in relation to this
fundamental question in _biology_? Philosophy, religion, morality, art,
(The remedy: militarism, for instance, from Napoleon onwards, who
regarded civilisation as his natural enemy.)
All those things which heretofore have been regarded as the _causes of
degeneration,_ are really its effects.
But those things also which have been regarded as the _remedies_ of
degeneration are only _palliatives_ of certain effects thereof: the
"cured" are _types of the degenerate._
_The results of decadence_: vice--viciousness; illness--sickliness;
crime--criminality; celibacy--sterility; hysteria--the weakness of the
will; alcoholism; pessimism, anarchy; debauchery (also of the spirit).
The calumniators, underminers, sceptics, and destroyers.
Concerning the notion "decadence." (1) Scepticism is a result of
decadence: just as spiritual debauchery is.
(2) Moral corruption is a result of decadence (the weakness of the will
and the need of strong stimulants).
(3) Remedies, whether psychological or moral, do not alter the march
of decadence, they do not arrest anything; physiologically they do not
A peep into the _enormous futility_ of these pretentious "reactions";
they are forms of anÃ¦sthetising oneself against certain fatal
symptoms resulting from the prevailing condition of things; they do
not eradicate the morbid element; they are often heroic attempts to
cancel the decadent man, to allow only a minimum of his _deleterious
influence_ to survive.
(4) Nihilism is not a cause, but only the _rationale_ of decadence.
(5) The "good" and the "bad" are no more than two types of decadence:
they come together in all its fundamental phenomena.
(6) The _social problem_ is a result of _decadence._
(7) Illnesses, more particularly those attacking the nerves and the
head, are signs that the _defensive_ strength of strong nature is
lacking; a proof of this is that irritability which causes pleasure and
pain to be regarded as problems of the first order.
_The most common types of decadence_: (1) In the belief that they are
remedies, cures are chosen which only precipitate exhaustion;--this is
the case with Christianity (to point to the most egregious example of
mistaken instinct);--this is also the case with "progress."
(2) The _power of resisting_ stimuli is on the wane--chance rules
supreme: events are inflated and drawn out until they appear monstrous
... a suppression of the "personality," a disintegration of the
will; in this regard we may mention a whole class of morality, the
altruistic, that which is incessantly preaching pity, and whose most
essential feature is the weakness of the personality, so that it _rings
in unison,_ and, like an over-sensitive string, does not cease from
vibrating ... extreme irritability....
(3) Cause and effect are confounded: decadence is not understood as
physiological, and its results are taken to be the causes of the
general indisposition:--this applies to
" Now it is only in the spirit of the hope above mentioned that I wish to speak of the future of our educational institutions: and this is the second point in regard to which I must tender an apology from the outset.Page 12
It was already late in the afternoon when we reached our improvised range, and our oak-stump cast a long and attenuated shadow across the barren heath.Page 22
Thus, wherever I hear the masses raise the cry for an expansion of education, I am wont to ask myself whether it is stimulated by a greedy lust of gain and property, by the memory of a former religious persecution, or by the prudent egotism of the State itself.Page 30
Owing to the very fact that in this department it is almost always the most gifted pupils who display the greatest eagerness, it ought to have been made clear how dangerously stimulating, precisely here, the task of the teacher must be.Page 37
Of late, exercises of this kind have tended to decrease ever more and more: people are satisfied to _know_ the foreign classical tongues, they would scorn being able to _apply_ them.Page 44
But for the.Page 47
The leverage of the united representatives of modern culture is utilised for the purpose; but it invariably happens that the huge column is scarcely more than lifted from the ground when it falls down again, crushing beneath its weight the luckless wights under it.Page 50
_ in a period when (to use the favourite popular word) so many 'self-understood' things came into being, but which are in themselves not 'self-understood' at all.Page 52
the germs of his culture could not develop, but also that all his inimitable and perennial culture had flourished so luxuriantly under the wise and careful guardianship of the protection afforded by the State.Page 56
They are institutions which teach one how to take part in the battle of life; whether they promise to turn out civil servants, or merchants, or officers, or wholesale dealers, or farmers, or physicians, or men with a technical training.Page 58
' "I for my own part know of only two exact contraries: _institutions for teaching culture and institutions for teaching how to succeed in life_.Page 60
"You astonish me, you will-o'-the-wisps," he said; "this is no quagmire we are on now.Page 71
"Happy times, when youths are clever and cultured enough to teach themselves how to walk! Unsurpassable public schools, which succeed in implanting independence in the place of the dependence, discipline, subordination, and obedience implanted by former generations that thought it their duty to drive away all the bumptiousness of independence! Do you clearly see, my good friends, why I, from the standpoint of culture, regard the present type of university as a mere appendage to the public school? The culture instilled by the public school passes through the gates of the university as something ready and entire, and with its own particular claims:.Page 76
His own experiences lead him most frequently to the consideration of these problems; and it is especially in the tempestuous period of youth that every personal event shines with a double gleam, both as the exemplification of a triviality and, at the same time, of an eternally surprising problem, deserving of explanation.Page 78
The most trivial bustle fastens itself upon him; he sinks under his heavy burden.Page 81
In all the annals of our universities we cannot find any trace of a second attempt, and he who would impressively demonstrate what is now necessary for us will never find a better example.Page 89
Friedrich August Wolf has exactly indicated the spot where Greek antiquity dropped the question.Page 92
Such a conception justly made people suspicious.Page 98
We may even be ready to pronounce this synthetisation of great importance.