Day 1846, Prejudices of philosophers 3

When we think hard

like walking up a narrow mountain trail

we tend not to look at the world

the scenery around us

we stair at our feet

and do our next step

on what seems to be true

and safe for ourselves

Nochrisis

 

Beyond good and evil, prelude to a philosophy of the future

By Friedrich Nietzsche

First chapter.

PREJUDICES OF PHILOSOPHERS.

3.

Having kept a sharp eye on philosophers, and having read between their lines long enough, I now say to myself that the greater part of conscious thinking must be counted amongst the instinctive functions, and it is so even in the case of philosophical thinking; one has here to learn anew, as one learned anew about heredity and “innateness.” As little as the act of birth comes into consideration in the whole process and continuation of heredity, just as little is ” being-conscious ” opposed to the instinctive in any decisive sense; the greater part of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly influenced by his instincts, and forced into definite channels. And behind all logic and its seeming sovereignty of movement, there are valuations, or to speak more plainly, physiological demands, for the maintenance of a definite mode of life. For example, that the certain is worth more than the uncertain, that illusion is less valuable than “truth”: such valuations, in spite of their regulative importance for us, might notwithstanding be only superficial valuations, special kinds of niaiserie*, such as may be necessary for the maintenance of beings such as ourselves. Supposing, in effect, that man is not just the “measure of things.” . . .

*silliness

Translated by Helen Zimmerm

1909

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