Beyond Good and Evil HTML version

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
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