89

Vanity. We care about the good opinion of others first because it is profitable, and then because we want to give others joy (children want to give joy to their parents, pupils to their teachers, men of good will to all other men). Only when someone holds the good opinion of others to be .important without regard to his interests or his wish to give joy, do we speak of vanity. In this case, the man wants to give joy to himself, but at the expense of his fellow men, in that he either misleads them to a false opinion about himself or aims at a degree of "good opinion" that would have to cause them all pain (by arousing their envy). Usually the individual wants to confirm the opinion he has of himself through the opinion of others and strengthen it in his own eyes; but the mighty habituation to authority (which is as old as man) also leads many to base their own belief in themselves upon authority, to accept it only from the hand of others. They trust other people's powers of judgment more than their own.
In the vain man, interest in himself, his wish to please himself, reaches such a peak that he misleads others to assess him wrongly, to overvalue him greatly, and then he adheres to their authority; that is, he brings about the error and then believes in it.
One must admit, then, that vain men want to please not only others, but also themselves, and that they go so far as to neglect their own interests thereby; for they are often concerned to make their fellow men ill-disposed, hostile, envious, and thus destructive toward them, only for the sake of having pleasure in themselves, self-enjoyment.

Friedrich Nietzsche - Human, All Too Human
Section Two: On the History of Moral Feelings - Aphorism # 89

« Prev - Random - Next »

 




* Please Register to be able to comment or take notes.
Notes/comments will be displayed on your personal profile page.
There you can keep them private (= default) or make them public.

Please Rate this Quote:
  • Currently 0.00/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 0.0 out of 0 votes

Share on/Post to Facebook