Thoughts Out of Season, Part II

By Friedrich Nietzsche

Page 99

find his own aim,--the
production of genius.

Any one who can reach the second step, will see how extremely rare
and imperceptible the knowledge of that end is, though all men busy
themselves with culture and expend vast labour in her service. He
asks himself in amazement--"Is not such knowledge, after all,
absolutely necessary? Can Nature be said to attain her end, if men
have a false idea of the aim of their own labour?" And any one who
thinks a great deal of Nature's unconscious adaptation of means to
ends, will probably answer at once: "Yes, men may think and speak
what they like about their ultimate end, their blind instinct will
tell them the right road." It requires some experience of life to be
able to contradict this: but let a man be convinced of the real aim
of culture--the production of the true man and nothing else;--let him
consider that amid all the pageantry and ostentation of culture at
the present time the conditions for his production are nothing but a
continual "battle of the beasts": and he will see that there is great
need for a conscious will to take the place of that blind instinct.
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. For we must beware of a
certain kind of misapplied and parasitical culture; the powers at
present most active in its propagation have other casts of thought
that prevent their relation to culture from being pure and
disinterested.

The first of these is the self-interest of the business men. This
needs the help of culture, and helps her in return, though at the
price of prescribing her ends and limits. And their favourite sorites
is: "We must have as much knowledge and education as possible; this
implies as great a need as possible for it, this again as much
production, this again as much material wealth and happiness as
possible."--This is the seductive formula. Its preachers would define
education as the insight that makes man through and through a "child
of his age" in his desires and their satisfaction, and gives him
command over the best means of making money. Its aim would be to make
"current" men, in the same sense as one speaks of the "currency" in
money; and in their view, the more "current" men there are, the
happier the people. The object of modern educational systems is
therefore to make each man as "current" as his nature will allow him,
and to give him the opportunity

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Text Comparison with On the Future of our Educational Institutions; Homer and Classical Philology Complete Works, Volume Three

Page 3
The third and most important stipulation is, that he should in no case be constantly bringing himself and his own "culture" forward, after the style of most modern men, as the correct standard and measure of all things.
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_ the future of German elementary, secondary, and public schools (Gymnasien) and universities.
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(Ed.
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In that case, therefore, my lads, try to go through life in some other honourable manner; join the army or learn a handicraft that pays its way.
Page 22
"In the case of the view you have described so clearly, there arises the great and awful danger that at some time or other the great masses may overleap the middle classes and spring headlong into this earthly bliss.
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" SECOND LECTURE.
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For the moment, let us consider, together, what to my mind constitutes the very hopeful struggle of the two possibilities: _either_ that the motley and evasive spirit of public schools which has hitherto been fostered, will completely vanish, or that it will have to be completely purified and rejuvenated.
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_ history, mathematics, etc.
Page 51
" "Such a comparison," said the philosopher, "would be quite hyperbolical, and would not hobble along on one leg only.
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that the many may in this way endeavour to escape the rigid and strict discipline of the few great leaders, so that the masses may be persuaded that they can easily find the path for themselves--following the guiding star of the State! "A new phenomenon! The State as the guiding star of culture! In the meantime one thing consoles me: this German spirit, which people are combating so much, and for which they have substituted a gaudily attired _locum tenens_, this spirit is brave: it will fight and redeem itself into a purer age; noble, as it is now, and victorious, as it one day will be, it will always preserve in its mind a certain pitiful toleration of the State, if the latter, hard-pressed in the hour of extremity, secures such a pseudo-culture as its associate.
Page 57
So there are no true cultural institutions! And in those very places where a pretence to culture is still kept up, we find the people more hopeless, atrophied, and discontented than in the secondary schools, where the so-called 'realistic' subjects are taught! Besides this, only think how immature and uninformed one must be in the company of such teachers when one actually misunderstands the rigorously defined philosophical expressions 'real' and 'realism' to such a degree as to think them the contraries of.
Page 62
How could Lessing and Winckelmann benefit by the German culture of their time? Even less than, or at all events just as little as Beethoven, Schiller, Goethe, or every one of our great poets and artists.
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Slowly and thoughtfully we walked to and fro.
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These select spirits must complete their work: that is the _raison d'être_ of their common institution--a work, indeed, which, as it were, must be free from subjective traces, and must further rise above the transient events of future times as the pure reflection of the eternal and immutable essence of things.
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But it is getting chilly, and I don't feel inclined to walk about any more just now.
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It must have seemed to him that his day had been lost, and he would have liked to blot it out of his memory, together with the recollection of ever having made our acquaintance.
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Do not, then, let yourselves be deceived in regard to the cultured student; for he, in so far as he thinks he has absorbed the blessings of education, is merely the public school boy as moulded by the hands of his teacher: one who, since his academical isolation, and after he has left the public school, has therefore been deprived of all further guidance to culture, that from now on he may begin to live by himself and be free.
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"In what relationship these universities stand to _art_ cannot be acknowledged without shame: in none at all.
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The first part of this contention may be admitted; but, in accordance with what I have said, the latter part must be denied.
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If classical philology goes back again to the same conceptions, and once more tries to pour new wine into old bottles, it is only on the surface that the conceptions are the same: everything has really become new; bottle and mind, wine and word.