That will which is yet to seduce us into many a venture,
that famous truthfulness of which all philosophers up to this time have spoken reverently—
think what questions this will to truth has posed for us!
What strange, wicked, questionable, questions!
It has been a long story – and yet it seems hardly to have started.
No wonder if just for once we become suspicious, and, losing our patience, impatiently turn around!
Let us learn to ask this Sphinx some questions ourselves, for a change.
Just who is it anyway who has been asking these questions?
Just what is it in us that wants "to approach truth"?
Indeed, we tarried a long time before the question of the cause of this will.
And in the end we stopped altogether before the even more basic question.
We asked "What is the value of this will?"
Supposing we want truth: why not rather untruth?
Uncertainty? Even Ignorance?
The problem of the value of truth confronted us—
or were we the ones who confronted the problem?
Which of us is Oedipus? Which of us the Sphinx?
It is a rendezvous of questions and question marks.
It may be unbelievable, but it seems to us in the end as though the problem had never yet been posed—
as though it were being seen, fixed, above all risked, for the first time.
For there is a risk in posing it—perhaps no greater risk could be found.
How is it possible for anything to come out of its opposite?
Truth, for example, out of error?
Or the will to truth out of the will to deception?
Or a self-less act out of self-interest?
Or the pure sunny contemplation of a wise man out of covetousness?
This sort of origin is impossible.
Who dreams of it is a fool or worse;
the things of highest value must have some other, indigenous origin;
they cannot be derived from this ephemeral, seductive, deceptive, inferior world,
this labyrinth of delusion and greed!
Their basis must lie in the womb of Being,
in the Eternal, in the hidden God, in the "Thing in Itself"—
here and nowhere else!—
This type of judgement is the typical prejudice by which the metaphysicians of all time can be recognized.
This type of valuation stands back of all their logical methods;
this is the "faith" that enables them to struggle for what they call "knowing"
—a something which at last they solemnly christen "truth."
The basic faith of all metaphysicians is faith in the antithetical nature of values.
It has never occurred to the most cautious of them,
even though they had taken the vow to "doubt everything,"
to pause in doubt at the very threshold where doubt would have been most necessary.
But we may indeed doubt:
first, whether antitheses exist at all, and second,
whether those popular valuations and value-antitheses upon which the metaphysicians have placed their stamp of approval are not perhaps merely superficial valuations,
merely provisional perspectives
—and perspectives from a tight corner at that,
possibly from below, a "worms eye view" so to speak.
Admitting all the value accorded to the true, the truthful, the selfless,
it is nonetheless possible that a higher value should be ascribed to appearance,
to the will to deception, to self-interest, to greed—a higher value with respect to all life.
Furthermore, it is quite possible that the very value of those good and honored things consists, in fact, in their insidious relatedness to these wicked, seemingly opposite things—
it could be that they are inextricably bound up, entwined, perhaps even similar in their very nature.
Perhaps! But who is willing to be troubled by such a perilous Perhaps?
We must wait for a new species of philosopher to arrive,
who will have some other, opposite tastes and inclinations than the previous ones.
Philosophers of the Perilous Perhaps, in every sense!
And seriously, I can see such new philosophers coming up over the horizon.
After keeping an eye on and reading between the lines of the philosophers for a long time, I find that I must tell myself the following:
the largest part of conscious thinking must be considered an instinctual activity,
even in the case of philosophical thinking.
We must simply re-learn, as we have had to re-learn about heredity and "inborn" qualities.
As little as the act of birth is of consequence in the whole process and progress of heredity, so little is consciousness in any decisive sense opposed to instinct.
Most of the conscious thinking of a philosopher is secretly guided by his instincts and forced along certain lines.
Even behind logic and its apparent sovereignty of development stand value judgements,
or, to speak more plainly,
physiological demands for preserving a certain type of life.
Such as, for example, that the definite is worth more than the indefinite, that appearance is less valuable than "the truth."
Such valuations, all their regulative importance notwithstanding,
can for us be only foreground-valuations,
a definite type of ridiculous simplicity,
possibly necessary for the preservation of the creature we happen to be.
Assuming, to be sure, that man does not happen to be "the measure of all things"...
The falseness of a given judgement does not constitute an objection against it, so far as we are concerned.
It is perhaps in this respect that our new language sounds strangest.
The real question is how far a judgement furthers and maintains life, preserves a given type, possibly cultivates and trains a given type.
We are, in fact, fundamentally inclined to maintain that the falsest judgements
(to which belong the synthetic a priori judgements)
are the most indispensable to us,
that man cannot live without accepting the logical fictions as valid,
without measuring reality against the purely invented world of the absolute, the immutable,
without constantly falsifying the world by means of numeration.
That getting along without false judgements would amount to getting along without life, negating life.
To admit untruth as a necessary condition of life:
this implies, to be sure, a perilous resistance against customary value-feelings.
A philosophy that risks it nonetheless, if it did nothing else, would by this alone have taken its stand beyond good and evil.
What tempts us to look at all philosophers half suspiciously and half mockingly is not so much that we recognize again and again how innocent they are,
how often and how easily they make mistakes and lose their way,
in short their childishness and childlike-ness—
but rather that they are not sufficiently candid,
though they make a great virtuous noisy to-do as soon as the problem of truthfulness is even remotely touched upon.
Every one of them pretends that he has discovered and reached his opinions through the self-development of cold, pure, divinely untroubled dialectic
(in distinction to the mystics of every rank who, more honest and fatuous, talk about "inspiration"),
whereas, at bottom, a pre-conceived dogma, a notion, "an institution," or mostly a heart's desire, made abstract and refined,
is defended by them with arguments sought after the fact.
They are all of them lawyers (though wanting to be called anything but that),
and for the most part quite sly defenders of their prejudices which they christen "truths"—
very far removed they are from the courageous conscience which admits precisely this;
very remote from the courageous good taste which makes sure that others understand—
perhaps to warn an enemy or a friend, perhaps from sheer high spirits and self-mockery.
The spectacle of old Kant's Tartuffery, as stiff as it is respectable,
luring us onto the dialectical crooked paths which lead to (or better mislead) to his "categorical imperative"
—this spectacle makes us, used to diversions as we are, smile.
For we find no small entertainment in keeping our eye on the delicate tricks of ancient moralists and morality-preachers.
Or consider that hocus-pocus of mathematical form with which Spinoza masked and armor-plated as though in bronze his philosophy
(or let us translate the word properly: "the love of his own wisdom")!
He used it to intimidate at the very start the courageous attacker who might dare cast eyes on this invincible virgin and Pallas Athene—
how much insecurity and vulnerability this masquerade of a sick recluse betrays!
Gradually I have come to realize what every great philosophy up to now has been:
the personal confession of its originator,
a type of involuntary and unaware memoirs;
also that the moral (or amoral) intentions of each philosophy constitute the protoplasm from which each entire plant has grown.
Indeed, one will do well (and wisely), if one wishes to explain to himself how on earth the more remote metaphysical assertions of a philosopher ever arose to ask each time:
What sort of morality is this (is he) aiming at?
Thus I do not believe that a "desire for comprehension" is the father of philosophy,
but rather that a quite different desire has here as elsewhere used comprehension (together with miscomprehension) as tools to serve its own ends.
Anyone who looks at the basic desires of man with a view to finding out how well they have played their part in precisely this field
as inspirational genii (or demons or hobgoblins) will note that they have all philosophized at one time or another.
Each individual desire wants badly to represent itself as the final aim of existence and as rightful master of all the others.
For each desire is autocratic and as such it attempts to philosophize.
In the case of scholars, to be sure, the specifically "scientific" men, it may be different—"better" if you wish.
They may really have something like a "desire for comprehension,"
some small independent clockwork mechanism which, when properly wound, works bravely on without involving the remaining desires of the scholars.
The real "interests," therefore, of the scholars lie in quite another field—
in their family, perhaps, or their livelihood, or in politics.
It makes almost no difference, in fact, whether the little machine is employed in one place or another to serve science,
and whether the "promising" young worker makes of himself a philologist or a mushroom-fancier or a chemist—
his becoming this or that does not characterize him.
Conversely, there is nothing impersonal whatever in the philosopher.
And particularly his morality testifies decidedly and decisively as to who he is—that is, what order of rank the innermost desires of his nature occupy.
How malicious philosophers can be!
I know of nothing more ferocious than the jest that Epicurus permitted himself against Plato and the Platonists.
He called them Dionysiokolakes.
Superficially, and literally, it means "flatterers of Dionysius,"
that is "yes-men" and lick-spittles;
but in addition the word signifies "They are only actors; they are not genuine"
(for Dionysiokolax was the popular designation for an actor).
This latter implication is really the malice that Epicurus aimed at Plato;
he was annoyed by the grand manner, the play-acting, that Plato and all his students so well knew how to put on—and Epicurus did not!
He, the old schoolmaster of Samos, sat hidden in his little garden at Athens and wrote three hundred books.
Who knows—perhaps out of furious ambition to equal Plato!
It took one hundred years before Greece realized just who this garden-god Epicurus had been. If, indeed, she ever realized it!
In every philosophy there comes the point where the philosopher's "conviction" enters the scene—
or, in the words of an ancient mystery,
adventavit asinus pulcher et fortissimus. (Enters now the ass Beautiful and most strong.)
"In moderation, according to nature" you wish to live? Oh noble Stoics! How your words deceive!
Think of a being like Nature, immoderately wasteful, immoderately indifferent, devoid of intentions and considerateness,
devoid of compassion, and a sense of justice,
fruitful and desolate and uncertain at the same time; think of Indifference on the throne—how could you live in moderation according to this indifference?
Living—isn't it precisely a wishing-to-be-different from this Nature?
Doesn't living mean evaluating, preferring, being unjust, being limited, wanting to be different?
But suppose your imperative "to live in moderation, according to nature" only means 'to live in moderation, according to life"—
how then could you live otherwise?
Why make a principle of something that you are and have to be?
The truth is quite another matter:
while rapturously pretending to read the canon of your law out of nature, you actually want the opposite—you strange play-actors and self-deceivers!
Your pride wants to dictate your morality, your ideal, to nature (even to nature!).
It wants to incorporate itself in nature; you demand that nature be nature "in moderation, according to the Stoa";
you want to remake all existence to mirror your own existence;
you want an enormous everlasting glorification of stoicism!
With all your love for truth, you force yourselves to see nature falsely, i.e. stoically—
so long, so insistently, so hypnotically petrified, until you can no longer see it any other way.
And in the end some abysmal arrogance gives you the insane hope that, because you know how to tyrannize over yourselves
(stoicism is self-tyranny),
you can also tyrannize over nature—for isn't the Stoic a part of nature?...
But all this is an old, everlasting story.
What happened to the Stoics still happens today, as soon as a philosophy begins to have faith in itself.
It always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise,
for philosophy is this tyrannical desire; it is the most spiritual will to power, to "creation of the world," to the causa prima.
The eagerness and artfulness (I should perhaps better say shrewdness) with which everyone in Europe today attacks the problems of "the real and the apparent world"
gives us to think and to listen.
Anyone who hears only a "will to truth" in the background surely does not enjoy the keenest hearing.
In individual and rare cases there may really be involved such a will to truth—
some extravagant and adventurous bravery, some metaphysician's ambition to deal with a lost cause.
There may be a few who really prefer a handful of "certainty" to a whole wagonload of beautiful possibilities;
There may even be some puritanical fantasists of conscience who would prefer a certain nothing to an uncertain something—for a deathbed!
But this is nihilism and the token of a despairing soul, weary unto death, however brave the gestures of such a virtue may look.
But the stronger, livelier thinkers who are still thirsty for life seem to feel otherwise.
By taking sides against appearance, by pronouncing the word "perspective" with arrogance,
by valuing the authenticity of their own bodies as highly as they value the evidence of their eyes
which tells them that "the earth stands still,"
by thus letting their surest possession slip from their hands with apparent good humor
(for what do we believe in more firmly nowadays than our own bodies?)—
by doing all this—who knows?—
perhaps they really want to re-conquer old ground, something that we used to possess with greater certainty,
a something or other of the old domain of our former faith, perhaps the "immortal soul" perhaps the "ancient God."
In short, they would discover ideas upon which to build better, i.e. stronger and more serene lives than one can build on "modern ideas."
In these thinkers there is suspicion against modern ideas;
there is disbelief in everything that was built yesterday and today;
mixed up with these there is perhaps some slight weariness and scorn, some inability to stand the bric-a-brac of concepts of so many different origins,
which so-called positivism nowadays displays itself to be in the open market place.
A more refined taste feels nausea when faced with the circus-poster crassness and patchiness of all these reality-philosophasters who have nothing new or genuine about them except this crazy-quilt quality.
We ought, it seems to me, agree in this one particular with the skeptical anti-realists and knowledge-microscopists of today;
their instinct which drives them away from modern reality is unrefuted.
And what do we care about their crooked paths of regression!
Their essential importance does not lie in the fact that they want to get "back" but that they want to get away.
A little more energy, wingedness, courage, and craftsmanship—and they would want "out"—not back!
It seems to me that everyone nowadays tries to divert attention from Kant's actual influence on German philosophy
and wisely to gloss over the value which Kant himself ascribed to himself.
Above everything else, Kant was proud of his table of categories.
With his tablet in his hands, he proclaimed that "it is the most difficult task that ever could have been undertaken in the service of metaphysics."
Let us understand rightly his "could have been"!
He was proud of having discovered a new faculty in man—the faculty of making synthetic a priori judgements.
Agreed that he deceived himself, nonetheless the development and rapid efflorescence of German philosophy depends on this pride.
It is the ambition and rivalry of all the younger philosophers to discover something even more proud, if possible–
and in any case to discover "new faculties"!
But let us take thought:
the time for it has come.
How are synthetic a priori judgements possible, Kant asked himself.
And what was actually his answer?
By virtue of a virtue—
but unfortunately not in five words but so complicatedly, respectably, with such a show of German profundity and sinuosity,
that one failed to hear the funny German simple-mindedness inherent in such an answer.
In fact we were beside ourselves about this new virtue and our joy reached its peak when Kant in addition discovered a moral virtue in man.
For at that time the Germans were still moral and not a bit "politically realistic"!
Now came the honeymoon of German philosophy.
All the young theologians of the Tübinger Stift went beating the bushes for "virtues."
And what all didn't they find–
in that innocent, abundant, still youthful period of the German spirit,
when Romanticism, the wicked fairy godmother, was still piping and singing;
in those bygone days when "discovering" and "inventing" were still thought of as interchangeable!
Above all, a virtue for the "transcendental."
Schelling christened it "intellectual intuition" thereby anticipating the dearest heart's desire of his basically pious-minded Germans.
One can do no worse injustice to this whole high-spirited and enthusiastic movement
(which was youth, however much it disguised itself with gray and hoary concepts)
than to take it seriously–or even worse–to treat it with moral indignation.
they got older:
the dream vanished.
There came a time when they rubbed their eyes.
We are still rubbing them today.
It has been a dream;
first and foremost a dream of old Kant's.
"By virtue of a virtue"–he had said, or at least meant.
But is that–an answer?
An explanation? Isn't it merely begging the question?
How does opium induce sleep?
"By virtue of a virtue"–
the virtus dormitiva, says that physician Moliére:
quia est in eo virtus dormitiva, cujas est natura sensus assoupire
Because there is in it a soporific virtue The nature of which is to numb the senses
But this kind of answer belongs to comedy.
It is finally time to replace the Kantian question, "How are synthetic a priori judgements possible?" with another question:
"Why is it necessary to believe in such judgements?"
It is time for us to comprehend that such judgements must be believed true (false as they may actually be!)
in order to preserve creatures such as we are.
Or, to say more plainly, rudely, and forthrightly:
Synthetic a priori judgements should not "be possible" at all; we have no right to them;
coming from us they are all false judgements.
Only it must not be forgotten that faith in their truth is necessary; necessary as a provisional faith, an "eyewitness faith,"
that has its place in the perspectivity-optics of life.
In order to say a final word about the enormous influence that "German philosophy" (the use of quotation marks will be understood, I trust) has had on all of Europe:
let there be no doubt that a certain virtus dormitiva played its role.
People were in raptures because, thanks to German philosophy, an antidote against the yet omnipotent sensualism that they inherited from the previous century had been found.
It was found—among noble idlers, virtuous men, mystics, artists, three-quarter Christians, and political obscurantists of all nations—
in short, sensus assoupire...
About materialistic atomism: it belongs among the best refuted things that exist.
Perhaps no one among the scholars of Europe today is still so unscholarly as to attach serious significance to it
(other than employing it as a handy abbreviation of means of expression),
thanks mainly to the Dalmatian Boscovich, who, together with the Pole Copernicus,
has turned out to be the greatest and most successful opponent of "eye-witness" evidence.
Whereas Copernicus persuaded us to believe, contrary to the evidence of all our senses, that the earth is not standing still,
Boscovich taught us to disavow our belief in the last thing which remained "fast" on earth—
namely our faith in "substance," in "matter,"
in the final residue of the universe, the little clod of atom.
It has been the greatest triumph over the senses that has ever been achieved on earth.
But we must go further
and declare war even on the "need for atomism,"
which still leads a dangerous after-life in fields where no one suspects its existence.
We must next declare relentless war onto death, as we did with that better known "need for metaphysics,"
on that other and more fateful atomism which Christianity has best and longest taught: psychic atomism.
With this expression let me designate the belief that the soul is something indestructible,
eternal, non-divisible; that it is a monad, an atomon.
This faith ought to be eradicated from science.
Between ourselves, it will by no means be necessary to get rid of the "soul" itself in this process,
and thereby do without one of the oldest and most honorable hypotheses.
This often happens to unskilled naturalists:
as soon as they touch the "soul," they lose it.
But we want the way open to new formulations and refinements of the soul-hypothesis.
Concepts like "mortal soul" and "the psyche as social structure of the impulses and the emotions"
want henceforth to be admitted scientific legitimacy.
By putting an end to the superstitions hitherto almost tropically rampant around the ideas of soul,
the new psychologist has pushed himself out, as it were, into new barrenness and new suspicions.
It may be that the older psychologists had a jollier and more comfortable time—but in the end the new psychologist has sentenced himself to new inventions—
and who knows?—perhaps new discoveries!
The physiologists should take heed before they assume self-preservation as the cardinal drive of an organic being.
Above all, a living thing wants to discharge its energy:
life as such is will to power.
Self-preservation is only one of its indirect and most frequent consequences.
In short, here as elsewhere,
beware of superfluous teleological principles, such as the instinct for self-preservation.
(We owe it to Spinoza's inconsistency.)
This is the first demand of methodology, which must in its essence be economy of principles.
Today it is dawning on perhaps five or six minds that physics, too, is only an interpretation of the universe,
an arrangement of it (to suit us, if I may be so bold!) rather than a clarification.
Insofar as it builds on faith in sense-evidence, however, it is and shall long be taken for more—
namely for a clarification.
Physics has our eyes and fingers in its favor; it has eye-witness evidence and handiness on its side.
This has an enchanting, persuasive, and convincing effect on any era and basically plebeian tastes;
why, it follows instinctively the canon of truth of forever-popular sensualism.
What is clear?
What is clarified?
Only that which can be seen and touched—to this extent must each problem be pursued.
Conversely, the magic of Platonic thinking, a distinguished type of thinking,
lay precisely in resisting obvious sense-evidence.
This was the thinking of men who perhaps enjoyed stronger and more demanding senses than our contemporaries.
But they knew how to find a greater triumph in remaining master of these senses,
and they accomplished their aim by casting pale, cold, gray concept-nets over the motley sense-turmoil,
the "pandemic" as Plato put it.
There was an enjoyment in this kind of world-conquest and world-interpretation in the manner of Plato,
quite different from that which the physicists of today offer us.
And not only the physicists but the Darwinists and anti-teleologists among the physiological workers, with their principle of the "least possible effort" and the greatest possible stupidity.
"Where there is nothing for man to see and grasp, man has no business to look"!
That, to be sure, is an imperative quite different from the Platonic one.
Yet, for a rough, industrious race of machinists and engineers of the future, who have nothing but rough work to do,
it may just be the correct imperative.
In order to work in the field of physiology with a clear conscience; one must insist that the sense organs are not phenomena in the idealist's sense—
for if they were, they could not be causes!
Thus we need sensualism at least as a regulative hypothesis if not as a heuristic principle.
Others even say that the external world is the creation of our sense organs?
But then our body, which is a part of the external world, would be the creation of our sense organs!
But then our sense organs would be the creation of—our sense organs!
This seems to me to be a thoroughgoing reductio ad absurdum, assuming that the concept causa sui is something thoroughly absurd.
It follows, does it, that the external world is not the creation of our sense organs?
Even today there are still harmless self-observers who believe in "immediate certainties" such as, for example,
"I think" or, in the formulation of Schopenhauer's superstition, "I will."
They believe that cognition here gets hold of its object, naked and pure, as "thing in itself," and that there is no falsification, either by the subject or by the object.
But I shall repeat a hundred times that "immediate certainty" as well as "absolute knowledge" and "thing in itself" are all contradictions in terms.
Let us finally free ourselves of the seduction inherent in our vocabulary!
Let the people believe that cognition has to do with simple recognition;
the philosopher must say to himself something like this:
when I analyze the process which is expressed in the sentence "I think," then I get a series of bold assertions whose proof would be difficult, perhaps impossible.
that it is I who do the thinking; that, more generally, there is a something which performs thinking;
that thinking is an activity and an effect of a creature which is thought of as its cause;
that there exists an "I";
finally, that it is already determined what is to be designated with the word "think,"
in other words, that I know what thinking is.
For if I hadn't already decided what it was, how should I be able to distinguish what is happening now from what happens when I "will" or "feel"?
the "I think" assumes that I compare my present condition with other conditions that I know in myself, in order to determine what it is.
Because of this referral to other knowledge, "I think" for me at least cannot have "immediate certainty,"—
In place of that "immediate certainty,"
in which we shall have to let the people believe in certain given cases, the philosopher, as we see, gets his hands on a series of metaphysical questions.
They are real intellectual questions of conscience:
"Where do I get the concept of 'thinking'?
Why do I believe in cause and effect?
What justifies me in speaking of an 'I,'
further, an 'I' which is a cause,
further, an 'I' which is a thought-cause?"
Whoever dares make an immediate answer to such metaphysical questions, basing his certainty on a sort of intuition of cognition
(like the man who says "I think and know that this at least true, real, certain")—
will get a smile and two question marks from a philosopher nowadays.
"My dear sir," the philosopher will most likely give him to understand,
"it is in truth unlikely that you are not in error—but why must we have truth at all cost, anyway?"
So as far as the superstitiousness of logicians is concerned,
I do not tire of emphasizing again and again one little briefly stated fact which these superstitious ones do not like to admit.
It is simply this:
A thought comes when "it" will and not when "I" will.
It is thus a falsification of the evidence to say that the subject "I" conditions the predicate "think."
It is thought, to be sure, but that this "it" should be that old famous "I" is, to put it mildly, only a supposition,
Above all it is not an "immediate certainty."
In the end even "it is thought" says too much.
Even this "it" contains an interpretation of the process and does not belong to the process itself.
Our conclusion is here formulated out of our grammatical custom:
"Thinking is an activity;
every activity presumes something which is active, hence..."
According to this same approximate scheme, our older "astomism" was looking for the "force" that has an effect,
for that little clod of matter that it inhabits,
from which it acts;
in short, the atom.
More rigorous minds finally learned to get along without such "earthly remains,"
and perhaps in logic too we will some day become accustomed to getting along without that little "it"
(into which the good old honest "I" has evaporated).
It is surely not the smallest charm of a theory that it is refutable:
this precisely attracts the subtler minds.
It seems that the theory of "freedom of the will," a hundred times refuted, owes its permanence to just this charm.
Someone always comes along who feels strong enough to refute it once more.
Philosophers are in the habit of speaking of "will" as though it were the best-known thing in the world.
Schopenhauer in fact gave us to understand that will alone is really known to us,
known without deduction or addition.
But it seems to me once again that Schopenhauer in this case too did only what philosophers are always doing:
he took over and exaggerated a popular judgement.
Willing seems to me to be, above all, something complicated,
something that is a unity in word only.
The popular judgement lies just in this word "only,"
and it has become master of the forever incautious philosophers.
Let us be more cautious, then;
let us be "unphilosophical";
let us say: in every willing there is first of all a multiplicity of feelings:
the feelings of a condition to get away from,
the feeling of a condition to get to;
the feeling of this "away" and "to";
furthermore, an accompanying muscular feeling
which, from a sort of habit, begins a game of its own as soon as we "will"—
even without our moving our "arms and legs."
In the first place, then, feeling—many kinds of feeling—is to be recognized as an ingredient in willing.
Secondly, there is thinking:
in every act of the will there is a thought which gives commands—and we must not imagine that we can separate this thought out of "willing"
and still have something like will left!
Thirdly, the will is not merely a complex of feeling and thinking but above all it is a passion—
the passion of commanding.
What is called "freedom of the will" is essentially a passionate superiority toward a someone who must obey.
"I am free; 'he' must obey"—
the consciousness of this is the very willing;
likewise that tension of alertness, that straightforward look which fixes on one thing exclusively,
that absolute valuation which means "just now this, and nothing else, is necessary,"
that inner certainty that there will be obedience—
all this and whatever else is part of the condition of one who is in command.
A man who wills is giving a command to something in himself that obeys, or which he believes will obey.
But now let us note the oddest thing about the will,
this manifold something for which the people have only one word:
because we, in a given case, are simultaneously the commanders and the obeyers and, as obeyers,
know the feelings of forcing,
and moving which begin immediately after the act of the will:
because, on the other hand, we are in the habit of glossing over this duality with the help of the synthetic concept "I"—
for these reasons a whole chain of erroneous conclusions, and consequently false valuations of the will, has weighted down our notion of willing,
so much so that the willer believes in good faith that willing suffices to produce action.
Because in the majority of cases there was a willing only where the effect of the command, the obedience, i.e. the action, was an expected one,
the appearance translated itself into the feeling that there had been a necessary effect.
In short, the willer believes, with a considerable degree of certainty, that will and action are somehow one.
He credits the success, the execution of the willing, to the will itself,
therewith luxuriating in an increase of the feeling of power which all success produces.
"Freedom of the will" is the word for that manifold pleasurable condition of the willer who is in command and at the same time considers himself as one with the executor of the command—
as such, enjoying the triumph over the resistance,
but possessed of the judgement that it is his will itself that is overcoming the resistance.
In this fashion the willer adds the pleasurable feelings of the executing, successful instruments,
the subservient "lower wills" or "lower souls"
(for our body is nothing but a social structure of many souls)
to his pleasurable feeling as Commander.
L'effet c'est moi—
the same thing happens here that happens in any well constructed and happy community:
the ruling class identifies itself with the success of the community.
In all willing, then, there is commanding and obeying on the basis, as we have seen,
of a social structure of many "souls."
This is why a philosopher should consider himself justified in including willing within the general sphere of morality—
morality understood as the doctrine of the rank-relations that produce the phenomenon we call "life."—
The various philosophical concepts do not evolve at random
or autonomously but in reference and relationship to one another;
although they seem to occur suddenly and arbitrarily in the history of thought,
they belong to a system exactly like all the members of the fauna of a continent.
This is revealed by the fact that the most diverse philosophers again and again fill in a basic scheme of possible philosophies.
Invisibly compelled, they revolve again and again in the same orbit.
No matter how independent of each other they feel with their critical or systematic will—
something or other in them leads them;
something or other keeps them running,
one after another, in a definite sequence.
They share an inborn systematization and relation of concepts.
Their thinking is in fact not so much a discovering as a recognizing,
a return and a homecoming to a remote, ancient, commonly stocked household of the soul out of which the concepts grew.
Seen in this light, philosophizing is a sort of atavism of the highest order.
The odd family resemblance between all Indic, Greek, and German philosophizing is simple enough to explain.
For especially where the languages are related it cannot possibly be avoided that, thanks to a common philosophy of grammar
(by this I mean thanks to the unconscious domination and leadership of similar grammatical functions),
everything lies prepared for a similar development and sequence of the various philosophical systems.
For the same reason, the road seems closed to certain other possibilities of word-interpretation.
Philosophers belonging to the Ural-Altaic linguistic group
(containing languages in which the concept of "subject" is least developed)
most probably "view the world" quite differently and will be found on paths other than those travelled by speakers of Indo-European or by Moslems.
The compulsion exerted by certain grammatical functions is in the end the compulsion of physiological value judgements and of the conditions that determine race.—
This much by way of rejecting Locke's superficiality on the subject of the origin of ideas.
The causa sui is the best self-contradiction hitherto thought up;
it is a sort of logical rape and perversion.
But man's extravagant pride has managed to tie itself up deeply and dreadfully with just this nonsense.
The demand for "freedom of the will," in that metaphysical superlative sense in which it still rules the minds of the half-learned,
the demand to assume the total and final responsibility for one's own actions,
thereby relieving God,
this demand is nothing less than to be the causa sui oneself,
to pull oneself by one's own bootstraps into existence out of the bog of non-existence—
a feat dreamed up with a recklessness exceeding that of Baron Munchhausen!
But supposing someone recognizes the peasant-like simplicity of our famous "freedom of the will" and deletes it from his thinking.
I would now beg him to carry his "enlightenment" one step farther and to delete also contrary of that "free will" monstrosity.
I mean the "non-free will,"
which amounts to a misuse of cause and effect.
One should not mistakenly objectivize "cause" and "effect" in the manner of the natural scientists
(and whoever else nowadays naturalizes in his thinking),
in accordance with the ruling mechanistic oafishness that pushes and pulls the cause until it becomes "effective."
One should make use of "cause" and "effect" only as pure concepts,
i.e. as conventional fictions for the purpose of designation and mutual understanding, not for explanation.
In "being-as-such" there are no "causal connections" or "necessities" or "psychological lack of freedom";
effect there does not follow upon a cause;
there is no "law" which rules phenomena.
It is we, we alone, who have dreamed up the causes,
the "reason why,"
And when we mix up this world of symbols with the world of things as though the symbols existed "in themselves,"
then we are merely doing once more what we have always done:
we are creating myths.
The "non-free will" is a piece of mythology; in real life there is only strong will and weak will.
It is almost always a symptom of what the man lacks when a thinker feels something of constraint,
and lack of freedom in all his "causal connections" and "psychological necessities."
It is revealing to feel these things:
the personality betrays itself.
On the whole, if I have observed correctly, there are two diametrically opposed factions which have picked the "non-freedom" of the will for their problem—
but both sides reveal a profoundly personal bias.
The ones want to avoid giving up at any cost their "responsibility,"
their faith in themselves,
their personal right to their merit.
(These are the vain races!)
The others, conversely, do not want to be responsible for anything;
they do not want to be guilty of anything;
they demand, from an inner self-contempt, to get rid of the burden of themselves in some direction or other.
When this latter type writes books, nowadays, they usually interest themselves in criminals:
a sort of socialistic compassion is their favorite disguise.
And they are right:
the fatalism of the weak of will is astonishingly beautified by its claim to be "la religion de la souffrance humaine."
Herein lies its type of "good taste."
One will forgive, I hope, an old philologist who cannot desist from the malice of pointing his finger at poor interpretation.
that "conformity of nature unto law" of which you physicists talk so proudly as if...,
that lawfulness is the result of your explication de texte, of your bad philology!
It is not a fact,
not a "text" at all,
but only a naive, humanitarian arrangement and misinterpretation that you use for truckling to the democratic instincts of the modern soul.
"Everywhere equality before the law—and nature is no better off than we are"—
surely a fine arriére-pensée
in which are disguised first, a vulgar hostility to everything privileged and autocratic,
and second, a very subtle atheism.
"Ni dieu, ni maitre"—
you too, want that, and therefore "Long live natural law"!
Am I right?
But, as I have said, this is explication, not text,
and someone might come along who, with opposite intention and interpretive skill,
might read out of the same nature and the same phenomena quite another thing:
relentless enforcement of claims to power.
There may arise an interpreter who might so focus your eyes on the unexceptionality and unconditionality of all "will to power"
that almost every word that you now know, including the word "tyranny" would finally become useless and sound like a weakening and palliative metaphor—
as something too human.
And yet he might end by asserting about this world exactly what you assert,
namely that it runs a "necessary" and "calculable" course—but not because it is ruled by laws but because laws are absolutley lacking,
because each moment, each power is ultimately self-consistent.
Let us admit that this, too, would be only an interpretation—
and you will be eager enough to make this objection!
Well, all the better!
All psychology hitherto has become stuck in moral prejudices and fears:
none has ventured into the depths.
To consider psychology as the morphology and evolutionary doctrine of the will to power—
as I consider it—
this no one has touched upon even in thought
(insofar as it is allowable to recognize in what has been written the symptoms of what has been kept dark).
The force of moral prejudices has penetrated deeply into the most spiritual,
the seemingly coldest and most open-minded world,
and, one may imagine,
with harmful, obstructionist, blinding, and distorting results.
A proper physio-psychology must battle with unconscious resistances in the heart of the investigator;
his "heart" sides against it.
Even a doctrine of the reciprocally limiting interaction of the "good" and "wicked" impulses causes, as being a subtle form of immorality,
some distress and aversion in a still strong and hearty conscience.
Even worse is a doctrine that all the good impulses are derived from the wicked ones.
But imagine someone who takes the very passions—
to be the passions upon which life is conditioned,
as things which must be present in the total household of life.
Takes them to be necessary in order to preserve the very nature of life,
to be further developed in life is to be further developed!
Such a man suffers from the inclination of his judgement as though from seasickness!
But even this hypothesis is by no means the most painful or the strangest in this enormous, almost totally unknown domain of dangerous insights.
Indeed, there are a hundred good reasons for staying away from it if one—can!
On the other hand,
if our ship has once taken us there—very well,
let us go ahead,
grit our teeth,
open our eyes,
grip the rudder and—ride out morality!
Perhaps we will crush and destroy our own remaining morality,
but what do we matter!
Never yet has a deeper world of insight been opened to bold travellers and adventurers.
And the psychologist who can make this sort of "sacrifice"
(it is not the sacrifizio dell' intelletto—on the contrary!)
will at least be in a position to demand that psychology be acknowledged once more as the mistress of the sciences,
for whose service and preparation the other sciences exist.
For psychology is now again the road to the basic problems.