the truth that happens to be ruling,
have been pressed aside and even smothered....
Truth, that is to say the scientific method, was grasped and favoured
by such as recognised that it was a useful weapon of war--an instrument
In order to be honoured as opponents, they were moreover obliged
to use an apparatus similar to that used by those whom they were
attacking: they therefore brandished the concept "truth" as absolutely
as their adversaries did--they became fanatics at least in their
poses, because no other pose could be expected to be taken seriously.
What still remained to be done was left to persecution, to passion,
and the uncertainty of the persecuted--hatred waxed great, and the
first impulse began to die away and to leave the field entirely to
science. Ultimately all of them wanted to be right in the same absurd
way as their opponents.... The word "conviction," "faith," the pride
of martyrdom--these things are most unfavourable to knowledge. The
adversaries of truth finally adopt the whole subjective manner of
deciding about truth,--that is to say, by means of poses, sacrifices,
and heroic resolutions,--and thus _prolong_ the _dominion_ of the
anti-scientific method. As martyrs they compromise their very own deed.
_The dangerous distinction between "theoretical" and "practical"_ in
Kant for instance, but also in the ancient philosophers:--they behave
as if pure intellectuality presented them with the problems of science
and metaphysics;--they behave as if practice should be judged by a
measure of its own, whatever the judgment of theory may be.
Against the first tendency I set up my _psychology of philosophers_:
their strangest calculations and "intellectuality" are still but the
last pallid impress of a physiological fact; spontaneity is absolutely
lacking in them, everything is instinct, everything is intended to
follow a certain direction from the first....
Against the second tendency I put my question: whether we know another
method of acting correctly, besides that of thinking correctly;
the last case _is_ action, the first presupposes thought Are we
possessed of a means whereby we can judge of the value of a method
of life differently from the value of a theory: through induction or
comparison?... Guileless people imagine that in this respect we are
better equipped, we know what is "good"--and the philosophers are
content to repeat this view. We conclude that some sort of _faith_ is
at work in this matter, and nothing more....
"Men must act; _consequently_ rules of conduct are necessary"--this is
what even the ancient Sceptics thought. The _urgent need_ of a definite
decision in this department of knowledge is used as an argument in
favour of regarding something as _true_!...
"Men must not
sufficiently shown by observing how few people have any real capacity for their professions and callings, and how many square pegs there are in round holes: happy and well chosen instances are quite exceptional, like happy marriages, and even these latter are not brought about by reason.Page 3
As man assumes a sceptical and melancholy attitude towards his life's calling, so we must sceptically examine the highest life's calling of a nation: in order that we may understand what life is.Page 7
22 It is the duty of the free man to live for his own sake, and not for others.Page 8
How then if these were to be frankly recognised as prejudices? Would not philology be superfluous if we reckoned up the interests of a position in life or the earning of a livelihood? What if the truth were told about antiquity, and its qualifications for training people to live in the present? In order that the questions set forth above may be answered let us consider the training of the philologist, his genesis: he no longer comes into being where these interests are lacking.Page 9
THE PREFERENCE FOR ANTIQUITY 27 If a man approves of the investigation of the past he will also approve and even praise the fact--and will above all easily understand it--that there are scholars who are exclusively occupied with the investigation of Greek and Roman antiquity: but that these scholars are at the same time the teachers of the children of the nobility and gentry is not equally easy of comprehension--here lies a problem.Page 13
But only the training of a scientific man is taken into account, which results in "formal" thinking and writing, and hardly any speaking at all.Page 14
This profession consists in the first place of those men who make use of their knowledge of Greek and Roman antiquity to bring up youths of thirteen to twenty years of age, and secondly of those men whose task it is to train specially-gifted pupils to act as future teachers--_i.Page 19
59 In Wolf's estimation, a man has reached the highest point of historical research when he is able to take a wide and general view of the whole and of the profoundly conceived distinctions in the developments in art and the different styles of art.Page 20
however, that Winckelmann was lacking in the more common talent of philological criticism, or else he could not use it properly: "A rare mixture of a cool head and a minute and restless solicitude for hundreds of things which, insignificant in themselves, were combined in his case with a fire that swallowed up those little things, and with a gift of divination which is a vexation and an annoyance to the uninitiated.Page 21
Bad conscience? or merely thoughtlessness? 69 We learn nothing from what philologists say about philology: it is all mere tittle-tattle--for example, Jahn's "The Meaning and Place of the Study of Antiquity in Germany.Page 24
render homage to beauty, babblers and triflers, develop the body, ugly-looking creatures, speak clearly, stammerers, are religious transfigurers filthy pedants, of everyday occurrences, are listeners and observers, quibblers and scarecrows, have an aptitude for the unfitted for the symbolical, symbolical, are in full possession of ardent slaves of the State, their freedom as men, can look innocently out Christians in disguise, into the world, are the pessimists of philistines.Page 25
99 There is a great deal of caricature even about the Greeks .Page 26
Their childlike nature, credulousness.Page 27
The constitution of the _polis_ is a Phoenician invention, even this has been imitated by the Hellenes.Page 29
125 Almost all the Greek divinities are accumulations of divinities .Page 33
There may perhaps be many necessities; but in general this inclination is simply a bed of idleness.Page 38
Let people but attempt to live after the manner of antiquity, and they will at once come hundreds of miles nearer to antiquity than they can do with all their erudition.Page 42
 Friedrich August Wolf (1759-1824), the well-known classical scholar, now chiefly remembered by his "Prolegomena ad Homerum.