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   57. MORALITY AS THE SELF-DISINTEGRATION OF MAN   Next Section

MORALITY AS THE SELF DISINTEGRATION OF MAN.  A good author, who really has his heart in his work, wishes that someone could come and annihilate him by representing the same thing in a clearer way and answering without more ado the problems therein proposed.  The loving girl wishes she could prove the self sacrificing faithfulness of her love by the unfaithfulness of her beloved.  The soldier hopes to die on the field of battle for his victorious fatherland; for his loftiest desires triumph in the victory of his country.  The mother gives to the child that of which she deprives herself sleep, the best food, sometimes her health and fortune.  But are all these unegoistic conditions?  Are these deeds of morality miracles, because, to use Schopenhauer's expression, they are "impossible and yet performed"?  Is it not clear that in all four cases the individual loves something of himself, a thought, a desire, a production, better than anything else of himself; that he therefore divides his nature and to one part sacrifices all the rest?  Is it something entirely different when an obstinate man says, "I would rather be shot than move a step out of my way for this man"?  The desire for something (wish, inclination, longing) is present in all the instances mentioned; to give way to it, with all its consequences, is certainly not "unegoistic".  In ethics man does not consider himself as individuum but as dividuum.  

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