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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 32

enthusiasm, and turns with disgust from a
suspicious examination of the motives for their actions, it is not
truth which benefits thereby, but the welfare of human society; the
psychological mistake and, generally speaking, the insensibility
on this matter helps humanity forwards, while the recognition of
truth gains more through the stimulating power of hypothesis than La
Rochefoucauld has said in his preface to the first edition of his
"_Sentences et maximes morales." ... "Ce que le monde nomme vertu n'est
d'ordinaire qu'un fantôme formé par nos passions, à qui on donne un
nom honnête pour faire impunément ce qu'on veut."_ La Rochefoucauld
and those other French masters of soul-examination who have lately
been joined by a German, the author of _Psychological Observations_[1]
resemble good marksmen who again and again hit the bull's-eye; but it
is the bull's-eye of human nature. Their art arouses astonishment; but
in the end a spectator who is not led by the spirit of science, but
by humane intentions, will probably execrate an art which appears to
implant in the soul the sense of the disparagement and suspicion of


NEVERTHELESS.--However it may be with reckoning and counter-reckoning,
in the present condition of philosophy the awakening of moral
observation is necessary. Humanity can no longer be spared the cruel
sight of the psychological dissecting-table with its knives and
forceps. For here rules that science which inquires into the origin and
history of the so-called moral sentiments, and which, in its progress,
has to draw up and solve complicated sociological problems:--the older
philosophy knows the latter one not at all, and has always avoided the
examination of the origin and history of moral sentiments on any feeble
pretext. With what consequences it is now very easy to see, after
it has been shown by many examples how the mistakes of the greatest
philosophers generally have their starting-point in a wrong explanation
of certain human actions and sensations, just as on the ground of an
erroneous analysis--for instance, that of the so-called unselfish
actions a false ethic is built up; then, to harmonise with this again,
religion and mythological confusion are brought in to assist, and
finally the shades of these dismal spirits fall also over physics and
the general mode of regarding the world. If it is certain, however,
that superficiality in psychological observation has laid, and still
lays, the most dangerous snares for human judgments and conclusions,
then there is need now of that endurance of work which does not grow
weary of piling stone upon stone, pebble on pebble; there is need of
courage not to be ashamed of such humble work and to

Last Page Next Page

Text Comparison with The Birth of Tragedy; or, Hellenism and Pessimism

Page 2
The little animal must have got between his feet, for he stumbled and fell backwards down seven stone steps on to the paving-stones of the vicarage courtyard.
Page 6
He was introduced to Wagner by the latter's sister, Frau Professor Brockhaus, and his description of their first meeting, contained in a letter to Erwin Rohde, is really most affecting.
Page 21
[1] And shall not I, by mightiest desire, In living shape that sole fair form acquire? SWANWICK, trans.
Page 29
Page 31
The true goal is veiled by a phantasm: we stretch out our hands for the latter, while Nature attains the former through our illusion.
Page 43
blasphemy to speak here of the anticipation of a "constitutional representation of the people," from which blasphemy others have not shrunk, however.
Page 44
The Greek framed for this chorus the suspended scaffolding of a fictitious _natural state_ and placed thereon fictitious _natural beings.
Page 49
Here we have something different from the rhapsodist, who does not blend with his pictures, but only sees them, like the painter, with contemplative eye outside of him; here we actually have a surrender of the individual by his entering into another nature.
Page 56
" .
Page 58
In his existence as a dismembered god, Dionysus has the dual nature of a cruel barbarised demon, and a mild pacific ruler.
Page 65
own astonishment at the _chorus_ and the _tragic hero_ of that type of tragedy, neither of which we could reconcile with our practices any more than with tradition--till we rediscovered this duplexity itself as the origin and essence of Greek tragedy, as the expression of two interwoven artistic impulses, _the Apollonian and the Dionysian_.
Page 66
It does not depend on the subject-matter of the events here represented; indeed, I venture to assert that it would have been impossible for Goethe in his projected "Nausikaa" to have rendered tragically effective the suicide of the idyllic being with which he intended to complete the fifth act; so extraordinary is the power of the epic-Apollonian representation, that it charms, before our eyes, the most terrible things by the joy in appearance and in redemption through appearance.
Page 68
Thus Euripides as a poet echoes above all his own conscious knowledge; and it is precisely on this account that he occupies such a notable position in the history of Greek art.
Page 98
Out of the Dionysian root of the German spirit a power has arisen which has nothing in common with the primitive conditions of Socratic culture, and can neither be explained nor excused thereby, but is rather regarded by this culture as something terribly inexplicable and overwhelmingly hostile,--namely, _German music_ as we have to understand it, especially in its vast solar orbit from Bach to Beethoven, from Beethoven to Wagner.
Page 103
With the same necessity, owing to the unconditional dominance of political impulses, a people drifts into a path of extremest secularisation, the most magnificent, but also the most terrible expression of which is the Roman _imperium_.
Page 106
How can the word-poet furnish anything analogous, who strives to attain this internal expansion and illumination of the visible stage-world by a much more imperfect mechanism and an indirect path, proceeding as he does from word and concept? Albeit musical tragedy likewise avails itself of the word, it is at the same time able to place alongside thereof its basis and source, and can make the unfolding of the.
Page 109
Never since Aristotle has an explanation of the tragic effect been proposed, by which an æsthetic activity of the hearer could be inferred from artistic circumstances.
Page 115
Among the peculiar artistic effects of musical tragedy we had to emphasise an Apollonian _illusion,_ through which we are to be saved from immediate oneness with the Dionysian music, while our musical excitement is able to discharge itself on an Apollonian domain and in an interposed visible middle world.
Page 118
Some day it will find itself awake in all the morning freshness of a deep sleep: then it will slay the dragons, destroy the malignant dwarfs, and waken Brünnhilde--and Wotan's spear itself will be unable to obstruct its course! My friends, ye who believe in Dionysian music, ye know also what tragedy means to us.
Page 121
And again, through my diagnosing Socrates as a decadent, I had given a wholly unequivocal proof of how little risk the trustworthiness of my psychological grasp would run of being weakened by some moralistic idiosyncrasy--to view morality itself as a symptom of decadence is an innovation, a novelty of the first rank in the history of knowledge.