Logic and Justice.


“Origin of the logical. – How did logic come into existence in man’s head?  Certainly out of illogic, whose realm originally must have been immense.  Innumerable beings who made inferences in a way different from ours perished; for all that, their ways might have been truer.  Those, for example, who did not know how to find often enough what is ‘equal’ as regards both nourishment and hostile animals – those, in other words, who subsumed things too slowly and cautiously – were favored with a lesser probability of survival than those who guessed immediately upon encountering similar instances that they must be equal.  The dominant tendency, however, to treat as equal what is merely similar – an illogical tendency, for nothing is really equal – is what first created any basis for logic.”

“In order that the concept of substance could originate – which is indispensable for logic although in the strictest sense nothing real corresponds to it – it was likewise necessary that for a long time one did not see nor perceive the changes in things.  The beings that did not see so precisely had an advantage over those that saw everything ‘in flux.’  At bottom, every high degree of caution in making inferences and every skeptical tendency constitute a great danger to life.  No living beings would have survived if the opposite tendency – to affirm rather then suspend judgment, to err and make up things rather than wait, to assent rather than negate, to pass judgment rather than be just – had not been bred to the point where it became extraordinarily strong.”

“The course of logical ideas and inferences in our brain today corresponds to a process and a struggle among impulses that are, taken singly, very illogical and unjust.  We generally experience only the result of this struggle because this primeval mechanism now runs its course so quickly and is so well concealed.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science, tr. Walter Kaufman, Vintage Books, p. 171-2


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