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The 'intellectual Conscience', By Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche Intellectual Conscience

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#1 scherado

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:55 PM

"intellectual conscience"---the ability to distinguish right from wrong in the intellectual realm (My words.). When I set out to read Nietzsche (in English), after reading repeated references here, there and, yes, everywhere, I decided that I would do it with the following in mind: I would not read second-party analysis; I would read the originals only; and that I would read mulitple translations, which I did for a few.

One particular passage I've always liked--I call it a lamentation--concerns the intellectual conscience:
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From The Gay Science, BOOK I, #2, by Friedrich W. Nietzsche. (Possible translator, Walter Kaufmann, 1974. Alternate titles: The Joyful Wisdom)
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2. The intellectual conscience

I keep having the same experience and keep resisting it every time. I do not want to believe it although it is palpable: the great majority of people lack an intellectual conscience. Indeed, it has often seemed to me as if anyone calling for an intellectual conscience were as lonely in the most densely populated cities as if he were in a desert. Everybody looks at you with strange eyes and goes right on handling his scales, calling this good and that evil. Nobody even blushes when you intimate that their weights are underweight; nor do people feel outraged; they merely laugh at your doubts. I mean: the great majority of people does not consider it contemptible to believe this or that and to live accordingly, without first having given themselves an account of the final and most certain reasons pro and con, and without even troubling themselves about such reasons afterward: the most gifted men and the noblest women still belong to this "great majority." But what is goodheartedness, refinement, or genius to me, when the person who has these virtues tolerates slack feelings in his faith and judgments and when he does not account the desire for certainty as his inmost craving and deepest distress--as that which separates the higher human beings from the lower.

Among some pious people I have found a hatred of reason and was well disposed to them for that; for this at least betrayed their bad intellectual conscience. But to stand in the midst of this rerum concordia discors [Discordant concord of things: Horace, Epistles, I.12.19.] and of this whole marvelous uncertainty and rich ambiguity of existence without questioning, without trembling with the craving and the rapture of such questioning, without at least hating the person who questions, perhaps even finding him faintly amusing--that is what I feel to be contemptible, and this is the feeling for which I look first in everybody. Some folly keeps persuading me that every human being has this feeling, simply because he is human. This is my sense of injustice.

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Here is an alternate version, for your pleasure...or distress.

The Intellectual Conscience, translated by Thomas Common
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2. The Intellectual Conscience. I have always the same experience over, again, and always make a new effort against it; for although it is evident to me I do not want to believe it: in the greater number of men the intellectual conscience is lacking; indeed, it would often seem to me that in demanding such a thing, one is as solitary in the largest cities as in the desert. Everyone looks at you with strange eyes and continues to make use of his scales, calling this good and that bad; and no one blushes for shame when you remark that these weights are not the full amount, - there is also no indignation against you; perhaps they laugh at your doubt, mean to say that the greater number of people do not find it contemptible to believe this or that, and live according to it, without having been previously aware of the ultimate and surest reasons for and against it, and without even giving themselves any trouble about such reasons afterwards, the most lifted men and the noblest women still belong to this "greater number." But what is kind-heartedness, refinement and genius to me, if he who has these virtues harbours indolent sentiments in belief and judgment, if the longing for certainty does not rule in him, as his innermost desire and profoundest need - as that which separates higher from lower men! In certain pious people I have found a hatred of reason, and have been favourably disposed to them for it: their bad intellectual conscience at least still betrayed itself, in this manner! But to stand in the midst of this rerum concordia discors and all the marvellous uncertainty and ambiguity of existence, and not to question, not to tremble with desire and delight in questioning, not even to hate the questioner - perhaps even to make merry over him to the extent of weariness - that is what I regard as contemptible, and it is this sentiment which I first of all search for in every one, - some folly or other always persuades me anew that every man has this sentiment, as man. This is my special kind of unrighteousness.

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The two books that forced me to read Nietzsche:

The Closing Of The American Mind, by Allan Bloom

The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama

#2 scherado

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 02:30 AM

On the subject of The Big N, my favorite work is the Adrian Collins tranlastion of an essay usually published in a four-essay collection which is typically called Untimely Meditations (sometimes Unfashionable Observations and Thoughts Out Of Season).

The essay is The Use and Abuse of History, 1873. Here is a public domain version, translated by Ian C. Johnston.

#3 scherado

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 02:00 AM

... I'm twenty six, british and samoan, and i know how to plaster and i'm going to college where i hope to gain access to a philosophy course and i would like take an access to a physics degree because i think philosophy and physics go hand in hand. ...

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I recommend that you begin by reading the original works of Nietzsche, preferrably in German, which I could not do. I can recommend which English translations I found better than others and which books you might find benefitial. The general benefit at tackling his treatments of the subjects of philosophy and science, among others, is that it trains the mind and reveals the perils of prejudices (in thought) that hinder free-thinking.

#4 DrKrettin

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 03:45 AM

icon_eek2.gif Hello, I'm new here. ... I'm twenty six, 

 

 

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I recommend that you begin by reading the original works of Nietzsche, preferrably in German, which I could not do. 

 

What an idiotic suggestion for initial reading. Ironically, since it "trains the mind and reveals the perils of prejudices" it is obvious that you haven't read any at all. 

 

Still, now that DanielFB is thirty eight, perhaps he has spent the last twelve years doing this anyway.  :rofl:


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#5 Farming guy

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 04:09 AM

. Ironically, since it "trains the mind and reveals the perils of prejudices" it is obvious that you haven't read any at all. 

 

 

Reading and comprehension are two very different things.


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#6 scherado

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 05:08 AM

Reading and comprehension are two very different things.

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I can tell you that I've read all works that were published prior to his death--this excludes the posthumous Will To Power--none in German, only English and some in multiple translation and none that can be called second-party analysis, which would be considered somebody's comprehension of the originals.

I gave a hint as to whether I comprehended in a post to pertogoogalog-aba-daba-doo regarding the three types of history enumerated in the essay that goes by the title translated by Adrian Collins, The Use And Abuse Of History, link to ==> post in "History Is Bunk

#7 DrKrettin

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 05:54 AM

Reading and comprehension are two very different things.

 

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I can tell you that I've read all works that were published prior to his death--.... and none that can be called second-party analysis, which would be considered somebody's comprehension of the originals.

 

 

I'm beginning to think that English is not scherado's native language (I hope for his sake it is not). The reference to comprehension was obviously making the point that reading a book does not mean that the reader has understood anything. Especially when they can't understand a simple sentence on a forum, but this was probably not part of the illustrious B.A. Computer Studies syllabus.



#8 Farming guy

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 08:27 AM

I'm beginning to think that English is not scherado's native language (I hope for his sake it is not). The reference to comprehension was obviously making the point that reading a book does not mean that the reader has understood anything. Especially when they can't understand a simple sentence on a forum, but this was probably not part of the illustrious B.A. Computer Studies syllabus.

He has provided, perhaps, an excellent example of how blinding confirmation bias can be.  Not only does he only consider evidence that he thinks supports his established world view, he thinks even contrary evidence is supportive as well.  Quite remarkable from a fan of Nietzsche.


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#9 DrKrettin

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 11:17 AM

What is going on with this thread? It was an introduction from 12 years ago, and now the title has been changed....


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#10 Buffy

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 11:45 AM

Yes, the post in that Introduction thread by the original poster here, constituted hijacking that thread for selfish reasons. Since the topic of the hijacking post and this thread were basically the same, it provided a convenient place to dump this arguably pointless discussion.

 

Note that the only reason the original thread was targeted was that the original poster of that thread returned last night to provide an innocent "thanks" post, and did not deserve to be hijacked in such a vulgar and disagreeable manner.

There are practical little things in housekeeping which no man really understands, :phones:
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#11 DrKrettin

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 11:48 AM

arguably pointless discussion.
 

 

Thanks. Is that an oxymoron?


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#12 Buffy

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 11:49 AM

Thanks. Is that an oxymoron?

 

Absolutely.

 

 

The term 'serious actor' is kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? Like 'Republican party' or 'airplane food.' :phones:
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#13 scherado

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 02:51 PM

Yes, the post in that Introduction thread by the original poster here, constituted hijacking that thread for selfish reasons. Since the topic of the hijacking post and this thread were basically the same, it provided a convenient place to dump this arguably pointless discussion.
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The first thing of which I approve, actually second. I was going to move that here myself and I thank you for relieving me of that. Further, I had no intent and wish to "hijack" to other.

Isn't that funny.

-------Added----------

I just took a comprehensive look at what you moved. I had not intention of moving my recommendation to the new member of reading Nietzsche for HIS explicit philosophical interests.

You should be relieved of your responsibilities

I am now going to report your actions.

---------Added---

Here is the exact text in my "Report" submission; "this post" refers to the FIRST one posted in DanielFB's intro:
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Admon "Buffy" moved this post WITHOUT WARRANT from the welcome introduction post of the new use DanielFB.

I was giving hi[m] advice based upon his EXPLICIT desire--found in his OP--to pursue philosophy and physics (science)--THE EXACT TOPICS FREDRIECH NIETZSCHE WROTE ABOUT EXTENSIVELY.

I have given my opinion in several postings that I think she is dangerous and should be relieve[d] of her duties.

Thanks for your consideration.


Edited by scherado, 24 September 2017 - 03:03 PM.


#14 Farming guy

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 03:01 PM

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I recommend that you begin by reading the original works of Nietzsche, preferrably in German, which I could not do. I can recommend which English translations I found better than others and which books you might find benefitial. The general benefit at tackling his treatments of the subjects of philosophy and science, among others, is that it trains the mind and reveals the perils of prejudices (in thought) that hinder free-thinking.

Results may vary



#15 scherado

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 03:16 PM

Ironically, since it "trains the mind and reveals the perils of prejudices" it is obvious that you haven't read any at all.

Reading and comprehension are two very different things.

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Thank you "Farming guy". You've given an example of what I meant by this:
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Those who remain off the ignore list play a very useful role. Some remain off the list who should be on the list but they serve a purpose with respect to flushing out others who are malajusted but less visible.
...

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I thank you.

#16 Buffy

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 03:21 PM

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The first thing of which I approve, actually second. I was going to move that here myself and I thank you for relieving me of that. Further, I had no intent and wish to "hijack" to other.

Isn't that funny.

-------Added----------

I just took a comprehensive look at what you moved. I had not intention of moving my recommendation to the new member of reading Nietzsche for HIS explicit philosophical interests.

 

It was exactly that post that constituted the hijacking. You of course would not see it that way, but to anyone else reading it (and many complained right there in the thread), it was obnoxious.

 

Honestly if you don't like how we run this forum, why don't you go start your own?

 

 

Why it hath bay windows transparent as barricadoes, and the clearstores toward the south north are as lustrous as ebony; and yet complainest thou of obstruction? :phones:
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#17 exchemist

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 03:23 PM

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You should be relieved of your responsibilities

I am now going to report your actions.

 

Ah, diddums.