Arcturus Descending wrote:
»Arcturus Descending wrote:
Aw, beautiful - and this is why love evolved. **
Maybe that there are other reasons too why love evolved (if it did
at all [because: perhaps love was, is and will always be there]),
but this one belongs to them - in any case.
By the way:
My children are adults now. If they were not, I would not publish
any photo of them.
My first child was born when I was 21½ years old.«
I think that love evolved (if we can use that word) as a way to not
only perpetuate the human species but to save it.
There are different forms of love. I think that love is like the ocean,
it ebbs and it flows.
Your daughter was beautiful. It also says something about you that
you would not insert your children online when they are young. I can
never understand the human's need to show off their children rather
than to protect them.
You are also loyal to your friends I have found. **
Thank you very much.
You are right.
The evolution (if we can use that word) of love is not only a way to
perpetuate the human species but also to save it. We can observe this
process in those families where parents protect their children as much
as it is necessary for the childrens development.
Love is needed for both phylogenesis and ontogenesis. Without love there
is no evolution, at least not for higher living beings. The
higher the living beings are, the more love they need.
Here on ILP are many (too many?) members who are saying that
the will to power is the only aspect when it comes to evolution;
but that is only one side of the evolutionary coin, the other
one is the will to love.
We should have both a realistic and an idealistic interpretation of
evolution. Power is always present, but love is not. So, it is more necessary
to support, to demand, to premote love. How should we do this? -  By
practising love;  by enlighten others and clarifying what love means;
(3) by fighting all enemies of love (how? =>  and ).
You can find the most lack of love in materialistic/hedonistic times
where the individual coolness is a fashion and mostly nothing else than
hidden weakness because of the lack of love.
I would like to know what you think about the
Oswald Spengler wrote:
It remains, now, to say a word as to the morphology of a history of
There is no such thing as Philosophy »in itself«. Every
Culture has its own philosophy, which is a part of its total symbolic
expression and forms with its posing of problems and methods of thought
an intellectual ornamentation that is closely related to that of architecture
and the arts of form. From the high and distant standpoint it matters
very little what »truths« thinkers have managed to formulate
in words within their respective schools, for, here as in every great
art, it is the schools, conventions and repertory of forms that are
the basic elements. Infinitely more important than the answers are the
questions the choice of them, the inner form of them. For it
is the particular way in which a macrocosm presents itself to the understanding
man of a particular Culture that determines a priori the whole necessity
of asking them, and the way in which they are asked.
The Classical and the Faustian Culture, and equally the Indian and
the Chinese, have each their proper ways of asking, and further, in
each case, all the great questions have been posed at the very outset.
There is no modern problem that the Gothic did not see and bring into
form, no Hellenistic problem that did not of necessity come up for the
old Orphic temple-teachings.
It is of no importance whether the subtilizing turn of mind expresses
itself here in oral tradition and there in books, whether such books
are personal creations of an »I« as they are amongst ourselves
or anonymous fluid masses of texts as in India, and whether the result
is a set of comprehensible systems or, as in Egypt, glimpses of the
last secrets are veiled in expressions of art and ritual. Whatever the
variations, the general course of philosophies as organisms is the same.
At the beginning of every springtime period, philosophy, intimately
related to great architecture and religion, is the intellectual echo
of a mighty metaphysical living, and its task is to establish critically
the sacred causality in the world-image seen with the eye of faith.
The basic distinctions, not only of science but also of philosophy,
are dependent on, not divorced from, the elements of the corresponding
religion. In this springtime, thinkers are, not merely in spirit but
actually in status, priests. Such were the Schoolmen and the Mystics
of the Gothic and the Vedic as of the Homeric (1) and the Early-Arabian
centuries. With the setting-in of the Late period, and not earlier,
philosophy becomes urban and worldly, frees itself from subservience
to religion and even dares to make that religion itself the object of
epistemological criticism. The great theme of Brahman, Ionic and Baroque
philosophies is the problem of knowing. The urban spirit turns to look
at itself, in order to establish the proposition that there is no higher
judgment-seat of knowing beyond itself, and with that thought draws
nearer to higher mathematics and instead of priests we have men of the
world, statesmen and merchants and discoverers, tested in high places
and by high tasks, whose ideas about thought rest upon deep experience
of life. Of such are the series of great thinkers from Thales to Protagoras
and from Bacon to Hume, and the series of pre-Confucian and pre-Buddha
thinkers of whom we hardly know more than the fact that they existed.
(1) It is possible that the peculiar style of Heraclitus, who came of
a priestly family of the temple of Ephesus, is an example of the form
in which the old Orphic wisdom was orally transmitted.
At the end of such series stand Kant and Aristotle (2), and after
them there set in the Civilization-philosophies. In every Culture, thought
mounts to a climax, setting the questions at the outset and answering
them with ever-increasing force of intellectual expression and,
as we have said before, ornamental significance until exhausted;
and then it passes into a decline in which the problems of knowing are
in every respect stale repetitions of no significance. There is a metaphysical
period, originally of a religious and finally of a rationalistic cast
in which thought and life still contain something of chaos, an
unexploited fund that enables them effectively to create and
an ethical period in which life itself, now become megalopolitan, appears
to call for inquiry and has to turn the still available remainder of
philosophical creative-power on to its own conduct and maintenance.
In the one period life reveals itself, the other has life as its object.
The one is »theoretical« (contemplative) in the grand sense,
the other perforce practical. Even the Kantian system is in its deepest
characters contemplated in the first instance and only afterwards logically
and systematically formulated and ordered.
(2) Here we are considering only the scholastic side. The mystic side,
from which Pythagoras and Leibniz were not very far, reached its culminations
in Plato and Goethe, and in our own case it has been extended beyond Goethe
by the Romantics, Hegel and Nietzsche, whereas Scholasticism exhausted
itself with Kant and Aristotle and degenerated thereafter
into a routine-profession.
We see this evidenced in Kants attitude to mathematics. No one
is a genuine metaphysician who has not penetrated into the form-world
of numbers, who has not lived them into himself as a symbolism. And
in fact it was the great thinkers of the Baroque who created the analytical
mathematic, and the same is true, mutatis mutandis, of the great pre-Socratics
and Plato. Descartes and Leibniz stand beside Newton and Gauß,
Pythagoras and Plato by Archytas and Archimedes, at the summits of mathematical
development. But already in Kant the philosopher has become, as mathematician,
negligible. Kant no more penetrated to the last subtleties of the Calculus
as it stood in his own day than he absorbed the axiomatic of Leibniz.
The same may be said of Aristotle. And thenceforward there is no philosopher
who is counted as a mathematician. Fichte, Hegel and the Romantics were
entirely unmathematical, and so were Zeno (3) and Epicurus. Schopenhauer
in this field is weak to the point of crudity, and of Nietzsche the
less said the better. When the form-world of numbers passed out of its
ken, philosophy lost a great convention, and since then it has lacked
not only structural strength but also what may be called the grand style
of thinking. Schopenhauer himself admitted that he was a hand-to-mouth
(3) Zeno the Stoic, not to be confused with Zeno of Elea, whose mathematical
fineness has already been alluded to. .
With the decline of metaphysics, ethics has outgrown its status as
a subordinate element in abstract theory. Henceforth it is philosophy,
the other divisions being absorbed into it and practical living becoming
the centre of consideration. The passion of pure thought sinks down.
Metaphysics, mistress yesterday, is handmaid now; all it is required
to do is to provide a foundation for practical views. And the foundation
becomes more and more superfluous. It becomes the custom to despise
and mock at the metaphysical, the unpractical, the philosophy of »stone
for bread«. In Schopenhauer it is for the sake of the fourth book
that the first three exist at all. Kant merely thought that it was the
same with him; in reality, pure and not applied reason is still his
centre of creation. There is exactly the same difference in Classical
philosophy before and after Aristotle on the one hand, a grandly
conceived Cosmos to which a formal ethic adds almost nothing, and, on
the other, ethics as such, as programme, as necessity with a desultory
ad hoc metaphysic for basis. And the entire absence of logical scruple
with, which Nietzsche, for instance, dashes off such theories makes
no difference whatever to our appreciation of his philosophy proper.
It is well known (4) that Schopenhauer did not proceed to Pessimism
from his metaphysic but, on the contrary, was led to develop his system
by the pessimism that fell upon him in his seventeenth year. Shaw, a
most significant witness, observes in his »Quintessence of Ibsenism«
that one may quite well accept Schopenhauers philosophy and reject
his metaphysics therein quite accurately discriminating between
that which makes him the first thinker of the new age and that which
is included because an obsolete tradition held it to be indispensable
in a complete philosophy. No one would undertake to divide Kant thus,
and the attempt would not succeed if it were made. But with Nietzsche
one has no difficulty in perceiving that his »philosophy«
was through-and-through an inner and very early experience, while he
covered his metaphysical requirements rapidly and often imperfectly
by the aid of a few books, and never managed to state even his ethical
theory with any exactitude. Just the same overlay of living seasonable
ethical thought on a stratum of metaphysics required by convention (but
in fact superfluous) is to be found in Epicurus and the Stoics. We need
have no doubt after this as to what is the essence of a Civilization-philosophy.
(4) Neue Paralipomena, § 656.
Strict metaphysics has exhausted its possibilities. The world-city
has definitely overcome the land, and now its spirit fashions a theory
proper to itself, directed of necessity outward, soulless. Henceforward,
we might with some justice replace the word »soul« by the
word »brain«. And, since in the Western »brain«
the will to power, the tyrannical set towards the Future and purpose
to organize everybody and everything, demands practical expression,
ethics, as it loses touch more and more with its metaphysical past,
steadily assumes a social-ethical and social-economic character. The
philosophy of the present that starts from Hegel and Schopenhauer is,
so far as it represents the spirit of the age (which, e.g., Lotze and
Herbart do not), a critique of society.
The attention that the Stoic gave to his own body, the Westerner devotes
to the body social. It is not chance that Hegelian philosophy has given
rise to Socialism (Marx, Engels), to Anarchism (Stirner) and to the
problem-posing social drama (Hebbel). Socialism is political economy
converted into the ethical and, moreover, the imperative mood. So long
as a metaphysic existed (that is, till Kant) political economy remained
a science. But as soon as »philosophy« became synonymous
with practical ethics, it replaced mathematics as the basis of thought
about the world hence the importance of Cousin, Bentham, Comte,
Mill and Spencer.
To choose his material at will is not given to the philosopher, neither
is the material of philosophy always and everywhere the same. There
are no eternal questions, but only questions arising out of the feelings
of a particular being and posed by it. Alles Vergängliche ist
nur ein Gleichnis applies also to every genuine philosophy as the
intellectual expression of this being, as the actualization of spiritual
possibilities in a form-world of concepts, judgments and thought-structures
comprised in the living phenomenon of its author. Any and every such
philosophy is, from the first word to the last, from its most abstract
proposition to its most telltale trait of personality, a thing-become,
mirrored over from soul into world, from the realm of freedom into that
of necessity, from the immediate-living into the dimensional-logical;
and on that very account it is mortal, and its life has prescribed rhythm
and duration. The choice of them, therefore, is subject to strict necessity.
Each epoch has its own, important for itself and for no other epoch.
It is the mark of the born philosopher that he sees his epoch and his
theme with a sure eye. Apart from this, there is nothing of any importance
in philosophical production merely technical knowledge and the
industry requisite for the building up of systematic and conceptual
Consequently, the distinctive philosophy of the 19th Century is only
Ethics and social critique in the productive sense nothing more.
And consequently, again, its most important representatives (apart from
actual practitioners) are the dramatists. They are the real philosophers
of Faustian activism, and compared with them not one of the lecture-room
philosophers and systematics counts at all. All that these unimportant
pedants have done for us is, so to write and rewrite the history of
philosophy (and what history! collections of dates and »results«)
that no one today knows what the history of philosophy is or what it
Thanks to this, the deep organic unity in the thought of this epoch
has never yet been perceived. The essence of it, from the philosophical
point of view, can be precised by asking the question: In how far is
Shaw the pupil and fulfiller of Nietzsche? The question is put in no
ironic spirit. Shaw is the one thinker of eminence who has consistently
advanced in the same direction as that of the true Nietzsche
namely, productive criticism of the Western morale while following
out as poet the last implications of Ibsen and devoting the balance
of the artistic creativeness that is in him to practical discussions.
Save in so far as the belated Romanticist in him has determined the
style, sound and attitude of his philosophy, Nietzsche is in every respect
a disciple of the materialistic decades. That which drew him with such
passion to Schopenhauer was (not that he himself or anyone else was
conscious of it) that element of Schopenhauers doctrine by which
he destroyed the great metaphysic and (without meaning to do so) parodied
his master Kant; that is to say, the modification of all deep ideas
of the Baroque age into tangible and mechanistic notions. Kant speaks
in inadequate words, which hide a mighty and scarcely apprehensible
intuition, an intuition of the world as appearance or phenomenon. In
Schopenhauer this becomes the world as brain-phenomenon (Gehirnphänomen).
The change-over from tragic philosophy to philosophical plebeianism
is complete. It will be enough to cite one passage. In »The World
as Will and Idea« Schopenhauer says: »The will, as thing-in-itself,
constitutes the inner, true and indestructible essence of the man; in
itself, however, it is without consciousness. For the consciousness
is conditioned by the intellect and this is a mere accident of our being,
since it is a function of the brain, and that again (with its dependent
nerves and spinal cord) is a mere fruit, a product, nay, even a parasite
of the rest of the organism, inasmuch as it does not intervene directly
in the latters activities but only serves a purpose of self-preservation
by regulating its relations with the outer world.« Here we have
exactly the fundamental position of the flattest materialism. It was
not for nothing that Schopenhauer, like Rousseau before him, studied
the English sensualists. From them he learned to misread Kant in the
spirit of megalopolitan utilitarian modernity. The intellect as instrument
of the will-to-life (5), as weapon in the struggle for existence, the
ideas brought to grotesque expression by Shaw in »Man and Superman«
it was because this was his view of the world that Schopenhauer
became the fashionable philosopher when Darwins main work was
published in 1859. In contrast to Schelling, Hegel and Fichte, he was
a philosopher, and the only philosopher, whose metaphysical propositions
could be absorbed with ease by intellectual mediocrity. The clarity
of which he was so proud threatened at every moment to reveal itself
as triviality. While retaining enough of formula to produce an atmosphere
of profundity and exclusiveness, he presented the civilized view of
the world complete and assimilable. His system is anticipated Darwinism,
and the speech of Kant and the concepts of the Indians are simply clothing.
In his book »Über den Willen in der Natur« (1835)
we find already the struggle for self-preservation in Nature, the human
intellect as master-weapon in that struggle and sexual love as unconscious
selection according to biological interest. (6)
(5) Even the modern idea that unconscious and impulsive acts of life
are completely efficient, while intellect can only bungle, is to be
found in Schopenhauer (Vol. II, cap. 30).
(6) In the chapter »Zur Metaphysik der Geschlechtsliebe«
(II, 44) the idea of natural selection for the preservation of
the genus is anticipated in full.
It is the view that Darwin (via Malthus) brought to bear with irresistible
success in the field of zoology. The economic origin of Darwinism is
shown by the fact that the system deduced from the similarities between
men and the higher animals ceases to fit even at the level of the plant-world
and becomes positively absurd as soon as it is seriously attempted to
apply it with its will-tendency (natural selection, mimicry) to primitive
organic forms. Proof, to the Darwinian, means to the ordering and pictorial
presentation of a selection of facts so that they conform to his historico-dynamic
basic feeling of »Evolution«. Darwinism that is to
say, that totality of very varied and discrepant ideas, in which the
common factor is merely the application of the causality principle to
living things, which therefore is a method and not a result was
known in all details to the 18th Century. Rousseau was championing the
ape-man theory as early as 1754. What Darwin originated is only the
»Manchester School« system, and it is this latent political
element in it that accounts for its popularity.
The spiritual unity of the century is manifest enough here. From Schopenhauer
to Shaw, everyone has been, without being aware of it, bringing the
same principle into form. Everyone (including even those who, like Hebbel,
knew nothing of Darwin) is a derivative of the evolution-idea
and of the shallow civilized and not the deep Goethean form of it at
that whether he issues it with a biological or an economic imprint.
There is evolution, too, in the evolution-idea itself, which is Faustian
through and through, which displays (in sharpest contrast to Aristotles
timeless entelechy-idea) all our passionate urgency towards infinite
future, our will and sense of aim which is so immanent in, so specific
to, the Faustian spirit as to be the a priori form rather than the discovered
principle of our Nature-picture. And in the evolution of evolution we
find the same change taking place as elsewhere, the turn of the Culture
to the Civilization. In Goethe evolution is upright, in Darwin it is
flat; in Goethe organic, in Darwin mechanical; in Goethe an experience
and emblem, in Darwin a matter of cognition and law. To Goethe evolution
meant inward fulfilment, to Darwin it meant »progress«.
Darwins struggle for existence, which he read into Nature and
not out of it, is only the plebeian form of that primary feeling which
in Shakespeares tragedies moves the great realities against one
another; but what Shakespeare inwardly saw, felt and actualized in his
figures as destiny, Darwinism comprehends as causal connexion and formulates
as a superficial system of utilities. And it is this system and not
this primary feeling that is the basis of the utterances of »Zarathustra«,
the tragedy of »Ghosts«, the problems of the »Ring
der Nibelungen«. Only, it was with terror that Schopenhauer,
the first of his line, perceived what his own knowledge meant
that is the root of his pessimism, and the »Tristan«
music of his adherent Wagner is its highest expression whereas
the late men, and foremost among them Nietzsche, face it with enthusiasm,
though it is true, the enthusiasm is sometimes rather forced.
Nietzsches breach with Wagner that last product of the
German spirit over which greatness broods marks his silent change
of school-allegiance, his unconscious step from Schopenhauer to Darwin,
from the metaphysical to the physiological formulation of the same world-feeling,
from the denial to the affirmation of the aspect that in fact is common
to both, the one seeing as will-to-life what the other regards as struggle
for existence. In his »Schopenhauer als Erzieher«
he still means by evolution an inner ripening, but the Superman is the
product of evolution as machinery. And »Zarathustra«
is ethically the outcome of an unconscious protest against »Parsifal«
which artistically entirely governs it of the rivalry
of one evangelist for another.
But Nietzsche was also a Socialist without knowing it. Not his catch-words,
but his instincts, were Socialistic, practical, directed to that welfare
of mankind that Goethe and Kant never spent a thought upon. Materialism,
Socialism and Darwinism are only artificially and on the surface separable.
It was this that made it possible for Shaw in the third act of, Man
and Superman (one of the most important and significant of the works
that issued from the transition) to obtain, by giving just a small and
indeed perfectly logical turn to the tendencies of »master-morale«
and the production of the Superman, the specific maxims of his own Socialism.
Here Shaw was only expressing with remorseless clarity and full consciousness
of the commonplace, what the uncompleted portion of the Zarathustra
would have said with Wagnerian theatricality and woolly romanticism.
All that we are concerned to discover in Nietzsches reasoning
is its practical bases and consequences, which proceed of necessity
from the structure of modern public life. He moves amongst vague ideas
like »new values«, »Superman«, »Sinn
der Erde«, and declines or fears to shape them more precisely.
Shaw does it. Nietzsche observes that the Darwinian idea of the Superman
evokes the notion of breeding, and stops there, leaves it at a sounding
phrase. Shaw pursues the question for there is no object in talking
about it if nothing is going to be done about it asks how it
is to be achieved, and from that comes to demand the transformation
of mankind into a stud-farm. But this is merely the conclusion implicit
in the Zarathustra, which Nietzsche was not bold enough, or was
too fastidious, to draw. If we do talk of systematic breeding
a completely materialistic and utilitarian notion we must be
prepared to answer the questions, who shall breed what, where and how?
But Nietzsche, too romantic to face the very prosaic social consequences
and to expose poetic ideas to the test of facts, omits to say that his
whole doctrine, as a derivative of Darwinism, presupposes Socialism
and, moreover, socialistic compulsion as the means; that any systematic
breeding of a class of higher men requires as condition precedent a
strictly socialistic ordering of society; and that this »Dionysiac«
idea, as it involves a common action and is not simply the private affair
of detached thinkers, is democratic, turn it how you may. It is the
climax of the ethical force of »Thou shalt »; to impose
upon the world the form of his will, Faustian man sacrifices even himself.
The breeding of the Superman follows from the notion of »selection«.
Nietzsche was an unconscious pupil of Darwin from the time that he wrote
aphorisms, but Darwin himself had remoulded the evolution-ideas of the
18th Century according to the Malthusian tendencies of political economy,
which he projected on the higher animal-world. Malthus had studied the
cotton industry in Lancashire, and already in 1857 we have the whole
system, only applied to men instead of to beasts, in Buckles History
of English Civilization.
In other words, the master-morale of this last of the Romantics is
derived strangely perhaps but very significantly from
that source of all intellectual modernity, the atmosphere of the English
factory. The Machiavellism that commended itself to Nietzsche as a Renaissance
phenomenon is something closely (one would have supposed, obviously)
akin to Darwins notion of »mimicry«. It is in fact
that of which Marx (that other famous disciple of Malthus) treats in
his Das Kapital, the bible of political (not ethical) Socialism.
That is the genealogy of »Herrenmoral«. The Will-to-Power,
transferred to the realistic, political and economic domain, finds its
expression in Shaws »Major Barbara«. No doubt
Nietzsche, as a personality, stands at the culmination of this series
of ethical philosophers, but here Shaw the party politician reaches
up to his level as a thinker. The will-to-power is to-day represented
by the two poles of public life the worker-class and the big
money-and-brain men far more effectually than it ever was by
a Borgia. The millionaire Undershaft of Shaws best comedy is
a Superman, though Nietzsche the Romanticist would not have recognized
his ideal in such a figure. Nietzsche is for ever speaking of transvaluations
of all values, of a philosophy of the future (which, incidentally, is
merely the Western, and not the Chinese or the African future), but
when the mists of his thought do come in from the Dionysiac distance
and condense into any tangible form, the will-to-power appears to him
in the guise of dagger-and-poison and never in that of strike and »deal«.
And yet he says that the idea first came to him when he saw the Prussian
regiments marching to battle in 1870.
The drama, in this epoch, is no longer poetry in the old sense of
the Culture days, but a form of agitation, debate and demonstration.
The stage has become a moralizing institution. Nietzsche himself often
thought of putting his ideas in the dramatic form. Wagners Nibelung
poetry, more especially the first draft of it (1850), expresses his
social-revolutionary ideas, and even when, after a circuitous course
under influences artistic and non-artistic, he has completed the »Ring«,
his »Siegfried« is still a symbol of the Fourth Estate,
his Brünhilde still the »free woman«. The sexual
selection of which the »Origin of Species« enunciated
the theory in 1859, was finding its musical expression at the very same
time in the third act of »Siegfried« and in »Tristan«.
It is no accident that Wagner, Hebbel and Ibsen, all practically simultaneously,
set to work to dramatize the Nibelung material. Hebbel, making the acquaintance
in Paris of Engelss writings, expresses (in a letter of April
2., 1844) his surprise at finding that his own conceptions of the social
principle of his age, which he was then intending to exemplify in a
drama Zu irgend einer Zeit, coincided precisely with those of
the future »Communist Manifesto«. And, upon first making
the acquaintance of Schopenhauer (letter of March 2.9, 1857), he is
equally surprised by the affinity that he finds between the Welt als
Wille und Vorstellung and tendencies upon which he had based his Holofernes
and his Herodes und Mariamne. Hebbels diaries, of which the most
important portion belongs to the years 1835-1845, were (though he did
not know it) one of the deepest philosophical efforts of the century.
It would be no surprise to find whole sentences of it in Nietzsche,
who never knew him and did not always come up to his level.
The actual and effective philosophy of the 19th Century, then, has
as its one genuine theme the Will-to-Power. It considers this Will-to-Power
in civilized-intellectual, ethical, or social forms and presents it
as will-to-life, as life-force, as practical-dynamical principle, as
idea, and as dramatic figure. (The period that is closed by Shaw corresponds
to the period 350-150 in the Classical.) The rest of the 19th-century
philosophy is, to use Schopenhauers phrase, »professors«
philosophy by philosophy-professors«. The real landmarks are these:
1819. Schopenhauer, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung. The
will to life is for the first time put as the only reality (original
force, Urkraft); but, older idealist influences still being potent,
it is put there to be negatived (zur Verneinung empfohlen).
1836. Schopenhauer, Über den Willen in der Natur. Anticipation
of Darwinism, but in metaphysical disguise.
1840. Proudhon, Quest-ce que la Propriété, basis
of Anarchism. Comte, Cours de philosophie positive; the formula
»order and progress«.
1841. Hebbel, »Judith«, first dramatic conception
of the »New Woman« and the »Superman«. Feuerbach,
Das Wesen des Christenthums.
1844. Engels, Umriß einer Kritik des Nationalokonomie,
foundation of the materialistic conception of history. Hebbel, Maria
Magdalena, the first social drama.
1847. Marx, Misère de la Philosophie (synthesis of Hegel
and Malthus). These are the epochal years in which economics begins
to dominate social ethic and biology.
1848. Wagners »Death of Siegfried«; Siegfried
as social-ethical revolutionary, the Fafnir hoard as symbol of Capitalism.
1850. Wagners Kunst und Klima; the sexual problem.
1850-1858. Wagners, Hebbels and Ibsens Nibelung
1859 (year of symbolic coincidences). Darwin, »Origin of
Species« (application of economics to biology). Wagners
»Tristan«. Marx, Zur Kritik der politischen Okonomie.
1863. J. S. Mill, »Utilitarianism«.
1865. Dühring, Wert des Lebens a work which is
rarely heard of, but which exercised the greatest influence upon the
1867. Ibsen, »Brand«. Marx, Das Kapital.
1878. Wagner, »Parsifal«. First dissolution of
materialism into mysticism.
1879. Ibsen, »Nora«.
1881. Nietzsche, Morgenrdthe; transition from Schopenhauer
to Darwin, morale as biological phenomenon.
1883. Nietzsche, Also sprach Zarathustra; the Will-to-Power,
but in Romantic disguise.
1886. Ibsen, »Rosmersholm«. Nietzsche, Jenseits
von Gut und Böse.
1887-1888. Strindberg, »Fadren« and »Froken
From 1890 the conclusion of the epoch approaches. The religious works
of Strindberg and the symbolical of Ibsen.
1896. Ibsen, »John Gabriel Borkman«: Nietzsches
Übermensch. 1898. Strindberg, »Till Damascus«.
From 1900 the last phenomena.
1903. Weininger, Geschlecht und Charakter; the only serious
attempt to revive Kant within this epoch, by referring him to Wagner
1903. Shaw, »Man and Superman«; final synthesis
of Darwin and Nietzsche.
1905. Shaw, »Major Barbara«; the type of the Superman
referred back to its economic origins.
With this, the ethical period exhausts itself as the metaphysical
had done. Ethical Socialism, prepared by Fichte, Hegel, and Humboldt,
was at its zenith of passionate greatness about the middle of the 19th
Century, and at the end thereof it had reached the stage of repetitions.
The 20th Century, while keeping the word Socialism, has replaced an
ethical philosophy that only epigoni suppose to be capable of further
development, by a praxis of economic everyday questions. The ethical
disposition of the West will remain »socialistic« but its
theory has ceased to be a problem. And there remains the possibility
of a third and last stage of Western philosophy, that of a physiognomic
scepticism. The secret of the world appears successively as a knowledge
problem, a valuation problem and a form problem. Kant saw ethics as
an object of knowledge, the 19th Century saw it as an object of valuation.
The Sceptic would deal with both simply as the historical expression
of a Culture. (*Source
of the translation*) *Source
of the original*