Beyond Good and Evil HTML version

populace. Let it but be acknowledged to what an extent our modern world diverges from
the whole style of the world of Heraclitus, Plato, Empedocles, and whatever else all the
royal and magnificent anchorites of the spirit were called, and with what justice an honest
man of science MAY feel himself of a better family and origin, in view of such
representatives of philosophy, who, owing to the fashion of the present day, are just as
much aloft as they are down below--in Germany, for instance, the two lions of Berlin, the
anarchist Eugen Duhring and the amalgamist Eduard von Hartmann. It is especially the
sight of those hotch-potch philosophers, who call themselves "realists," or "positivists,"
which is calculated to implant a dangerous distrust in the soul of a young and ambitious
scholar those philosophers, at the best, are themselves but scholars and specialists, that is
very evident! All of them are persons who have been vanquished and BROUGHT BACK
AGAIN under the dominion of science, who at one time or another claimed more from
themselves, without having a right to the "more" and its responsibility--and who now,
creditably, rancorously, and vindictively, represent in word and deed, DISBELIEF in the
master-task and supremacy of philosophy After all, how could it be otherwise? Science
flourishes nowadays and has the good conscience clearly visible on its countenance,
while that to which the entire modern philosophy has gradually sunk, the remnant of
philosophy of the present day, excites distrust and displeasure, if not scorn and pity
Philosophy reduced to a "theory of knowledge," no more in fact than a diffident science
of epochs and doctrine of forbearance a philosophy that never even gets beyond the
threshold, and rigorously DENIES itself the right to enter--that is philosophy in its last
throes, an end, an agony, something that awakens pity. How could such a philosophy--
205. The dangers that beset the evolution of the philosopher are, in fact, so manifold
nowadays, that one might doubt whether this fruit could still come to maturity. The extent
and towering structure of the sciences have increased enormously, and therewith also the
probability that the philosopher will grow tired even as a learner, or will attach himself
somewhere and "specialize" so that he will no longer attain to his elevation, that is to say,
to his superspection, his circumspection, and his DESPECTION. Or he gets aloft too late,
when the best of his maturity and strength is past, or when he is impaired, coarsened, and
deteriorated, so that his view, his general estimate of things, is no longer of much
importance. It is perhaps just the refinement of his intellectual conscience that makes him
hesitate and linger on the way, he dreads the temptation to become a dilettante, a
millepede, a milleantenna, he knows too well that as a discerner, one who has lost his
self-respect no longer commands, no longer LEADS, unless he should aspire to become a
great play-actor, a philosophical Cagliostro and spiritual rat- catcher--in short, a
misleader. This is in the last instance a question of taste, if it has not really been a
question of conscience. To double once more the philosopher's difficulties, there is also
the fact that he demands from himself a verdict, a Yea or Nay, not concerning science,
but concerning life and the worth of life--he learns unwillingly to believe that it is his
right and even his duty to obtain this verdict, and he has to seek his way to the right and
the belief only through the most extensive (perhaps disturbing and destroying)
experiences, often hesitating, doubting, and dumbfounded. In fact, the philosopher has
long been mistaken and confused by the multitude, either with the scientific man and
ideal scholar, or with the religiously elevated, desensualized, desecularized visionary and