Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays Collected Works, Volume Two

By Friedrich Nietzsche

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he did not place at the head _the_ genius in its
general meaning, but only the genius of wisdom and of knowledge, that
he altogether excluded the inspired artist from his State, that was
a rigid consequence of the Socratian judgment on art, which Plato,
struggling against himself, had made his own. This more external,
almost incidental gap must not prevent our recognising in the total
conception of the Platonic State the wonderfully great hieroglyph of
a profound and eternally to be interpreted _esoteric doctrine of the
connection between State and Genius._ What we believed we could divine
of this cryptograph we have said in this preface.




THE GREEK WOMAN


(Fragment, 1871)


Just as Plato from disguises and obscurities brought to light the
innermost purpose of the State, so also he conceived the chief cause
of the position of the _Hellenic Woman_ with regard to the State; in
both cases he saw in what existed around him the image of the ideas
manifested to him, and of these ideas of course the actual was only a
hazy picture and phantasmagoria. He who according to the usual custom
considers the position of the Hellenic Woman to be altogether unworthy
and repugnant to humanity, must also turn with this reproach against
the Platonic conception of this position; for, as it were, the existing
forms were only precisely set forth in this latter conception. Here
therefore our question repeats itself: should not the nature and the
position of the Hellenic Woman have a _necessary_ relation to the goals
of the Hellenic Will?

Of course there is one side of the Platonic conception of woman, which
stands in abrupt contrast with Hellenic custom: Plato gives to woman a
full share in the rights, knowledge and duties of man, and considers
woman only as the weaker sex, in that she will not achieve remarkable
success in all things, without however disputing this sex's title to
all those things. We must not attach more value to; this strange notion
than to the expulsion of the artist out of the ideal State; these are
side-lines daringly mis-drawn, aberrations as it were of the hand
otherwise so sure and of the so calmly contemplating eye which at times
under the influence of the deceased master becomes dim and dejected; in
this mood he exaggerates the master's paradoxes and in the abundance of
his love gives himself satisfaction by very eccentrically intensifying
the latter's doctrines even to foolhardiness.

The most significant word however that Plato as a Greek could say on
the relation of woman to the State, was that so objectionable demand,
that in the perfect State, the

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions

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N.
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because it has the strongest and mightiest of all allies in nature herself; and in this respect it were well did we not forget that scores of the very first principles of our modern educational methods are thoroughly artificial, and that the most fatal weaknesses of the present day are to be ascribed to this artificiality.
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This was the place which had become sacred to us through the dreams and plans we had had in common, and to which we intended to withdraw, later in the evening,--nay, to which we should be obliged to withdraw, if we wished to close the day in accordance with the law we had imposed on ourselves.
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You, whose youth is watched over by the wisdom of Greece and Rome, and whose youthful spirits, at the cost of enormous pains, have been flooded with the light of the sages and heroes of antiquity,--can you not refrain from making the code of knightly honour--that is to say, the code of folly and brutality--the guiding principle of your conduct?--Examine it rationally once and for all, and reduce it to plain terms; lay its pitiable narrowness bare, and let it be the touchstone, not of your hearts but of your minds.
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Secondly, you do not appear to know how a real duel is conducted;--do you suppose that we should have faced each other in this lonely spot, like two highwaymen, without seconds or doctors, etc.
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"Then what," he asked, "did you mean when you spoke of philosophising?" Said I, "We are at a loss for a definition.
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I have already pointed.
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That is what is now called 'the social question.
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'Fidelity in small things,' 'dogged faithfulness,' become expressions of highest eulogy, and the lack of culture outside the speciality is flaunted abroad as a sign of noble sufficiency.
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"I understand you now, and ought never to have spoken so crossly to you.
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It can be proved that the only value that these men have in a real educational establishment has not been mentioned, much less generally recognised for half a century: their value as preparatory leaders and mystogogues of classical culture, guided by whose hands alone can the correct road leading to antiquity be found.
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All this with the result that you remain eternally at a distance from antiquity and become the servants of the day.
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This herd has turned with much greater zest to the science of language: here in this wide expanse of virgin soil, where even the most mediocre gifts can be turned to account, and where a kind of insipidity and dullness is even looked upon as decided talent, with the novelty and uncertainty of methods and the constant danger of making fantastic mistakes--here, where dull regimental routine and discipline are desiderata--here the newcomer is no longer frightened by the majestic and warning voice that rises from the ruins of antiquity: here every one is welcomed with open arms, including even him who never arrived at any uncommon impression or noteworthy thought after a perusal of Sophocles and Aristophanes, with the result that they end in an etymological tangle, or are seduced into collecting the fragments of out-of-the-way dialects--and their time is spent in associating and dissociating, collecting and scattering, and running hither and thither consulting books.
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Where everyone proudly wears his soldier's uniform at regular intervals, where almost every one has absorbed a uniform type of national culture through the public schools, enthusiastic hyperboles may well be uttered concerning the systems employed in former times, and a form of State omnipotence which was attained only in antiquity, and which almost every young man, by both instinct and training, thinks it is the crowning glory and highest aim of human beings to reach.
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Who would dare to be so bold as to join in it?" At this point the philosopher's companion again turned to him and said: "Don't be angry with me when I tell you that I too have a somewhat similar feeling, which I have not mentioned to you before.
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obtain the education you demand for them, to what degree do they show that they have been nourished and matured by basking in the sun of national education? And yet they are seen to be possible, they have nevertheless become men whom we must honour: yea, their works themselves justify the form of the development of these noble spirits; they justify even a certain want of education for which we must make allowance owing to their country and the age in which they lived.
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cried "False time!" as our rhythm was suddenly interrupted: for, like a lightning flash, a shooting star tore its way across the clouds after the third report, and almost involuntarily our fourth and fifth shots were sent after it in the direction it had taken.
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I refer.
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to the old, primitive _Burschenschaft_.
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