Beyond Good and Evil HTML version

Chapter VI. We Scholars
204. At the risk that moralizing may also reveal itself here as that which it has always
been--namely, resolutely MONTRER SES PLAIES, according to Balzac--I would
venture to protest against an improper and injurious alteration of rank, which quite
unnoticed, and as if with the best conscience, threatens nowadays to establish itself in the
relations of science and philosophy. I mean to say that one must have the right out of
one's own EXPERIENCE--experience, as it seems to me, always implies unfortunate
experience?--to treat of such an important question of rank, so as not to speak of colour
like the blind, or AGAINST science like women and artists ("Ah! this dreadful science!"
sigh their instinct and their shame, "it always FINDS THINGS OUT!"). The declaration
of independence of the scientific man, his emancipation from philosophy, is one of the
subtler after-effects of democratic organization and disorganization: the self- glorification
and self-conceitedness of the learned man is now everywhere in full bloom, and in its
best springtime--which does not mean to imply that in this case self-praise smells sweet.
Here also the instinct of the populace cries, "Freedom from all masters!" and after science
has, with the happiest results, resisted theology, whose "hand-maid" it had been too long,
it now proposes in its wantonness and indiscretion to lay down laws for philosophy, and
in its turn to play the "master"--what am I saying! to play the PHILOSOPHER on its own
account. My memory-- the memory of a scientific man, if you please!--teems with the
naivetes of insolence which I have heard about philosophy and philosophers from young
naturalists and old physicians (not to mention the most cultured and most conceited of all
learned men, the philologists and schoolmasters, who are both the one and the other by
profession). On one occasion it was the specialist and the Jack Horner who instinctively
stood on the defensive against all synthetic tasks and capabilities; at another time it was
the industrious worker who had got a scent of OTIUM and refined luxuriousness in the
internal economy of the philosopher, and felt himself aggrieved and belittled thereby. On
another occasion it was the colour-blindness of the utilitarian, who sees nothing in
philosophy but a series of REFUTED systems, and an extravagant expenditure which
"does nobody any good". At another time the fear of disguised mysticism and of the
boundary-adjustment of knowledge became conspicuous, at another time the disregard of
individual philosophers, which had involuntarily extended to disregard of philosophy
generally. In fine, I found most frequently, behind the proud disdain of philosophy in
young scholars, the evil after-effect of some particular philosopher, to whom on the
whole obedience had been foresworn, without, however, the spell of his scornful
estimates of other philosophers having been got rid of--the result being a general ill-will
to all philosophy. (Such seems to me, for instance, the after-effect of Schopenhauer on
the most modern Germany: by his unintelligent rage against Hegel, he has succeeded in
severing the whole of the last generation of Germans from its connection with German
culture, which culture, all things considered, has been an elevation and a divining
refinement of the HISTORICAL SENSE, but precisely at this point Schopenhauer
himself was poor, irreceptive, and un-German to the extent of ingeniousness.) On the
whole, speaking generally, it may just have been the humanness, all-too-humanness of
the modern philosophers themselves, in short, their contemptibleness, which has injured
most radically the reverence for philosophy and opened the doors to the instinct of the