Day 1848, Prejudices of philosophers 5

The philosophers

and pompous thinkers

step in the same puddles

on that road we all walk

~

its just that they do it

not by accident

but while trying not to

Nochrisis

 

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

By Friedrich Nietzsche

First chapter.

PREJUDICES OF PHILOSOPHERS.

5.

That which causes philosophers to be regarded half-distrustfully and half-mockingly, is not the oft-repeated discovery how innocent they are—how often and easily they make mistakes and lose their way, in short, how childish and childlike they are,—but that there is not enough honest dealing with them, whereas they all raise a loud and virtuous outcry when the problem of truthfulness is even hinted at in the remotest manner. They all pose as though their real opinions had been discovered and attained through the self-evolving of a cold, pure, divinely indifferent dialectic (in contrast to all sorts of mystics, who, fairer and foolisher, talk of “inspiration”); whereas, in fact, a prejudiced proposition, idea, or ” suggestion,” which is generally their heart’s desire abstracted and refined, is defended by them with arguments sought out after the event. They are all advocates who do not wish to be regarded as such, generally astute defenders, also, of their prejudices, which they dub ” truths,” —and very far from having the conscience which bravely admits this to itself; very far from having the good taste of the courage which goes so far as to let this be understood, perhaps to warn friend or foe, or in cheerful confidence and self-ridicule. The spectacle of the Tartuffery* of old Kant, equally stiff and decent, with which he entices us into the dialectic by-ways that lead (more correctly mislead) to his” categorical imperative”—makes us fastidious ones smile, we who find no small amusement in spying out the subtle tricks of old moralists and ethical preachers. Or, still more so, the hocuspocus of mathematical form, by means of which Spinoza has as it were clad his philosophy in mail and mask—in fact, the “love of his wisdom,” to translate the term fairly and squarely—in order thereby to strike terror at once into the heart of the assailant who should dare to cast a glance on that invincible maiden, that Pallas Athene**:—how much of personal timidity and vulnerability does this masquerade of a sickly recluse betray!

* hypocrisy

** ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, handicraft, and warfare

Translated by Helen Zimmerm

1909

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