them" (for Dionysiokolax was a popular name for an actor). And the latter is really the malignant  reproach  that  Epicurus  cast  upon  Plato:  he  was  annoyed  by  the  grandiose  manner,  the mise en scene style of which Plato and his scholars were masters--of which Epicurus was not a master! He, the old school-teacher of Samos, who sat concealed in his little garden at  Athens,  and  wrote  three  hundred  books,  perhaps  out  of  rage  and  ambitious  envy  of Plato, who knows! Greece took a hundred years to find out who the garden-god Epicurus really was. Did she ever find out?

8.  There  is  a  point  in  every  philosophy  at  which  the  "conviction"  of  the  philosopher appears on the scene; or, to put it in the words of an ancient mystery:

Adventavitasinus, Pulcher et fortissimus.

9. You desire to LIVE "according to Nature"? Oh, you noble Stoics, what fraud of words! Imagine   to   yourselves   a   being   like   Nature,   boundlessly   extravagant,   boundlessly indifferent, without purpose or consideration, without pity or justice, at once fruitful and barren and uncertain: imagine to yourselves INDIFFERENCE as a power--how COULD you live in accordance with such indifference? To live--is not that just endeavouring to be otherwise than this Nature? Is not living valuing, preferring, being unjust, being limited, endeavouring  to  be  different?  And  granted  that  your  imperative,  "living  according  to Nature,"  means  actually  the  same  as  "living  according  to  life"--how  could  you  do DIFFERENTLY? Why should you make a principle out of what you yourselves are, and must be? In reality, however, it is quite otherwise with you: while you pretend to read with rapture the canon of your law in Nature, you want something quite the contrary, you extraordinary  stage-players  and  self-deluders!  In  your  pride  you  wish  to  dictate  your morals and ideals to Nature, to Nature herself, and to incorporate them therein; you insist that it shall be Nature "according to the Stoa," and would like everything to be made after your own image, as a vast, eternal glorification and generalism of Stoicism! With all your love for truth, you have forced yourselves so long, so persistently, and with such hypnotic rigidity to see Nature FALSELY, that is to say, Stoically, that you are no longer able to see  it  otherwise--  and  to  crown  all,  some  unfathomable  superciliousness  gives  you  the Bedlamite  hope  that  BECAUSE  you  are  able to tyrannize over yourselves--Stoicism is self-tyranny--Nature  will  also  allow  herself  to  be  tyrannized  over:  is  not  the  Stoic  a PART of Nature? . . . But this is an old and everlasting story: what happened in old times with  the  Stoics  still  happens  today,  as  soon  as  ever  a  philosophy  begins  to  believe  in itself. It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise; philosophy is this tyrannical impulse itself, the most spiritual Will to Power, the will to "creation of the world," the will to the causa prima.

10. The eagerness and subtlety, I should even say craftiness, with which the problem of "the real and the apparent world" is dealt with at present throughout Europe, furnishes food  for  thought  and  attention;  and  he  who  hears  only  a  "Will  to  Truth"  in  the background,  and  nothing  else,  cannot  certainly  boast  of  the  sharpest  ears.  In  rare  and isolated  cases,  it  may  really  have  happened  that  such  a  Will  to  Truth--a  certain extravagant and adventurous pluck, a metaphysician's ambition of the forlorn hope--has participated  therein:  that  which  in  the  end  always  prefers  a  handful  of  "certainty"  to  a whole  cartload  of  beautiful  possibilities;  there  may  even  be  puritanical  fanatics  of  conscience, who prefer to put their last trust in a sure nothing, rather than in an uncertain something.  But  that  is  Nihilism,  and  the  sign  of  a  despairing,  mortally  wearied  soul, notwithstanding the courageous bearing such a virtue may display. It seems, however, to be otherwise with stronger and livelier thinkers who are still eager for life. In that they side AGAINST appearance, and speak superciliously of "perspective," in that they rank the credibility of their own bodies about as low as the credibility of the ocular evidence that  "the  earth  stands  still,"  and  thus,  apparently,  allowing  with  complacency  their securest possession to escape (for what does one at present believe in more firmly than in one's body?),--who knows if they are not really trying to win back something which was formerly an even securer possession, something of the old domain of the faith of former times, perhaps the "immortal soul," perhaps "the old God," in short, ideas by which they could  live  better,  that  is  to  say,  more  vigorously  and  more  joyously,  than  by  "modern ideas"? There is DISTRUST of these modern ideas in this mode of looking at things, a disbelief in all that has been constructed yesterday and today; there is perhaps some slight admixture of satiety and scorn, which can no longer endure the BRIC-A-BRAC of ideas of the most varied origin, such as so-called Positivism at present throws on the market; a disgust of the more refined taste at the village-fair motleyness and patchiness of all these reality-philosophasters,   in   whom   there   is   nothing   either   new   or   true,   except   this motleyness. Therein it seems to me that we should agree with those skeptical anti-realists and knowledge-microscopists of the present day; their instinct, which repels them from MODERN  reality,  is  unrefuted  .  .  .  what  do  their  retrograde  by-paths  concern  us!  The main  thing  about  them  is  NOT  that  they  wish  to  go  "back,"  but  that  they  wish  to  get AWAY therefrom. A little MORE strength, swing, courage, and artistic power, and they would be OFF--and not back!

11. It seems to me that there is everywhere an attempt at present to divert attention from the  actual  influence  which  Kant  exercised  on  German  philosophy,  and  especially  to ignore prudently the value which he set upon himself. Kant was first and foremost proud of his Table of Categories; with it in his hand he said: "This is the most difficult thing that  could  ever  be  undertaken  on  behalf  of  metaphysics."  Let  us  only  understand  this "could be"! He was proud of having DISCOVERED a new faculty in man, the faculty of synthetic  judgment  a  priori.  Granting  that  he  deceived  himself  in  this  matter;  the development and rapid flourishing of German philosophy depended nevertheless on his pride,  and  on  the  eager  rivalry  of  the  younger  generation  to  discover  if  possible something--at all events "new faculties"--of which to be still prouder!--But let us reflect for   a   moment--it   is   high   time   to   do   so.  "How  are  synthetic  judgments  a  priori POSSIBLE?"  Kant  asks  himself--and  what  is  really  his  answer?  "BY  MEANS  OF  A MEANS   (faculty)"--but   unfortunately   not   in   five   words,   but   so   circumstantially, imposingly, and with such display of German profundity and verbal flourishes, that one altogether  loses  sight  of  the  comical  niaiserie  allemande  involved  in  such  an  answer. People  were  beside  themselves  with  delight  over  this  new  faculty,  and  the  jubilation reached its climax when Kant further discovered a moral faculty in man--for at that time Germans were still moral, not yet dabbling in the "Politics of hard fact." Then came the honeymoon of German philosophy. All the young theologians of the Tubingen institution went immediately into the groves--all seeking for "faculties." And what did they not find– -in   that   innocent,   rich,   and   still   youthful   period   of   the   German   spirit,   to   which  Romanticism,  the  malicious  fairy,  piped  and  sang,  when  one  could  not  yet  distinguish between   "finding"   and   "inventing"!   Above   all   a   faculty   for   the   "transcendental"; Schelling  christened  it,  intellectual  intuition,  and  thereby  gratified  the  most  earnest longings  of  the  naturally  pious-inclined  Germans.  One  can  do  no  greater  wrong  to  the whole  of  this  exuberant  and  eccentric  movement  (which  was  really  youthfulness, notwithstanding that it disguised itself so boldly, in hoary and senile conceptions), than to take  it  seriously,  or  even  treat  it  with  moral  indignation.  Enough,  however--the  world grew older, and the dream vanished. A time came when people rubbed their foreheads, and  they  still  rub  them  today.  People  had  been  dreaming,  and  first  and  foremost--old Kant. "By means of a means (faculty)"--he had said, or at least meant to say. But, is that-- an answer? An explanation? Or is it not rather merely a repetition of the question? How does opium induce sleep? "By means of a means (faculty)," namely the virtus dormitiva, replies the doctor in Moliere,

Quia est in eo virtus dormitiva,     Cujus est natura sensus assoupire.

But such replies belong to the realm of comedy, and it is high time to replace the Kantian question, "How are synthetic judgments a PRIORI possible?" by another question, "Why is  belief  in  such  judgments  necessary?"--in  effect,  it  is  high  time  that  we  should understand  that  such  judgments  must  be  believed  to  be  true,  for  the  sake  of  the preservation  of  creatures  like  ourselves;  though  they  still  might  naturally  be  false judgments!  Or,  more  plainly  spoken,  and  roughly  and  readily--synthetic  judgments  a priori should not "be possible" at all; we have no right to them; in our mouths they are nothing  but  false  judgments.  Only,  of  course,  the  belief  in  their  truth  is  necessary,  as plausible  belief  and  ocular  evidence  belonging  to  the  perspective  view  of  life.  And finally, to call to mind the enormous influence which "German philosophy"--I hope you understand its right to inverted commas (goosefeet)?--has exercised throughout the whole of  Europe,  there  is  no  doubt  that  a  certain  VIRTUS  DORMITIVA  had  a  share  in  it; thanks  to  German  philosophy,  it  was  a  delight  to  the  noble  idlers,  the  virtuous,  the mystics,  the  artiste,  the  three-fourths  Christians,  and  the  political  obscurantists  of  all nations, to find an antidote to the still overwhelming sensualism which overflowed from the last century into this, in short--"sensus assoupire." . . .

12. As regards materialistic atomism, it is one of the best- refuted theories that have been advanced, and in Europe there is now perhaps no one in the learned world so unscholarly as  to  attach  serious  signification  to  it,  except  for  convenient  everyday  use  (as  an abbreviation of the means of expression)-- thanks chiefly to the Pole Boscovich: he and the  Pole  Copernicus  have  hitherto  been  the  greatest  and  most  successful  opponents  of ocular  evidence.  For  while  Copernicus  has  persuaded  us  to  believe,  contrary  to  all  the senses, that the earth does NOT stand fast, Boscovich has taught us to abjure the belief in the last thing that "stood fast" of the earth--the belief in "substance," in "matter," in the earth-residuum,  and  particle-  atom:  it  is  the  greatest  triumph  over  the  senses  that  has hitherto been gained on earth. One must, however, go still further, and also declare war, relentless  war  to  the  knife,  against  the  "atomistic  requirements"  which  still  lead  a dangerous  after-life  in  places  where  no  one  suspects  them,  like  the  more  celebrated "metaphysical  requirements":  one  must  also  above  all  give  the  finishing  stroke  to  that  other and more portentous atomism which Christianity has taught best and longest, the SOUL- ATOMISM. Let it be permitted to designate by this expression the belief which regards  the  soul  as  something  indestructible,  eternal,  indivisible,  as  a  monad,  as  an atomon: this belief ought to be expelled from science! Between ourselves, it is not at all necessary to get rid of "the soul" thereby, and thus renounce one of the oldest and most venerated  hypotheses--as  happens  frequently  to  the  clumsiness  of  naturalists,  who  can hardly  touch  on  the  soul  without  immediately  losing  it.  But  the  way  is  open  for  new acceptations  and  refinements  of  the  soul-hypothesis;  and  such  conceptions  as  "mortal soul," and "soul of subjective multiplicity," and "soul as social structure of the instincts and  passions,"  want  henceforth  to  have  legitimate  rights  in  science.  In  that  the  NEW psychologist  is  about  to  put  an  end  to  the  superstitions  which  have  hitherto  flourished with  almost  tropical  luxuriance  around  the  idea  of  the  soul,  he  is  really,  as  it  were, thrusting  himself  into  a  new  desert  and  a  new  distrust--it  is  possible  that  the  older psychologists  had  a  merrier  and  more  comfortable  time  of  it;  eventually,  however,  he finds that precisely thereby he is also condemned to INVENT--and, who knows? perhaps to DISCOVER the new.

13.  Psychologists  should  bethink  themselves  before  putting  down  the  instinct  of  self- preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to DISCHARGE its strength--life itself is WILL TO POWER; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent RESULTS thereof. In short, here, as everywhere else, let us beware of SUPERFLUOUS teleological principles!--one of which is the instinct of self- preservation (we owe it to Spinoza's inconsistency). It is thus, in effect, that method ordains, which must be essentially economy of principles.

14.  It  is  perhaps  just  dawning  on  five  or  six  minds  that  natural  philosophy  is  only  a world-exposition and world-arrangement (according to us, if I may say so!) and NOT a world-explanation; but in so far as it is based on belief in the senses, it is regarded as more, and for a long time to come must be regarded as more--namely, as an explanation. It has eyes and fingers of its own, it has ocular evidence and palpableness of its own: this operates   fascinatingly,   persuasively,   and   CONVINCINGLY   upon   an   age   with fundamentally plebeian tastes--in fact, it follows instinctively the canon of truth of eternal popular sensualism. What is clear, what is "explained"? Only that which can be seen and felt--one  must  pursue  every  problem  thus  far.  Obversely,  however,  the  charm  of  the Platonic mode of thought, which was an ARISTOCRATIC mode, consisted precisely in RESISTANCE  to  obvious  sense-evidence--perhaps  among  men  who  enjoyed  even stronger and more fastidious senses than our contemporaries, but who knew how to find a higher  triumph  in  remaining  masters  of  them:  and  this  by  means  of  pale,  cold,  grey conceptional networks which they threw over the motley whirl of the senses--the mob of the senses, as Plato said. In this overcoming of the world, and interpreting of the world in the manner of Plato, there was an ENJOYMENT different from that which the physicists of   today   offer   us--and   likewise   the   Darwinists   and   anti-teleologists   among   the physiological  workers,  with  their  principle  of  the  "smallest  possible  effort,"  and  the greatest possible blunder. "Where there is nothing more to see or to grasp, there is also nothing more for men to do"--that is certainly an imperative different from the Platonic one,  but  it  may  notwithstanding  be  the  right  imperative  for  a  hardy,  laborious  race  of  machinists  and  bridge-  builders  of  the  future,  who  have  nothing  but  ROUGH  work  to perform.

15.  To  study  physiology  with  a  clear  conscience,  one  must  insist  on  the  fact  that  the sense-organs are not phenomena in the sense of the idealistic philosophy; as such they certainly could not be causes! Sensualism, therefore, at least as regulative hypothesis, if not as heuristic principle. What? And others say even that the external world is the work of our organs? But then our body, as a part of this external world, would be the work of our organs! But then our organs themselves would be the work of our organs! It seems to me that this is a complete REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM, if the conception CAUSA SUI is something fundamentally absurd. Consequently, the external world is NOT the work of our organs--?

16.  There  are  still  harmless  self-observers  who  believe  that  there  are  "immediate certainties"; for instance, "I think," or as the superstition of Schopenhauer puts it, "I will"; as though cognition here got hold of its object purely and simply as "the thing in itself," without  any  falsification  taking  place  either  on  the  part  of  the  subject  or  the  object.  I would  repeat  it,  however,  a  hundred  times,  that  "immediate  certainty,"  as  well  as "absolute   knowledge"   and   the   "thing   in   itself,"   involve   a   CONTRADICTIO   IN ADJECTO; we really ought to free ourselves from the misleading significance of words! The  people  on  their  part  may  think  that  cognition  is  knowing  all  about  things,  but  the philosopher  must  say  to  himself:  "When  I  analyze  the  process  that  is  expressed  in  the sentence, 'I think,' I find a whole series of daring assertions, the argumentative proof of which would be difficult, perhaps impossible: for instance, that it is _I_ who think, that there must necessarily be something that thinks, that thinking is an activity and operation on the part of a being who is thought of as a cause, that there is an 'ego,' and finally, that it is already determined what is to be designated by thinking--that I KNOW what thinking is.  For  if  I  had  not  already  decided  within  myself  what  it  is,  by  what  standard  could  I determine  whether  that  which  is  just  happening  is  not  perhaps  'willing'  or  'feeling'?  In short, the assertion 'I think,' assumes that I COMPARE my state at the present moment with other states of myself which I know, in order to determine what it is; on account of this retrospective connection with further 'knowledge,' it has, at any rate, no immediate certainty for me."--In place of the "immediate certainty" in which the people may believe in  the  special  case,  the  philosopher  thus  finds  a  series  of  metaphysical  questions presented to him, veritable conscience questions of the intellect, to wit: "Whence did I get the notion of 'thinking'? Why do I believe in cause and effect? What gives me the right to speak  of  an  'ego,'  and  even  of  an  'ego'  as  cause,  and  finally  of  an  'ego'  as  cause  of thought?" He who ventures to answer these metaphysical questions at once by an appeal to  a  sort  of  INTUITIVE  perception,  like  the  person  who  says,  "I  think,  and  know  that this,  at  least,  is  true,  actual,  and  certain"--will  encounter  a  smile  and  two  notes  of interrogation in a philosopher nowadays. "Sir," the philosopher will perhaps give him to understand, "it is improbable that you are not mistaken, but why should it be the truth?"

17. With regard to the superstitions of logicians, I shall never tire of emphasizing a small, terse  fact,  which  is  unwillingly  recognized  by  these  credulous  minds--namely,  that  a thought comes when "it" wishes, and not when "I" wish; so that it is a PERVERSION of  the facts of the case to say that the subject "I" is the condition of the predicate "think." ONE thinks; but that this "one" is precisely the famous old "ego," is, to put it mildly, only a supposition, an assertion, and assuredly not an "immediate certainty." After all, one has even gone too far with this "one thinks"--even the "one" contains an INTERPRETATION of the process, and does not belong to the process itself. One infers here according to the usual  grammatical  formula--"To  think  is  an  activity;  every  activity  requires  an  agency that  is  active;  consequently"  .  .  .  It  was  pretty  much  on  the  same  lines  that  the  older atomism sought, besides the operating "power," the material particle wherein it resides and out of which it operates--the atom. More rigorous minds, however, learnt at last to get  along  without  this  "earth-residuum,"  and  perhaps  some  day  we  shall  accustom ourselves, even from the logician's point of view, to get along without the little "one" (to which the worthy old "ego" has refined itself).

18. It is certainly not the least charm of a theory that it is refutable; it is precisely thereby that it attracts the more subtle minds. It seems that the hundred-times-refuted theory of the  "free  will"  owes its  persistence  to  this  charm alone;  some  one  is  always  appearing who feels himself strong enough to refute it.

19. Philosophers are accustomed to speak of the will as though it were the best-known thing in the world; indeed, Schopenhauer has given us to understand that the will alone is really known to us, absolutely and completely known, without deduction or addition. But it  again  and  again  seems  to  me  that  in  this  case  Schopenhauer  also  only  did  what philosophers   are   in   the   habit   of   doing--he   seems   to   have   adopted   a   POPULAR PREJUDICE  and  exaggerated  it.  Willing  seems  to  me  to  be  above  all  something COMPLICATED, something that is a unity only in name--and it is precisely in a name that popular prejudice lurks, which has got the mastery over the inadequate precautions of philosophers in all ages. So let us for once be more cautious, let us be "unphilosophical": let us say that in all willing there is firstly a plurality of sensations, namely, the sensation of  the  condition  "AWAY  FROM  WHICH  we  go,"  the  sensation  of  the  condition "TOWARDS  WHICH  we  go,"  the  sensation  of  this "FROM" and "TOWARDS" itself, and then besides, an accompanying muscular sensation, which, even without our putting in  motion  "arms  and  legs,"  commences  its  action  by  force  of  habit,  directly  we  "will" anything. Therefore, just as sensations (and indeed many kinds of sensations) are to be recognized  as  ingredients  of  the  will,  so,  in  the  second  place,  thinking  is  also  to  be recognized; in every act of the will there is a ruling thought;--and let us not imagine it possible to sever this thought from the "willing," as if the will would then remain over! In the third place, the will is not only a complex of sensation and thinking, but it is above all an EMOTION, and in fact the emotion of the command. That which is termed "freedom of the will" is essentially the emotion of supremacy in respect to him who must obey: "I am free, 'he' must obey"--this consciousness is inherent in every will; and equally so the straining of the attention, the straight look which fixes itself exclusively on one thing, the unconditional  judgment  that  "this  and  nothing  else  is  necessary  now,"  the  inward certainty that obedience will be rendered--and whatever else pertains to the position of the commander. A man who WILLS commands something within himself which renders obedience,  or  which  he  believes  renders  obedience.  But  now  let  us  notice  what  is  the strangest  thing  about  the  will,--this  affair  so  extremely  complex,  for  which  the  people  have only one name. Inasmuch as in the given circumstances we are at the same time the commanding AND the obeying parties, and as the obeying party we know the sensations of  constraint,  impulsion,  pressure,  resistance,  and  motion,  which  usually  commence immediately after the act of will; inasmuch as, on the other hand, we are accustomed to disregard this duality, and to deceive ourselves about it by means of the synthetic term "I": a whole series of erroneous conclusions, and consequently of false judgments about the will itself, has become attached to the act of willing--to such a degree that he who wills  believes  firmly  that  willing  SUFFICES  for  action.  Since  in  the  majority  of  cases there  has  only  been  exercise  of  will  when  the  effect  of  the  command--consequently obedience,   and   therefore   action--was   to   be   EXPECTED,   the   APPEARANCE   has translated  itself  into  the  sentiment,  as  if  there  were  a  NECESSITY  OF  EFFECT;  in  a word,  he  who  wills  believes  with  a  fair  amount  of  certainty  that  will  and  action  are somehow one; he ascribes the success, the carrying out of the willing, to the will itself, and thereby enjoys an increase of the sensation of power which accompanies all success. "Freedom of Will"--that is the expression for the complex state of delight of the person exercising  volition,  who  commands  and  at  the  same  time  identifies  himself  with  the executor of the order-- who, as such, enjoys also the triumph over obstacles, but thinks within himself that it was really his own will that overcame them. In this way the person exercising volition adds the feelings of delight of his successful executive instruments, the  useful  "underwills"  or  under-souls--indeed,  our  body  is  but  a  social  structure composed of many souls--to his feelings of delight as commander. L'EFFET C'EST MOI. what happens here is what happens in every well-constructed and happy commonwealth, namely, that the governing class identifies itself with the successes of the commonwealth. In  all  willing  it  is  absolutely  a  question  of  commanding  and  obeying,  on  the  basis,  as already  said,  of  a  social  structure  composed  of  many  "souls",  on  which  account  a philosopher  should  claim  the  right  to  include  willing-  as-such  within  the  sphere  of morals--regarded   as   the   doctrine   of   the   relations   of   supremacy   under   which   the phenomenon of "life" manifests itself.

20.  That  the  separate  philosophical  ideas  are  not  anything  optional  or  autonomously evolving,  but  grow  up  in  connection  and  relationship  with  each  other,  that,  however suddenly and arbitrarily they seem to appear in the history of thought, they nevertheless belong just as much to a system as the collective members of the fauna of a Continent--is betrayed in the end by the circumstance: how unfailingly the most diverse philosophers always fill in again a definite fundamental scheme of POSSIBLE philosophies. Under an invisible spell, they always revolve once more in the same orbit, however independent of each  other  they  may  feel  themselves  with  their  critical  or  systematic  wills,  something within them leads them, something impels them in definite order the one after the other-- to wit, the innate methodology and relationship of their ideas. Their thinking is, in fact, far less a discovery than a re-recognizing, a remembering, a return and a home-coming to a far-off, ancient common-household of the soul, out of which those ideas formerly grew: philosophizing  is  so  far  a  kind  of  atavism  of  the  highest  order.  The  wonderful  family resemblance of all Indian, Greek, and German philosophizing is easily enough explained. In  fact,  where  there  is  affinity  of  language,  owing  to  the  common  philosophy  of grammar--I   mean   owing   to   the   unconscious   domination   and   guidance   of   similar grammatical  functions--it  cannot  but  be  that  everything  is  prepared  at  the  outset  for  a  similar  development  and  succession  of  philosophical  systems,  just  as  the  way  seems barred against certain other possibilities of world- interpretation. It is highly probable that philosophers within the domain of the Ural-Altaic languages (where the conception of the subject is least developed) look otherwise "into the world," and will be found on paths of thought different from those of the Indo-Germans and Mussulmans, the spell of certain grammatical functions is ultimately also the spell of PHYSIOLOGICAL valuations and racial conditions.--So much by way of rejecting Locke's superficiality with regard to the origin of ideas.

21. The CAUSA SUI is the best self-contradiction that has yet been conceived, it is a sort of logical violation and unnaturalness; but the extravagant pride of man has managed to entangle itself profoundly and frightfully with this very folly. The desire for "freedom of will" in the superlative, metaphysical sense, such as still holds sway, unfortunately, in the minds  of  the  half-educated,  the  desire  to  bear the entire and ultimate responsibility for one's  actions  oneself,  and  to  absolve  God,  the  world,  ancestors,  chance,  and  society therefrom, involves nothing less than to be precisely this CAUSA SUI, and, with more than Munchausen daring, to pull oneself up into existence by the hair, out of the slough of nothingness. If any one should find out in this manner the crass stupidity of the celebrated conception of "free will" and put it out of his head altogether, I beg of him to carry his "enlightenment" a step further, and also put out of his head the contrary of this monstrous conception  of  "free  will":  I  mean  "non-free  will,"  which  is  tantamount  to  a  misuse  of cause and effect. One should not wrongly MATERIALISE "cause" and "effect," as the natural  philosophers  do  (and  whoever  like  them  naturalize  in  thinking  at  present), according to the prevailing mechanical doltishness which makes the cause press and push until   it   "effects"   its   end;   one   should   use   "cause"   and   "effect"   only   as   pure CONCEPTIONS, that is to say, as conventional fictions for the purpose of designation and mutual understanding,--NOT for explanation. In "being-in-itself" there is nothing of "casual- connection," of "necessity," or of "psychological non-freedom"; there the effect does NOT follow the cause, there "law" does not obtain. It is WE alone who have devised cause,  sequence,  reciprocity,  relativity,  constraint,  number,  law,  freedom,  motive,  and purpose; and when we interpret and intermix this symbol-world, as "being-in-itself," with things,  we  act  once  more  as  we  have always  acted--MYTHOLOGICALLY.  The  "non- free will" is mythology; in real life it is only a question of STRONG and WEAK wills.--It is  almost  always  a  symptom  of  what  is  lacking  in  himself,  when  a  thinker,  in  every "causal-connection" and "psychological necessity," manifests something of compulsion, indigence,  obsequiousness,  oppression,  and  non-freedom;  it  is  suspicious  to  have  such feelings--the  person  betrays  himself.  And  in  general,  if  I  have  observed  correctly,  the "non-freedom   of   the   will"   is   regarded   as   a   problem   from   two   entirely   opposite standpoints, but always in a profoundly PERSONAL manner: some will not give up their "responsibility,"  their  belief  in  THEMSELVES,  the  personal right  to  THEIR  merits,  at any price (the vain races belong to this class); others on the contrary, do not wish to be answerable for anything, or blamed for anything, and owing to an inward self-contempt, seek  to  GET  OUT  OF  THE  BUSINESS,  no  matter  how.  The  latter,  when  they  write books,  are  in  the  habit  at  present  of  taking  the  side  of  criminals;  a  sort  of  socialistic sympathy is their favourite disguise. And as a matter of fact, the fatalism of the weak– willed  embellishes  itself  surprisingly  when  it  can  pose  as  "la  religion  de  la  souffrance humaine"; that is ITS "good taste."

22.  Let  me  be  pardoned,  as  an  old  philologist  who  cannot  desist  from  the  mischief  of putting  his  finger  on  bad  modes  of  interpretation,  but  "Nature's  conformity  to  law,"  of which  you  physicists  talk  so  proudly,  as  though--why,  it  exists  only  owing  to  your interpretation  and  bad  "philology."  It  is  no  matter  of  fact,  no  "text,"  but  rather  just  a naively  humanitarian  adjustment  and  perversion  of  meaning,  with  which  you  make abundant  concessions  to  the  democratic  instincts  of  the  modern  soul!  "Everywhere equality before the law--Nature is not different in that respect, nor better than we": a fine instance of secret motive, in which the vulgar antagonism to everything privileged and autocratic--likewise  a  second  and  more  refined  atheism--is  once  more  disguised.  "Ni dieu, ni maitre"--that, also, is what you want; and therefore "Cheers for natural law!"-- is it not so? But, as has been said, that is interpretation, not text; and somebody might come along, who, with opposite intentions and modes of interpretation, could read out of the same   "Nature,"   and   with   regard   to   the   same   phenomena,   just   the   tyrannically inconsiderate  and  relentless  enforcement  of  the  claims  of  power--an  interpreter  who should  so  place  the  unexceptionalness  and  unconditionalness  of  all  "Will  to  Power" before your eyes, that almost every word, and the word "tyranny" itself, would eventually seem unsuitable, or like a weakening and softening metaphor--as being too human; and who should, nevertheless, end by asserting the same about this world as you do, namely, that it has a "necessary" and "calculable" course, NOT, however, because laws obtain in it,  but  because  they  are  absolutely  LACKING,  and  every  power  effects  its  ultimate consequences every moment. Granted that this also is only interpretation--and you will be eager enough to make this objection?--well, so much the better.

23. All psychology hitherto has run aground on moral prejudices and timidities, it has not dared to launch out into the depths. In so far as it is allowable to recognize in that which has hitherto been written, evidence of that which has hitherto been kept silent, it seems as if   nobody   had   yet   harboured   the   notion   of   psychology   as   the   Morphology   and DEVELOPMENT-DOCTRINE  OF  THE  WILL  TO  POWER,  as  I  conceive  of  it.  The power  of  moral  prejudices  has  penetrated  deeply  into  the  most  intellectual  world,  the world  apparently  most  indifferent  and  unprejudiced,  and  has  obviously  operated  in  an injurious, obstructive, blinding, and distorting manner. A proper physio-psychology has to contend with unconscious antagonism in the heart of the investigator, it has "the heart" against it even a doctrine of the reciprocal conditionalness of the "good" and the "bad" impulses, causes (as refined immorality) distress and aversion in a still strong and manly conscience--still more so, a doctrine of the derivation of all good impulses from bad ones. If, however, a person should regard even the emotions of hatred, envy, covetousness, and imperiousness   as   life-conditioning   emotions,   as   factors   which   must   be   present, fundamentally and essentially, in the general economy of life (which must, therefore, be further developed if life is to be further developed), he will suffer from such a view of things as from sea-sickness. And yet this hypothesis is far from being the strangest and most painful in this immense and almost new domain of dangerous knowledge, and there are in fact a hundred good reasons why every one should keep away from it who CAN do so! On the other hand, if one has once drifted hither with one's bark, well! very good! now let us set our teeth firmly! let us open our eyes and keep our hand fast on the helm! We sail away right OVER morality, we crush out, we destroy perhaps the remains of our own morality by daring to make our voyage thither--but what do WE matter. Never yet did a PROFOUNDER world of insight reveal itself to daring travelers and adventurers, and the psychologist who thus "makes a sacrifice"--it is not the sacrifizio dell' intelletto, on the contrary!--will at least be entitled to demand in return that psychology shall once more be recognized as the queen of the sciences, for whose service and equipment the other sciences exist. For psychology is once more the path to the fundamental problems.