Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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Previous Section   17. METAPHYSICAL EXPLANATIONS   Next Section

METAPHYSICAL EXPLANATIONS.  The young man values metaphysical explanations, because they show him something highly significant in things which he found unpleasant or despicable, and if he is dissatisfied with himself, the feeling becomes lighter when he recognises the innermost world puzzle or world misery in that which he so strongly disapproves of in himself.  To feel himself less responsible and at the same time to find things more interesting that seems to him a double benefit for which he has to thank metaphysics.  Later on, certainly, he gets distrustful of the whole metaphysical method of explanation; then perhaps it grows clear to him that those results can be obtained equally well and more scientifically in another way: that physical and historical explanations produce the feeling of personal relief to at least the same extent, and that the interest in life and its problems is perhaps still more aroused thereby.  
 

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