Human, All-Too-Human: A Book for Free Spirits, Part 1 Complete Works, Volume Six

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 19

with each other, and are now inherited by us as the
accumulated treasure of all the past,--as a treasure, for the value of
our humanity depends upon it. From this world of representation strict
science is really only able to liberate us to a very slight extent--as
it is also not at all desirable--inasmuch as it cannot essentially
break the power of primitive habits of feeling; but it can gradually
elucidate the history of the rise of that world as representation,--and
lift us, at least for moments, above and beyond the whole process.
Perhaps we shall then recognise that the thing in itself is worth a
Homeric laugh; that it _seemed_ so much, indeed everything, and _is_
really empty, namely, empty of meaning."


17.

METAPHYSICAL EXPLANATIONS.--The young man values metaphysical
explanations, because they show him something highly significant
in things which he found unpleasant or despicable, and if he is
dissatisfied with himself, the feeling becomes lighter when he
recognises the innermost world-puzzle or world-misery in that which he
so strongly disapproves of in himself. To feel himself less responsible
and at the same time to find things more interesting--that seems to
him a double benefit for which he has to thank metaphysics. Later on,
certainly, he gets distrustful of the whole metaphysical method of
explanation; then perhaps it grows clear to him that those results can
be obtained equally well and more scientifically in another way: that
physical and historical explanations produce the feeling of personal
relief to at least the same extent, and that the interest in life and
its problems is perhaps still more aroused thereby.


18.

FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS OF METAPHYSICS.--When the history of the rise
of thought comes to be written, a new light will be thrown on the
following statement of a distinguished logician:--"The primordial
general law of the cognisant subject consists in the inner necessity
of recognising every object in itself in its own nature, as a thing
identical with itself, consequently self-existing and at bottom
remaining ever the same and unchangeable: in short, in recognising
everything as a substance." Even this law, which is here called
"primordial," has evolved: it will some day be shown how gradually this
tendency arises in the lower organisms, how the feeble mole-eyes of
their organisations at first see only the same thing,--;how then, when
the various awakenings of pleasure and displeasure become noticeable,
various substances are gradually distinguished, but each with one
attribute, _i.e._ one single relation to such an organism. The first
step in logic is the judgment,--the nature of which, according to the
decision of the best logicians, consists in belief. At the bottom of
all belief lies

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And although silent here about some things, I will not, however, be silent about my morality, which says to me: Live in concealment in order that thou _mayest_ live to thyself.
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