It strikes me that nowadays people everywhere are trying to direct their gaze away from the real influence which Kant exercised on German philosophy, that is, cleverly to slip away from the value which he ascribed to himself. Above everything else, Kant was first and foremost proud of his table of categories. With this table in hand, he said, "That is the most difficult thing that ever could be undertaken on behalf of metaphysics."- But people should understand this "could be"! He was proud of the fact that he had discovered a new faculty in human beings, the ability to make synthetic judgments a priori. Suppose that he deceived himself here. But the development and quick blood of German philosophy depend on this pride and on the competition among all his followers to discover, if possible, something even prouder - at all events "new faculties"! But let's think this over. It's time we did. "How are synthetic judgments a priori possible?" Kant asked himself. And what did his answer essentially amount to? Thanks to a faculty [Vermöge eines Vermögens]. However, unfortunately he did not answer in three words, but so labouriously, venerably, and with such an expenditure of German profundity and flourishes that people failed to hear the comical niaiserie allemande [German stupidity] inherent in such an answer. People even got really excited about this new faculty, and the rejoicing reached its height when Kant discovered yet another additional faculty - a moral faculty - in human beings, for then the Germans were still moral and not yet at all "political realists." Then came the honeymoon of German philosophy. All the young theologians of the Tubingen seminary went off right away into the bushes - all looking for "faculties." And what didn't they find - in that innocent, rich, still youthful time of the German spirit, in which Romanticism, that malicious fairy, played her pipes and sang, a time when people did not yet know how to distinguish between "finding" and "inventing"! Above all, a faculty for the "super-sensory." Schelling christened this intellectual contemplation and, in so doing, complied with the most heartfelt yearnings of his Germans, whose cravings were basically pious.9 - The most unfair thing we can do to this entire rapturously enthusiastic movement, which was adolescent, no matter how much it boldly dressed itself up in gray and antique ideas, is to take it seriously and treat it with something like moral indignation. Enough - people grew older - the dream flew away. There came a time when people rubbed their foreheads. People are still rubbing them today. They had dreamed: first and foremost - the old Kant. "By means of a faculty," he had said, or at least meant. But is that an answer? An explanation? Or is it not rather a repetition of the question? How does opium make people sleep? "By means of a faculty," namely, the virtus dormitiva [sleeping virtue], answered that doctor in Moliere.

Because it has the sleeping virtue

whose nature makes the senses sleep.10

But answers like that belong in comedy, and the time has finally come to replace the Kantian question "How are synthetic judgments a priori possible?" with another question, "Why is the belief in such judgments necessary?"- that is, to understand that for the purposes of preserving beings of our type we must believe that such judgments are true, although, of course, they could still be false judgments! Or to speak more clearly, crudely, and fundamentally: synthetic judgments a priori should not "be possible" at all: we have no right to them. In our mouths they are nothing but false judgments. Of course, it's true that a belief in their truth is necessary as a foreground belief and appearance which belong in the perspective optics of living. In order finally to recall the immense influence which "German philosophy"- you understand, I hope, its right to quotation marks?- has exercised throughout Europe, there should be no doubt that a certain virtus dormitiva [virtue of making people sleep] was a part of that: people - among them noble loafers, the virtuous, the mystics, artists, three-quarter Christians, and political obscurantists of all nations - were delighted to have, thanks to German philosophy, an antidote to the still overpowering sensuality which flowed over from the previous century into this one, in short - to have a "sensus assoupire " [way of putting the senses to sleep].

9. . . . Schelling : Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775-1854), a German philosopher.

10. . . . the senses sleep : Nietzsche quotes the Latin: "Quia est in eo virtus dormitiva/ Cujus est natura sensus assoupire."

Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil
Part I - Aphorism # 11

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