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Eristische Dialektik oder die Kunst, Recht zu behalten / eBook (German Edition)

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Wie man mit dialektischen Kniffen Recht behält, ohne Recht haben zu müssen. Noch nie war Philosophie so praktisch.


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Wie man mit dialektischen Kniffen Recht behält, ohne Recht haben zu müssen. Noch nie war Philosophie so praktisch.

30 review for Eristische Dialektik oder die Kunst, Recht zu behalten / eBook (German Edition)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Die Kunst, Recht zu beleidigen = The art of always being right: thirty eight ways to win when you are defeated ..., Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860) The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (Die Kunst, Recht zu beleidigen, 1831) is an acidulous and sarcastic treatise written by the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in sardonic deadpan. In it, Schopenhauer examines a total of thirty-eight methods of showing up one's opponent in a debate. He introduces his essay with the idea that p Die Kunst, Recht zu beleidigen = The art of always being right: thirty eight ways to win when ‭you are defeated ..., Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860)‬ The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (Die Kunst, Recht zu beleidigen, 1831) is an acidulous and sarcastic treatise written by the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in sardonic deadpan. In it, Schopenhauer examines a total of thirty-eight methods of showing up one's opponent in a debate. He introduces his essay with the idea that philosophers have concentrated in ample measure on the rules of logic, but have not (especially since the time of Immanuel Kant) engaged with the darker art of the dialectic, of controversy. Whereas the purpose of logic is classically said to be a method of arriving at the truth, dialectic, says Schopenhauer, "...on the other hand, would treat of the intercourse between two rational beings who, because they are rational, ought to think in common, but who, as soon as they cease to agree like two clocks keeping exactly the same time, create a disputation, or intellectual contest." تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سی ام ماه سپتامبر سال 2007 میلادی عنوان: هنر همیشه بر حق بودن: 38 راه برای پیروزی در هنگامی که شکست خورده اید؛ اثر: آرتور شوپنهاور؛ مقدمه: ای.سی. گریلینگ؛ مترجم: عرفان ثابتی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، ققنوس،چاپ نخست 1385، در 136 ص، شابک: 9643116352، 9789643116354؛ چاپ هفتم 1392، موضوع: دیالکتیک، منطق نویسندگان سده 19 م به گمانم بهترین راهنمای مناظره کنندگان حرفه ای باشد، راههایی به خوانشگر میآموزد تا راست را چگونه ناراست جلوه دهد، و بیاراید، اما حاصل اندیشه ای ناب است. ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hadrian

    This trick consists in making your opponent angry; for when he is angry he is incapable of judging aright, and perceiving where his advantage lies. You can make him angry by doing him repeated injustice, or practicing some kind of chicanery, and being generally insolent. This deadpan discussion of the finer points of rhetoric clearly enjoys a wide reach, even if few are familiar with the title. Its clear influence are nearly every person who comments on Youtube, your high school classmates on Fac This trick consists in making your opponent angry; for when he is angry he is incapable of judging aright, and perceiving where his advantage lies. You can make him angry by doing him repeated injustice, or practicing some kind of chicanery, and being generally insolent. This deadpan discussion of the finer points of rhetoric clearly enjoys a wide reach, even if few are familiar with the title. Its clear influence are nearly every person who comments on Youtube, your high school classmates on Facebook, people who want to start bar fights, that uncle you only see on Thanksgiving who smells funny and nobody really wants to sit next to, and about ninety percent of everything said on television during the midterm elections. Schopenhauer's treatise avoids most discussion on the philosophy of logic, saying that those ideas are long exhausted, and that it is necessary to engage in the art of rhetoric, which is in more common use. Some of the tactics discussed here include interrupting your opponent before he is about to win, using absurd propositions, associating his beliefs with some evil (today we can call this the argumentam ad Hitlerum), misinterpreting his arguments, evading his conclusions by asking multiple questions, using anecdotes to disprove larger assertions, questioning his motives for such an argument, and - this is most often the 'winner' - insulting him directly. You can try these arguments on your friends, but be careful that you don't run out of tricks before you run out of friends.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    I miss reading in Spanish, and I miss philosophy even more.

  4. 4 out of 5

    pearl

    Hilarious, insightful, and incredibly relevant. (And what of course is the Ultimate Stratagem to win 'em all? Become personal, insulting, and rude! Troll, my boys and girls, troll!)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    One can discover things in the most unusual ways! While reading some comments on Paul Krugman's blog in The New York Times, one of those commenting mentioned this book and how prescient it's proved when it comes to arguments on Fox News and the right-wing blogs. Well, who could resist an invitation like that? German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer amused himself with jotting down the nasty argumentative techniques he observed and recounting them in a satirical fashion, presumably for his personal One can discover things in the most unusual ways! While reading some comments on Paul Krugman's blog in The New York Times, one of those commenting mentioned this book and how prescient it's proved when it comes to arguments on Fox News and the right-wing blogs. Well, who could resist an invitation like that? German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer amused himself with jotting down the nasty argumentative techniques he observed and recounting them in a satirical fashion, presumably for his personal enjoyment, as they weren't published in his lifetime. Thomas Bailey Saunders translated the work into English in February 1896. The work isn't laugh-out-loud funny -- although you wouldn't expect that from Schopenhauer anyway. It's worth a read, and it really does chronicle all of the techniques you've seen on The O'Reilly Factor and on whatever Sean Hannity is calling his show these days. At a mere 48 pages, it's certain worth a read. Amazing to discover that nothing is new under the sun -- not even 21st century bread and circuses.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sunil

    Herr Schopenhauer is the master of understanding a conflict; its- versions, progression and the knack of its decimation. This book makes a wonderful complement for his other book The art of always being Right. If you are sort of a being who would consider yourself philosophically inclined, you should not let go of the wisdom in both these books. They would, if understood rightly and applied aptly, come most handy in feverish University debates to Boardroom meetings than any other self help nonse Herr Schopenhauer is the master of understanding a conflict; its- versions, progression and the knack of its decimation. This book makes a wonderful complement for his other book The art of always being Right. If you are sort of a being who would consider yourself philosophically inclined, you should not let go of the wisdom in both these books. They would, if understood rightly and applied aptly, come most handy in feverish University debates to Boardroom meetings than any other self help nonsense that would be found floating around out there. The only drawback being, most of it has to be used when people are reasonable; unfortunately in most disagreements, people become unreasonable. PS- Philosophically inclined would presuppose basic understanding of premises and schools; not Bachs, Coelho, Pirsigs. Thanks.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jay Miklovic

    I am not sure if it was Schopenhauer's intention or not, but this quickly little read was humorous. Having just read a few books about logical fallacies in which the authors expressed disdain toward bad logic, this book came as a fresh treatise from the other side. Schopenhauer teaches you how to use logical fallacy to win your argument regardless of whether or not truth is on your side. Anyway, it was fun to read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good argument. However, be careful I am not sure if it was Schopenhauer's intention or not, but this quickly little read was humorous. Having just read a few books about logical fallacies in which the authors expressed disdain toward bad logic, this book came as a fresh treatise from the other side. Schopenhauer teaches you how to use logical fallacy to win your argument regardless of whether or not truth is on your side. Anyway, it was fun to read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good argument. However, be careful putting too much of this book into practice or you will quickly become one of the most annoying people on the face of the planet.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Thanks to the great explanatory notes in the edition I read, I was able to understand that this was a work of irony, sarcasm, and possibly vengeance. Even though I know almost nothing about Schopenhauer, I tried to imagine each point of advice he gave (in 1831?)as an example of a specific argument with an opponent. He apparently often "lost" arguments in the view of others (in articles reporting them, perhaps) when in his view, the accuracy and truth of his argument had not been assailed at all. Thanks to the great explanatory notes in the edition I read, I was able to understand that this was a work of irony, sarcasm, and possibly vengeance. Even though I know almost nothing about Schopenhauer, I tried to imagine each point of advice he gave (in 1831?)as an example of a specific argument with an opponent. He apparently often "lost" arguments in the view of others (in articles reporting them, perhaps) when in his view, the accuracy and truth of his argument had not been assailed at all. It made me a little sad, to imagine a person spending his entire life trying to talk to people who kept using these dirty tricks against him. I think it would be more interesting to people studying heuristics or debate.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rafael Bandeira

    I got this book as a recommendation from my boss, and I must say, it was a good recommendation. There are 38 tactics, mixing how to do it and how to protect from it, to be used in an argumentation and that will certainly help to put you on the right spot to win over any discussion. Some philosophy knowledge is required, at least to understand the basic idea of dialectics and the difference between terms like "subjective", "relative", "imperative", "objective", etc. This might seem straight forward I got this book as a recommendation from my boss, and I must say, it was a good recommendation. There are 38 tactics, mixing how to do it and how to protect from it, to be used in an argumentation and that will certainly help to put you on the right spot to win over any discussion. Some philosophy knowledge is required, at least to understand the basic idea of dialectics and the difference between terms like "subjective", "relative", "imperative", "objective", etc. This might seem straight forward, but I had to do some research before really understanding the book. Also, make sure you got a paper and pencil next to you. This is not simply reading, this book is for studying.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Turkel Afandiyev

    If you enjoy debating or you're one of those types who gets into all types of arguments after 5 bottles of beer, this "Book of Tricks" can be useful for you. Even if the book lacks comparisons and some of the tricks shown are obsolete or already very well-known, it still can make you even a better debater.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Noura Eljerbi

    States the obvious, with persuasive techniques. The examples are also vague. Download at your own risk of a serious disappointment.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Awais Iqbal

    Schopenhauer was widely influenced by the ideas of Immanuel Kant, Plato and Goethe. Plato argued in The Republic, “you have to be familiar with the ways of the thieves and thugs if you desire to protect your people from the criminals”. Similarly, Kant argues that “the rightness or wrongness of an action cannot be judged by its consequences, rather by the criterion whether it serves the cause or not”. Schopenhauer accepts that debates should solely be in the pursuit of truth, knowledge and gainin Schopenhauer was widely influenced by the ideas of Immanuel Kant, Plato and Goethe. Plato argued in The Republic, “you have to be familiar with the ways of the thieves and thugs if you desire to protect your people from the criminals”. Similarly, Kant argues that “the rightness or wrongness of an action cannot be judged by its consequences, rather by the criterion whether it serves the cause or not”. Schopenhauer accepts that debates should solely be in the pursuit of truth, knowledge and gaining a new perspective. But in similar fashion to Kant and Plato he states that debating for the pursuit of truth is not applicable in most situations because of the dishonest and innately vain nature of the human being. Therefore he then comes up with the tricks to refute the claims of the opponent. There is a sense of humor that amuses the reader every now and then but overall this part lacks continuity, genuineness and style. The examples are vague and most of the tricks are well known to whoever listens to the politicians speak or watch the news anchors implant their version of the truth in the minds of the masses...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mohamed

    Like the content but it really lacks good examples.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nick

    This was actually kind of entertaining, sarcastic, and funny. This is something approximating a modern text in the Sophist tradition, as it has mainly to do with rhetoric and persuasion at the expense of truth. That isn't to say that Schopenhauer abandoned concern for the truth when he wrote this, only that he felt that for the purpose of debate there was an element (rhetoric, style, persuasion) which was just as important as truth but which tended to be ignored by philosophers in favor of reaso This was actually kind of entertaining, sarcastic, and funny. This is something approximating a modern text in the Sophist tradition, as it has mainly to do with rhetoric and persuasion at the expense of truth. That isn't to say that Schopenhauer abandoned concern for the truth when he wrote this, only that he felt that for the purpose of debate there was an element (rhetoric, style, persuasion) which was just as important as truth but which tended to be ignored by philosophers in favor of reason, probably because of the mistaken assumption that people during philosophical conversations are rational and hold or abandon positions on a rational basis. He still believed that people were rational, or had the capacity to reason, but that the act of reasoning was separate from the action of discourse or dialectic. When you are talking with someone you surely notice how irrational both you and your partner are. If there is a disagreement your default assumption is that your partner is wrong and that you haven't made a mistake. If you are pierced by a solid argument you'll assume that you are probably still right but you just couldn't think of the counterpoint which would be your salvation at the time. You'll notice your opponent issuing forth the most obvious fallacies seemingly unaware of how transparently illogical they are, and if you have an audience you might also notice them being swayed by these fallacies. During debate, people are not really seeking truth. They are trying to preserve their vanity. There are many occasions when a proposition may even seem wrong to ourselves at some point, yet we will persist in defending it. This is the realm of intellectual combat which this book was written for. Some chapter headings include: "Generalize your Opponent's Specific Statements" "Interrupt, Break, Divert the Dispute" "Make Him Exaggerate his Statement" "Put His Thesis Into Some Odious Category" you get the idea. The book is a taxonomy of sophistic tricks. None of this has anything to do with truth, which requires careful, solitary, dispassionate contemplation and analysis. It only has to do with appearing as though you've won a debate. It might appear a little sleazy that Schopenhauer even wrote this, but a sage of equal vision can see that it is simply a guidebook to a natural part of human intellectual life which has its proper station under heaven. It would be absurd to give in too easily in a debate, because you are imperfect and it may well be that your opponent is more loquacious than you, or that you haven't remembered all the crucial arguments for this particular situation. It behoves you to throw as many wrenches as possible into the opposing argument to try to get them to expose a contradiction or a flaw, even if the wrenches you throw are ad hominem attacks. If you have blind faith in the validity of your own vanity and the hopelessness of your opponent's position, you may well come off the better for it, at least dialectically. Schopehauer doesn't go this far and even I hesitate to, but the following is the only relationship which dialectic has with truth: that in the process of dialectic each position is exploded (I use the explosion analogy rather than the dissection analogy, because of the disorder and clumsiness of the former) so that each party can see its innards, and later on in the shelter of a quiet study room can parse truth from falsehood in what was spoken.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sandro Mancuso

    This is the first time I’ve read Schopenhauer. Overall I enjoyed the book. The book is mostly about winning debates even if that means ignoring logic and reason. The book lists 38 tricks identified by the author that people use to defend their position or undermine other’s in order to win debates. The point of the book is not for you to use these tricks, but to identify when they are being used against you or are being used in any other debate you might be interested. Being aware of those tricks This is the first time I’ve read Schopenhauer. Overall I enjoyed the book. The book is mostly about winning debates even if that means ignoring logic and reason. The book lists 38 tricks identified by the author that people use to defend their position or undermine other’s in order to win debates. The point of the book is not for you to use these tricks, but to identify when they are being used against you or are being used in any other debate you might be interested. Being aware of those tricks allows you to deal with them in a way they don’t impact you on a debate. When people are committed to work together to discover the best possible outcome for a problem, non-confrontational discussions using logical arguments are the best approach. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. People are far more interested in being right than reaching a conclusion where logic and reason prevails. This book (written in 1831) describes many of the [bad] behaviours we see everyday in our increasingly polarised world. Certainly worth reading it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Daniel S

    "If you find that you are being worsted, you can make a diversion - that is, you can suddenly begin to talk of something else, as though it had a bearing on the matter in dispute, and afforded an argument against your opponent." "If you know that you have no reply to the arguments which your opponent advances, you may, by a fine stroke of irony, declare yourself to be an incompetent judge: "What you now say passes my poor powers of comprehension; it may be all very true, but I can't understand it "If you find that you are being worsted, you can make a diversion - that is, you can suddenly begin to talk of something else, as though it had a bearing on the matter in dispute, and afforded an argument against your opponent." "If you know that you have no reply to the arguments which your opponent advances, you may, by a fine stroke of irony, declare yourself to be an incompetent judge: "What you now say passes my poor powers of comprehension; it may be all very true, but I can't understand it, and I refrain from any expression of opinion on it". In this way you insinuate to the bystanders, with whom you are in good repute, that what your opponent says is nonsense." "A last trick is to become personal, insulting, rude, as soon as you perceive that your opponent has the upper hand, and that you are going to come off worst. It consists in passing from the subject of dispute, as from a lost game, to the disputant himself, and in some way attacking his person." "For example, should he defend suicide, you may at once exclaim, "Why don't you hang yourself?" In other words, everything is beautiful in which an idea is revealed; for to be In other words, beautiful means no more than clearly to express an idea Thus we perceive that beauty is always an affair of knowledge, and that it appeals to the knowing subject, and not to the will; nay, it is a fact that the apprehension of beauty on the part of the subject involves a complete suppression of the will." "Our whole life is no more than a magnified present, and in itself as fleeting." "When we are on a journey, and all kinds of remarkable objects press themselves on our attention, the intellectual food which we receive is often so large in amount that we have no time for digestion; and we regret that the impressions which succeed one another so quickly leave no permanent trace. But at bottom it is the same with travelling as with reading. How often do we complain that we cannot remember one thousandth part of what we read! In both cases, however, we may console ourselves with the reflection that the things we see and read make an impression on the mind before they are forgotten, and so contribute to its formation and nurture." "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players. Exactly! Independently of what a man really is in himself, he has a part to play, which fate has imposed upon him from without, by determining his rank, education, and circumstances. The most immediate application of this truth appears to me to be that in life, as on the stage, we must distinguish between the actor and his part."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jens

    Schopenhauer starts out by clearly distinguishing logic and dialectic, which has generally and historically not been done (clearly) before (he presents exerts of the work by Aristotle and Plato as examples) and then continues to present 38 "Kunstgriffe", i.e. tricks that can be used to outwit your opponent in a disputation on dialectic alone. The language used took me a while to get used to but then turned out to be rather precise and on the mark. All tricks discussed (and partially illustrated w Schopenhauer starts out by clearly distinguishing logic and dialectic, which has generally and historically not been done (clearly) before (he presents exerts of the work by Aristotle and Plato as examples) and then continues to present 38 "Kunstgriffe", i.e. tricks that can be used to outwit your opponent in a disputation on dialectic alone. The language used took me a while to get used to but then turned out to be rather precise and on the mark. All tricks discussed (and partially illustrated with examples) were rather intuitive and felt strangely familiar. I would not expect to become a master in public disputations just by reading through this book, but if you take it somewhat seriously you will be able to spot many of the tricks in popular events and disputations portrait especially in the media today. He closes his work with an old Arabic quote "the tree of silence bears the fruit of peace" and reminds the reader that there are only very few people who are actually worthy of a disputation. There are some tricks, which were discussed before in the book, that are only very difficult to 'attack' and after all, the dialectic as defined by Schopenhauer is not at all concerned with the logical and objective truth of the matter discussed but with making your 'opponent' look bad.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tehreem

    I haven't read any book particulary on this branch of philosophy i.e. Ethics. This was first for Ethics as well as for Schopenhauer. Quite a dangerous book it is. Jeopardizing thoughts, this books continously explicates logic, dialectic and eristic dialectic in specific. Dark sarcasm, and influential tone with numerous examples makes it even powerful. For art of debate this book contains 38 stratagems to win the argument. Schopenhauer says ' It would be a very good thing if every trick could rec I haven't read any book particulary on this branch of philosophy i.e. Ethics. This was first for Ethics as well as for Schopenhauer. Quite a dangerous book it is. Jeopardizing thoughts, this books continously explicates logic, dialectic and eristic dialectic in specific. Dark sarcasm, and influential tone with numerous examples makes it even powerful. For art of debate this book contains 38 stratagems to win the argument. Schopenhauer says ' It would be a very good thing if every trick could receive some short and obviously appropriate name, so that when a man used this or that particular trick, he could be at once reproached for it'. Very obviously there is a gargantuan range of winning ways to a losing debate.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Igo

    This is more like a very long essay than a short book but I liked it a lot. Basically Schopenhauer lists 30 odd 'Stratagems' used in arguing that are somewhere between perversions of logic or downright dishonesty. Think something like "Logical Fallacy Referee" meme in essay form, but sketching various forms that dishonest argumentation takes. By sketching the forms that many of these maneuvers take I think it allows you to recognize the patterns when you see them in the wild. They say that "know This is more like a very long essay than a short book but I liked it a lot. Basically Schopenhauer lists 30 odd 'Stratagems' used in arguing that are somewhere between perversions of logic or downright dishonesty. Think something like "Logical Fallacy Referee" meme in essay form, but sketching various forms that dishonest argumentation takes. By sketching the forms that many of these maneuvers take I think it allows you to recognize the patterns when you see them in the wild. They say that "knowing is half the battle" and if that's true then this book gets you halfway to winning any argument with someone who isn't exactly honest. I wish I'd read this book a month ago, or 10 years ago, but I'm very glad I have finally read it and I will read it again.

  20. 4 out of 5

    M Pereira

    Rhetoric after Frege is pointless. However, for anyone without a mathematics and formal logic background, this is a pretty good and accessible guide to understanding the principles of argumentation and getting your point across. Who is the right audience for a work like this? Anyone who is trying to be a good lawyer or arguing a point in a board meeting or committee I suspect. I love Schopenhauer's lucid writing, which could be a little bit more concise, but its eloquence makes it readable all t Rhetoric after Frege is pointless. However, for anyone without a mathematics and formal logic background, this is a pretty good and accessible guide to understanding the principles of argumentation and getting your point across. Who is the right audience for a work like this? Anyone who is trying to be a good lawyer or arguing a point in a board meeting or committee I suspect. I love Schopenhauer's lucid writing, which could be a little bit more concise, but its eloquence makes it readable all the same.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Stuart

    Classical debate techniques (classical, meaning from Greek logical forms and fallacies). Interesting book if you want to know how lawyers and other argumentative debaters try to win arguments without truth. Helpful, but only if you want to know how to parry such despicable tricks as the ad hominem, etc.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fr. Kyle

    Read via Librivox recording Interesting book on dialectic. He goes about it the wrong way, inasmuch as the dialectic itself is more important for him than actually finding out the truth. Ridiculous premise for a philosopher in my opinion.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    I mean, this is basically the single greatest self-help book ever written, so there's that.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Iris

    Wish I had read it much earlier in life...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adam McPhee

    It's kind of amazing to think that Schopenhauer wrote a book about winning arguments on the Internet in 1831. A must read for any aspiring troll.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nikos Koukis

    Not the most modern and open-minded approach when handling real meaningful conversations with people

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jacek Bartczak

    The great set of approaches about how we can win a discussion. Not each of them is ethical, but it is worth to know how we may be (even unconsciously) cheated. That book also shows how many aspects a discussion has and how loosely it may be connected with a logic and truth. I'm glad that book was written around 200 years ago - now probably it won't be published unless it has 300 pages instead of 65. Publishers would enrich essentials from the book with the scientific research or won't allow writ The great set of approaches about how we can win a discussion. Not each of them is ethical, but it is worth to know how we may be (even unconsciously) cheated. That book also shows how many aspects a discussion has and how loosely it may be connected with a logic and truth. I'm glad that book was written around 200 years ago - now probably it won't be published unless it has 300 pages instead of 65. Publishers would enrich essentials from the book with the scientific research or won't allow writing about some tip only once.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ioana

    it was just ok, that is all I have to say about it

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patty Hagar

    A fun dissection of argument strategy; though I may have been laughing when the author didn't mean to be funny and nodding in agreement when he,in fact, did.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cârmâz

    Sometimes, however, the lower animals entertain me much more than the average man. [...] It is not only that ordinary men have little to say, but what intellect they have puts them in the way of concealing and distorting it; and it is the necessity of practicing this concealment that gives them such a pitiable character; so that what they exhibit is not even the little that they have, but a mask and disguise. The lower animals, which have no reason, can conceal nothing; they are altogether naïve, Sometimes, however, the lower animals entertain me much more than the average man. [...] It is not only that ordinary men have little to say, but what intellect they have puts them in the way of concealing and distorting it; and it is the necessity of practicing this concealment that gives them such a pitiable character; so that what they exhibit is not even the little that they have, but a mask and disguise. The lower animals, which have no reason, can conceal nothing; they are altogether naïve, and therefore very entertaining, if we have only an eye for the kind of communications which they make. They speak not with words, but with shape and structure (...) Mark my words once for all, my dear friend, and be clever. Men are entirely self-centred, and incapable of looking at things objectively. If you had a dog and wanted to make him fond of you, and fancied that of your hundred rare and excellent characteristics the mongrel would be sure to perceive one, and that that would be sufficient to make him devoted to you body and soul — if, I say, you fancied that, you would be a fool. Pat him, give him something to eat; and for the rest, be what you please: he will not in the least care, but will be your faithful and devoted dog. Now, believe me, it is just the same with men — exactly the same. Men of no genius whatever cannot bear solitude: they take no pleasure in the contemplation of nature and the world. This arises from the fact that they never lose sight of their own will, and therefore they see nothing of the objects of the world but the bearing of such objects upon their will and person. With objects which have no such bearing there sounds within them a constant note: It is nothing to me, which is the fundamental base in all their music. Thus all things seem to them to wear a bleak, gloomy, strange, hostile aspect. It is only for their will that they seem to have any perceptive faculties at all; and it is, in fact, only a moral and not a theoretical tendency, only a moral and not an intellectual value, that their life possesses. The lower animals bend their heads to the ground, because all that they want to see is what touches their welfare, and they can never come to contemplate things from a really objective point of view. It is very seldom that unintellectual men make a true use of their erect position, and then it is only when they are moved by some intellectual influence outside them. If education or warning were of any avail, how could Seneca’s pupil be a Nero? (...) one man will look another in the face, with the impudent assurance that he will never see anything but a miserable resemblance of himself; and this is just what he will see, as he cannot grasp anything beyond it. Hence the bold way in which one man will contradict another. It is the curse of the genius that in the same measure in which others think him great and worthy of admiration, he thinks them small and miserable creatures. His whole life long he has to suppress this opinion; and, as a rule, they suppress theirs as well. Meanwhile, he is condemned to live in a bleak world, where he meets no equal, as it were an island where there are no inhabitants but monkeys and parrots. Moreover, he is always troubled by the illusion that from a distance a monkey looks like a man.

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