Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 61

Must life dominate knowledge, or knowledge
life? Which of the two is the higher, and decisive power? There is no
room for doubt: life is the higher, and the dominating power, for the
knowledge that annihilated life would be itself annihilated too.
Knowledge presupposes life, and has the same interest in maintaining
it that every creature has in its own preservation. Science needs
very careful watching: there is a hygiene of life near the volumes of
science, and one of its sentences runs thus:--The unhistorical and
the super-historical are the natural antidotes against the
overpowering of life by history; they are the cures for the
historical disease. We who are sick of the disease may suffer a
little from the antidote. But this is no proof that the treatment we
have chosen is wrong.

And here I see the mission of the youth that forms the first
generation of fighters and dragon-slayers: it will bring a more
beautiful and blessed humanity and culture, but will have itself no
more than a glimpse of the promised land of happiness and wondrous
beauty. This youth will suffer both from the malady and its
antidotes: and yet it believes in strength and health and boasts a
nature closer to the great Nature than its forebears, the cultured
men and graybeards of the present. But its mission is to shake to
their foundations the present conceptions of "health" and "culture,"
and erect hatred and scorn in the place of this rococo mass of ideas.
And the clearest sign of its own strength and health is just the fact
that it can use no idea, no party-cry from the present-day mint of
words and ideas to symbolise its own existence: but only claims
conviction from the power in it that acts and fights, breaks up and
destroys; and from an ever heightened feeling of life when the hour
strikes. You may deny this youth any culture--but how would youth
count that a reproach? You may speak of its rawness and
intemperateness--but it is not yet old and wise enough to be
acquiescent. It need not pretend to a ready-made culture at all; but
enjoys all the rights--and the consolations--of youth, especially the
right of brave unthinking honesty and the consolation of an inspiring

I know that such hopeful beings understand all these truisms from
within, and can translate them into a doctrine for their own use,
through their personal experience. To the others there will appear,
in the meantime, nothing but a row of covered dishes, that may
perhaps seem empty: until they see one day with astonished eyes that
the dishes are full,

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Text Comparison with We Philologists Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Volume 8

Page 0
Page 1
Classical antiquity, however, was conveyed to the public through university professors and their intellectual offspring, and these professors, influenced (quite unconsciously, of course) by religious and "liberal" principles, presented to their scholars a kind of emasculated antiquity.
Page 2
(_c_) His intention of earning a living.
Page 6
--[1] 15 The attitude of the philologist towards antiquity is apologetic, or else dictated by the view that what our own age values can likewise be found in antiquity.
Page 7
Whoever wishes to serve the former must hate the latter.
Page 8
24 People in general think that philology is at an end--while I believe that it has not yet begun.
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 11
The fact actually is that the foundations of this preference are being removed one by one, and if this is not remarked by philologists themselves, it is certainly being remarked as much as it can possibly be by people outside their circle.
Page 12
Perhaps the case will not be always so--It would be much more natural _per se_ if our children were instructed in the elements of geography, natural science, political economy, and sociology, if they were gradually led to a consideration of life itself, and if finally, but much later, the most noteworthy events of the past were brought to their knowledge.
Page 13
seek to acquire merely by means of a detailed plan of study--a plan which, corresponding to the more advanced knowledge of the age, has entirely changed.
Page 14
begun earlier than order and peacefulness in the outward life of the people (enlightenment).
Page 17
educational system of a period is condemned, a heavy censure on philologists is thereby implied: either, as the consequence of their wrong-headed view, they insist on giving bad education in the belief that it is good; or they do not wish to give this bad education, but are unable to carry the day in favour of education which they recognise to be better.
Page 25
103 Selected points from antiquity: the power, fire, and swing of the feeling the ancients had for music (through the first Pythian Ode), purity in their historical sense, gratitude for the blessings of culture, the fire and corn feasts.
Page 28
On the whole, however, their state is merely a caricature of the polls, a corruption of Hellas.
Page 31
The hero-myth became pan-Hellenic: a poet must have had a hand in that! 142 How _realistic_ the Greeks were even in the domain of pure inventions! They poetised reality, not yearning to lift themselves out of it.
Page 36
Finally, that we would much rather live in the present age than in any other is due to science, and certainly no other race in the history of mankind has had such a wide choice of noble enjoyments as ours--even if our race has not the palate and stomach to experience a great deal of joy.
Page 37
Now all these bases, the mythical and the politico-social, have changed; our alleged culture has no stability, because it has been erected upon insecure conditions and opinions which are even now almost ready to collapse.
Page 39
A _pure_ knowledge of antiquity is now possible, but perhaps also a more ineffective and weaker knowledge.
Page 40
This lies far off; and only the rapid man attains it and rejoices.
Page 41
There is no "Providence" for genius; it is only for the ordinary run of people and their wants that such a thing exists: they find their satisfaction, and later on their justification.