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   94. THE THREE PHASES OF HITHERTO EXISTING MORALITY   Next Section

THE THREE PHASES OF HITHERTO EXISTING MORALITY.  It is the first sign that the animal has become man when its actions no longer hive regard only to momentary welfare, but to whit is enduring, when it grows useful and practical; there the free rule of reason first breaks out.  A still higher step is reached when he acts according to the principle of honour; by this means he brings himself into order, submits to common feelings, and that exalts him still higher over the phase in which he was led only by the idea of usefulness from a personal point of view; he respects and wishes to be respected, i.  e.  he understands usefulness as dependent upon what he thinks of others and what others think of him.  Eventually he acts, on the highest step of the hitherto exiting morality, according to his standard of things and men; he himself decides for himself and others what is honourable, what is useful; he has become the law giver of opinions, in accordance with the ever more highly developed idea of what is useful and honourable.  Knowledge enables him to place that which is most useful, that is to say the general, enduring usefulness, above the personal, the honourable recognition of general, enduring validity above the momentary; he lives and acts as a collective individual.  
 

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