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Fourth book.

Second consideration of the world as will:

When self-knowledge is achieved, affirmation and denial of the will to live.

Tempore quo cognitio simul advenit, amor e medio supersurrexit.

Oupnek'hat, studio Anquetil Duperron,

vol. II, p. 216.[341]


§ 53

The last part of our consideration announces itself as the most serious, since it concerns the actions of men, the object which concerns everyone directly, cannot be alien or indifferent to anyone, yes, to which everything else is to be related, according to the nature of man is that, in every connected investigation, he will always regard the part relating to the action as the result of its entire content, at least insofar as it is of interest to him, and will therefore devote serious attention to this part, if no other part. In the relationship given, one would call the part of our consideration which now follows, according to the usual way of expressing oneself, practical philosophy, as opposed to the theoretical philosophy which has been discussed so far. In my opinion, however, all philosophy is always theoretical, in that it is essential to it, whatever the next object of investigation, to always behave in a purely contemplative manner and to investigate, not to prescribe. On the other hand, to become practical, to guide action, to rearrange the character, are old claims which, once the understanding has matured, she should finally give up. For here, where there is the worth or unworthiness of existence, where there is salvation or damnation, it is not their dead concepts that make the difference, but the innermost being of man himself, the demon who guides him and who not him, but himself has chosen - as Plato speaks - his intelligible character - as Kant expresses himself. Virtue is not taught, any more than genius: yes, for them the concept is as sterile and can only be used as a tool as it is for art. We would therefore be just as foolish as to expect that our moral systems and ethics would awaken virtuous, noble and saintly people as that our aesthetics would awaken poets, sculptors and musicians.

Nowhere can philosophy do more than interpret and explain what is present, the essence of the world, which in concrete termsThat is, as a feeling, expresses itself in an understandable way for everyone, to bring it to a clear, abstract knowledge of reason, but this in every possible relationship and from every point of view. How now the same thing, in the three previous books, in the generality peculiar to philosophy, was sought from other points of view; this is how man's actions are to be viewed in the same way in the present book; which side of the world would like to be found to be the most important of all, not only, as I remarked before, according to subjective, but also according to objective judgment. In doing so, I will remain completely true to our previous point of view, relying on what has been presented so far as a prerequisite, in fact only developing and developing the one thought which is the content of this entire work, as was previously the case with all other subjects, now just as it is with human actions so that I can do the last thing I can to communicate it as completely as possible.

The given point of view and the announced manner of treatment indicate that in this ethical book no prescriptions, no doctrine of duties can be expected; still less should a general moral principle, as it were a universal recipe for the production of all virtues, be given. We are also notunconditional ought«Because this, as stated in the appendix, contains a contradiction, and also of a» law for freedom «, which is in the same case. We will not talk at all about ought: for this is how one speaks to children and peoples in their childhood, but not to those who have appropriated the entire education of a time that has come of age. It is surely a palpable contradiction to call the will free and yet to prescribe laws according to which it should will; - "should want" - wooden iron! As a result of our whole view, however, the will is not only free, but even omnipotent: from it is not only its action but also its world; and as he is, so his action appears, so his world appears: his self-knowledge is both and nothing else: he determines himself and thus both: for apart from him there is nothing, and they are himself: only in this way is he truly autonomous; but heteronomic according to any other view. [344] Our philosophical endeavors can only go towards interpreting and explaining the actions of man, the so different, indeed opposing maxims, of which it is the living expression, according to their innermost essence and content, in connection with our previous considerations and precisely so, how we have hitherto tried to interpret the other phenomena of the world, to bring its innermost being to clear, abstract knowledge. Our philosophy becomes the same immanence assert, as in all previous considerations: contrary to Kant's great doctrine, they will not want to use the forms of appearance, the general expression of which is the principle of reason, as a jumping stick in order to skim over the appearance itself, which gives them meaning alone to land in the boundless realm of empty fictions. But this real world of recognizability, in which we are and which is in us, remains, like the matter, so also the limits of our consideration: it is so rich that even the deepest research, which the human mind would be capable of, could not exhaust them. Because now the real, recognizable world will never allow our ethical considerations, any more than the preceding ones, to lack substance and reality; so we will need nothing less than to take refuge in empty, negative concepts, and then even to make ourselves believe that we are saying something when, with high eyebrows, we of the "absolute", the "infinite", of the "supersensible" and what such mere negations are (ouden esti, ê to tês oterêseôs onoma, meta amydras epinoias. – nihil est, nisi negationis nouns, cum obscura notione. Jul., Or. 5), instead of which one shorter Wolkenkukuksheim nephelokokkygia could say, spoke: we will not need to serve covered, empty bowls of this kind. - Finally, here too, as in the past, we will tell no more stories and pass them off for philosophy. For we are of the opinion that anyone who thinks that the essence of the world is somehow, no matter how finely cloaked, is still far removed from a philosophical knowledge of the world. historical to be able to grasp; but which is the case as soon as there is anything in his view of the essence-in-itself of the world [345] Will, or what has become, or will be found, some earlier or later has the least significance and consequently, clearly or hidden, a beginning and an end point of the world, along with the path between the two, is sought and found, and the philosophizing individual probably even more so recognizes his own place in this way. Such historical philosophizing in most cases provides a cosmogony that allows many varieties, but otherwise also an emanation system, apostasy theory, or finally, if, out of desperation over fruitless attempts on those paths, driven on the last path, conversely, a doctrine of constant becoming, sprouting, Emergence, emergence into light from the darkness, the dark ground, the primordial ground, the unground and whatever other such drivel is, which, by the way, is most briefly dealt with by the remark that a whole eternity, i.e. an infinite time, has already passed up to the present moment Which is why everything that can or should become must have already become. For all such historical philosophy, however elegant it may be, takes, as if Kant had never been there, the time for a determination of things in themselves, and therefore remains with what Kant calls appearance, in contrast to the thing in itself, and Plato the becoming, never being, in contrast to being, never becoming, or finally what with the Indians The fabric of Maya means: it is precisely the knowledge given to the principle of the reason, with which one never arrives at the inner essence of things, but only pursues phenomena into the infinite, moves without end or goal, to compare the squirrel in a wheel until one finally gets tired, above or below, stands still at any point and now wants to defy respect for the same from others. The genuine philosophical way of looking at the world, i.e. that which teaches us to recognize its inner being and thus leads us beyond the appearance, is precisely that which is not based on where from and where to and why, but always and everywhere only according to that What the world asks, that is, which does not consider things in terms of any relation, not as becoming and perishing, in short, not in terms of one of the four forms of the principle of reason; Conversely, precisely that which remains after the separation of this whole type of observation following that proposition, that which appears in all relations but is not subject to them, always the same essence of the world, its ideas, has as its object. From such knowledge, like art, so does philosophy, yes, as we shall find in this book, also the mood of the mind which alone leads to true holiness and redemption from the world.


§ 54

The first three books will hopefully have brought about the clear and certain knowledge that in the world as an idea the will has its mirror, in which it recognizes itself, with increasing degrees of clarity and completeness, the highest of which is man, his essence but its perfect expression is only given by the coherent series of his actions, the self-conscious connection of which is the reason, which always gives him the whole in abstracto makes possible.

The will, which viewed purely in itself, is ignorant and is only a blind, unstoppable urge, as we still see it appear in inorganic and vegetable nature and its laws, as well as in the vegetative part of our own life, is given by that which has entered For his service the world of imagination developed the knowledge of his will and of what it is that he wants, namely that it is nothing other than this world, life, just as it stands. We therefore called the appearing world its mirror, its objectity: and since what the will will always is life, precisely because it is nothing more than the representation of that will for the imagination; so it is irrelevant and only a pleonasm if, instead of simply saying "the will", we say "the will to live."

Since the will is the thing-in-itself, the inner content, the essence of the world; life, the visible world, appearance, but only the mirror of the will; so this will accompany the will as inseparably as the body its shadow: and if there is will, there will also be life, the world. So life is certain of the will to live, and as long as we are filled with the will to live we must not be concerned about our existence, not even at the sight of death. We certainly see the individual arise and pass away: but the individual is only an appearance, is only there for those in the principle of the ground, that principio individuationis, biased knowledge: for them, of course, it receives its life like a gift, emerges from nothing, then suffers the loss of that gift through death and returns to nothing. But we want to look at life philosophically, that is, according to its ideas, and there we will find that neither the will, the thing in itself in all appearances, nor the subject of knowledge, the spectator of all appearances, of birth and death to be touched in any way. Birth and death belong precisely to the appearance of the will, that is, to life, and it is essential to this to represent themselves in individuals who arise and pass away, as fleeting appearances in the form of time of that which in itself does not know time, but must present itself precisely in the aforementioned way in order to objectify its true essence. Birth and death belong in the same way to life and maintain their equilibrium as reciprocal conditions of one another, or, if one likes the expression, as poles of the whole phenomenon of life. The wisest of all mythologies, the Indian, expresses this in that it symbolizes the god who symbolizes destruction, death (like Brahma, the most sinful and inferior god of Triumurtis, procreation, origin, and Vishnu, preservation), that she, I say, especially to the Shiva, together with the necklace of death's heads, which Lingam gives as an attribute, this symbol of procreation, which thus appears here as the equalization of death, which indicates that procreation and death are essential correlates that are mutually exclusive neutralize and cancel one another. - It was exactly the same attitude that drove the Greeks and Romans to decorate the precious sarcophagi just as we still see them, with celebrations, dances, weddings, hunts, animal fights, Bakchanalia, that is, with depictions of the most powerful urge to live, which they Show us not only in such merrymaking, but even in voluptuous groups, even to the point of copulation between satyrs and goats. The purpose was evidently to point out the death of the mourned individual with the greatest emphasis on the immortal life of nature and thereby to indicate, albeit without abstract knowledge, that the whole of nature is the appearance and also the fulfillment of the will to live is. The form of this appearance is time, space and causality, but by means of this individuation, which implies that the individual must arise and perish, but which is the will to live, of whose appearance the individual is, as it were, only a single example or specimen as little as the whole of nature is offended by the death of an individual. For it is not this, but the species alone, what nature is concerned with, and the preservation of which it strives with all seriousness, taking care of it so wastefully, through the immense excess of germs and the great power of the fertilization instinct. On the other hand, the individual has no value for them and cannot have it, since infinite time, infinite space and in these infinite number of possible individuals are their kingdom; hence it is always ready to let go of the individual, who accordingly is not only exposed to destruction in a thousandfold ways, through the most insignificant coincidences, but is already originally determined to him and is led towards him by nature itself, from the moment when it served to preserve the species. In this way, nature itself speaks quite naively the great truth that only ideas, not individuals, have actual reality, i.e. are perfect objectivity of the will. Now since man is nature itself, and indeed in the highest degree of its self-consciousness, but nature is only the objectified will to live; so, when man has grasped this point of view and stops at it, he may certainly and rightly comfort himself over the death of his and his friends by looking back at the immortal life of nature, which he himself is. This is how shiva is to be understood with the lingam, the ancient sarcophagi that call out to the plaintive observer with their images of the most glowing life: Natura non contristatur.

That procreation and death are to be regarded as something belonging to life and essential to this manifestation of the will, also follows from the fact that both represent themselves to us as the only higher exponentiated expressions of that, of which the rest of the rest of life also consists. For this is through and through nothing else than a constant change of matter, under the firm persistence of form: and that is precisely the transience of the individual, with the immortality of the species. Constant nourishment and reproduction differ only in degree from conception, and constant excretion differs only in degree from death. The former is most easily and clearly shown in the plant. This is through and through only the constant repetition of the same shoot, its simplest fiber, which is grouped into leaf and twig; is a systematic aggregate of similar, mutually supporting plants, the constant regeneration of which is their only instinct: to the complete satisfaction of this it increases, by means of the scale of metamorphosis, finally to bloom and fruit, that compendium of its existence and striving in which it is now In a short way, that which is her only goal, and now accomplishes a thousandfold in one stroke, what she has worked in detail up to then: repetition of herself.Its drive to the point of fruit is related to this as writing is to the printing press. Obviously it is quite the same with the animal. The nutritional process is a constant witness, the procreative process a higher potentized nourishment; the lust at procreation the higher potentiated comfort of the feeling of life. On the other hand, excretion, the constant exhalation and shedding of matter, is the same thing that death, the opposite of procreation, is in increased potency. How now we are at all times content to receive the form without mourning the matter thrown off; so we have to behave in the same way when in death the same thing happens in greater potency and as a whole, which goes on daily and hourly in detail during excretion: just as we are indifferent to the first, we should not tremble back to the other. From this point of view it therefore seems just as wrong to demand the continuity of one's individuality, which is replaced by other individuals, than the existence of the matter of his body, which is always replaced by new ones: it seems just as foolish to embalm corpses as it would be to carefully preserve its sputum. As for the individual consciousness bound to the individual body, it is completely interrupted every day by sleep. Deep sleep is not at all different from death, into which it often passes over very steadily, e.g. when freezing to death, for the present of its duration, but only for the future, namely with regard to awakening. Death is a sleep in which individuality is forgotten: everything else awakens again, or rather has remained awake.75

Above all, we must clearly recognize that the form of the appearance of the will, that is, the form of life or reality, is actually only the presence is, not future, nor past: these are only in the concept, are only present in the context of knowledge insofar as it follows the principle of reason. No one lived in the past, and no one will ever live in the future; but those presence alone is the form of all life, but it is also its secure possession, which can never be snatched from it. The present is always there, along with its content: both stand firm without wavering; like the rainbow on the waterfall. For life is safe and certain to the will, the present to life. - Of course, if we think back to the past millennia, to the millions of people who lived in them; then we ask: what were they? Whats become of you? - But, on the other hand, we may only recall the past of our own lives and vividly renew its scenes in our imagination, and now ask again: What was all this? What happened to him? - As with him, so it is with the lives of those millions. Or should we think that the past is given a new existence by being sealed by death? Our own past, including the next day and yesterday, is only a vain dream of the imagination, and the same is the past of all those millions. What was? What is? - The will, the mirror of which is life, and the will-free cognition, which clearly sees it in that mirror. Anyone who has not yet recognized this, or does not want to recognize this, must add this question to the above question about the fate of past generations: why he, the questioner, is so happy to have this precious, fleeting, only real present while those hundreds of human races, even the heroes and sages of those times, sank into the night of the past and thereby became nothing; but he, his insignificant self, is really there? - or more briefly, albeit strange: why this now, its now, - but is right now and not long ago was? - By asking so strangely, he sees his existence and his time as independent of one another and that as thrown into them: he actually assumes two now, one that belongs to the object, the other that belongs to the subject, and is amazed about the happy coincidence of their meeting. In truth, however (as shown in the treatise on the principle of reason) only the point of contact of the object, whose form is time, with the subject, which has no formation of the principle of reason to form, constitutes the present. But now everything is the object of the will insofar as it has become an idea, and the subject is the necessary correlate of all objects; But real objects exist only in the present: past and future contain mere concepts and phantasms; therefore the present is the essential form of the appearance of the will and is inseparable from it. The present alone is that which is always there and is immovably fixed. In empirical terms, the most fleeting of everything, it presents itself to the metaphysical gaze, which overlooks the forms of empirical intuition, as the only thing that persists Nunc stans the scholastic. The source and the carrier of its content is the will to life, or the thing in itself - which we are. That which continually becomes and perishes, in that it has either already been or is still to come, belongs to the appearance as such, by virtue of its forms, which make the origination and fading possible. So think: Quid fuit? - Quod est. - Quid erit? - Quod fuit; and take it in the strict sense of the [352] words, so do not understand simile, rather idem. For life is certain to the will, the present to life. Therefore everyone can say: “I am Lord of the present once and for all, and it will accompany me through all eternity, like my shadow: accordingly I am not surprised where it came from and how it happens that it is right now now be. «- We can compare time to an endlessly rotating circle: the ever decreasing half would be the past, the ever increasing the future; Above, however, the indivisible point that touches the tangent would be the present without extension: just as the tangent does not roll along, neither does the present, the point of contact of the object, whose form is time, with the subject, which has no form, because it does not belong to the knowable, but is the condition of everything knowable. Or: time is like an unstoppable straw, and the present like a rock on which the latter breaks, but does not carry it away with it. The will, as a thing-in-itself, is as little subject to the principle of reason as the subject of knowledge, which in the end is in a certain respect itself or its utterance; and just as life, its own appearance, is certain to the will, so it is also the present, the only form of real life. Accordingly, we do not have to search for the past before life, nor for the future after death: rather, as the only form in which the will appears, we have presence to recognize76; she will not escape him, but neither will he. Therefore, whoever satisfies life as it is, whoever affirms it in all ways, can with confidence regard it as endless and banish the fear of death as a delusion which gives him the absurd fear that he could ever lose the present, and simulates a time for him without a presence in it: a delusion, which in regard to time That is what that other in regard to space, by virtue of which each, in his imagination, the place on the globe which he is at the moment occupies when the above and everything else regards as the below: in just the same way everyone ties the present to his individuality and thinks that with this all present disappears; Past and future are now without the same. But as is everywhere above on the globe, so is the form of all life presence, and to fear death because it snatches the present away from us is no wiser than to fear that one can slide down from the round globe on which one is fortunately now standing. The objectification of the will is essential to the form of the present, which as a point without extension cuts the infinite time on both sides and is immovably fixed, like a perpetual noon, without a cooling evening; how the real sun burns ceaselessly while it only apparently sinks into the lap of the night: therefore, when a person fears death as his annihilation, it is no different than when one thinks that the sun could complain in the evening: "Woe to me ! I am going under into eternal night. ”-77 On the other hand, the reverse is also true: who is pressed by the burdens of life, who indeed would like life and affirm it, but abhor the torments of it, and especially not the hard lot that has just befallen him may carry longer: such a person has no hope of deliverance from death and cannot save himself by suicide; only with false notes the dark, cool orcus lures him as a haven of calm. The earth rolls from day into night; the individual dies; but the sun itself burns forever at noon. Life is certain of the will to live: the form of life is the present without end; as much as the individuals, appearances of the idea, arise and pass away in time, to compare fleeting dreams. Even here, suicide appears to us as a futile and therefore foolish act: if we have advanced further in our contemplation, it will present itself to us in a still unfavorable light.

The dogmas change and our knowledge is deceptive; but nature is not mistaken: its gait is safe and it does not hide it. Each is wholly in it and it is wholly in everyone. It has its center in every animal: it has found its way safely into existence, just as it will surely find it out: meanwhile it lives fearless of annihilation and unconcerned, carried by the awareness that it is nature itself and, like her, imperishable. Man alone carries around with him the certainty of his death in abstract terms: this can nevertheless, which is very strange, only frighten him for individual moments when an occasion brings it to the imagination. Reflection can do little against the mighty voice of nature. In him, too, as in the animal that does not think, there prevails as a permanent state that security arising from the innermost consciousness that he is nature, the world itself, through which no man can perceive the thought of certain and never distant death worried, but everyone lives as if he must live forever; which goes so far that it could be said that no one really had a living conviction of the certainty of his death, since otherwise there could not be so great a difference between his mood and that of the convicted criminal; but everyone knows that certainty in abstracto and theoretically, but put them aside, like other theoretical truths that are not applicable to practice, without taking them up in any way in his living consciousness. Anyone who carefully observes this peculiarity of the human kind of senses will see that the psychological modes of explanation for them, based on habit and satisfaction with the inevitable, are by no means sufficient, but the reason for them is the one given, deeper lying. From the same it can also be explained why at all times, among all peoples, dogmas of any kind of persistence of the individual after death are found and respected, since the evidence for this must always be extremely inadequate, that for that On the contrary, however, strong and numerous, yes, this actually does not need any proof, but is recognized by the common understanding as a fact and confirmed as such by the confidence that nature lies as little as it is wrong, but rather reveals its actions and essence openly, even naively pronounces it, while only we ourselves darken it through delusion in order to reveal what suits our limited view.

But what we have now brought to the clear awareness that although the individual appearance of the will begins and ends in time, the will itself, as a thing in itself, is not affected by it, nor the correlate of all objects, the knowing, never recognized Subject, and that life is always certain to the will to live; - this is not to be counted among those doctrines of persistence. Because the will, considered as thing in itself, as well as the pure subject of knowing, the eternal world eye, has as little persistence as a passing away, since these are only valid determinations in time, but those are outside of time. Hence the egoism of the individual (of this individual will phenomenon illuminated by the subject of knowledge) for his wish to assert himself for an infinite time can draw as little nourishment and consolation from our view as he can from the knowledge that after his After all, the rest of the outside world will continue to exist in time, which is only the expression of the same view, but objectively and therefore viewed in terms of time. Because everyone is only transitory as an appearance, on the other hand as a thing in itself timeless, therefore also endless; But only as an appearance it is different from the rest of the world; as a thing in itself it is the will that appears in everything, and death cancels the delusion that separates its consciousness from that of the rest: this is continuity. Its not being touched by death, which it only belongs to as a thing-in-itself, coincides for the appearance with the continuation of the rest of the outside world78. Hence it is that the intimate and merely felt consciousness of it, which we have just raised to clear knowledge, prevents, as already said, the thought of death from poisoning the life of even the rational being by being conscious of this the basis of that courage to live is that which maintains all living things and lets them live on cheerfully as if there were no death, namely as long as it has life in its eye and is directed towards it; but this does not prevent that when death in particular and in reality, or even only in fantasy, approaches the individual and this now has to look at him, he is not seized by fear of death and tries to escape in all ways . For just as, as long as his knowledge was directed to life as such, it must also recognize immortality in it, so when death comes before his eyes it must recognize it for what it is, the temporal end of the individual temporal appearance. What we fear in death is by no means pain: for part of it is obviously on this side of death; sometimes we often flee to death from the pain, just as, conversely, we sometimes take on the most appalling pain, only to escape death for a while, although it would be quick and easy. We therefore distinguish pain and death as two completely different evils: what we fear in death is in fact the downfall of the individual, as which he openly reveals himself, and since the individual is the will to live itself in a single objectification, his whole being resists death. - Where now feeling helplessly reveals us in this way, however, reason can enter and largely overcome the adverse impressions of the same by placing us on a high standpoint, where we now have the whole in view instead of the individual. Therefore a philosophical knowledge of the nature of the world, which would have come to the point at which we are now standing in our contemplation, but would go no further, could overcome the horrors of death even from this standpoint, to the extent that it does given individual the reflection would have power over the immediate feeling. A person who would have firmly incorporated the truths presented so far into his type of senses, but not at the same time through his own experience or through a further insight would have come to recognize permanent suffering as essential in all life; [357] - On this point of view, In the Bhagavat Gita, Krishna his budding pupil the Arjun, when he is seized with melancholy at the sight of the ready-to-fight armies (in a similar way to Xerxes), despairs and wants to give up the fight in order to prevent the downfall of so many thousands: Krishna confronts him on that standpoint, and the death of those thousands can no longer stop him: he gives the sign of battle. - Goethe's Prometheus also describes this point of view, especially when he says:


“Here I sit, shaping people

In my image

A gender that is equal to me

To suffer, to cry

To enjoy and rejoice

And disregard yours

Like me!"


The philosophy of Bruno and that of Spinoza could also lead one to this point of view to whom their faults and imperfections did not disturb or weaken the conviction. That of Bruno has no real ethics, and that in Spinoza's philosophy does not emerge at all from the essence of his teaching, but, although praiseworthy and beautiful in itself, is only attached to it by means of weak and palpable sophisms. - Finally, many people would stand at the point of view indicated if their knowledge kept pace with their will, i.e. if they were able to become clear and distinct to themselves, free from any delusion.For this is, for knowledge, the standpoint of the complete Affirmation of the will to live.

The will affirms itself, means: in that in its objectivity, i.e. the world and life, his own essence, is given to him as an idea completely and clearly, this knowledge in no way inhibits his will; but precisely this life, thus known, is willed by him as such, as until then without knowledge, as a blind urge, so now with knowledge, consciously and deliberately. - The opposite of this, the Negation of the will to live, shows itself when the willing ends on that knowledge, in that then the individual phenomena that are known are no longer as Motifs of volition, but the whole, through the conception of Ideas adult knowledge of the essence of the world, which reflects the will to Quiet of the will and so the will freely cancels itself. These completely unknown concepts, which are difficult to understand in this general expression, will hopefully become clear through the following presentation of the phenomena, here modes of action, in which on the one hand the affirmation, in its various degrees, and on the other hand the negation is expressed. Because both go from her Knowledge from, but not from an abstract one, which is expressed in words, but from a living one, which expresses itself through action and change alone and remains independent of the dogmas which, as abstract knowledge, occupy reason. To represent both and to bring them to a clear knowledge of reason can only be my purpose, but not to prescribe or recommend one or the other, which would be as foolish as it is pointless, since the will in itself is absolutely free, entirely self-determining and there is no law for him. - These freedom and their relation to necessity, however, we must first and foremost, and before we proceed to the said discussion, discuss and determine more precisely, then also about life, the affirmation and negation of which is our problem, some general considerations relating to the will and its objects By means of which we will all facilitate the intended knowledge of the ethical meaning of the modes of action, according to their innermost essence.

Since, as I said, all of this writing is only the development of a single thought; It follows from this that all of its parts have the most intimate connection with one another and not merely that each is in a necessary relation to the next preceding one, and therefore initially presupposes only him as the reader, as is the case with all philosophies which consist only of one A series of inferences; but that every part of the whole work is related to every other and presupposes it, which is why it is required that the reader be reminded not only of what has come before, but also of every previous one, so that he stands next to what is always present, no matter how much other things in between, able to tie; an unreasonable expectation which Plato also made his reader through the intricate mismanagement of his dialogues, which only after long episodes resume the main idea, which is now more enlightened. With us this presumption is necessary, since the division of our one and only thought into many considerations, the only means of communication, but the thought itself is not an essential, but only an artificial form. - To facilitate the presentation and its conception, the separation of four main points of view, in four books, and the most careful connection of the related and homogeneous serves: nevertheless the material does not at all allow a progress in a straight line, such as the historical one, but makes one A more intricate presentation and precisely this requires a repeated study of the book, through which alone the connection of each part with each other becomes clear and only now do all of them together illuminate each other and become perfectly bright. 79


§ 55

[360] That the will as such free it already follows from the fact that, in our opinion, it is the thing-in-itself, the content of all phenomena. We know these, on the other hand, as being consistently subject to the principle of reason, in its four forms: and since we know that necessity is absolutely identical with consequence for a given reason, and that both are interchangeable concepts; So everything that belongs to the appearance, i.e. is an object for the subject who knows as an individual, is on the one hand a reason, on the other hand a consequence, and in this latter property it can be necessarily determined in any respect, and can therefore in no respect be different from what it is. The whole content of nature, all of its phenomena, are therefore absolutely necessary, and the necessity of every part, every phenomenon, every occurrence can be demonstrated every time by the need to find the reason on which it depends as a consequence. This is no exception: it follows from the unlimited validity of the principle of reason. On the other hand, however, this same world, in all its manifestations, is objectity of the will, which, since it is not an appearance, not an idea or an object, but a thing-in-itself, is not subject to the principle of reason, the form of all objects , that is, is not determined as a consequence by a reason, that is, knows no necessity, ie free is. The concept of freedom is therefore actually a negative one in that its content is merely the negation of necessity, that is, of the relation of the consequence to its reason in accordance with the principle of reason. - Here now lies before us most clearly the point of unity of that great antithesis, the union of freedom with necessity, which in recent times has often, but, as far as I know, never been spoken clearly and properly, every thing is as a phenomenon, as an object , throughout necessary: ​​is the same per se Will, and this is completely free, for all eternity. The appearance, the object, is necessarily and invariably determined in the concatenation of causes and consequences, which no interruption can have. But the existence in general of this object and the nature of its existence, i.e. the idea which reveals itself in it, or in other words its character, is the direct appearance of the will. In accordance with the freedom of this will, it could not exist at all, or also originally and essentially be something quite different; but where then the whole chain, of which it is a link, but which is itself a manifestation of the same will, would be a completely different one; but once there and present, it has entered the series of reasons and consequences, always necessarily determined in it, and accordingly can neither become something else, that is, change, nor even step out of the series, that is, disappear. Like every other part of nature, man is the objectity of the will: therefore everything that is said of him is also valid. As every thing in nature has its forces and qualities, which react in a definite way to a definite influence and which constitute its character; so he also has his characterfrom which the motives evoke his actions, with necessity. In this mode of action itself its empirical character is revealed, but in this again its intelligible character, the will in itself, of which it is the determinate appearance. But man is the most perfect manifestation of the will, which in order to exist, as shown in the second book, had to be illuminated by such a high degree of knowledge that in this one even a completely adequate repetition of the essence of the world, under the form of the Imagination of what the conception of ideas, which is the pure mirror of the world, became possible, as we got to know it in the third book. In man, therefore, the will can attain complete self-awareness, a clear and exhaustive recognition of his own being, as it is reflected in the whole world. As we saw in the previous book, art emerges from the real existence of this degree of knowledge. At the end of our whole consideration, however, it will also become apparent that through the same knowledge, in that the will relates it to itself, a suppression and self-negation of it, in its most perfect appearance, is possible: so that freedom, which is otherwise than just belonging to the thing-in-itself, can never show itself in the appearance, in such a case also emerges in this and, in that it abolishes the essence on which the appearance is based, while this itself still persists in time, a contradiction of the appearance with itself and precisely through this represents the phenomena of holiness and self-denial. However, all of this can only be fully understood at the end of this book. For the time being it is only indicated in general how man differs from all other appearances of the will in that freedom, that is, independence from the principle of reason, which only belongs to the will as a thing-in-itself and contradicts the appearance, nevertheless with him it can possibly also occur in the appearance, but where it then necessarily presents itself as a contradiction between the appearance and itself. In this sense, not only the will in itself, but even the human being can be called free and thereby differentiated from all other beings. How this is to be understood, however, can only become clear through everything that follows, and for now we have to completely disregard it. For first of all the error must be prevented that the action of the individual, definite person is not subject to any necessity, i.e. that the force of the motive is less certain than the force of the cause, or the consequence of the conclusion from the premises. The freedom of the will as a thing in itself, insofar as we disregard the above case, which always concerns only one exception, in no way goes directly over to its appearance, not even where it reaches the highest level of visibility, i.e. not to that reasonable animals of individual character, that is, the person. This is never free, although it is the appearance of a free will: for precisely of its free will it is the already determined appearance, and as this enters into the form of all objects, the principle of reason, it does develop the unity of that will into a multiplicity of actions, which, however, because of the extra-temporal unity of that will in itself, presents itself with the regularity of a natural force. But since it is nevertheless that free will that becomes visible in the person and his entire change, relating to this as the concept is related to definition; so every single act of it is also to be ascribed to free will and immediately announces itself to the consciousness as such: therefore, as said in the second book, everyone holds a priori (i.e. here according to his original feeling) himself in the individual actions to be free, in the sense that, in every given case, every action would be possible for him, and first of all a posterioriFrom experience and reflection on experience, he recognizes that his action necessarily emerges from the coincidence of character with motives. Hence it is that every rudest man, following his feelings, fiercely defends complete freedom in individual actions, while the great thinkers of all times, even the more profound doctrines of faith, have denied it. But to whom it has become clear that the whole being of man is will and he himself is only the appearance of this will, but that such an appearance has the principle of reason as a necessary form, recognizable even from the subject, which in this case is the law of motivation a doubt about the inevitability of the deed, given the given character and motive, will appear to him like a doubt about the correspondence of the three angles of the triangle with two right ones. - Priestley has the necessity of individual action in his "Doctrine of philosophical necessity" very well done; But the coexistence of this necessity with the freedom of the will per se, that is, apart from the appearance, was first demonstrated by Kant, whose merit is particularly great here, 80 by establishing the difference between intelligible and empirical character, which I completely retain there The former is the will as a thing in itself, insofar as it appears in a certain individual to a certain degree, but the latter is this phenomenon itself, as it is represented in the mode of action, in terms of time, and already in corporation, in terms of space . In order to make the relationship between the two comprehensible, the best expression of that already used in the introductory treatise is that the intelligible character of every human being is to be regarded as an external, therefore indivisible and unchangeable act of will, in time and space and in all forms of the proposition of The empirical character is basically developed and drawn apart, as it is experienced in the whole way of acting and in the life course of this person. How the whole tree is only the repeated appearance of one and the same shoot, which is most simply represented in the fiber and is repeated and easily recognizable in the composition of leaf, stem, branch, trunk; so all acts of man are only the constantly repeated, somewhat alternating expression of his intelligible character, and the induction resulting from the sum of these gives his empirical character. Incidentally, I am not going to repeat Kant's masterful presentation in a revised manner, but assume that it is known.

In 1840 I dealt with the important chapter of free will thoroughly and in detail, in my award-winning publication about it, and in particular I uncovered the reason for the deception, as a result of which an empirically given absolute freedom of will, i.e. a liberum arbitrium indifferentiaeIntended to be found in self-consciousness, as a fact of the same: for it was precisely on this point that the question of price was, very intelligently, directed. By referring the reader to that publication, also to § 10 of the publication on the basis of morality published together with the same under the title "The Two Basic Problems of Ethics", I am leaving the one given in the first edition at this point, The as yet imperfect presentation of the necessity of the act of will is now canceled, and instead I want to explain the above-mentioned deception by means of a brief discussion, which the nineteenth chapter of our second volume has as its prerequisite and therefore could not be given in the price publication mentioned.

Apart from the fact that, because the will, as the true thing in itself, is something really original and independent, the feeling of originality and arbitrariness in self-consciousness must accompany its acts, although here already determined - the appearance of an empirical freedom of the Will (instead of the transcendental, which is to be attached to it alone), that is, a freedom of individual acts, from the separate and subordinate position of the intellect against the will set out in the nineteenth chapter of the second volume, especially under No. 3. For the intellect only experiences the decisions of the will a posteriori and empirical. Accordingly, if there is an election, he has no date on how the will will decide. For the intelligible character, given the given motives, can only do that a A decision is possible, and this is therefore a necessary one, does not fall in the knowledge of the intellect, but merely the empirical knowledge becomes known to it successively through its individual acts. Hence it seems to the knowing consciousness (intellect) that, in a given case, two opposing decisions are equally possible for the will. With this, however, it is just as if one, with a vertical pole that is out of balance and swaying, says "it can turn to the right or to the left side", which "can"But only has a subjective meaning and actually means" with regard to the data known to us ": for objectively the direction of the fall is necessarily already determined as soon as the fluctuation occurs. Accordingly, the decision of one's own will is indeterminate only for its spectator, one's own intellect, and therefore only relative and subjective, namely for the subject of knowledge; on the other hand, in itself and objectively, with every choice presented, the decision is immediately determined and necessary. Only this determination only comes into consciousness through the decision that has taken place. We even receive empirical evidence of when we have a difficult and important choice, but only under a condition that has not yet occurred, but is only to be hoped for; so that we cannot do anything in it at hand, but have to be passive. Now let us consider why we shall decide when the circumstances will arise which permit us to act and make free decisions.Mostly the far-sighted, reasonable deliberation speaks for one of the decisions, and for the other more the immediate inclination. As long as we are compelled to remain passive, the side of reason seems to want to keep the preponderance; but we foresee how strong the other side will pull, when the opportunity for action will arise. Until then, we are eager to meditate through the cold pro and contrato put the mutual motives in the brightest light, so that each can act with all its might on the will when the time will be, and not if a mistake on the part of the intellect induces the will to decide differently than it would, when everything worked evenly. But this clear unfolding of mutual motives is all that the intellect can do in making a choice. He waits for the actual decision as passively and with the same tense curiosity as that of someone else's will. From his standpoint, therefore, both decisions must appear to him to be equally possible: this is the appearance of the empirical freedom of the will. In the sphere of the intellect, of course, the decision enters entirely empirically, as the finite turn of the matter; nevertheless it arose out of the inner constitution, the intelligible character, of the individual will, in its conflict with given motives, and therefore with perfect necessity. The intellect can do nothing more than illuminate the nature of the motifs from all sides and sharply; but he is not able to determine the will himself; since this is completely inaccessible to him, and even, as we have seen, inexplicable.

Could a person, under the same circumstances, act one time this way, another time; so his will itself would have to have changed in the meantime and therefore lie in the time, since only in this change is possible: but then either the will would have to be a mere appearance, or the time would have to be a determination of the thing in itself. Accordingly, that dispute about the freedom of the individual doing, about that liberum arbitrium indifferentiae, actually to the question of whether the will lies in the time or not. Is it, as both Kant's doctrine and my entire presentation make necessary, as a thing-in-itself, apart from time and every form of the principle of reason; not only does the individual in the same situation always have to act in the same way, and not only every evil act must be the firm guarantee for innumerable others who perform it got to and not let can; but, as Kant says, if only the empirical character and motives were given in full, man's behavior could be calculated for the future, like a solar or lunar eclipse. As nature is consistent, so is character: every single action must be according to it, just as every phenomenon is according to natural law: the cause In the last case and the motive in the first are only the occasional causes, as shown in the second book. The will, whose appearance is the whole being and life of man, cannot be denied in individual cases, and what man wants as a whole, he will always want in detail. [367]

The assertion of an empirical freedom of will, one liberi arbitrii indifferentiae, is closely related to the fact that the essence of human beings can be transformed into a soul put that originally one discerning, actually an abstract one thinking Essence would be and only in consequence also a wantingthat the will of a secondary nature was made instead of, in truth, knowledge being this. The will was even regarded as an act of thought and identified with judgment, especially in Cartesius and Spinoza. According to this, every person would be what he is only as a result of himself Knowledge become: he would come into the world as a moral zero, recognize things in this, and resolve on them. To be such or such, to act one way or the other, could also, as a result of new knowledge, adopt a new mode of action, thus become another again. Furthermore, he would first of all recognize a thing as good and then want it from it; instead of having it first want and in consequence of it Well is called. According to my whole basic view, all that is a reversal of the true relationship. The will is the first and original, the knowledge merely added, belonging to the appearance of the will, as an instrument of it. Every man is therefore what he is through his will, and his character is original; because willing is the basis of his being. Through the added knowledge he learns what he is in the course of experience, i.e. he gets to know his character. He recognizes thus in consequence and in accordance with the nature of his will; instead of, according to the old view, want in consequence and in accordance with his knowledge. After this he should only think about how he would like to be, and he would be: that is her free will. So it actually consists in the fact that man is his own work, in the light of knowledge. I, on the other hand, say: he is his own work before all knowledge, and this is only added to illuminate it. That is why he cannot decide to be such or such, nor can he become another; but he is, once and for all, and gradually realizes what it is. With those want he what he knows; with me recognizes he what he wants.

The Greeks called the character êthos and its utterances, i.e. the customs êthê but this word comes from [368] ethos'Habit: they chose it to express the constancy of character metaphorically through the constancy of habit. To gar êthos apo tou ethous echei tên epônymian. êthikê gar kaleitai dia to ethizesthai (a vocce ethos, i.e. consuetudo, êthos est appellatum: ethica ergo dicta est apo tou ethizesthai, sive from assuescendo)says Aristotle (Eth.magna, I, 6, p. 1186, and Eth. Eud., S. 1220, and Eth. Nic., P. 1103, ed. Ber.). Stobaeus states: hoi de kata Zênôna tropikôs; êthos esti pêgê biou, aph 'hês hai kata meros praxeis reousi (Stoici autem, Zenonis castra sequentes, metaphorice ethos definiunt vitae fontem, e quo singulae manant actiones.) II, Chap. 7. - In the Christian doctrine of the faith we find the dogma of predestination, as a consequence of the choice of grace and choice of injustice (Rom. 9, 11-24), evidently arising from the insight that man does not change; but his life and change, i.e. Its empirical character is only the development of the intelligible, the development of decisive, unchangeable dispositions that can already be recognized in the child, therefore, as it were, its change is already determined at birth and remains essentially the same until the end. We also agree with this; But of course the consequences which arose from the union of this very correct insight with the dogmas found in the Jewish doctrine of the faith and which now gave the greatest difficulty, the eternally indissoluble Gordian knot, around which the vast majority of the disputes of the church are, I do not accept represent; since even the apostle Paul himself hardly succeeded in doing this through his parable of the potter set up for this purpose: for then the result would ultimately be none other than:


“Fear the gods

The human race!

You hold the rule

In eternal hands:

And can use them

As you like it. - «[369]


But such considerations are actually alien to our subject. Rather, it will now be useful to discuss the relation between character and cognition, in which all its motives lie.

Since the motives which determine the appearance of the character, or the action, act on him through the medium of knowledge, but knowledge is changeable, often fluctuates back and forth between error and truth, but as a rule always in the progress of life more is corrected, to be sure, to very different degrees; in this way a person's way of acting can be noticeably changed without one being entitled to infer a change in his character. What man really and generally wants, the striving for his innermost being and the goal he pursues according to it, we can never change this through external influence on him, through instruction: otherwise we could transform him. Seneka says splendidly: velle non discitur; preferring truth to his stoics, who taught didaktên einai tên aretên (doceri posse virtutem). The will can be influenced from the outside through motives alone. But these can never change the will itself: for they themselves have power over it only on the condition that it is exactly what it is. So all they can do is change the direction of his striving, i.e. make him look for what he is invariably looking for in a different way than before. Therefore instruction, improved knowledge, i.e. influence from outside, can indeed teach him that he erred in the means, and can accordingly make him strive for the goal, which he, according to his inner being, strives for once, in a completely different way even pursue in a completely different object than before: but it can never make him want something really different from what he has wanted up to now; but this remains unchangeable, for it is only this willing itself, which otherwise would have to be canceled. The former meanwhile, the modifiability of knowledge and thereby of doing, goes so far that it seeks to achieve its always unchangeable purpose, for example it is Muhammad's paradise, one time in the real world, another time in an imaginary world, the means afterwards measuring and therefore the first [370] time using wisdom, violence and deceit, the other time abstinence, justice, alms, and a pilgrimage to Mecca. His striving himself has not changed because of that, much less he himself. So even if his actions appear very different at different times, his will has remained exactly the same. Velle non discitur.

In order for the motifs to be effective, it is not only necessary that they exist, but also that they be recognized: for, according to a very good expression of the scholastics already mentioned, causa finalis movet non secundum suum esse realle; sed secundum esse cognitum. In order, for example, for the relationship which egoism and pity have for one another to emerge in a given person, it is not sufficient for the same person to have some wealth and see other people's misery; he must also know what can be done with wealth, both for himself and for others; and not only must strange suffering present itself to him, but he must also know what suffering, but also what enjoyment, is. Perhaps on a first occasion he did not know all this as well as on a second; and if he now acts differently on the same occasion, it is only because the circumstances were actually different, namely according to the part that depends on his knowledge of them, even if they seem to be the same. - Just as the ignorance of really existing circumstances robs them of their effectiveness, so on the other hand quite imaginary circumstances can have the same effect as real ones, not only in the case of a single deception, but also as a whole and in the long term. If, for example, a person is firmly persuaded that every benefit he will be rewarded a hundredfold in the future life; so such a conviction applies and works completely like a sure change in the very long term, and he can give out of egoism just as he would take from egoism with another insight. He has not changed: velle non discitur. In virtue of this great influence of knowledge on action with an unchangeable will, it happens that character develops gradually and its various traits emerge. Hence it shows itself differently in every age, and a violent, wild youth can be followed by a sedate, moderate, masculine age. In particular, the evil of character will emerge ever more powerfully with [371] time; Sometimes, however, passions to which one yielded in youth are later voluntarily restrained, merely because the opposite motives have only now come into our knowledge. Hence we are all innocent at first, which simply means that neither we nor others know the evil of our own nature: it only emerges in the motives, and only with time do the motives come into knowledge. In the end we get to know ourselves as completely different, as what we ourselves are for a priori stopped, and then we are often frightened at ourselves.

Repentance never arises from the fact that (which is impossible) the will, but from the fact that knowledge has changed. The essentials and essentials of what I have ever wanted, I also have to want: because I myself am this will, which lies outside of time and change. I can therefore never regret what I wanted, but what I have done; because, guided by wrong concepts, I did something other than what was according to my will. The insight into this, with more correct knowledge, is this Repentance. This does not extend merely to the prudence of life, the choice of means, and the judgment of the appropriateness of the end to my actual will; but also on what is actually ethical. For example, I may have acted more egotistically than is appropriate to my character, misled by exaggerated ideas of the hardship I myself was in, or also of the cunning, falsehood, malice of others, or also by being hasty, that is, without Consideration acted, definitely, not through in abstracto clearly recognized, but through merely vivid motifs, through the impression of the present and through the affect which it aroused and which was so strong that I did not really have the use of my reason; The return of consciousness is then only corrected knowledge, from which repentance can arise, which is then always revealed by making good what has happened as far as possible. But it should be noted that in order to deceive oneself one prepares for apparent hastiness, which are actually secretly deliberate actions. For we do not deceive and flatter anyone with such subtle tricks as ourselves. The reverse case of what has been mentioned can also occur: I can trust others too well, or ignorance of the relative value of the goods of life, or any one abstract dogma, the belief in which I have now lost, tempt to act less selfishly than is appropriate to my character, and thereby make me repent of a different kind. So repentance is always corrected knowledge of the relation of the deed to the actual intention. - As the will, insofar as it reveals its ideas in space alone, that is, through the mere shape, which is already opposed by other ideas, here natural forces, and rarely the shape, which here strives for visibility, completely pure and clear, i.e. beautiful, lets emerge; The will that reveals itself in time, i.e. through actions, finds an analogous obstacle in knowledge, which seldom gives him the data quite correctly, as a result of which the deed does not turn out exactly according to the will and therefore prepares repentance. Repentance therefore always arises from corrected knowledge, not from the change of will, as which is impossible. Fear of conscience about what has been committed is nothing less than repentance, but pain about the knowledge of oneself in oneself, i.e. as will. It is based precisely on the certainty that one still has the same will. If he were changed and therefore the anxiety of conscience mere repentance, this would cancel itself out: for the past could then no longer arouse fear, since it represented the expressions of a will which would no longer be that of the repentant. We shall discuss in detail the importance of the fear of conscience below.

The influence which knowledge, as the medium of motives, does not have on the will itself, but on its emergence in actions, also establishes the main difference between the actions of men and those of animals, in that the modes of knowledge of both are different. The animal has only perceptible ideas, and man, through reason, also has abstract representations and concepts. Now, although animal and man are determined equally by the motives, man has a perfect one Voting decision ahead of the animal, which has often been regarded as a freedom of will in individual acts, although it is nothing other than the possibility of a thoroughly fought-out conflict between several motives, the stronger of which then necessarily determines it. [373] To do this, the motifs must have assumed the form of abstract thoughts; because only by means of this a real deliberation, i.e. weighing up opposing reasons for action, is possible.In the case of the animal the choice can only be between clearly present motifs, which is why it is restricted to the narrow sphere of its present, intuitive apprehension. Hence the necessity of determining the will through the motive, which is the same as that of the effect through the cause, can only be vividly and directly represented in animals, because here the spectator also has the motives as immediately before his eyes as their effect; while with man the motives are almost always abstract ideas, of which the spectator does not share, and even for the agent himself the necessity of their action is hidden behind their conflict. Because only in abstracto Several ideas, as judgments and chains of conclusions, can lie next to each other in consciousness and then act against each other free of any time determination, until the stronger overcomes the others and determines the will. This is the perfect one Voting decision, or ability to deliberate, which man has over animals, and on account of which he has been assigned free will, assuming that his will is a mere result of the operations of the intellect, without any particular instinct serving as its basis; while, in truth, the motivation works only on the basis and under the premise of his particular drive, which is individual with him, i.e. a character. A more detailed account of that capacity for deliberation and the difference it brings about between human and animal arbitrariness can be found in the "Two Basic Problems of Ethics" (1st edition, pp. 35 ff.), To which I refer here. Incidentally, this ability of man to deliberate is also one of the things that make his existence so much more torturous than that of the animal; how, in general, our greatest pains do not lie in the present, as graphic representations or immediate feeling: but in reason, as abstract concepts, tormenting thoughts from which the animal, which lives only in the present and therefore in enviable carelessness, is completely free. [374]

The dependency of the human capacity for deliberation on the capacity for thinking in abstracto, thus also of judgment and inference, it seems to have been what induced both Cartesius and Spinoza to identify the decisions of the will with the ability to affirm and deny (power of judgment), from which Cartesius deduced that the with him indifferently free, the will is also to blame for all theoretical error: Spinoza, on the other hand, that the will is necessarily determined by the motives, as the judgment is necessarily determined by the reasons; 81 which the latter, incidentally, is correct, but as a true conclusion from false premises occurs. -

The proven difference in the way the animal is, by which the motive moves the human being, extends its influence on the essence of both very far and contributes most to the radical and obvious difference between the existence of the two. While the animal is always motivated by a vivid idea, man strives to completely exclude this type of motivation and to allow himself to be determined solely by abstract ideas, whereby he uses his prerogative of reason to the greatest possible advantage and, regardless of the present, does not choose or flee the temporary pleasure or pain, but consider the consequences of both. In most cases, apart from the very insignificant actions, we are determined by abstract, imaginary motives, not present impressions. Therefore every single privation is fairly easy for us at the moment, but every renunciation is terribly difficult: for the former only affects the passing present, but the latter the future and therefore includes innumerable privations, of which it is the equivalent. The cause of our pain, like our joy, is therefore mostly not in the real present; but only in abstract thoughts: it is these that often become unbearable to us, create torments, against which all the sufferings of animals are very small, since even our own physical pain is often not felt over them, yes, we do with violent spiritual sufferings cause us physical ones, merely in order to divert attention from those [375] to these: therefore, in the greatest spiritual pain, one pulls one's hair out, knocks out one's chest, tears one's face, rolls on the floor; all of which are really just a violent means of distraction from an unbearably falling thought. Precisely because mental pain, as the much greater one, makes it insensitive to physical pain, it becomes very easy for the desperate person or one consumed by pathological displeasure to commit suicide, even if earlier, in a comfortable state, he shrank from the thought of it. At the same time, worry and passion, that is, the thought game, rub the body more often and more than the physical complaints. In accordance with this, Epiktetus rightly says: Tarassei tous anthrôtous ou ta pragmata, allata peri tôn pragmatôn dogmata (Perturbant homines non res ipsae, sed de rebus decreta) (V.) and Seneka: Plura sunt, quae nos terrent, quam quae premunt, et saepius opinione quam re laboramus (Ep.5). Eulenspiegel, too, satirized human nature excellently, laughing as he went uphill, but wept as he went downhill. Yes, children who are hurt often do not cry over the pain, but only when one complains about them, over the thought of pain that is aroused by it. Such great differences in action and in suffering flow from the difference in animal and human modes of knowledge. Furthermore, the emergence of the clear and decided individual character, which mainly distinguishes man from the animal, which is almost exclusively of a species, is also conditioned by the choice between several motifs, which is possible only by means of abstract concepts. For it is only after a previous choice that the decisions that come out differently in different individuals are a sign of their individual character, which is different for everyone; while the action of the animal depends only on the presence or absence of the impression, provided that it is at all a motive for its species. Hence, finally, in a person only the decision, but not the mere wish, is a valid sign of his character, for himself and for others. The decision, however, becomes certain through the deed alone, for himself as well as for others. The wish is merely a necessary consequence of the present impression, be it of the external stimulus or of the internal temporary mood, and is therefore as immediately necessary and without consideration as the action of animals: hence, just like this, it merely expresses the character of the species from, not the individual, that is, merely indicates what man at all, not what the desire-feeling individual would be able to do. The act alone, because it, even as a human act, always requires a certain consideration, and because as a rule man is able to use his reason, that is, he decides according to thought, abstract motives, is the expression of the intelligible maxim of his action , the result of his innermost will, and presents itself as a letter to the word that denotes its empirical character, which is itself only the temporal expression of its intelligible character. Therefore, with a healthy mind, only actions weigh on the conscience, not wishes and thoughts. For only our deeds hold up the mirror of our will to us. The deed already mentioned above, completely ill-considered and actually committed in a blind affect, is to a certain extent something intermediate between mere wish and decision: therefore it can be erased from our picture by true repentance, which, however, also shows itself as an act, like a marked line Will which is our résumé. Incidentally, as a strange simile, the remark that the relation between wish and deed has a quite accidental but exact analogy with that between electrical distribution and electrical communication may find its place here.

As a result of this overall consideration of the freedom of the will and what relates to it, although the will is to be called free, indeed omnipotent in itself and apart from the appearance, it is found in its individual phenomena illuminated by knowledge, i.e. in people and animals, determined by motives, to which the character always reacts in the same way, lawfully and necessarily. We see human beings, by virtue of the added abstract or rational knowledge, as one Voting decision ahead of the animal, but which only makes it a battleground for the conflict of motives without depriving it of its dominion, and therefore, it is true, determines the possibility of the perfect expression of the individual character, but in no way as freedom of individual will, that is, independence of the law of causality, the necessity of which extends over man as over every other phenomenon. The difference which reason, or knowledge by means of concepts, brings about between human will and animal will goes up to the point given, and no further. But what completely different phenomenon of the human will, which is impossible in animals, can emerge when man abandons the entire knowledge of individual things as such, subject to the principle of reason, and through knowledge of the ideas this principium individuationis see through, where then a real emergence of the actual freedom of the will as a thing-in-itself becomes possible, through which the appearance enters into a certain contradiction with itself, which the word self-denial denotes, and ultimately the in-itself of its essence cancels itself; - This real and only immediate expression of the freedom of will in itself, even in appearance, cannot yet be clearly represented here, but will ultimately be the subject of our consideration.

But after we have become clear, through the present debates, the immutability of the empirical character, as which is the mere unfolding of the extraterritorial intelligible, as well as the necessity with which the actions emerge from its coincidence with the motives: we have one first of all To eliminate a conclusion which could very easily be drawn from it in favor of the reprehensible tendencies. Namely, since our character is to be seen as the temporal development of an extra-temporal and therefore indivisible and unchangeable act of will, or of an intelligible character, by which everything essential, i.e. the ethical content of our way of life, is invariably determined and accordingly in its appearance, the empirical character , while only the inessential part of this phenomenon, the external form of our life course, depends on the forms under which the motifs are presented; one might conclude that it would be futile to work on improving one's character, [378] or to resist the violence of evil inclinations; hence it would be more advisable to submit to the unchangeable and to submit to every inclination, be it evil, immediately to agree. But it has exactly the same connection here as with the theory of inevitable fate, and the conclusion drawn from it agros logos, more recently a belief in the Turks, whose correct refutation, as Chrysippus is said to have given, is presented by Cicero in the book de fato, Chap. 12, 13.

For although everything can be regarded as irrevocably predetermined by fate, this is only possible by means of the chain of causes. Hence in no case can it be certain that an effect occurs without its cause. So it is not the event per se that is predetermined, but the same as the success of preceding causes: thus not the success alone, but also the means, as the success of which it is destined to occur, is determined by fate. If the means do not occur, then certainly not the success: Both always after the determination of the fate, which we always only learn afterwards.

As events always correspond to fate, that is, to the endless chain of causes, so will our deeds always turn out according to our intelligible character; but just as we do not know that beforehand, we also have no insight a priori given in these; but only a posterioriThrough experience we get to know ourselves like others. Did the intelligible character mean that we could only come to a good decision after a long struggle against an evil tendency; so this struggle must be preceded and awaited. The reflection on the immutability of character, on the unity of the source from which all our deeds flow, must not mislead us into anticipating the decision of character in favor of one part or the other: in the decision that takes place we shall see what kind we are, and we are reflected in our deeds. This explains the satisfaction, or the anguish of the soul, with which we look back on the path of life we ​​have covered: Both do not come from the fact that those past deeds still had an existence: they have passed, were and now nothing more; but their great importance for us comes from their importance, [379] because these acts are the imprint of character, the mirror of the will, in which, looking, we recognize our innermost self, the core of our will. Because we do not experience this beforehand, but only afterwards, it is up to us to strive and fight in time so that the image that we create through our actions turns out to be such that the sight of it calms us down as much as possible, not frightens us . But the significance of such calming down, or anguish of the soul, will, as said, be examined further below. On the other hand, the following consideration, which exists in itself, belongs here.

In addition to the intelligible and the empirical character, a third, different from the two, should be mentioned, the acquired characterwhich one only receives in life, through world usage, and which is spoken of when one is praised as a person who has character or criticized as having no character. - One might think that, since the empirical character, as a phenomenon of the intelligible, is unchangeable and, like every natural phenomenon, consistent in itself, man, too, must therefore always appear equal and consistent to himself and therefore not have to go through Experience and reflection to artificially acquire a character. But that is different, and although one is always the same, one does not understand oneself at all times, but often misunderstands oneself until one has acquired the actual self-knowledge to a certain extent. The empirical character, as a mere natural instinct, is in itself unreasonable: yes, its utterances are also disturbed by reason, and the more so, the more prudence and power of thought a person has. Because they always tell him what to humans in general, as a species character, and is possible in willing as well as in performance. This makes it difficult for him to gain insight into that which he alone wants and is able to do with everything by virtue of his individuality. He finds in himself the predispositions for all, however different human strivings and forces; but the various degrees of this in his individuality do not become clear to him without experience: and if he now reaches for the endeavors that are solely in accordance with his character, he nevertheless feels, especially in individual moments and moods, the stimulus for precisely opposite ones, incompatible with it, which, if he wants to pursue the former undisturbed, must be completely suppressed. Because, just as our physical path on earth is always only a line, not a surface; so in life, if we want to grasp and own one thing, we have to abandon innumerable other things, right and left, renouncing. Can we not make up our minds to do so, but reach out, like children at the fair, for everything that appeals to us in passing; then this is the wrong endeavor to transform the line of our path into a surface: we then zigzag, wander back and forth and get nowhere. Or, to use another parable, how, according to Hobbes' doctrine of law, originally everyone has a right to every thing, but not an exclusive right to any one; the latter, however, can attain to individual things by renouncing his right to all others, whereas the others do the same with regard to what he has chosen; It is just like that in life where we can pursue any particular endeavor, be it for enjoyment, honor, wealth, science, art, or virtue, with seriousness and happiness only when we all give up claims that are alien to it renounce everything else. That is why the mere willing and also the ability in itself is not sufficient, but a person must also knowledgewhat he wants and knowledgewhat he can: only in this way will he show character, and only then can he accomplish something right.Before he gets there, regardless of the natural consequence of his empirical character, he is characterless, and although on the whole he must remain true to himself and follow his path, drawn by his demon; so he will not describe a straight line, but a trembling, uneven line, sway, deviate, turn around, cause remorse and pain: all because he sees so much, both large and small, as possible and attainable for humans, and I do not yet know what of it is suitable for him alone and can be carried out, yes, also only palatable to him. He will therefore envy some people for a situation and circumstances that are only appropriate to their character, not his, and in which he would feel unhappy, probably not even be able to endure it. For just as the fish is only comfortable in the water, the bird only in the air, the mole only under the ground, so is every human being only in an atmosphere that is appropriate for him; how, for example, the air in the courtyard is not respirable to everyone. For lack of sufficient insight into all this, many will make all sorts of unsuccessful attempts, will inflict violence on their character in detail, and yet have to give in to it again as a whole: and what they so laboriously achieve, contrary to their nature, will give them no enjoyment; what he learns in this way will remain dead; nay, even from an ethical point of view, an act which arises from a concept, a dogma and is too noble for its character, will lose all merit through subsequent selfish repentance, even in his own eyes. Velle non discitur