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   95. THE MORALITY OF THE MATURE INDIVIDUAL   Next Section

THE MORALITY OF THE MATURE INDIVIDUAL.  The impersonal has hitherto been looked upon as the actual distinguishing mark of moral action; and it has been pointed out that in the beginning it was in consideration of the common good that all impersonal actions were praised and distinguished.  Is not an important change in these views impending, now when it is more and more recognised that it is precisely in the most personal possible considerations that the common good is the greatest, so that a strictly personal action now pest illustrates the present idea of morality, as utility for the mass?  To make a whole personality out of ourselves, and in all that we do to keep that personality's highest good in view, carries us further than those sympathetic emotions and actions for the benefit of others.  We all still suffer, certainly, from the too small consideration of the personal in us; it is badly developed, let us admit it; rather has our mind been forcibly drawn away from it and offered as a sacrifice to the State, to science, or to those who stand in need of help, as if it were the bad part which must be sacrificed.  We are still willing to work for our fellow men, but only so far as we find our own greatest advantage in this work, no more and no less.  It is only a question of what we understand as our advantage; the unripe, undeveloped, crude individual will understand it in the crudest way.  
 

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