us rid ourselves of a few superstitions which heretofore have been
fashionable among philosophers!
Philosophers are prejudiced _against_ appearance, change, pain, death,
the things of the body, the senses, fate, bondage, and all that which
has no purpose.
In the first place, they believe in: absolute knowledge, (2) in
knowledge for its own sake,
(3) in virtue and happiness as necessarily related,
(4) in the recognisability of men's acts. They are led by instinctive
determinations of values, in which _former_ cultures are reflected
(more dangerous cultures too).
What have philosophers _lacked_! (1) A sense of history, (2) a
knowledge of physiology, (3) a goal in the future.--The ability to
criticise without irony or moral condemnation.
Philosophers have had (1) from times immemorial a wonderful capacity
for the _contradictio in adjecto,_ (2) they have always trusted
concepts as unconditionally as they have mistrusted the senses: it
never seems to have occurred to them that notions and words are our
inheritance of past ages in which thinking was neither very clear nor
What seems to dawn upon philosophers last of all: that they must
no longer allow themselves to be presented with concepts already
conceived, nor must they merely purify and polish up those concepts;
but they must first _make_ them, _create_ them, themselves, and
then present them and get people to accept them. Up to the present,
people have trusted their concepts generally, as if they had been a
wonderful _dowry_ from some kind of wonderland: but they constitute
the inheritance of our most remote, most foolish, and most intelligent
forefathers. This _piety_ towards that _which already exists in us_
is perhaps related to the _moral element in science._ What we needed
above all is absolute scepticism towards all traditional concepts (like
that which a certain philosopher may already have possessed--and he was
Plato, of course: for he taught _the reverse_).
Profoundly mistrustful towards the dogmas of the theory of knowledge,
I liked to look now out of this window, now out of that, though I took
good care not to become finally fixed anywhere, indeed I should have
thought it dangerous to have done so--though finally: is it within the
range of probabilities for an instrument to criticise its own fitness?
What I noticed more particularly was, that no scientific scepticism or
dogmatism has ever arisen quite free from all _arriÃ¨res pensÃ©es_--that
it has only a secondary value as soon as the motive lying immediately
behind it is discovered.
Fundamental aspect: Kant's, Hegel's, Schopenhauer's, the sceptical and
epochistical, the historifying and the pessimistic attitudes--all have
a _moral_ origin. I have found no one who has dared to _criticise the
moral valuations,_ and I
incessant action so as to hide himself from himself, etc.Page 5
With my title: _Our_ Educational Institutions, I wish to refer neither to the establishments in BÃ¢le nor to the incalculably vast number of other scholastic institutions which exist throughout the nations of the world to-day; but I wish to refer to _German institutions_ of the kind which we rejoice in here.Page 10
Our association had organised a general holiday excursion to Rolandseck on the very day my friend and I had fixed upon, the object of the outing being to assemble all its members for the last time at the close of the half-year and to send them home with pleasant recollections of their last hours together.Page 16
For our passion for shooting had brought us both repute and ill-repute in our club.Page 17
I wish you success and--points of view, as in your duelling questions; brand-new, original, and enlightened points of view.Page 20
What? Are you too proud to be a teacher? Do you despise the thronging multitude of learners? Do you speak contemptuously of the teacher's calling? And, aping my mode of life, would you fain live in solitary seclusion, hostilely isolated from that multitude? Do you suppose that you can reach at one bound what I ultimately had to win for myself only after long and determined struggles, in order even to be able to live like a philosopher? And do you not fear that solitude will wreak its vengeance upon you? Just try living the life of a hermit of culture.Page 21
The first-named would, for various reasons, spread learning among the greatest number of people; the second would compel education to renounce its highest, noblest and sublimest claims in order to subordinate itself to some other department of life--such as the service of the State.Page 25
with his distinguished tutor, and apologising for having so far renounced his calling as a teacher in order to spend his days in comfortless solitude.Page 28
"Here then is a task for so-called 'formal' education [the education tending to develop the mental faculties, as opposed to 'material' education, which is intended to deal only with the acquisition of facts, _e.Page 43
It is precisely the best teachers--those who, generally speaking, judged by a high standard, are worthy of this honourable name--who are now perhaps the least fitted, in view of the present standing of our public schools, for the education of these unselected youths, huddled together in a confused heap; but who must rather, to a certain extent, keep hidden from them the best they could give: and, on the other hand, by far the larger number of these teachers feel themselves quite at home in these institutions, as their moderate abilities stand in a kind of harmonious relationship to the dullness of their pupils.Page 56
But how many young men should be permitted to grow up in such close and almost personal proximity to nature! The others must learn another truth betimes: how to subdue nature to themselves.Page 63
And if it had been possible for you to take Goethe's friendship away from this melancholy, hasty life, hunted to premature death, then you would have crushed him even sooner than you did.Page 66
' "An educational establishment for the other and smaller company, however, would be something vastly different.Page 70
"False time!" said the philosopher again, "who told you to shoot stars! They can fall well enough without you! People should know what they want before they begin to handle weapons.Page 76
_it_ demands, it gives laws, it sits in judgment.Page 77
On returning to the university, and finding that he was breathing heavily, he became conscious of that oppressive and contaminated air which overhung the culture of the university.Page 83
This eternal hierarchy, towards which all things naturally tend, is always threatened by that pseudo-culture which now sits on the throne of the present.Page 89
For in Homer the modern world, I will not say has learnt, but has examined, a great historical point of view; and, even without now putting forward my own opinion as to whether this examination has been or can be happily carried out, it was at all events the first example of the application of that productive point of view.