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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To remove oneself from consideration of the senses to exalt one's self to contemplation of the abstract: this is what was formerly regarded as exaltation; but we can now no longer share these feelings.  Luxuriating in the most insubstantial images of words and things; playing with those invisible inaudible imperceptible beings was considered as participating in another and higher world a world that sprang from the deep contempt felt for the world which was perceptible to the senses this seductive and wicked world of ours.  "These abstracta no longer mislead us but they may guide us"—with such words men soared aloft.  It was not the substance of these intellectual sports but the sports themselves which was looked upon as "the higher life" in the primeval ages of science.  Hence we have Plato's admiration for dialectics and his enthusiastic belief in the necessary relationship of dialectics to the good man who has risen above the realm of his senses.  It was not only knowledge that was discovered little by little but also the different means of acquiring it the conditions and operations which precede knowledge in man.  And it always seemed as if the newly discovered operation or the newly experienced condition were not a means of acquiring knowledge but was even the substance goal and sum total of everything that was worth knowing.  What does the thinker require?  imagination inspiration abstraction de—sensualisation invention presentiment induction dialectics deduction the critical faculty ability to collect materials an impersonal mode of thinking contemplation comprehensiveness and lastly but not least justice and love for everything that exists—but each one of these means was at one time considered in the history of the vita contemplativa as goals and final goals and they all secured for their inventors that perfect happiness which fills the human soul when a final goal is sighted.  
 

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