Beyond Good and Evil

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 8

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

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