Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak:  Reflections on Moral Prejudice. Morgenröte: Gedanken über die moralischen Vorurteile (also could be translated as The Dawn).

Written and published in 1881.

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Language and the prejudices upon which language is based very often act as obstacles in our path when we attempt to explore internal phenomena and drives: due, for example, to the fact that we have only words to express the superlative degrees of these phenomena and drives.  In the cases where words fail us we no longer observe accurately and find it difficult to think with precision: in fact, in former times men involuntarily came to the conclusion that where the world of words ceased the world of existence ceased also.  Anger, hatred, love, pity, desire, recognition, joy, pain: all these are names signifying extreme conditions; the milder middle degrees and particularly the ever active lower degrees of feeling escape our attention and yet it is they which weave the cloth of our character and destiny.  It often happens that these extreme outbursts—even a moderate pleasure or displeasure of which we become conscious when eating or listening might be regarded as an outburst—rend this cloth and constitute violent exceptions - in most cases the consequences of some congestion – and how easily these exceptions can mislead the observer!  And how they also mislead the person in which they occur!  We are all of us not what we appear to be as regards the conditions for which alone we have consciousness and words and consequently praise and blame.  These crude outbursts of which only we are aware make us misunderstand ourselves, we draw conclusions from data where the exceptions outweigh the rule; we misread this apparently clear description of our self.  Yet the opinion of ourselves so created, the "ego" which we have arrived at by this unsound method, becomes a trusted contributor in the forming of our character and our destiny.  
 

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