horrendum pudendum -> ugly shameful part, repellent shameful thing

spiros · 2 · 4518

spiros

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horrendum pudendum -> ugly shameful part, repellent shameful thing
« Last Edit: 08 Feb, 2010, 04:36:33 by spiros »


spiros

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The error of a false causality. Humans have always believed that they knew what a cause was; but how did we get this knowledge — or more precisely, our faith that we had this knowledge? From the realm of the famous "inner facts," of which not a single one has so far turned out to be true. We believe that we are the cause of our own will: we think that here at least we can see a cause at work. Nor did we doubt that all the antecedents of our will, its causes, were to be found in our own consciousness or in our personal "motives." Otherwise, we would not be responsible for what we choose to do. Who would deny that his thoughts have a cause, and that his own mind caused the thoughts?
Of these "inward facts" that seem to demonstrate causality, the primary and most persuasive one is that of the will as cause. The idea of consciousness ("spirit") or, later, that of the ego (the "subject") as a cause are only afterbirths: first the causality of the will was firmly accepted as proved, as a fact, and these other concepts followed from it.
But we have reservations about these concepts. Today we no longer believe any of this is true. The "inner world" is full of phantoms and illusions: the will being one of them. The will no longer moves anything, hence it does not explain anything — it merely accompanies events; it can also be completely absent. The so-called motives: another error. Merely a surface phenomenon of consciousness, something shadowing the deed that is more likely to hide the causes of our actions than to reveal them. And as for the ego ... that has become a fable, a fiction, a play on words! It has altogether ceased to think, feel, or will!
What follows from this? There are no mental causes at all. The whole of the allegedly empirical evidence for mental causes has gone out the window. That is what follows! And what a nice delusion we had perpetrated with this "empirical evidence;" we interpreted the real world as a world of causes, a world of wills, a world of spirits. The most ancient and enduring psychology was at work here: it simply interpreted everything that happened in the world as an act, as the effect of a will; the world was inhabited with a multiplicity of wills; an agent (a "subject") was slipped under the surface of events. It was out of himself that man projected his three most unquestioned "inner facts" — the will, the spirit, the ego. He even took the concept of being from the concept of the ego; he interpreted "things" as "being" in accordance with his concept of the ego as a cause. Small wonder that later he always found in things what he had already put into them. The thing itself, the concept of thing is a mere extension of the faith in the ego as cause. And even your atom, my dear materialists and physicists — how much error, how much rudimentary psychology still resides in your atom! Not to mention the "thing-in-itself," the horrendum pudendum of metaphysicians! The "spirit as cause" mistaken for reality! And made the very measure of reality! And called God!

Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols (Die Götzen-Dämmerung)




 

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