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Deceiving first themselves

“What makes one regard philosophers half mistrustfully and half mockingly is not that one again and again detects how innocent they are—how often and how easily they fall into error and go astray, in short their childishness and childlikeness—but that they display altogether insufficient honesty, while making a mighty and virtuous noise as soon as the problem of truthfulness is even remotely touched on.  They pose as having discovered and attained their real opinions through the self-evolution of a cold, pure, divinely unperturbed dialectic (in contrast to the mystics of every rank, who are more honest and more stupid than they—these speak of ‘inspiration’): while what happens at bottom is that a prejudice, a notion, an ‘inspiration’, generally a desire of the heart sifted and made abstract, is defended by them with reasons sought after the event—they are one and all advocates who do not want to be regarded as such, and for the most part no better than cunning pleaders for their prejudices, which they baptize ‘truths’—and very far from possessing the courage of the conscience which admits this fact to itself, very far from possessing the good taste of the courage which publishes this fact, whether to warn a foe or a friend or out of high spirits and in order to mock itself.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (trans. Hollingdale; emphasis in original)

Published inFriedrich NietzscheLit & Crit

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