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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

consciousness

Believing that they possess consciousness, men have not exerted themselves very much to acquire it; and things haven't changed much in this respect. To this day the task of incorporating knowledge and making it instinctive is only beginning to dawn on the human eye and is not yet clearly discernible; it is a task that is seen only by those who have comprehended that so far we have incorporated only our errors and that all our consciousness relates to errors.

Nietzsche The Gay Science §11

3 comments:

Charlie H said...

Only? All? I wonder if that can be true.

Mike said...

"Believing that they possess consciousness, men have not exerted themselves very much to acquire it; and things haven't changed much in this respect." That part seems true to me and the importance of the task of incorporating knowledge but the rest seems sketchy to me as well.

Sometimes Nietzsche thinks no one else has ever seen things that he's seen (or at least the way he sees them).

"I hold up before myself the images of Dante and Spinoza, who were better at accepting the lot of solitude. Of course, their way of thinking, compared to mine, was one which made solitude bearable; and in the end, for all those who somehow still had a 'God' for company, what I experience as 'solitude' really did not yet exist. My life now consists in the wish that it might be otherwise with all things than I comprehend, and that somebody might make my 'truths' appear incredible to me."*

Don't you know? He's not a man, he's dynamite ;) .

Mike said...

But also, scientific truth is counter intuitive generally and that has some bearing on the validity of "all" and "only" I'd imagine.