century is dominated by _woman,_ it is gushing,
spiritual, and flat; but with intellect at the service of aspirations
and of the heart, it is a libertine in the pleasures of intellect,
undermining all authorities; emotionally intoxicated, cheerful, clear,
humane, and sociable, false to itself and at bottom very rascally....
The nineteenth century is more _animal,_ more subterranean, hateful,
realistic, plebeian, and on that very account "better," "more honest,"
more submissive to "reality" of what kind soever, and _truer_; but
weak of will, sad, obscurely exacting and fatalistic. It has no
feeling of timidity or reverence, either in the presence of "reason"
or the "heart"; thoroughly convinced of the dominion of the desires
(Schopenhauer said "Will," but nothing is more characteristic of his
philosophy than that it entirely lacks all actual _willing_). Even
morality is reduced to an instinct ("Pity").
Auguste Comte is _the continuation of the_ eighteenth _century_ (the
dominion of the heart over the head, sensuality in the theory of
knowledge, altruistic exaltation).
The fact that _science_ has become as sovereign as it is to-day, proves
how the nineteenth century has _emancipated itself_ from the dominion
of _ideals._ A certain absence of "needs" and wishes makes our
scientific curiosity and rigour possible--this is our kind of virtue.
Romanticism is the _counterstroke_ of the eighteenth century; a sort of
accumulated longing for its grand style of exaltation (as a matter of
fact, largely mingled with mummery and self-deception: the desire was
to represent _strong nature_ and _strong passion_).
The nineteenth century instinctively goes in search of _theories_
by means of which it may feel its _fatalistic, submission to the
empire of facts_ justified. Hegel's success against sentimentality
and romantic idealism was already a sign of its fatalistic trend of
thought, in its belief that superior reason belongs to the triumphant
side, and in its justification of the actual "state" (in the place of
"humanity," etc.).--Schopenhauer: we are something foolish, and at the
best self-suppressive. The success of determinism, the genealogical
derivation of _obligations_ which were formerly held to be absolute,
the teaching of environment and adaptation, the reduction of will to
a process of reflex movement, the denial of the will as a "working
cause"; finally--a real process of re-christening: so little will
is observed that the word itself becomes _available_ for another
purpose. Further theories: the teaching of _objectivity,_ "will-less"
contemplation, as the only road to truth, _as also_ to _beauty_ (also
the belief in "genius," in order to have _the right to be submissive_);
mechanism, the determinable rigidity of the mechanical process;
so-called "Naturalism," the elimination of the choosing, directing,
interpreting subject, on principle.
Kant, with his "practical reason," with his
And when death brings at last the desired forgetfulness, it abolishes life and being together, and sets the seal on the knowledge that "being" is merely a continual "has been," a thing that lives by denying and destroying and contradicting itself.Page 9
For by excess of history life becomes maimed and degenerate, and is followed by the degeneration of history as well.Page 13
Their instinct tells them that art can be slain by art: the monumental will never be reproduced, and the weight of its authority is invoked from the past to make it sure.Page 22
It might one day vanish and leave behind it only the external life,--with its vulgar pride and vain servility,--to mark the German.Page 34
They have nothing to do with each other--and this is called "objectivity"! The intentional air of detachment that is assumed for effect, the sober art of the superficial motive-hunter is most exasperating when the highest and rarest things are in question; and it is the _vanity_ of the historian that drives him to this attitude of indifference.Page 46
Thus you become an _advocatus diaboli_ by setting up the success, the fact, as your idol: whereas the fact is always dull, at all times more like calf than a god.Page 53
will appear on the theatre of the future.Page 69
An explanation of this faint-heartedness and ebbing of all moral strength would be difficult and complex: but whoever is considering the influence of Christianity in its hour of victory on the morality of the mediæval world, must not forget that it reacts also in its defeat, which is apparently its position to-day.Page 71
" There are two very different kinds of joyfulness.Page 72
And so in their company one feels a natural man again, and could cry out with Goethe--"What a wondrous and priceless thing is a living creature! How fitted to his surroundings, how true, and real!" I have been describing nothing but the first, almost physiological, impression made upon me by Schopenhauer, the magical emanation of inner force from one plant of Nature to another, that follows the slightest contact.Page 86
His prayers do not reach her; so deeply sunk is he in the Chaos of the unnatural.Page 89
For he must go down.Page 99
There is another reason also;--to prevent the possibility of turning this obscure impulse to quite different ends, in a direction where our highest aim can no longer be attained.Page 100
" Compare, for example, what the self-interest of the state has done for Christianity.Page 101
Many things in Germany have evidently been altered since the late war with France, and new requirements for German culture brought over.Page 105
He knows nothing of the suffering that brings knowledge, and does not fear to tread where other men shudder.Page 109
These solitary men must finish their work; that is why they should all hold together; and those who have their part in the scheme will take thought to prepare themselves with ever-increasing purity of aim for the birth of the genius, and ensure that the time be ripe for him.Page 113
A savant can never become a philosopher: Kant himself could not, but remained in a chrysalis stage to the end, in spite of the innate force of his genius.Page 117
The man who has done so and remains a state-official, is a false friend to truth; if he has not,--I think he is no friend to truth either.Page 125
has its source there.