Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays Collected Works, Volume Two

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 64

Parmenidean. The first period in Parmenides' own
philosophising bears still the signature of Anaximander; this
period produced a detailed philosophic-physical system as answer to
Anaximander's questions. When later that icy abstraction-horror caught
him, and the simplest proposition treating of "Being" and "Not-Being"
was advanced by him, then among the many older doctrines thrown by him
upon the scrap heap was also his own system. However he does not appear
to have lost all paternal piety towards the strong and well-shapen
child of his youth, and he saved himself therefore by saying: "It is
true there is only one right way; if one however wants at any time to
betake oneself to another, then my earlier opinion according to its
purity and consequence alone is right." Sheltering himself with this
phrase he has allowed his former physical system a worthy and extensive
space in his great poem on Nature, which really was to proclaim the
new discernment as the only signpost to truth. This fatherly regard,
even though an error should have crept in through it, is a remainder
of human feeling, in a nature quite petrified by logical rigidity and
almost changed into a thinking-machine.

Parmenides, whose personal intercourse with Anaximander does not seem
incredible to me, and whose starting from Anaximander's doctrine is
not only credible but evident, had the same distrust for the complete
separation of a world which only is, and a world which only becomes, as
had also caught Heraclitus and led to a denying of "Being" altogether.
Both sought a way out from that contrast and divergence of a dual order
of the world. That leap into the Indefinite, Indefinable, by which
once for all Anaximander had escaped from the realm of Becoming and
from the empirically given qualities of such realm, that leap did not
become an easy matter to minds so independently fashioned as those of
Heraclitus and Parmenides; first they endeavoured to walk as far as
they could and reserved to themselves the leap for that place, where
the foot finds no more hold and one has to leap, in order not to fall.
Both looked repeatedly at that very world, which Anaximander had
condemned in so melancholy a way and declared to be the place of wanton
crime and at the same time the penitentiary cell for the injustice of
Becoming. Contemplating this world Heraclitus, as we know already, had
discovered what a wonderful order, regularity and security manifest
themselves in every Becoming; from that he concluded that the Becoming
could not be anything evil and unjust. Quite a different outlook had
Parmenides; he compared the qualities one with

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

Page 11
For they wish but one thing: to live at any cost.
Page 13
Monumental history lives by false analogy; it entices the brave to rashness, and the enthusiastic to fanaticism by its tempting comparisons.
Page 14
" Each of the three kinds of history will only flourish in one ground and climate: otherwise it grows to a noxious weed.
Page 24
Lastly, an age reaches a dangerous condition of irony with regard to itself, and the still more dangerous state of cynicism, when a cunning egoistic theory of action is matured that maims and at last destroys the vital strength.
Page 33
In some cases a triviality of thought, the everyday wisdom that is too dull not to seem calm and disinterested, comes to represent the artistic condition in which the subjective side has quite sunk out of sight.
Page 35
Page 46
Were history nothing more than the "all-embracing system of passion and error," man would have to read it as Goethe wished Werther to be read;--just as if it called to him, "Be a man and follow me not!" But fortunately history also keeps alive for us the memory of the great "fighters against history," that is, against the blind power of the actual; it puts itself in the pillory just by glorifying the true historical nature in men who troubled themselves very little about the "thus it is," in order that they might follow a "thus it must be" with greater joy and greater pride.
Page 52
But if we have the doctrines of the finality of "becoming," of the flux of all ideas, types, and species, of the lack of all radical difference between man and beast (a true but fatal idea as I think),--if we have these thrust on the people in the usual mad way for another generation, no one need be surprised if that people drown on its little miserable shoals of egoism, and petrify in its self-seeking.
Page 67
But, we may ask, should one who has a decided talent for working in gold be made for that reason to learn music? And can we admit that Benvenuto Cellini's father was right in continually forcing him back to the "dear little horn"--the "cursed piping," as his son called it? We cannot think so in the case of such a strong and clearly marked talent as his, and it may well be that this maxim of harmonious development applies only to weaker natures, in which there is a whole swarm of desires and inclinations, though they may not amount to very much, singly or together.
Page 73
All the more did I exert myself to see behind the book the living man whose testament it was, and who promised his inheritance to such as could, and would, be more than his readers--his pupils and his sons.
Page 80
And so he must put a low figure on his own time as against others, and suppress the present in his picture of life, as well as in himself; must put it into the background or paint it over; a difficult, and almost impossible task.
Page 84
Everything bows before the coming barbarism, art and science included.
Page 86
Goethe himself in his youth followed the "gospel of kindly Nature" with all the ardour of his soul: his Faust was the highest and boldest picture.
Page 89
" Such a heroic life, with its full "mortification"-- corresponds very little to the paltry ideas of the people who talk most about it, and make festivals in memory of great men, in the belief that a great man is great in the sense that they are small, either through exercise of his gifts to please himself or by a blind mechanical obedience to this inner force; so that the man who does not possess the gift or feel the compulsion has the same right to be small as the other to be great.
Page 94
Nature--_quæ nunquam facit saltum_--has made her one leap in creating them; a leap of joy, as she feels herself for the first time at her goal, where she begins to see that she must learn not to have goals above her, and that she has played the game of transition too long.
Page 95
voice with ears that hear.
Page 102
And if, unfortunately, a good many Germans will allow themselves to be thus moulded, one must continually say to them, till at last they listen:--"The old German way is no longer yours: it was hard, rough, and full of resistance; but it is still the most valuable material--one which only the greatest modellers can work with, for they alone are worthy to use it.
Page 117
Can a University philosopher ever keep clearly before him the whole round of these duties and limitations? I do not know.
Page 119
--But if so, there is one thing to fear--that the youth may some day find out to what end philosophy is thus mis-handled.
Page 121
"Fool, you do not see the beam," says the flapper; and often the philosopher does see the beam, and calms down.