Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science.  Die fröhliche Wissenschaft.

First published in 1882.

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Knowledge, more than a Means.

Also without this passion I refer to the passion for knowledge science would be furthered: science has so far increased and grown up without it.  The good faith in science, the prejudice in its favour, by which States are at present dominated (it was even the Church formerly), rests fundamentally on the fact that the absolute inclination and impulse has so rarely revealed itself in it, and that science is regarded not as a passion, but as a condition and an "ethos."  Indeed, amour-plaisir of know ledge (curiosity) often enough suffices, amour-vanite suffices, and habituation to it, with the afterthought of obtaining honour and bread; it even suffices for many that they do not know what to do with a surplus of leisure, except to continue reading, collecting, arranging, observing and narrating; their "scientific impulse" is their ennui.  Pope Leo X once (in the brief to Beroaldus) sang the praise of science; he designated it as the finest ornament and the greatest pride of our life, a noble employment in happiness and in misfortune; "without it, he says finally, "all human undertakings would be without a firm basis -even with it they are still sufficiently mutable and insecure!"  But this rather sceptical Pope, like all other ecclesiastical panegyrists of science, suppressed his ultimate judgment concerning it If one may deduce from his words what is remarkable enough for such a love of art, that he places science above art, n all, however, only from politeness that he omits to speak of that which he places high above all science: the "revealed truth," and the "eternal salvation of the soul," what are ornament, pride, entertainment and security of life to him, in comparison thereto , "Science is something of secondary rank, nothing ultimate or unconditioned, no object of passion - this judgment was kept back in Leo’s soul: truly Christian judgment concerning science!  antiquity its dignity and appreciation were lessened by the fact that, even among its most eager disciples, the striving after virtue stood foremost and that people thought they had given the highest praise to knowledge when they celebrated it as the best means to virtue.  It is something new in history that knowledge claims to be more a means.  
 

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