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   21. CONJECTURAL VICTORY OF SCEPTICISM   Next Section

CONJECTURAL VICTORY OF SCEPTICISM.  For once let the sceptical starting point be accepted, granted that there were no other metaphysical world, and all explanations drawn from metaphysics about the only world we know were useless to us, in what light should we then look upon men and things?  We can think this out for ourselves, it is useful, even though the question whether anything metaphysical has been scientifically proved by Kant and Schopenhauer were altogether set aside.  For it is quite possible, according to historical probability, that some time or other man, as a general rule, may grow sceptical; the question will then be this: What form will human society take under the influence of such a mode of thought?  Perhaps the scientific proof of some metaphysical world or other is already so difficult that mankind will never get rid of a certain distrust of it.  And when there is distrust of metaphysics, there are on the whole the same results as if it had been directly refuted and could no longer be believed in.  The historical question with regard to an unmetaphysical frame of mind in mankind remains the same in both cases.  
 

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