Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
Preface

Friedrich Nietzsche Preface
I: Prejudices of Philosophers
II: The Free Spirit
III: The Religious Mood
IV: Apophthegms and Interludes
V: The Natural History of Morals
VI: We Scholars
VII: Our Virtues
VIII: Peoples and Countries
IX: What is Noble?
From the Heights

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Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche.
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[1]        PREFACE
[2]        
[3]        
[4]        
[5]        SUPPOSING that Truth is a woman--what then? Is there not ground
[6]        for suspecting that all philosophers, in so far as they have been
[7]        dogmatists, have failed to understand women--that the terrible
[8]        seriousness and clumsy importunity with which they have usually
[9]        paid their addresses to Truth, have been unskilled and unseemly
[10]       methods for winning a woman? Certainly she has never allowed
[11]       herself to be won; and at present every kind of dogma stands with
[12]       sad and discouraged mien--IF, indeed, it stands at all! For there
[13]       are scoffers who maintain that it has fallen, that all dogma lies
[14]       on the ground--nay more, that it is at its last gasp. But to
[15]       speak seriously, there are good grounds for hoping that all
[16]       dogmatizing in philosophy, whatever solemn, whatever conclusive
[17]       and decided airs it has assumed, may have been only a noble
[18]       puerilism and tyronism; and probably the time is at hand when it
[19]       will be once and again understood WHAT has actually sufficed for
[20]       the basis of such imposing and absolute philosophical edifices as
[21]       the dogmatists have hitherto reared: perhaps some popular
[22]       superstition of immemorial time (such as the soul-superstition,
[23]       which, in the form of subject- and ego-superstition, has not yet
[24]       ceased doing mischief): perhaps some play upon words, a deception
[25]       on the part of grammar, or an audacious generalization of very
[26]       restricted, very personal, very human--all-too-human facts. The
[27]       philosophy of the dogmatists, it is to be hoped, was only a
[28]       promise for thousands of years afterwards, as was astrology in
[29]       still earlier times, in the service of which probably more
[30]       labour, gold, acuteness, and patience have been spent than on any
[31]       actual science hitherto: we owe to it, and to its "super-
[32]       terrestrial" pretensions in Asia and Egypt, the grand style of
[33]       architecture. It seems that in order to inscribe themselves upon
[34]       the heart of humanity with everlasting claims, all great things
[35]       have first to wander about the earth as enormous and awe-
[36]       inspiring caricatures: dogmatic philosophy has been a caricature
[37]       of this kind--for instance, the Vedanta doctrine in Asia, and
[38]       Platonism in Europe. Let us not be ungrateful to it, although it
[39]       must certainly be confessed that the worst, the most tiresome,
[40]       and the most dangerous of errors hitherto has been a dogmatist
[41]       error--namely, Plato's invention of Pure Spirit and the Good in
[42]       Itself. But now when it has been surmounted, when Europe, rid of
[43]       this nightmare, can again draw breath freely and at least enjoy a
[44]       healthier--sleep, we, WHOSE DUTY IS WAKEFULNESS ITSELF, are the
[45]       heirs of all the strength which the struggle against this error
[46]       has fostered. It amounted to the very inversion of truth, and the
[47]       denial of the PERSPECTIVE--the fundamental condition--of life, to
[48]       speak of Spirit and the Good as Plato spoke of them; indeed one
[49]       might ask, as a physician: "How did such a malady attack that
[50]       finest product of antiquity, Plato? Had the wicked Socrates
[51]       really corrupted him? Was Socrates after all a corrupter of
[52]       youths, and deserved his hemlock?" But the struggle against
[53]       Plato, or--to speak plainer, and for the "people"--the struggle
[54]       against the ecclesiastical oppression of millenniums of
[55]       Christianity (FOR CHRISITIANITY IS PLATONISM FOR THE "PEOPLE"),
[56]       produced in Europe a magnificent tension of soul, such as had not
[57]       existed anywhere previously; with such a tensely strained bow one
[58]       can now aim at the furthest goals. As a matter of fact, the
[59]       European feels this tension as a state of distress, and twice
[60]       attempts have been made in grand style to unbend the bow: once by
[61]       means of Jesuitism, and the second time by means of democratic
[62]       enlightenment--which, with the aid of liberty of the press and
[63]       newspaper-reading, might, in fact, bring it about that the spirit
[64]       would not so easily find itself in "distress"! (The Germans
[65]       invented gunpowder-all credit to them! but they again made things
[66]       square--they invented printing.) But we, who are neither Jesuits,
[67]       nor democrats, nor even sufficiently Germans, we GOOD EUROPEANS,
[68]       and free, VERY free spirits--we have it still, all the distress
[69]       of spirit and all the tension of its bow! And perhaps also the
[70]       arrow, the duty, and, who knows? THE GOAL TO AIM AT. . . .
[71]       
[72]       Sils Maria Upper Engadine, JUNE, 1885.
[73]       
[74]       
[75]