Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 78

trait suggests the question whether they must not perhaps
be skeptics in the last-mentioned sense, something in them would only be
designated thereby--and not they themselves. With equal right they might
call themselves critics, and assuredly they will be men of experiments.
By the name with which I ventured to baptize them, I have already
expressly emphasized their attempting and their love of attempting is
this because, as critics in body and soul, they will love to make use
of experiments in a new, and perhaps wider and more dangerous sense? In
their passion for knowledge, will they have to go further in daring and
painful attempts than the sensitive and pampered taste of a democratic
century can approve of?--There is no doubt these coming ones will be
least able to dispense with the serious and not unscrupulous qualities
which distinguish the critic from the skeptic I mean the certainty as to
standards of worth, the conscious employment of a unity of method,
the wary courage, the standing-alone, and the capacity for
self-responsibility, indeed, they will avow among themselves a DELIGHT
in denial and dissection, and a certain considerate cruelty, which knows
how to handle the knife surely and deftly, even when the heart bleeds
They will be STERNER (and perhaps not always towards themselves only)
than humane people may desire, they will not deal with the "truth" in
order that it may "please" them, or "elevate" and "inspire" them--they
will rather have little faith in "TRUTH" bringing with it such revels
for the feelings. They will smile, those rigorous spirits, when any one
says in their presence "That thought elevates me, why should it not be
true?" or "That work enchants me, why should it not be beautiful?" or
"That artist enlarges me, why should he not be great?" Perhaps they
will not only have a smile, but a genuine disgust for all that is thus
rapturous, idealistic, feminine, and hermaphroditic, and if any one
could look into their inmost hearts, he would not easily find therein
the intention to reconcile "Christian sentiments" with "antique taste,"
or even with "modern parliamentarism" (the kind of reconciliation
necessarily found even among philosophers in our very uncertain and
consequently very conciliatory century). Critical discipline, and every
habit that conduces to purity and rigour in intellectual matters,
will not only be demanded from themselves by these philosophers of
the future, they may even make a display thereof as their special
adornment--nevertheless they will not want to be called critics on that
account. It will seem to them no small indignity to philosophy to
have it decreed, as is so welcome nowadays,

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[4] Quotation from the Libretto of Mozart's "Magic Flute" Act I, Sc.
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Sayest thou that nutrition, the land of thy birth, air, and society change thee and determine thee? Well, thy opinions do this to a much greater degree, for they even prescribe thy nourishment, thy land of adoption, thy atmosphere, and thy society for thee.
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78 In the fourth part it is necessary to say precisely why it is that the time of the great noon has come: It is really a description of the age given by means of visits, but interpreted by Zarathustra.