Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays Collected Works, Volume Two

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 74

an _Atomon_--an
impossible conception! All our conceptions, as soon as their
empirically-given content, drawn out of this concrete world, is taken
as a _Veritas æterna,_ lead to contradictions. If there is absolute
motion, then there is no space; if there is absolute space then there
is no motion; if there is absolute "Being," then there is no Plurality;
if there is an absolute Plurality, then there is no Unity. It should
at least become clear to _us_ how little we touch the heart of things
or untie the knot of reality with such ideas, whereas Parmenides and
Zeno inversely hold fast to the truth and omnivalidity of ideas and
condemn the perceptible world as the opposite of the true and omnivalid
ideas, as an objectivation of the illogical and contradictory. With all
their proofs they start from the wholly undemonstrable, yea improbable
assumption that in that apprehensive faculty we possess the decisive,
highest criterion of "Being" and "Not-Being," _i.e.,_ of objective
reality and its opposite; those ideas are not to prove themselves
true, to correct themselves by Actuality, as they are after all really
derived from it, but on the contrary they are to measure and to judge
Actuality, and in case of a contradiction with logic, even to condemn.
In order to concede to them this judicial competence Parmenides had to
ascribe to them the same "Being," which alone he allowed in general
as _the_ "Being"; Thinking and that one increate perfect ball of the
"Existent" were now no longer to be conceived as two different kinds
of "Being," since there was not permitted a duality of "Being." Thus
the over-risky flash of fancy had become necessary to declare Thinking
and "Being" identical. No form of perceptibility, no symbol, no simile
could possibly be of any help here; the fancy was wholly inconceivable,
but it was necessary, yea in the lack of every possibility of
illustration it celebrated the highest triumph over the world and
the claims of the senses. Thinking and that clod-like, ball-shaped,
through-and-through dead-massive, and rigid-immovable "Being," must,
according to the Parmenidean imperative, dissolve into one another and
be the same in every respect, to the horror of fantasy. What does it
matter that this identity contradicts the senses! This contradiction
is just the guarantee that such an identity is not borrowed from the


Moreover against Parmenides could be produced a strong couple of
_argumenta ad hominem_ or _ex concessis,_ by which, it is true, truth
itself could not be brought to light, but at any rate the untruth of
that absolute separation of the world of the senses and the world of
the ideas,

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions

Page 5
surpassing them.
Page 10
The day was a glorious one; the weather was of the kind which, in our climate at least, only falls to our lot in late summer: heaven and earth merged harmoniously with one another, and, glowing wondrously in the sunshine, autumn freshness blended with the blue expanse above.
Page 13
"We are compelled," he said, "to linger in this immediate neighbourhood for an hour or so; we have a rendezvous here.
Page 16
On the way my friend openly revealed his thoughts to the philosopher, he confessed how much he had feared that perhaps to-day for the first time a philosopher was about to stand in the way of his philosophising.
Page 17
We took our places on the farthest corner of the most distant bench; sitting there we were almost concealed, and neither the philosopher nor his companion could see our faces.
Page 23
On the other hand, that adhesive and tenacious stratum which has now filled up the interstices between the sciences--Journalism--believes it has a mission to fulfil here, and this it does, according to its own particular lights--that is to say, as its name implies, after the fashion of a day-labourer.
Page 26
For the moment, let us consider, together, what to my mind constitutes the very hopeful struggle of the two possibilities: _either_ that the motley and evasive spirit of public schools which has hitherto been fostered, will completely vanish, or that it will have to be completely purified and rejuvenated.
Page 35
"The feeling for classical Hellenism is, as a matter of fact, such an exceptional outcome of the most energetic fight for culture and artistic talent that the public school could only have professed to awaken this feeling owing to a very crude misunderstanding.
Page 40
After a few minutes' silent reflection, the philosopher's companion turned to him.
Page 41
When I think how my contemporaries prepared themselves for the highest posts in the scholastic profession, as I myself have done, then I know how we often laughed at the exact contrary, and grew serious over something quite different----" "Now, my friend," interrupted the philosopher, laughingly, "you speak as one who would fain dive into the water without being able to swim, and who fears something even more than the mere drowning; _not_ being drowned, but laughed at.
Page 44
what the aspiration is of those who would disturb the healthy slumber of the people, and continually call out to them: 'Keep your eyes open! Be sensible! Be wise!' we know the aim of those who profess to satisfy excessive educational requirements by means of an extraordinary increase in the number of educational institutions and the conceited tribe of teachers originated thereby.
Page 47
And such a usefully employed philologist would now fain be a teacher! He now undertakes to teach the youth of the public schools something about the ancient writers, although he himself has read them without any particular impression, much less with insight! What a dilemma! Antiquity has said nothing to him, consequently he has nothing to say about antiquity.
Page 48
" "I may be wrong," said the philosopher, "but I suspect that, owing to the way in which Latin and Greek are now taught in schools, the accurate grasp of these languages, the ability to speak and write them with ease, is lost, and that is something in which my own generation distinguished itself--a generation, indeed, whose few survivers have by this time grown old; whilst, on the other hand, the present teachers seem to impress their pupils with the genetic and historical importance of the subject to such an extent that, at best, their scholars ultimately turn into little Sanskritists, etymological spitfires, or reckless conjecturers; but not one of them can read his Plato or Tacitus with pleasure, as we old folk can.
Page 50
What more can the State do for a surplus of educational institutions than bring all the higher and the majority of the lower civil service appointments, the right of entry to the universities, and even the most influential military posts into close connection with the public school: and all this in a country where both universal military service and the highest offices of the State unconsciously attract all gifted natures to them.
Page 54
_ those which least give rise to pure and noble art, and most of all to low and degraded forms of it.
Page 67
' Even the very best of men now yield to these temptations: and it cannot be said that the deciding factor here is the degree of talent, or whether a man is accessible to these voices or not; but rather the degree and the height of a certain moral sublimity, the instinct towards heroism, towards sacrifice--and finally a positive, habitual need of culture, prepared by a proper kind of education, which education, as I have previously said, is first and foremost obedience and submission to the discipline of genius.
Page 74
Moreover, the proprietor of this one mouth is severed from and independent of the owners of the many ears; and this double independence is enthusiastically designated as 'academical freedom.
Page 76
So it has come about that _philosophy itself_ is banished from the universities: wherewith our first question as to the value of our universities.
Page 78
The most trivial bustle fastens itself upon him; he sinks under his heavy burden.
Page 81
The consternation raised by these young men was indeed far more general than had ever been caused by those other 'robbers' in court circles, of which a German prince, according to Goethe, is said to have expressed the opinion: 'If he had been God, and had foreseen the appearance of the _Robbers_, he would not have created the world.