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.

  Friedrich Nietzsche Full Text EBook  
Previous Section   Animals And Morals   Next Section

The rules insisted upon in polite society such for example as the avoidance of everything ridiculous fantastic presumptuous; the suppression of one's virtues just as much as of one's most violent desires the instant bringing of one's self down to the general level submitting one's self to etiquette and self-depreciation: all this generally speaking is to be found as a social morality even in the lowest scale of the animal world—and it is only in this low scale that we see the innermost plan of all these amiable precautionary regulations: one wishes to escape from one's pursuers and to be aided in the search for plunder.  Hence animals learn to control and to disguise themselves to such an extent that some of them can even adapt the colour of their bodies to that of their surroundings (by means of what is known as the "chromatic function ").  Others can simulate death or adopt the forms and colours of other animals or of sand leaves moss or fungi (known to English naturalists as "mimicry").  It is in this way that an individual conceals himself behind the universality of the generic term "man" or "society" or adapts and attaches himself to princes castes political parties current opinions of the time or his surroundings: and we may easily find the animal equivalent of all those subtle means of making ourselves happy thankful powerful and fascinating.  Even that sense of truth which is at bottom merely the sense of security is possessed by man in common with the animals: we do not wish to be deceived by others or by ourselves; we hear with some suspicion the promptings of our own passions we control ourselves and remain on the watch against ourselves.  Now the animal does all this as well as man; and in the animal likewise self-control originates in the sense of reality (prudence).  In the same way the animal observes the effects it exercises on the imagination of other beasts: it thus learns to view itself from their position to consider itself "objectively "; it has its own degree of self-knowledge.  The animal judges the movements of its friends and foes it learns their peculiarities by heart and acts accordingly: it gives up once and for all the struggle against individual animals of certain species and it likewise recognises in the approach of certain varieties whether their intentions are agreeable and peaceful.  The beginnings of justice like those of wisdom—in short everything that we know as Socratic virtues—are of an animal nature a consequence of those instincts which teach us to search for food and to avoid our enemies.  If we remember that the higher man has merely raised and refined himself in the quality of his food and in the concept of what is contrary to his nature it may not be going too far to describe the entire moral phenomenon as of an animal origin.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

Kindle Version : $1 from Amazon!

PDA, Mobile/Smart phone : $1 from!


All works are unique editions by Lexido of public domain texts provided by kind permission of Project Gutenberg

Wiki Portal Quotes Quotations Frases Citas Citações Citations Zitate Citazioni Cytat цитат Aforismi Aphorism Sözleri Vida Biografia