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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What!  the inventors of ancient civilisations the first makers of tools and tape lines the first builders of vehicles ships and houses the first observers of the laws of the heavens and the multiplication tables—is it contended that they were entirely different from the inventors and observers of our own time and superior to them?  And that the first slow steps forward were of a value which has not been equalled by the discoveries we have made with all our travels and circumnavigations of the earth?  It is the voice of prejudice that speaks thus and argues in this way to depreciate the modern spirit.  And yet it is plain to be seen that in former times chance was the greatest of all discoverers and observers and the benevolent inspirer of these ingenious ancients and that in the case of the most insignificant invention made in the present times a greater intellect discipline and scientific imagination are required than formerly existed in past ages.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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