Beyond Good and Evil eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 184 pages of information about Beyond Good and Evil.
Plato?  Had the wicked Socrates really corrupted him?  Was Socrates after all a corrupter of youths, and deserved his hemlock?” But the struggle against Plato, or—­to speak plainer, and for the “people”—­the struggle against the ecclesiastical oppression of millenniums of Christianity (for Christianity is Platonism for thePeople"), produced in Europe a magnificent tension of soul, such as had not existed anywhere previously; with such a tensely strained bow one can now aim at the furthest goals.  As a matter of fact, the European feels this tension as a state of distress, and twice attempts have been made in grand style to unbend the bow:  once by means of Jesuitism, and the second time by means of democratic enlightenment—­which, with the aid of liberty of the press and newspaper-reading, might, in fact, bring it about that the spirit would not so easily find itself in “distress”! (The Germans invented gunpowder—­all credit to them! but they again made things square—­they invented printing.) But we, who are neither Jesuits, nor democrats, nor even sufficiently Germans, we good Europeans, and free, very free spirits—­we have it still, all the distress of spirit and all the tension of its bow!  And perhaps also the arrow, the duty, and, who knows?  The goal to aim at. . . .

Sils Maria Upper Engadine, June, 1885.

CHAPTER I

PREJUDICES OF PHILOSOPHERS

1.  The Will to Truth, which is to tempt us to many a hazardous enterprise, the famous Truthfulness of which all philosophers have hitherto spoken with respect, what questions has this Will to Truth not laid before us!  What strange, perplexing, questionable questions!  It is already a long story; yet it seems as if it were hardly commenced.  Is it any wonder if we at last grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn impatiently away?  That this Sphinx teaches us at last to ask questions ourselves?  Who is it really that puts questions to us here?  What really is this “Will to Truth” in us?  In fact we made a long halt at the question as to the origin of this Will—­until at last we came to an absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question.  We inquired about the value of this Will.  Granted that we want the truth:  Why not rather untruth?  And uncertainty?  Even ignorance?  The problem of the value of truth presented itself before us—­or was it we who presented ourselves before the problem?  Which of us is the Oedipus here?  Which the Sphinx?  It would seem to be a rendezvous of questions and notes of interrogation.  And could it be believed that it at last seems to us as if the problem had never been propounded before, as if we were the first to discern it, get a sight of it, and risk raising it?  For there is risk in raising it, perhaps there is no greater risk.

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Beyond Good and Evil from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.