CALawMama's Blog


Experiences at the interface of life, law, and motherhood in Cali

On the prejudices of philosophers: Kant

“The honeymoon of German philosophy had arrived; all the younger theologians of the Tübingen seminary [ref. to Hegel, Hölderlin, and Schelling] ran off into the bushes — they were looking for “faculties.” [referring to his immediately preceding discussion of (1) judgments a priori; and (2) moral faculties].

[/] And what didn’t they find– in that innocent, abundant, still youthful age of the German spirit, when Romanticism, that malicious fairy, whispered, whistled, and sang, when people did not know how to tell the difference between “discovering” and “inventing”! Above all, a faculty of the “supersensible”: Schelling christened it intellectual intuition, and thus gratified the heart’s desire of his basically piety-craving Germans.

[/] We can do no greater injustice to this whole high-spirited and enthusiastic movement (which was just youthfulness, however boldly it might have clothed itself in gray and hoary concepts) than to take it seriously or especially treat it with moral indignation.

[/] Enough, we grew up, — the dream faded away. There came a time when people scratched their heads: some still scratch them today. There had been dreamers: first and foremost- the old Kant. “By virtue of a faculty: — he had said, or at least meant. But is that really– an answer? An explanation? Or instead just a repetition of the question? So how does opium cause sleep? “By virtue of a faculty,” namely the virtus dormitiva— replies the doctor in Molière,

                            quia est in eo virtus dormitiva

                            cujus est natura sensus assoupire.*


*”Because there is a dormative virtue in it/ whose nature is to put the senses to sleep.” From Molière’s La Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac) (1673).

Translations and text from Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche, Cambridge, edited by Horstmann & Norman. Content of footnotes also inserted into text, where appropriate.



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