Lebanese University – English Department
“Cultural Studies II”
Professor: Dr. Atef Faddoul – Student: Marie-Rose Zeenny
Session 1- Tuesday November 14, 2006
In many universities, they teach courses called either cultural studies or general education;
nonetheless, they all deal with similar issues. All students in other universities are required to
take 2 or 3 of these courses because they assume in addition to specializing in a major, a student
must have some broad knowledge of some general approaches and theories. We study these
courses because they are the products of the human mind from early history to the present.
We read many books from the Greeks, Romans, Renaissance, 17th, 18th, 19th centuries and the
last course deals with the Modern culture.
This course covers culture, human culture from the 2nd half of the 19th century till the present
time. We select great universal books that deal with human issues and with lots of problems that
bother human beings such as:
- Problems of man with the supernatural
- Question of religion
- Relation of god and human beings
- Question of creation
- Issue of death and after death
- Relationship between man and nature, between different cultures & between different
conflicts and wars
- How to deal with our environment
- Friendship / Fear
Psychological theories of the human-self makes us humans and different from animals. These
philosophical issues that are raised in books of literature, religion, psychology & science make us
more aware of ourselves and of our existence. Everyone is confronted with such problems so that
everyone must seek help in these books. We should learn to be critical readers and writers by
being alert and attentive. We read either to agree or disagree. We will be asked to write essays on
issues discussed in these books giving our opinion.
▬ Course Overview:
The course focuses on the most important trends of thought that have shaped our contemporary
world from the last 19th century to the present time. These include evolutionary theory, radical
social and intellectual critique, depth psychology, recent scientific theories of the universe, the
absurd, existential theories, women‟s issues and post-colonial literature and criticism.
▬ Course Requirements:
- Regular attendance
- Personal responses of 1-2 pages relating the book to previous experiences or to other books.
- Optional Mid-Year exam
- Final exam
▬ Syllabus: The referred books have shaped modern literature. These are ideas that everyone
should be aware of. We are concerned with the cultural impact of the Scientific Theory.
1. Darwin, The Origin of Species (theory of Evolution)
2. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
3. Freud, Civilization and its Discontents
4. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time
5. Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (short novel or long short story)
6. André Malraux, Man‟s Fate
7. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
8. Edward Said, Orientalism
9. Najib Mahfouz, Midaq Alley
10 Tayeb Saleh, Season of Migration to the North
▬ Overview of the Main Items of the Syllabus:
1. Darwin, The Origin of Species (theory of Evolution): It is important to read such book. We read the
story of creation in the religious books (Bible or Koran) which assert that when it comes to human
beings, God created man in his own image and gave him power over all other creatures. He has
from God‟s scheme. Darwin came and undermined this image of man saying that human beings are
like any other species that descend from lower species. To Darwin, the process of evolution started
from few species and all the others in the world including human beings descended with no
distinction. Darwin‟s theory undermines traditional beliefs and creates controversial debates and
arguments. We read Darwin because of his impact on Western culture. Literature is then influenced
by the cultural milieu.
2. Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil: Nietzsche might shock us much more than Darwin; his famous
statement “God is dead” might shock almost all believers. According to Nietzsche, God & religion is
no more central in human‟s life. The beliefs of people are not solid as before. Nietzsche although he
is a philosopher, he reacted against what philosophers were doing from Plato till … They were
searching for some universal reality & absolute Truth and they believed that human beings can get
hold of this reality either through mind, intuition or imagination. They believe that we have certain
faculties that enable us to find the absolute Truth ( .)ﺍﻠﺤﻘﻴﻘﺔ ﺍﻠﻣﻁﻠﻘﺔNietzsche came to say that these
philosophers were childish; their search was in vain for they confused us. Rather we have realities
( )ﺤﻗﺎﺌﻖtruths which are not universals because what is truth for one is not for the other. He was
sarcastic in that sense. Even moral principles aren‟t universals. For instance, what was considered evil
before may be considered good today. He says that we have different systems of morality. To him,
there are slave morality and master morality. Although Nietzsche was a Christian and the son of a
priest, he did not believe in Christian principles such as love, forgiveness… which he called slave
morality. He believed instead in master morality such as power, aggressiveness, and ambition… He
was not democratic and he did not believe in equality. We read Nietzsche, because his ideas and
views are still debated in all circles.
3. Freud, Civilization and its Discontents: Freud is also important, because his theories has become
widespread, sometimes misinterpreted. He changes man‟s image of himself. To Freud, man is not
rational but governed by his instincts. He singles out two major instincts the life instinct “Eros” ↔
sexuality and the death instinct / aggression “Thanatos” ↔ tendency to destroy life. According to
him, these two instincts are always competing with each other driving us in different directions. He
lived in an era of world wars; he was pessimistic. In addition, he discovered the hidden part of the
human self-psyche / The Unconscious ( .)ﺍﻠﻼﻮﻋﻲBefore Freud, psychologists spoke about the
consciousness, but the “unconscious” is more important because all our hidden ideas are there and
appear in our dreams. Freud influences Modern literature in terms of themes. For instance, Oedipus
complex is discussed in many modern books. Reading Freud will help us in reading literature and
“psycho-analytic criticism” profited mainly from Freud‟s theories.
4. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time: Stephen Hawking is a scientist who is still living but who
is handicapped. Only his brain works. Although he is in such situation he is still working on theories
to explain how the universe at large was created. He hopes that one day science will find a theory that
will explain how universe comes to existence. His book was addressed to the public. He was trying to
prove that the universe could have existed without the need of God. Science is improving towards
discovering a theory that will discover our existence. For Einstein, time is relative. This idea of time
as relative has been taken and discussed by many novelists and poets.
5. Thomas Mann, Death in Venice (short novel or long short story): It is about an artist who fell in love
with a man for he looked at him as an ideal.
6. André Malraux, Man‟s Fate: it is a book written in French and translated into English. Although the
theme is political at the surface for it deals with the Communist Revolution in China in the year 1927,
we find more important themes such as the theme of the literature of the absurd if we dig deep.
Theories of Darwin, Nietzsche … led into what we call the absurd which is an attitude towards love
that deny the existence of God who does not plan our life. Our life does not progress by a plan, but by
a blind fate haphazardly. Death could happen any time at any place. One does not have control over
one‟s life. One does not choose to live or die as if one is in a sea sifted by waves and later anxiety and
fear follow. Characters in this book are trying to cope with the absurdity of life by:
b- Taking drugs
c- Going to communion
7. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex: Only the introduction and the conclusion will be discussed.
Simone de Beauvoir wrote this book to explain women‟s issues in order to defend them such as why
women throughout history were looked at as inferior, subordinate and under the mercy of men. She
compares the situation of women to that of other groups that were oppressed such as the blacks in
America, the Jews in Europe before and explained why this situation occurs and hopes that this
condition will be changed and the oppressed will be given their equal rights. She finally believes that
society will be healthier when women will be treated equally to men.
8. Edward Said, Orientalism: Edward Said was a Palestinian scholar who lived in the States for a long
time and became a professor at Columbia University and an important great critic of literature and
culture. His book has been translated into many languages and has created many controversies that
deal with the relationship between the East & the West. He says that if we read books written by
westerners, we will view a distorted image of easterners which were looked upon as inferior and
instinctive. He hopes in his book that there will be scholars more objective in dealing with the East
hoping there will be a mutual understanding.
9. Najib Mahfouz, Midaq Alley ( :)ﺰﻗﺎﻖ ﺍﻠﻣﺪﻖNajib Mahfouz was the first Arab writer to win the Nobel
Prize in literature. His book deals with the life of a group of people in a Cairo neighborhood called
( )ﺰﻗﺎﻖ ﺍﻠﻣﺪﻖduring the 2nd World War & the impact of the war on people‟s lives. He discussed how the
war has changed the life of the protagonist to a prostitute. This change occurred for several reasons:
a. She first had the potential for becoming a prostitute
b. She was looking on how some women were living richly; she wanted to live like them.
10 Tayeb Saleh, Season of Migration to the North: This book is about Mustapha Said, a Sudanese young
protagonist who grew up in Sudan and proved to be very clever. He was given a scholarship to study
in London – England. During the day, he was a great student and became a professor of economics
and during the night he seemed to be a hunter of women. He knew how to stir / rouse the instincts of
those women, but only one single woman resisted him knowing how to surrender him until at the end
she convinced him to marry her. She even resisted him while married with him and asked him to kill
after giving herself to him. Actually she thought that he will kill himself after killing her, but things
turned in a different way for he killed her without killing himself.
Session 2- Tuesday December 04, 2006
▬ The Origin of Species (Charles Darwin 1809 – 1882)
Charles Darwin lived in the 19th century. He wrote several books, but we are considered in the
Origin of Species (1859) which has a subtitle by means of natural selection or the preservation of
favored races in the struggle for life.
Darwin was not the first to deal with the idea of evolution. Many scientists from all over the
world speculated about how life evolved1 on Earth… Many scientists in the late 18th and 19th
century were doing researches about the evolution, but he was the only one who developed a full
complete theory of evolution. Before he developed his theory, he traveled for about five years to
many countries all over the world and as a scientist he was observing nature, creatures both
animals and plants. As a result of his observations, he came out with this theory of evolution.
There are many keys involved in this theory:
1. Variation is the starting point. He observed that no two individuals are exactly the same
except for twins only. Usually, we have individual differences.
2. Natural Selection or Survival of the Fittest which means the variations that are profitable for
the organism are inherited or transmitted into off-spring2 and continued over and over. These
small variations over a long period of time become bigger and bigger until we have new
3. A Struggle3 for Existence: There is off-spring in a way than more plants and animals are born
than the world can provide food for because of over-population not only in the human field
but also in the plants and animals. Because there is not enough food for all humans and
animals, there will be a struggle for existence where the stronger wins. According to Darwin,
life is based on competition and the stronger fight the weaker. The struggle takes two forms:
a. The stronger takes the food for himself and deprive the weaker of it so he will perish4.
b. The strong might also eat the weak. The theory is simple. It explains that all species
existing in the universe including human beings descended from one or a few species;
both animals and plants have the same ancestors and there are species that are in between
to show that they all descended from the same species. This process was a slow but a
continuous one; it took millions of years. For instance, the universe appeared 4.6 milliard
years ago, life appeared 3.6 milliard years ago and human beings appeared thirty
thousands years ago.
This is quite different from how Darwin believed. We will emphasize on the cultural influences
of the theory and how it differs from a religious point of view (differing from the story of
creation as taken from the religious books).
Chapter 1: Variation under Domestication
You cope with a more severe climate. Both in the animal world and among plants, we note
Chapter 2: Variation under Nature
These individual differences are inherited. Nature selects the most favorable characters and
continues in accumulating them. However, what human beings do at a small scale, nature does at
a huge scale over a long period of time.
Progeny or descendants
Chapter 3: Struggle for Existence
The variations that are the more profitable in the struggle for life with others and with
environment and the individual who carries them will survive better. Many children died long
time ago and many plants perish because they were unable to resist.
Geometrical ratio of increase:
If all the animals survived, they would not be a place for them. Even if only the elephants that
are born survived, the whole globe cannot hold them. In India and Egypt, they are trying to stop
the expansion with vain.
The stronger plants survive at the expense of the weaker ones. There are three main reasons for
the straggle for existence:
1. Lack of food
2. They could also serve as a source of food for others
3. Some animals and plants are destroyed at a very high rate because of severe weather and bad
climate that means less food and the stronger will be able to get this less food which is part of
this struggle and the weaker will die first.
Chapter 4: Natural Selection; or the Survival of the Fittest
Herbert Spencer uses another term than natural selection which is “Survival of the Fittest) ↔ it
turned to be a better expression because it shows that the fittest survive. Man chooses the
profitable species that nature has produced by accelerating them somehow. Comparing to nature,
man‟s efforts are feeble because nature is able to do it in a large scale. Look at birds in nature
how peaceful they are, but in fact they are always destroying worms and plants; they are also
involved in the struggle of existence. By definition, the preservation of favorable individual
differences and variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious are called Natural
Selection; or the Survival of the Fittest.
Chapter 5: Laws of Variations
Man cannot produce variations but he builds upon variations produced by nature, preserve them
and accumulate them. Variation occurs through nature but man builds on them, preserve them
and profit of them.
The beneficial variation survive whereas the variations that are not beneficial perish and those
that are neither beneficial nor non beneficial continue without really making a difference. Natural
selection has to build then on variation. Therefore, variation is the pre-requisite for natural
We have to cope with the conditions of life to have new variations. The conditions of life
influence either the organism as a whole or parts of it or influence the reproductive system of the
organism. The nature of the organism and the nature both contribute in the variability and
struggle for existence.
He admits that although natural selection is built on variation, there are other considerations that
he was unable to reflect on; he was unaware of modern genetics or of the role of genes in this
theory. He admits that variation occurred for reasons that he doesn‟t know. The gap here was
filled with genetics.
Chapter 6: Difficulties of the Theory
The nature causes many variations but little innovations [not all of them are original and new].
He responses to the Theory of Creation of the Bible. We cannot notice the differences that occur
in hundred years, because the process is very slow; evolution is a slow yet a sure process.
Moreover, it is a gradual and continuous process.
Chapter 7: Miscellaneous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection
Darwin is comparing and contrasting natural selection with domestic selection. For instance,
what are the purposes for the long neck of a giraffe?
The long neck of a giraffe serves 3 purposes:
1. To reach the food that others cannot reach
2. It is like a watch tower to see the approaching enemies.
3. It is strong, it uses. Its neck in defending itself. [means of defense]
Chapter 15: Recapitulation and conclusion
He uses domestication as a proof drawing analogy between natural selection and selection to
prove his point; that is, if humans do it at a small scale, nature can do it at a large scale ↔ a grain
in the balance… The individual who have some advantages would make them survive.
The slight advantage of competition + struggle for survival will become greater and greater on
the long run.
We have two ideologies: 1. Fascism
Many ideologies drew their inspirations from Darwin‟s theory.
In the animal world, the better and strong horses have more sexual relationships with other
females. They match more females and they produce more off-spring.
Darwin is explaining how the species developed from slight variation into more differences
reflecting cultural implications; he is making a prophecy that the more dominant will destroy the
less dominant. It is as if he believes in class – distinction [justifying hierarchy]
Darwin is defending himself against the accusation that he was against religious beliefs. [He is
not denying the existence of God or the role of God, but he is giving a different explanation of
the role of God which is that he created the first species or first few species and God also created
the laws of evolution. Many religions objected then to Darwinism, but Darwin is telling them
that he is not denying the role of God; that is, he created the first few species (one or more) and
he created the laws of evolution that govern the universe.
Darwin is wondering why scientists disbelieved in the mutability of species. The answer is that
there were not enough time for the mutability of species. Scientists believe that the age of the
universe is about millions of years, so there were enough time to species to evolve and change.
People do not believe in evolution, because they are unable to observe this process for it took
thousands of years to develop; it is a very slow process. Usually, we tend to disbelieve things
that we do not observe. Darwin affirms that more scientists will be influenced by his theory and
he is hoping that even more scientists will look at his theory more objectively (with impartiality).
He hopes that scientists who believe in evolution will spread this belief and publicize this theory
convincing others of it so that more people would accept it.
Now more scientists accept the principle of evolution, but some state that species arise all of a
sudden (this is against evolution) and we cannot explain why: this is another theory that
contradict evolution. All species came into existence all at once (creationist theory), but
evolution asserts that the species come into existence step by step continuously through time.
Page 14 – last paragraph: Some might object to Darwin‟s theory, but they are inquiring about the
link between plants and animals and how could animals evolve into plants. To answer, Darwin
shows that there are certain characteristics of plants and animals in some species which shows
that there is a transition between both animals and plants. For example, a certain poison might
cause the death of plants as well as of animals which shows that they present both some
Session 3- Tuesday December 11, 2006
There are certain forms which scientists could not classify as whether to be animals or plants;
those species happen to be intermediate and from these intermediate forms, both animals and
plants could have evolved or developed. Therefore, we can conclude from such evidence that all
species could descend from the first species which is a single origin.
Page 16 – last paragraph: There is always variation so that not all species survive in the struggle
for existence, but many perished and disappeared. Darwin is predicting here that only the
strongest species will survive in the struggle for survival. Life on earth has continued and no
earthquake has destroyed the world totally and he hopes the future on Earth will be secure. He
believes that evolution is a process that leads to progress and to perfection.
Page 17 – Summary of the whole: If we look at nature around us (all kinds of creatures), it would
be interested to know that all have evolved from the same origin according to the same laws.
Because there is variability, natural selection will profit from variability and sometimes the
conditions of life develop a certain variability. More creatures result in more struggle for
existence that leads to natural selection wherein the more fitting survive and the less fitting will
disappear. What is then the ultimate result of evolution? It is the development of higher animals
of higher animals which are humans and god created the first form or forms from which all
species evolved. (Prototype ↔ original model)
What are the cultural implications of this theory?
We should keep in mind that this book was written in England in a Christian country and its
story was different from the one given by the Bible (genesis) that says that God created the world
in 6 days, but when he comes to the creation of humans, God created man in his own image, in
his own image (repetition used for emphasis). In other words, human beings in the Bible are
different from other species; they are given power over all other creatures or species. This special
place is lost in evolution which asserts that human being like others are evolved from the first
species. This theory change man‟s image of himself that is why it created many arguments and
controversies. Up till now, in some conservative universities in the United States, they expose
both theories and then tell their students that evolution is not more advanced that the theory of
creationism as contrasted with the theory of evolutionism. The Bible could be interpreted
metaphorically or symbolically.
Another theory is that the struggle for life is as if Darwin is justifying power in the sense that if
nature allows the more powerful to survive at the expense of the less powerful, some people for
the sake of survival will be allowed to demolish another race because of competition and will
justify themselves according to this theory called „Darwinism‟. This misuse led to racism and
racist ideologies like fascism (Italy) and narcissism (racist ideology believed that German race is
pure and superior and actually they destroyed what they consider less fitting racism as what we
call anti-samism and thus they killed around 7 millions Jews).
This theory of evolution although at some points, they believed that this process is heading
towards perfection, this may be lead to positive effects. On the other hand, chance plays also a
major role on this process (chance governs our life). This theory itself is physical and leads to
what we call social Darwinism or what we call competition between businesses, between
different types of people and making profits at the expense of the poor which was justified
through this theory. When we reach to the state of the human beings which are able to accelerate
the process of evolution through scientific discoveries, they are able to speed up the process of
evolution in certain ways.
We are going to study the impact of Darwinism on 19th century novels and on a great number of
poems. These ideas were there and many novelists were aware of the theory and were parts of
the debates of this theory of Darwinism because of its impact on Modern culture and on literature
▬ Beyond Good and Evil (Dietrich Nietzsche 1844 – 1900)
Nietzsche is a 19th century German philosopher who came from a Lutheran family (religious
family), but it seems he reached against Christianity being very critical about their moral values.
He studied both philology and philosophy; he became a professor for some time and wrote
several books. After 1889, he suffered from physical and mental illness and some say that he
suffered from syphilis.
He is a very influential philosopher; his ideas are part of modern culture for they are studied
today. Although he was a philosopher, he went against what other philosophers do from Plato till
now. They were searching for Absolute Reality or Truth.
Plato divided realities into two realms:
1. A visible or physical reality
2. A world of form for there is an upper world of reality
To Plato and to others after him, real knowledge is knowledge of the forms, concepts, universal
ideas. The perfect justice is formed in upper realm (perfect beauty).
We can never reach perfection if we base our learning on observing this universe, because this is
not knowledge. In other terms, if we studied only forms this will not be real knowledge, but we
need to look upwards to the form of the upper world of reality.
According to Plato, philosophers are qualified to grasp and comprehend the forms through their
reason. Philosophical thinking is the highest form of knowledge which is an opinion and not a
Romantics say that through imagination they can get to this ultimate Reality. Others believe that
through intuition they can get to this Reality.
Nietzsche says that what we see in this world is shadows of realities. Nietzsche came to
deconstruct this system to argue against what philosophers have been doing from Plato till now.
According to him, there is no absolute Reality or Truth. We are stuck with realities and to him
philosophers were wasting their time and ours to search for Absolute Truth and Reality, because
simply they do not exist. [His style is sarcastic when he says that philosophers are short minded.]
Why you want truth and not untruth? All arguments you used are incorrect. To him, this vision
of the world or this type of thinking led philosophers to contrast a number of duality or antithesis
in a sense that we see soul / body – Good / evil – reason / instincts or passion.
Philosophers have come up with a long series of dualities or antithesis; they always praise the
upper parts at the expense of the lower parts. They also separate the two. For example, in the
case of reason philosophers assume that we can think just with our minds neglecting our instincts
but to him, these dichotomies are fabricated once by philosophers. Even when we are reasoning,
our instincts are involved for we can‟t think purely. In the 1st part of his book Beyond Good and
Evil, he deals with what philosophers were doing before him showing that what they were doing
is wrong, he tries to deconstruct their works. Socrates tried to show people how to be rational.
Insisting on rationality is a fact that sacrifices maybe an important part of human life.
In Greek mythology, in stands
Session 4- Tuesday December 18, 2006
▬ Beyond Good and Evil (Dietrich Nietzsche 1844 – 1900)
Supposing truth to be a woman – what? Is the suspicion not well founded that all
He doesn‟t say philosophers, when they have been dogmatists, have had little understanding of
women? This is to say that the gruesome earnestness, the clumsy importunity with
philosophers which they have hitherto been in the habit of approaching truth have been inept and
and may be he improper means for winning a wench? Certainly she has not let herself be won – and
did this on today every kind of dogmatism stands sad and discouraged. If it continues to stand at
all! For there are scoffers who assert it has fallen down, that dogmatism lies on the
floor, more that dogmatism is at its last gasp.
[Dogmatist is someone who considers his own beliefs as the true ones and he doesn‟t
looks at truth accept others‟. Wench is a young woman. Scoffers are those who mock.]
from one angle In this section, Nietzsche is very sarcastic. He doesn‟t say things directly.
allow you to He says that the approach of dogmatists to win Truth isn‟t appropriate.
look at it from Let us not be ungrateful to it, even though it certainly has to be admitted that the
and this is false worst, most wearisomely protracted and most dangerous of all errors hitherto has
for him. He also been a dogmatist‟s error, namely Plato‟s invention of pure spirit and the good in
blames Socrates itself.
was his disciple. He is attacking philosophers.
Both To be sure, to speak of the spirit and the good as Plato did meant standing truth on her
emphasized head and denying perspective itself, the basic condition of all life; indeed one may
Truth. They ask as a physician: „how could such a malady attack his loveliest product of antiquity,
corrupted the Plato? Did the wicked Socrates corrupt him after all? Could Socrates have been a
youth instead of corrupter of youth after all? And have deserved his hemlock? [Hemlock is poison]
Part one: on the prejudices of philosophers
values = The will to truth, which is still going to tempt us to many a hazardous enterprise; that
dualities. These celebrated veracity of which all philosophers have hitherto spoken with reverence:
what questions this will to truth has already set before us! What strange, wicked,
philosophers questionable questions!
convincing us Granted we want truth: why not rather untruth?
that this is
better; this is 2
privilege to the The fundamental faith of the metaphysicians is the faith in antithetical values. For it
upper part. may be doubted, firstly whether there exist any antitheses at all, and secondly whether
these popular evaluations and value-antitheses, on which metaphysicians have set
their seal, are not perhaps merely foreground valuations, merely provisional
For Nietzsche, perspectives.
all of these are
appearances With all the value that may adhere to the true, the genuine, the selfless, it could be
and he says possible that a higher and more fundamental value for all life might have to be
that a new
ascribed to appearance, to the will to deception, to selfishness and to appetite.
philosophers For that we have to await the arrival of a new species of philosopher, one which
will falsify possesses tastes and inclinations opposite to and different from those of its
predecessors – philosophers of the dangerous „perhaps‟ in every sense.
thinking is not Having kept a close eye on philosophers and read between their lines for a
pure thinking, it
contains instinct sufficient length of time, I tell myself: the greater part of conscious thinking must
also. Distinctions still be counted among the instinctive activities, and this is so even in the case of
for people are philosophical thinking. Most of a philosopher‟s conscious thinking is secretly
subject to their To him,
interest; “this is directed and compelled into definite channels by his instincts. Behind all logic too philosophers in
good, this is and its apparent autonomy there stand evaluations, in plainer terms physiological the past were
bad” is made to demands for the preservation of a certain species of life. For example, the definite innocent, they
serve interest, it committed
has nothing to do shall be of greater value than the indefinite, appearance of less value than mistakes, and
with rationality. „truth‟… they are
4 childish. These
His type of To recognize untruth as a condition of life: that, to be sure, means to resist claim that their
philosophy will customary value-sentiments in a dangerous fashion; and a philosophy which opinions were
eliminate these reached at thru
dualities; it will ventures to do so places itself, by that act alone, beyond good and evil.
go beyond 5 rational pure
good and evil. objective
What makes one regard philosophers half mistrustfully and half mockingly is not
that one again and again detects how innocent they are – how often and how actually their
easily they fall into error and go astray, in short their childishness and interest, their
childlikeness – but that they display altogether insufficient honesty, while making background
a mighty and virtuous noise as soon as the problem of truthfulness is even their ideas.
remotely touched on. They pose as having discovered and attained their real Even thinking
opinions though the self-evolution of a cold, pure, divinely unperturbed dialectic: for Nietzsche is
No complete while what happens at bottom is that a prejudice, a notion, an „inspiration‟, personal
in philosophy generally a desire of the heart sifted and made abstract, is defended by them with element.
although they reasons sought after the event.
6 When I say: “I
In the philosopher, on the contrary, there is nothing whatever impersonal; and, assume that the
Different above all, his morality bears decided and decisive testimony to who he is. person “I” is a
philosophers had stable entity.
claimed that they
arrive at Reality
11 This ego is able
or Truth thru a
They found above all a faculty for the „supra-sensible‟: Schelling baptized it consistently. “I
Plato called it intellectual intuition, and therewith satisfied the most heartfelt longings of his will” is a false
“Reason”, others assumption
Germans which longings were fundamentally pious. One had been dreaming: and also like “I
imagination. All the first and foremost of the dreamers was – old Kant. think” because
these claims re they assume
fake for 16 that the person
Nietzsche – such is stable,
a faculty doesn‟t There are still harmless elf-observers who believe „immediate certainties‟ exist, consistent and
exist for him. He
considers them for example „I think‟ or as was Schopenhauer‟s superstition „I will‟. the result may
dreamers. No not be right.
perfect Reality or „I think‟, I acquire a series of rash assertions which are difficult, perhaps For him, things
Truth. All what impossible, to prove – for example, that it is I who think, that it has to be may happen
they did is without a
deceiving us and something at all which thinks, that thinking is an activity and an operation on the cause. These
deceiving part of an entity thought of as a cause. assumptions
In place of that „immediate certainty‟ in which the people may believe in the proven. How
present case, the philosopher acquires in this way a series of metaphysical can we say that
questions, true questions of conscience for the intellect, namely: „whence do I the result is
take the concept thinking? Why do I believe in cause and effect? What gives me the process of
the right to speak of an „I‟, and even of an „I‟ as cause, and finally of an „I‟ as a thinking isn‟t
cause of thought?‟ certain?
the past valued supposing however, that someone goes so far as to regard the emotions of hatred,
the opposite of
hatred, envy… envy, covetousness, and lust for domination as life-conditioning emotions, as
they looked something which must fundamentally and essentially be present in the total
down at them.
These feelings economy of life, consequently must be heightened further if life is to be
are part of our heightened further – he suffers from such a judgment as from seasickness.
life, we shouldn‟t
hide them. 29
He describes the Few are made for independence – it is a privilege of the strong. And he, who
new type of attempts it, having the completest right to it but without being compelled to,
appearing now. thereby proves that he is probably not only strong but also daring to the point of
These recklessness. He ventures into a labyrinth, he multiplies by a thousand the dangers
face problems; which life as such already brings with it, not the smallest of which is that no one Before him,
that‟s why they can behold how and where he goes astray, is cut off from others, and is torn to philosophers
are few. They assumed that this
question pieces limb from limb by some cave-minotaur of conscience. world we live in
moralities, they is ordered; but
challenge the If such a one is destroyed, it takes place so far from the understanding of men that for Nietzsche this
society. When they neither feel it nor sympathize – and he can no longer go back! He can no world is not
you go against
the values of longer go back even to the pity of men! – chaotic, not that
society, you will systematic, not
be at your own. 34 that ordered.
Once you decide Absolute truth is
to be Whatever standpoint of philosophy we may adopt today: from every point of view just appearance.
independent, you Life is rather
can‟t be back. To
the erroneousness of the world in which we believe we live in the surest and based on
be independent firmest thing we can get our eyes on – we find endless grounds for it which would perspective; it
should be looked
not a simple
like to lure us to suppose a deceptive principle in the „nature of things‟. at from different
thing, it‟s risky, angles. He
It is no more than a moral prejudice that truth is worth more than appearance; it is cancels true and
still you need to even the worst-proved assumption that exists. Let us concede at least this much: false, we may
proceed to the have grades of
there would be no life at all if not on the basis of perspective evaluations and falsehood.
appearances. Indeed, what compels us to assume there exists any essential
antithesis between „true‟ and „false‟? It is not enough to suppose grades of
apparentness and as it were lighter and darker shades and tones of appearance –
The search for Oh Voltaire! Oh humanity! Oh imbecility! There is some point to „truth‟, to the
Truth will lead us
search for truth; and if a human being goes about it too humanely – „il ne cherche
le vrai que pour faire le bien‟ – I wager he finds nothing!
down at desires 36
and passions. He
told to people to Granted that nothing is „given‟ as read except our world of desires and passions,
put them under
and that we can rise or sink to no other „reality‟ than the reality of our drives - for
Nietzsche, the thinking is only the relationship of these drives to one another.
only real thing is
our drives, our Granted finally that one succeeded in explaining our entire instinctual life as the
development and ramification of one basic form of will – as will to power, as is
can‟t be my theory -; granted that one could trace all organic functions back to this will to
dissociated from power and could also find in it the solution to the problem of procreation and
When people are nourishment – they are one problem – one would have acquired the right to define
after Truth, in all efficient force unequivocally as: will to power.
fact they are after
power only. Even
when we seek
to gain power.
He says that to 41
in the real sense, One must test oneself to see whether one is destined for independence and
one must judge
personally, not command; and one must do so at the proper time.
anybody. One Not to cleave to another person, though he be the one you love most – every
should think first person is a prison, also a nook and corner. Not to cleave to a fatherland, though it
or taking be the most suffering and in need for help – it is already easier to sever your heart
decision. If we from a victorious fatherland. Not to cleave to a feeling of pity, though it be for
reject the others‟
system, we higher men into whose rare torment and helplessness chance allowed us to look.
shouldn‟t build Not to cleave to a science, though it lures one with the most precious discoveries
our own system
of values and seemingly reserved precisely for us. Not to cleave to one‟s own detachment. Not
ideas and stick to to cleave to our own virtues and become as a whole the victim of some part of us.
them; we should He calls the new
be self critical. 42 type of
A new species of philosophers is appearing: I venture to baptize these “attempters”.
To theses new They don‟t have
philosophers with a name without danger in it: attempters. Truth but they
there‟s no try.
universal truth, 43
individual. They Are they new friends of „truth‟, these coming philosophers? In all probability: for
don‟t impose, all philosophers have hitherto loved their truths. But certainly they will not be
force their views
on others. To dogmatists. It must offend their pride, and also their taste, if their truth is
him, it‟s a bad supposed to be a truth for everyman, which has hitherto been the secret desire and
taste to share the
same. He‟s very hidden sense of all dogmatic endeavors. „My judgment is my judgment: another
individualistic, cannot easily acquire a right to it‟ – such a philosopher of the future may perhaps
believe in say. One has to get rid of the bad taste of wanting to be in agreement with many.
society. Each „Good‟ is no longer good when your neighbor takes it into his mouth. And how
individual is not
influenced by could there exist a „common good‟! The expression is a self-contradiction: what
society and he can be common has ever but little value.
For next time, read
sections 29, 34-36,
Session 5 - Tuesday January 16, 2007
Part one: on the prejudices of philosophers
There is another In all the countries of Europe and likewise in America there exists at present
type of philosophers something that minuses this name, a very narrow, enclosed, chained up species of
who believe in
democracy, spirits who desire practically the opposite of that which informs our aims and
instincts – not to mention the fact that in regard to those new philosophers
democracy, he appearing they must certainly be closed windows and bolted doors. They belong
believes in different
in short and regrettably, among the levelers, these falsely named “free spirits”.
(the Elite for exp.). We, who are the opposite of this, and have opened our eyes and our conscience to
only what they the question where and how the plant „man‟ has hitherto grown up more
consider positive vigorously, we think that this has always happened under the opposite conditions,
Both kinds of traits that the perilous ness of his situation had first to become tremendous, his powers
of invention and dissimulation (his „spirit‟ - ) had, under protracted pressure and For them,
equally important to constraint, to evolve into subtlety and daring, his will to life had to be intensified forgiveness are
push man forward
for the development
into unconditional will to power – we think that severity, force, slavery, peril in good.
For Nietzsche, the
of human being. He the street and in the heart, concealment, stoicism (i.e. enduring pain), the art of Jews started the
called the new experiment and devilry of every kind, that everything evil, dreadful, tyrannical, slave morality
philosophers people considering evil
of solitude, they‟re beast of prey and serpent in man serves to enhance the species „man‟ just as does what the masters
very individualistic, its opposite. consider good. And
they aren‟t part of Christianity
society, they live on
In so far, that is, as we are born, sworn, jealous friends of solitude – such a type of followed the steps of
man are we, we free spirits! And perhaps you too are something of the same type, advocating slave
you coming men? You are new philosophers? – morality. When
He attacks these principles are
traditional moral imposed on all
Part five: On the natural history of morals people, the slave
morality turned into
believe that moral herd morality. So,
principles are 186 he attacks severely
universal. They the Christian
tried to explain this Philosophers one and all have, with a strait-laced seriousness that provokes morality and what
idea by developing laughter, demanded something much higher, more pretentious, more solemn of he calls the slave
theories morality because
accordingly. themselves as soon as they have concerned themselves with morality as a science: moral principles for
Nietzsche doesn‟t they wanted to furnish the rational ground of morality – and every philosopher him are very
agree with them, he restrictive, to abide
thinks that moral hitherto has believed he has furnished this rational ground; morality itself, by these principles,
principles may however was taken as „given‟. one should restraint
change, they aren‟t his instinctive
universal; so he It was precisely because moral philosophers knew the facts of morality only nature. These
divided morality philosophers
into 2 types: somewhat vaguely in an arbitrary extract or as a chance abridgement, as morality weren‟t aware of
- Master morality, of their environment, their class, their church, the spirit of their times, their different cultures,
the one of the that‟s why they
powerful, strong, climate and zone of the earth, for instance – it was precisely because they were ill didn‟t know that the
when they dictate informed and not even very inquisitive about other peoples, ages and former morality changes in
what is good place and time.
(ambition, control times. What they consider
of their people…) universal morality
- Slave morality, What philosophers called „the rational ground of morality‟ and sought to furnish is their own
when the slaves was, viewed in the proper light, only a scholarly form of faith in the prevailing morality.
speak of moral
principles, they morality, a new way of expressing it, and thus itself a fact within a certain
invert the moral morality, indeed even in the last resort a kind of denial that this morality ought to
principles of the
powerful (for exp. be conceived of as a problem.
To him, morality is
against human 188
nature, it imposes
limits on human Every morality is, as opposed to laisser aller, a piece of tyranny against „nature‟,
nature. By moral likewise against „reason‟: but that can be no objection to it unless one is in
principles, we are
not free to express possession of some other morality which decrees that any kind of tyranny and
and behave what we unreason is impermissible. The essential and invaluable element in every morality
In the past, reason is that it is a protracted constraint.
now many people That for thousands of years European thinkers thought only so as to prove
are turning against something – today, on the contrary, we suspect any thinker who „wants to prove
it, against proving
things and thinking. something‟.
To be disciplined
morally, you‟re in a It seems that slavery, in the cruder and in the more refined sense, is the
kind of enslavement. indispensable means also for spiritual discipline and breeding. Regard and
One is not allowed
to look at things morality, from this point of view: it is „nature‟ in it which teaches hatred of laisser
from different aller, of too great freedom, and which implants the need for limited horizons and
discipline for him immediate tasks – which teaches the narrowing of perspective, and thus in a
leads to stupidity. certain sense stupidity, as a condition of life and growth. „Thou shalt obey
obedience. To him, someone and for a long time: otherwise thou shalt perish and lose all respect for
such kind of thyself‟ – this seems to me to be nature‟s imperative, which is, to be sure, neither
people into herd; „categorical‟ as old Kant demanded it should be, nor addressed to the individual,
individualism is not but to peoples, races, ages, classes, and above all to the entire animal „man‟, to
allowed, It was precisely during Europe‟s Christian period and only under the impress of
sublimated it into Christian value judgments that the sexual drive sublimated itself into love.
He is against Socrates himself, to be sure, had, with the taste appropriate to his talent – that of a Sometimes, we
Socrates & Plato behave instinctively
because they superior dialectician – initially taken the side of reason; and what indeed did he do without thinking
emphasize all his life long but laugh at the clumsy incapacity of his noble Athenians, who why. Even hen
rationality at the Socrates examined
expense of instinct. were men of instinct, like all noble men, and were never able to supply adequate himself, he found
He says that information about the reasons for their actions? Ultimately, however, in silence out that he‟s not
Socrates instead of rational all time.
making good for and secrecy, he laughed at himself too: he found in himself, before his more The instinct has a
people, he spoils refined conscience and self-interrogation, the same difficulty and incapacity. But place as the reason
them. in our life.
why, he exhorted himself, should one therefore abandon their instincts!
He is against
193 Socrates & Plato
That which we experience in dreams, if we experience it often, is sin the end just emphasize
What we experience rationality at the
in dream is as as much a part of the total economy of our soul as is anything we „really‟ expense of instinct.
important as we He says that
experience in our experience: we are by virtue of it richer or poorer, feel one need more or one need Socrates instead of
day-life. fewer, and finally are led along a little in broad daylight and even in the most making good for
cheerful moments of our waking spirit by the habits of our dreams. people, he spoils
About parents who them.
like to make of their
children a copy of
them. Parents try to
Parents involuntarily make of their child something similar to themselves – they
principles on their call it „education‟ – and at the bottom of her heart no mother doubts that in her
considering them as
child she has borne a piece of property, no father disputes his right to subject it to
their possessions, hid concepts and values. Indeed, in former times it seemed proper for fathers to
having the right to
form, to shape them.
possess power of life or death over the newborn and to use as they thought fit.
Also the church, the And as formerly the father, so still today the teacher, the class, the priest, the
teacher, the prince
try to impose
prince unhesitatingly see in every new human being as opportunity for a new
concepts, principles possession. From which it follows…
The Jews – a people „born for slavery‟ as Tacitus (Roman historian) and the whole ancient
He blames the Jews
for starting the world says, „the chosen people‟ as they themselves say and believe – the Jews achieved
slave morality. They that miracle of inversion of values thanks to which life on earth has for a couple of
inverted the values
of their masters. millennia acquired a new and dangerous fascination – their prophets used „rich‟, „godless‟,
The powerful for „evil‟, „violent‟, „sensual‟ into one and were the first to coin the word „world‟ as a term of
them is evil, they
looked down to this infamy. It is in this inversion of values (with which is involved the employment of the word
world because they for „poor‟ as a synonym of „holy‟ and „friend‟) that the significance of the Jewish people
are not happy here.
resides: with them there begins the slave revolt in morals.
He uses images
(metaphors) to It seems, does it not, that there exists in moralists a hatred for the jungle and the tropics?
present his ideas. And that the „tropical man‟ has to be discredited at any cost, whether as the sickness and
timidity against degeneration of man or as his own hell and self-torment? But why? For the benefit of
extremism. People „temperate zones‟? The benefit of temperate men? Of the „moral‟? Of the mediocre? – This
they prefer for the chapter „Morality as Timidity‟.
Morality is a recipe
All these moralities which address themselves to the individual person, for the promotion
to restrict passions. of his „happiness‟ as they say – what are they but prescriptions for behavior in relation to
According to him, the degree of perilousness in which the individual person lives with himself; recipes to
such morality leads
to prudence and counter his passions, his good and bad inclinations in so far as they have will to power in
Inasmuch as ever since there have been human beings there have also been human herds,
Humanity didn‟t and always very many who obey compared with the very small number of those who
because of the herd command – considering, that is to say, that hitherto nothing has been practiced and
mentality who cultivated among men better or longer than obedience, it is fair to suppose that as a rule a
delayed the human
evolution. To him, need for it is by now innate as a kind of formal conscience which commands: „thou shalt
every now and then unconditionally do this, unconditionally not do that‟, in short „thou shalt‟.
there appear some
person who isn‟t The strange narrowness of human evolution, its hesitations, its delays, its frequent
part of the herd like
Napoleon who is a retrogressions and rotations, are due to the fact that the herd instinct of obedience has been
leader and he inherited best and at the expense of the art of commanding.
appearance as a All this notwithstanding, what a blessing, what a release from a burden becoming
He wants people to intolerable, the appearance of an unconditional commander is for the herd-animal
be free thinkers, to European, the effect produced by the appearance of Napoleon is the latest great witness –
always question and
have their opinions the history of the effect of Napoleon is almost the history of the higher happiness this entire
and stand for them. century has attained in its most valuable men and moments.
consider pity as a
An act of pity, for example, was during the finest age of Rome considered neither good nor
while in Roman bad, neither moral nor immoral. Ultimately „love of one‟s neighbor‟ is always something
time it was neither
good nor bad. That
secondary, in part conventional and arbitrarily illusory, when compared with fear of one‟s
means that moral neighbor. Once the structure of society seems to have been in general fixed and made safe
At one time of
from external dangers, it is this fear of one‟s neighbor which again creates new
history, some bad perspectives of moral valuation. There are certain strong and dangerous drives, such as
traits were valued,
now they are not. If
enterprisingness, foolhardiness, revengefulness, craft, rapacity, ambition, which hitherto
someone is had not only to be honored from the point of view of their social utility – under different
intelligent, he is
names, naturally, from those chosen here – but also mightily developed and cultivated.
Here again fear is the mother of morality. Lofty spiritual independence, the will to
The person who is
stand alone, great intelligence even, are felt to be dangerous; everything that
like a lamb is raises the individual above the herd and makes his neighbor quail is henceforth
called evil; the fair, modest, obedient, self-effacing disposition, the mean and
average in desires, acquires moral names and honors. A stern and lofty nobility
and self-responsibility is received almost as an offence and awakens mistrust, „the
lamb‟, and even more „the sheep‟, is held in higher and higher respect.
In Europe now, the
morality has won.
Morality is in Europe today herd-animal morality – that is to say, as we
They approve one understand the thing, only one kind of human morality beside which, before
type of morality (the
herd one), the
which, after which many other, above all higher, moralities are possible or ought
others are rejected. to be possible. Indeed, with the aid of a religion which has gratified and flattered
Europe followed the
the sublimest herd-animal desires, it has got to the point where we discover even
steps of Christianity in political and social institutions an increasingly evident expression of this
advocating the herd
morality: the democratic movement inherits the Christian.
democracy, equality The collective degeneration of man down to that which the socialist dolts and
lead to the pygmy
man, the perfect
blockheads today see as their „man of the future‟ – as their ideal! – this
herd animal man. degeneration and diminution of man to the perfect herd animal, this animalization
They don‟t allow
the individual to
of man to the pygmy animal of equal rights and equal pretensions is possible.
Part seven: our virtues
He says, one of the 216 He believes in ranks
„love your Love of one‟s enemies? I think that has been well learned: it happens thousand of morality. He says
neighbor‟, is „love that it‟s wrong to
your enemy‟. For fold today, on a large and small scale. say that what is
him, whoever good for you is
claims that he loves 221 good for me. The
his enemy is common good
hypocritical, not Moralities must first of all be forced to bow before order of rank, their shouldn‟t exist; it‟s
honest. It‟s not
possible in human
presumption must be brought home to them – until they at last come to understand against conformity,
nature to love one‟s that it is immoral to say: „What is good for one is good for another‟.
Man for him is a
225 mixture of form and
matter. Man is
Honesty is In man there is matter, fragment, excess, clay, mud, madness, chaos; but in man reason and instinct,
important; we there is also creator, sculptor, and the hardness of the hammer, the divine chaos and
should be honest discipline; we can‟t
not hypocritical nor spectator and the seventh day. dissociate this from
should show our
true feelings, true Honesty – granted that this is our virtue, from which we cannot get free, we free
opinions. The veil spirits – well, let us labor as it which all love and malice and not weary of
side has its place in
us, we shouldn‟t „perfecting‟ ourselves in our virtue. And let us send to the aid of our honesty
neglect it so it whatever we have of devilry in us – our disgust at the clumsy and casual, our
comes to the
surface. Many „nitimur in vetitum‟, our adventurer‟s courage, our sharp and fastidious curiosity,
people started as our subtlest, most disguised, most spiritual will to power and world-overcoming
devilish and ended
as gods but he which wanders avidly through all the realms of the future - let us go to the aid of
warns these people our „god‟ with all our „devils‟! It is probable that we shall be misunderstood and
not to publicize and
be proud of this taken for what we are not: but what of that! People will say: „Their „honesty‟ – is
honesty. If we are their devilry and nothing more!‟ but what of that! And even if they were right!
shouldn‟t look at Have all gods hitherto not been such devils grown holy and been rebaptized? And
ourselves as saints. what do we know of ourselves, when all‟s said and done?
And what the spirit which leads us on would like to be called? And how many
spirits we harbor? Our honesty, we free spirits – let us see to it that our honesty
does not become our vanity, our pomp and finery, our limitation, our stupidity!
Every virtue tends towards stupidity, every stupidity towards virtue; „stupid to the
point of saintliness‟ they say in Russia – let us see to it that through honesty we
do not finally become saints and bores! Is life not a hundred times too short to be
– bored in it? One would have to believe in eternal life to…
may I be forgiven the discovery that all moral philosophy hitherto has been boring
and a soporific – and that „virtue‟ has in my eyes been harmed by nothing more
for him is boring. than it has been by this boringness of its advocates; in saying which, however, I
publicize it and talk
should not want to overlook their general utility. It is important that as few people
to it. as possible should think about morality – consequently it is very important that
Those who advocate
equality are emetic.
morality should not one day become interesting!
People are not
Not one of all these ponderous herd animals with their uneasy conscience wants
and hence we can‟t to know or scent that the „general welfare‟ is not an ideal, or a goal, or a concept
have one morality
for all ranks of
that can be grasped at all, but only an emetic – that what is right for one cannot by
morality. any means therefore be right for another, that the demand for one morality for all
is detrimental to precisely the higher men, in short that there exists an order of
rank between man and man, consequently also between morality and morality.
Cruelty is part of Almost everything we call „higher culture‟ is based on the spiritualization and
Aggression is part intensification of cruelty – this is my proposition; the „wild beast‟ has not been
of human nature. laid to rest at all, it lives, it flourishes, it has merely become - deified. That which
are full of violence constitutes the painful voluptuousness of tragedy is cruelty; that which produces a
and people like pleasing effect in so-called tragic pity, indeed fundamentally in everything
them. Some kinds of
sports are also sublime up to the highest and most refined thrills of metaphysics, derives its
aggressive. sweetness solely from the ingredient of cruelty mixed in with it.
For next time, read
sections 232, 233,
234, 237, 238, 239,
257, 258, 259, 260,
Session 6 - Tuesday February 06, 2007
Part 8: On women
Page 163 section 232
Woman wants to be independent: and to that end she is beginning to enlighten men about
„woman as such‟-this is one of the worst developments in the general uglification of Europe. For
what must these clumsy attempts on the part of female scientifically and self-exposure not bring
to light! Woman has so much reason for shame; in woman there is concealed so much
pedanticism / show off, superficiality, schoolmarm-ishness, petty presumption, petty
unbridledness and petty immodesty-one needs only to study her behavior with children!-which
has fundamentally been most effectively controlled and represses hitherto by fear of man. Woe
when the „eternal-boring in woman‟-she has plenty of hear-is allowed to venture forth! When she
begins radically and on principle to forget her arts and best policy: those of charm, play, the
banishing of care, the assuaging of grief and taking lightly, together with her subtle aptitude for
agreeable desires! Already female voices are raised which, by holy Aristophanes! make one
tremble; there are threatening and medically explicit statements of what woman wants of man. Is
it not in the worst of taste when woman sets about becoming scientific in that fashion?
Plato was fairer in dealing with women. They were qualified as men in talents…
Nietzsche is not fair at all maybe because women at that time started to have rights; so,
they were competing with men. Some men like Nietzsche didn‟t like that. Nietzsche
turned against women to show that they are not qualified. Pedanticism: show of learning.
And whatever women write about „woman,‟ we may in the end reserve a good suspicion as to
whether woman really wants or can want enlightenment about herself… unless a woman is
looking for a new adornment for herself in this way-self-adornment pertains to the eternal-
womanly, does it not?
But she does not want truth: what is truth to a woman! From the very first nothing has been more
alien, repugnant, and inimical to woman than truth-her great. Let us confess it, we men: it is
precisely this art and this instinct in woman which we love and honor: we who have a hard time
and for our refreshment like to associate with seriousness, our gravity and profundity appear to
us almost as folly.
We men want woman to cease compromising herself through enlightenment: just as it was man‟s
care and consideration for woman which led the church to decree: mulier taceat in ecclesia! It
was to the benefit of woman when Napoleon gave the all to eloquent Madame de Staël to
understand: mulier taceat in politicis!-and I think it is a true friend of women who calls on them
today: mulier taceat de muliere! [Napoleon asked this woman not to talk of politics.]
When a woman is learned, she will not be modest anymore. When women don‟t fear
men, they don‟t behave well. To him, the woman is just like a make-up. Women don‟t
want the truth. For him, women and truth do not go together.
Men like women because they lie and because they are playful. Men like women because
they are not serious. Women help men discover their follies. In church, women were not
allowed to attend meetings. Nietzsche agrees with this. Women should not participate in
discussions and politics.
Page 164 section 233
It betrays corruption of the instincts-quite apart from the fact that it betrays bad taste-when a
woman appeals precisely to Madame Roland or Madame de Staël or Monsieur George Sand as if
something in favor of „woman as such‟ were thereby demonstrated. Among men the above-named
are the three comic women as such-nothing more!- and precisely the best involuntary counter-
arguments against emancipation and female autocracy.
Page 165 section 234
Stupidity in the kitchen; woman as cook; the dreadful thoughtlessness with which the nourishment
of the family and the master of the house is provided for! Woman does not understand what food
means: and she wants to be the cook! If woman were a thinking creature she would, having been
the cook for thousand of years, surely had to discover the major facts of physiology, and likewise
gained possession of the art of healing. It is through bad female cooks-through the complete
absence of reason in the kitchen, that the evolution of man has been longest retarded and most
harmed: even today thing are hardly any better.
Even in the kitchen, women did not do well. According to Nietzsche, this is why the
development of humanity was retarded.
Page 165 section 235
There are fortunate turns of the spirit, there are epigrams, a little handful of words, in which an
entire culture, a whole society is suddenly crystallized. Among these is Madame de Lambert‟s
remark to her son: „mon ami, ne vous permette.. jamais que de folies, que vous feront grand
plaiser‟- the most motherly and prudent remark, incidentally, that was ever addresses to a son.
Page 165 section 236
That which Dante and Goethe believed of woman-the former when he sang „ella gurdava suso, ed
io in lei‟, the latter when he translated it „the eternal-womanly draws us upward‟-: I do not doubt
that every nobler woman will resist this belief, for that is precisely what she believes of the
Page 166 section 237
Men have hitherto treated women like birds which have strayed down to them from the heights:
as something more delicate, more fragile, more savage, stranger, sweeter, soulful but as
something which has to be caged up so that it shall not fly way.
Men put women in a cage like birds.
Page 167 section 238
To blunder over the fundamental problem of „man and woman‟, to deny here the most abysmal
antagonism and the necessary of an eternally hostile tension, perhaps to dream here of equal
rights, education, equal claims and duties: this is a typical sign of shallow-mindedness, and a
thinker who has proved himself to be shallow on this dangerous point-shallow of instinct!
On the other hand, a man who has depth, in his spirit as well as in his desires, and also that
depth of benevolence which is capable of hardness and severity and is easily confused with them,
can think of woman only in an oriental way-he must conceive of woman as a possession, as
property with lock and key, as something predestined for service and attaining her fulfillment in
service. The Greeks formerly did: they were Asia‟s best heirs and pupils.
The best attitude towards women is to look at them as possessions. According to him, the
Orientals treat women as possessions and the Greeks followed the Orientals. The learned
this attitude towards women from the Orientals and applied it. To him, this is good.
Page 168 section 239
The weak sex has in no age been treated by men with such respect as it is in ours-that pertains to
the democratic inclination and fundamental taste. Is it any wonder if this respect is immediately
abused? She wants more, she learns to demand, in the end she finds this tribute of respect almost
offensive, she would prefer competition for rights, indeed a real stand-up fight: enough, woman
loses in modesty.
In Europe, women are gaining more rights but still instead of developing and progressing,
they are going backwards. It is better foe women to stick to their nature. Culture spoils
their nature. When we educated them, their nature is spoiled. They abuse the rights we
give them. The more you give her the more she wants.
She unlearns fear man: but the woman who „unlearns fear‟ sacrifices her most womanly instincts.
That woman should venture out when the fear-inspiring in man, let us put it more precisely and
says “the man” in man, is no longer desired and developed.
This is what is happening today: let us not deceive ourselves! Wherever the spirit of industry has
triumphed over the military and aristocratic spirit woman now aspires to the economic and legal
independence of a clerk: „woman as clerk‟ stands inscribed on the portal of the modern society
now taking shape. As she thus seizes new rights, looks to become „master‟, and inscribes the
„progress‟ of woman on her flags and banners, the reverse is happening with dreadful clarity:
woman is retrogressing. Since the French revolution the influence of woman in Europe has
grown less in the same proportion as her rights and claims have grown greater; and the
„emancipation of woman‟, in so far as it has been demanded and advanced by women themselves
(and not only by male shallow-pates), is thus revealed as a noteworthy symptom of the growing
enfeeblement and blunting of the most feminine instincts. There is stupidity in this movement, an
almost masculine stupidity, of which a real woman-who is always a clever woman-would have to
be ashamed from the very heart. To lose her sense for the ground on which she is most sure of
victory; to neglect to practice the use of her own proper weapons; to let herself go before the
man, perhaps even „to the extent of producing a book‟
He is wondering why women want jobs. He doesn‟t like the idea. Education blunts most
feminine instincts. She becomes less instinctive when you educate her.
Women writers were not taken seriously because they considered writing as a privilege of
men. Those men who advocate women‟s rights are asses. The more cultivated the women
it, the weaker she is. To Nietzsche, women who were not educated (like Napoleon‟s
mother) have more influence and stronger will on men.
To be sure, there are sufficient idiotic friends and corrupters of woman to defeminize herself in
this fashion and to imitate all the stupidities with which „man‟ in Europe, European „manliness‟,
is sick-who would like to reduce woman to the level of „general education‟, if not to that of
newspaper reading and playing at politics.
And she is being rendered more and more incapable of her first and last profession, which is to
bear strong children. There is a desire to make her in general more „cultivated‟ and, as they say,
to make the „weak sex‟ strong through culture: as if history did not teach in the most emphatic
manner possible that making human beings „cultivated‟ and making them weaker –that is to say,
enfeebling, fragmenting, contaminating, the force of the will, have always gone hand in hand, and
that the world‟s most powerful and influential women (most recently the mother of Napoleon)
owed their power and ascendancy over men precisely to the force of their will –and not to
schoolmasters! That the woman which inspire respect and fundamentally fear is her nature,
which is more „nature‟ than that of the man, =her genuine, cunning, beast-of-prey suppleness, the
tiger‟s claw beneath the glove, the naivety of her egoism, her ineducability and inner savagery,
and how incomprehensible, capacious and prowling her desire and virtue are … that which, all
fear notwithstanding, evokes pity for this dangerous and beautiful cat „woman‟ is that she
appears to be more afflicted, more disappointment than any other animal.
The nature of women is more natural than the nature of men. He‟s comparing a woman to
a beast-of-prey. She uses all tactics to get hold of her prey. It is better to keep women in
their natural state. Education deprives them of their true nature. An educated woman
becomes boring. This shows how the situation of women was at that time, to what extent
it has improved, and how we should improve it more.
Part nine: what is noble?
Page 192 section 257
Every elevation of the type „man‟ has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society –and so it
will always be: a society which believes in a love scale of orders of rank and differences of worth
between man and man and needs slavery is some sense or other.
He doesn‟t believe in equality and in democracy. There must be classes of intellect. It is
okay if talented person of elites develop themselves at the expense of masses.
Page 193 section 258
The essential thing in a good and healthy aristocracy is, however, that it does not feel itself to be
function (of the monarchy or of the commonwealth) but as their meaning and supreme
justification –that it therefore accepts with a good conscience the sacrifice of innumerable men
who for its sake have to be suppresses and reduced to imperfect men, to salves and instruments.
Its fundamental faith must be that society should not exist for the sake of society but only as
foundation and scaffolding upon which a select species of being is able to raise itself to its higher
task and in general to a higher existence.
He believes that aristocratic society contributed in the development of men. Aristocratic
society helps men develop. It is okay is such society to have slavery. It is allowed to turn
some people to slave instruments for the sake of the elites. The majority of the people
should be like a tree which few climb to rise.
Page 193 section 259
To refrain from mutual injury, mutual violence, mutual exploitation, to equate one‟s own will
with that of another: this may in a certain rough sense become good manners between individuals
if the conditions for it are present (namely if their strength and value standards are in fact similar
and they both belong to one body). As soon as there is a desire to take this principle further,
however, and if possible even as the fundamental principle of society, it at once reveals itself for
what it is: as the will to the denial of life, as the principle of dissolution and decay.
Life itself is essentially appropriation, injury, overpowering of the strange and weaker,
suppression, severity, imposition of one‟s own forms, incorporation and, at the least and mildest,
You are expected to behave properly and nicely with respect only to equals. But with
lower classes and strangers you can do whatever you want. Respect people of your class,
of your group. If you apply this rule with everyone, this is not the right thing. Apply it
only with your own closed circle. To him, it is allowed to injure, overpower, and suppress
others if they are of a different class. These (suppression, severity…) are parts of life.
On no point, however, is the common European consciousness more reluctant to learn than it is
here; everywhere one enthuses, even under scientific disguises, about coming states of society in
which there will be „no more exploitation‟.
„Exploitation‟ does not pertain to a corrupt or imperfect or primitive society: it pertains to the
essence of the living as a fundamental organic function, it is a consequence of the intrinsic will to
power which is precisely the will of life.
In Europe, people were speaking of putting an end to exploitation. To him, this is not
right. Exploitation is of the essence of life. You cannot live without exploiting others.
Page 193 section 260
There is master morality and salve morality-I add at once that in all higher and mixed cultures
attempts at mediation between the two are apparent and more frequently confusion and mutual
misunderstanding between them, indeed sometimes their harsh juxtaposition –even within the
same man, within one soul.
The moral value-distinctions have arisen either among a ruling order which was pleasurably
conscious of its distinction from the ruled –or among the ruled, the slaves and dependants of
every degree. In the former case, when it is the rules who determine the concept „good‟, it is the
exalted, proud states of soul which are considered distinguishing and determine the order of
rank. The noble human being separates from himself those natures in which the opposite of such
exalted proud states find expression: he despises them.
The cowardly, the timid, the petty, and those who think only of narrow utility are despised; as are
the mistrust with their constricted glance, those who abase themselves, the dog-like type of man
who lets himself be mistreated, the fawning flatterer, above all the liar –it is a fundamental belief
of all aristocrats that the common people are liars.
The noble type of man feels himself to be the determiner of values, he does not need to be
approved of, he judges „what harms me is harmful in itself‟, he knows himself to be that which in
general first accords honor to things, he creates values.
A morality of the taste in the severity of its principle that one has duties only towards one‟s
equals; that towards beings of a lower rank, towards everything alien, one may act as one wishes
or „as the heart dictates‟ and in any case „beyond good and evil‟.
It is otherwise with the second type of morality, slave morality. Suppose the abused, oppressed,
suffering, unfree, those uncertain of themselves and weary should moralize: what would their
moral evolutions have in common? Probably a pessimistic mistrust of the entire situation of man
will find expression, perhaps a condemnation of man together with his situation. The salve is
suspicious of the man virtues of the powerful: he is skeptical and mistrustful, keenly mistrustful,
of everything „good‟ that is honored among them –he would like to convince himself that
happiness itself is not genuine among them. On the other hand, those qualities which serve to
make easier the existence of the suffering will be brought into prominence and flooded with light:
here it is that pity, the kind and helping hand, the warm heart, patience, industriousness, humility,
friendliness come into honor –for here these are the most useful qualities and virtually the only
means of ending the burden of existence.
He goes back into morality
Masters specify moral principles like ambition, courage, exploitation… the slaves reverse
and vice versa (humility, love, friendship…) sometimes they are not clear cut but when
things become clear (ruling class, ruled class…), things become clear cut. The rulers or
the ruled dictate what‟s good or bad. The rulers are the masters & the ruled are the slaves.
When the masters dictate what is morally good, they consider attributes like power,
courage, ambition, aggression, exploitation. When the slaves determine what is good,
they would consider attributes like humility, forgiveness, love, pity. The powerful
mistrust the slaves. They don‟t like them. The powerful people don‟t respect those who
are submissive. The noble man determines what is good and what is bad. The powerful
creates his own values. They don‟t learn them from others. They dictate them.
You have duties only towards your equals. But towards people of lower rank or other
race, you can do whatever you want. Because the slaves are not happy in life, they
consider this life not worthy. They mistrust / condemn this life. They look down at it. To
console himself, the poor says that the rich people are not happy.
Page 199 section 262
A species arises; a type becomes fixed and strong, through protracted struggle against essentially
constant unfavorable conditions.
It does so with severity, indeed it wants severity; every aristocratic morality is intolerant, in the
education of the young, in the measure it takes with respect to woman, in marriage customs, in
the relations between young and old, in the penal laws (which are directed only at variants) –it
counts intolerance itself among the virtues under the name „justice‟.
We have echoes of Darwin. A species who survives under severe conditions would be a
strong one. He‟s referring to history. Sparta (city state) applied discipline. They took
children from their parents and trained them militarily. This helped them to survive.
Because of the severity of their life, they were able to survive. The best species of people
are worth living if they are able to survive in severe conditions. This type of discipline is
usually applied in aristocratic society.
Page 204 section 265
At the risk of annoying innocent ears I set it down that egoism pertains to the essence of the noble
soul, I mean the immovable faith that to a being such as „we are‟ other beings have to be
subordinate by their nature, and sacrifice themselves to us. The noble soul accepts this fact of its
egoism without any question-mark, also without feeling any severity, constraint, caprice in it, but
rather as something that may be grounded in the primal law of things:
Here we have two terms: Egoism and altruism. Nietzsche is in favor of egoism and not
altruism. We should be egoist. Instead of helping others, we should force others to serve
us. Egoism is more important than altruism according to Nietzsche.
▬ Civilizations and its Discontents (Freud 1844 – 1900)
We move from philosophy to psychology. Freud is a psychologist. He is the most influential
psychologist of all times.
He made of psychology a discipline. He is the kind of father of modern psychology… Freud
wrote many books and articles. He was a member of psychological societies. He treated many
patients. He had many disciplines and students.
Many of his patients became psychologists. He lived in Vienna. He was Jewish but not a believer
in Judaism. He was an atheist. He didn‟t believe in god. He lived in a period (early 20th century)
when the Jewish were persecuted. He was influenced by this.
The structure of human psyche:
Id (stands for instincts and drives)
He settles down on two major instincts in humans:
Eros (life instincts)
In other words, it is sexuality and aggression.
Thanatos (death instincts).
There is a tendency in us to continue life, to produce life, and there is another tendency to
destroy life. These two are always in struggle.
The child (early life) is usually at the level of the Id (ruled by instincts). This period of early
childhood is a state of bliss, of pleasure. The child is able to satisfy his needs. The pleasure
principle rules in early childhood. He is united to his mother.
Then, the child grows up, and restrictions start [don‟t…]. He starts to develop a separate sense of
self or ego. The ego is usually defined as the rational planning psyche. The reality principle starts
to rule, satisfaction has to be postponed (i.e., eat at a certain time, sleep at a certain time and not
when you want)
At the same time, the superego develops (moral sense, moral principles that we learn-what we
also call conscience, sense of guilt).
The Id is usually totally unconscious. The ego is partly conscious and partly unconscious.
The superego is party conscious and partly unconscious.
The ego tries to mediate between the needs or demands of the ID and the controls or
restrictions of the superego.
The male child, between three and six and maybe later in the teens, competes with the father for
the love of the mother. He hates his father and dreams of killing his father and replacing him.
Freud was more concerned with male sexuality. He was sexist, so he didn‟t talk a lot about
females. According to him, a female child hopes to have a child from her father.
Most male children overcome this and identify with their fathers and accept the world of their
fathers. Oedipus complex is just a period. It doesn‟t last.
Another contribution of Freud is that he discovered the unconscious. He discovered the role of
the unconscious in our lives. Before Freud, the dominant idea was that human beings are
rational. They can control their instincts and can behave properly if they want to. With Freud,
human beings are more instinctive than rational.
He also discovered the role of dreams in human life. Restrictions (all what we cannot do because
they are considered as taboos) lead to repression. The repressed is stored in the unconscious.
Dreams are the outlet for the repressed desires.
What we cannot satisfy in daylight, we can satisfy in dreams. Dreams are indirect and complex
There are two terms:
1. Latent dreams
2. Manifest dreams.
The latent dream is the hidden part, the actual disappointment or frustration. The manifest dream
is what appears in the dream. The latent is translated into manifest (into accepted images).
Two techniques are used:
1. Condensation: if you have many experiences of the same kind, instead of appearing as they
are, they are condensed as one dream. The summary of the latent (shorter manifestation of
2. Displacement: if you hate your father, instead of seeing your father in your dream, you see
a figure that represents power like a king or something associated with the person like a
flower if he puts on his jacket.
Dreams are like language. Dreams use metaphors and figurative language to disguise to make the
picture more acceptable and less disturbing.
Session 7 - Tuesday February 20, 2007
▬ Civilizations and its Discontents (Freud 1856 – 1938)
The title gives an idea about the book. According to Freud, people are not happy with civilization
because of the restrictions civilization imposes on the two human instincts which are:
1. Sexuality or life Instinct ↔ Eros
2. Aggression or death Instinct ↔ Thanatos
At first, we have an introduction about the life of Freud. There is also an editor introduction on
page 4 which contains the theme of the book – the irremediable antagonism between the
demands of instinct and the restrictions of civilization.
On page XX of the introduction, a definition of Eros, Thanathos, Id, Ego and Super-ego is given.
Pages 10 – 11
We should put in mind that Freud was an atheist who did not believe in God; he wrote a book
about religion considering religion to be a kind of illusion ( .)ﻮﻫﻢFreud tells us that a friend of his
read the book and wrote him saying that sometimes he feels himself united with the universe [no
boundaries between the self and the world]. This friend thinks that this type of “oceanic” feeling
could be considered a religious feeling. Freud answers him back trying to explain this oceanic
feeling psychologically or scientifically, because it does have nothing to do with religion. To
Freud, the oceanic feelings is related to the experiences of childhood which are retained [when as
child, we are related to the mother]. Even when we grow old, we still have residue united with
the world. In other terms, this feeling means that you have a bond with universe of being one
with the external world.
I had sent him my small book that treats religion as an illusion, and he answered that he entirely agreed
with my judgment upon religion, but that he was sorry I had not properly appreciated the true source of
religious sentiments. This, he says, consists in a peculiar feeling, which he himself is never without, which
he finds confirmed by many others, and which he may suppose in present in millions of people. It is a
feeling which he would like to call a sensation of „eternity‟, a feeling as of something limitless, unbounded
–as it were, „oceanic‟. This feeling, he adds, is a purely subjective fact, not an article of faith; it brings
with it no assurance of personal immortality, but it is the source of the religious energy which is seized
upon by the various churches and religious systems, directed by them into particular channels, and
doubtless also exhausted by them. One may, he thinks, rightly call oneself religious on the ground of this
oceanic feeling alone, even if one rejects every belief and every illusion. I cannot discover this „oceanic‟
feeling in my self. It is not easy to deal scientifically with feelings. That is to say, it is a feeling of an
indissoluble bond, of being one with the external world as a whole.
When the person develops, he tends to believe that he is a separate entity from his mother; the
ego creates a feeling of being separate from the others, autonomous from his surroundings but
according to Freud, the sense of ego is really related to the id; it extenses down into the
unconscious entity. To feel that you are different from others is a bit deceptive. Nothing is lost
when we grow up; we still retain feelings from early life. He says they are certain states →
pathological … when the boundaries between the self and the others are removed.
Normally, there is nothing of which we are more certain than the feeling of our self, of our own ego. This
ego appears to us as something autonomous and unitary, marked off distinctly from everything else. That
such an appearance is deceptive, and that on the contrary the ego is continued inwards, without any
sharp delimitation, into an unconscious mental entity which we designate as the id and for which it serves
as a kind of façade –this was a discovery first made by psycho-analytic research.
When one is in love, many times (s) he feels that (s) he is one with his / her love but it is
somehow deceptive. This is not a pathological state but almost the same. In pathological states,
the boundaries between the self and the other are sometimes removed. You identity is not clear
There is only one state – admittedly an unusual state, but not one that can be stigmatized as pathological
– in which it does not do this. At the height of being in love the boundary between ego and object
threatens to melt away. Against all the evidence of his senses, a man who is in love declares that „I‟ and
„you‟ are one, and is prepared to behave as if it were a fact.
Pathology has made us acquainted with a great number of states in which the boundary lines between the
ego and the external world become uncertain or in which they are actually drawn incorrectly. There are
cases in which part of a person‟s own body, even portions of his own mental life –his perceptions,
thoughts and feelings, appear alien to him and as not belonging to his ego; there are other cases in which
he ascribes to the external world things that clearly originate in his own ego and that ought to be
acknowledged by it.
He explains how the child develops a separate ego after being united to his mother when the
instincts are satisfied by the mother. As the ego develops, the present principle is replaced by the
reality principle for we need to postpone the satisfaction of our needs.
We still experience what our ancestors experienced long ago. Nothing is lost in life; the
experience of childhood and those of our ancestors are preserved. Even when we are growing up
we long to love again our childhood (to be reunited with our mother or with the world).
Sometimes this longing comes to the surface showing in our behavior.
In the realm of the mind, on the other hand, what is primitive is so commonly preserved alongside of the
transformed version which has arisen from it that it is unnecessary to give instances as evidence. When
this happens it is usually in consequence of a divergence in development: one portion (in the quantitative
sense) of an attitude or instinctual impulse has remained unaltered, while another portion has undergone
We have been inclined to take the opposite view, that in mental life nothing which has once been formed
can perish –that everything is somehow preserved and that in suitable circumstances (when, for instance,
regression goes back far enough) it can once more be brought to light.
The past experiences are not lost, but they are preserved and they might rise in mental life. There
is continuity between childhood and maturity. Freud‟s friend was trying to justify religious
feelings to Freud who answers back that it is all related to psychology and to childhood
experiences and even if we grow up we long to that stage because nothing is lost totally.
Is there another explanation to religion? He tries to relate religion through the helplessness of the
child, so he needs the protection of his immediate father then this feeling of helplessness might
develop into a need of a Holy Father.
We can only hold fast to the fact that it is rather the rule than the exception for the past to be preserved in
mental life. The derivation of religious needs from the infant‟s helplessness and the longing for the father
aroused by it seems to me incontrovertible, especially since the feeling is not simply prolonged from
childhood days, but is permanently sustained by fear of the superior power of fate. I cannot think of any
need in childhood as strong as the need for a father‟s protection. The origin of the religious attitude can
be traced back in clear outlines as far as the feeling of infantile helplessness.
We have more about religion and how it originates. To the common man, God is a great father.
People are weak so that they need protection from higher authority → exalted father. According
to Freud, religion is originated from this helplessness and it cannot be defended and justified.
The common man cannot imagine this providence otherwise than in the figure of an enormously exalted
father. Only such a being can understand the needs of the children of men and be softened by their
prayers and placated by the sings of their remorse. The whole things is so patently infantile, so foreign to
reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of
mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life. It is still more humiliating to discover how large
a number of people living to-day, who cannot but see that this religion is not tenable, nevertheless try to
defend it piece by piece in a series of pitfall rearguard actions.
Freud quotes from Goethe [refer to the notes → „He who possesses science and art and also religion;
but he who possesses neither of those two, let him have religion!‟]. According to Freud quoting
Goethe, some people resort to religion in order to protect themselves, others resolve to science
and others to arts. Some might find satisfaction in religion or arts … He says that those who do
have neither science nor arts [who are not talented in other terms] they need religion for they
don‟t have another alternative. Life is hard and difficult so we need religion to cope with the
human situation, with the difficulties of life to give some meanings to life.
According to Freud, religion is a palliative (calmant in French) measure; it helps us stand the
difficulties of life. What are the other measures? The other measures are three:
1. Powerful deflections [deviations from] which causes us to make life of our misery.
2. Substitutive satisfaction which diminishes it.
3. Intoxication by using the intoxicating substances to forget the miseries of life.
This is one of the deflections:
In Candide, Voltaire recommends work. Scientific activities are a kind of deflection or
distraction from misery. Artistic activities could be also substitutive of satisfactions.
We wissenschaft und kunst besizt, hat auch religion; wer jene beide nicht besitzt, der habe religion!
This saying on the one hand draws an antithesis between religion and the two highest achievements of
man, and on the other, asserts that, as regards their value in life, those achievements and religion can
represent or replace each other. If we also set out to deprive the common man, [who has neither science
nor art] of his religion, we shall clearly not have the poet‟s authority on our side.
Life, as we find it, is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks.
In order to bear it we cannot dispense with palliative measures.
There are perhaps three such measures: powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery;
substitutive satisfactions, which diminish it; and intoxicating substances, which make us insensitive to it.
Also to him, religion helps us give some purpose to life promising us that this life is not the end
giving some hope. He tries to explain that people seek happiness [one major aim of life] and if
this is not achievable at least we try to avoid pain [by lowering our expectations], but it seems
that human life is not structured in a way to make us happy. We would like to be happy all the
times, but it seems that this program is in opposition with the whole world as it is. So because we
cannot be happy, Freud says that even when we are happy all the time we don‟t experience
happiness anymore. Happiness is experienced through paradox; it could be only episodic.
Voltaire has deflections in mind when he ends Candide with the advice to cultivate one‟s garden; and
scientific activity is a deflection of this kind too. The substitutive satisfactions, as offered by art, are
illusions in contrast with reality, but they are none the less psychically effective, thanks to the role which
phantasy has assumed in mental life. The intoxicating substances influence out body and alter its
chemistry. It is no simple matter to see where religion has its place in this series. We must look further a
field. Once again, only religion can answer the question of the purpose of life.
People strive after happiness; they want to become happy and to remain so. This endeavor has two sides,
a positive and a negative aim. It aims, on the one hand, at an absence of pain and unpleasure, and on the
other, at the experiencing of strong feelings of pleasure. In its narrower sense the world „happiness‟ only
relates to the last. In conformity with this dichotomy in his aims, man‟s activity develops in two directions
according as it seeks to realize in the main or even exclusively the one or the other of these aims.
As we see, what decides the purpose of life is simply the programme of the pleasure principle. This
principle dominates the operation of the mental apparatus from the start. There can be no doubt about its
efficacy, and yet its programme is at loggerheads / opposition with the whole world.
There is no possibility at all of its being carried through; all the regulations of the universe run counter to
it. One feels inclined to say that the intention that man should be „happy‟ is not included in the plan of
„creation‟. What we call happiness in the strictest sense comes from the (preferably sudden) satisfaction
of needs which have been dammed up to a high degree, and it is from its nature only possible as an
Where do human sufferings come from? Our sufferings arise from three directions:
1. Our body [we are vulnerable physically]
2. From the outside world [floods, earthquakes, volcanoes…]
3. From the other people.
This last type is the most painful than any other. We become more modest when we cannot be
happy all the times, at least we become more realistic in our hopes because we cannot have what
we wish, but we only have what we attain.
We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, which is doomed to decay
and dissolution and which cannot even do without pain and anxiety as warning signals; from the external
world, which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless forces of destruction; and finally
from our relations to other men. The suffering which comes from this last source is perhaps more painful
to us than any other.
It is no wonder if, under the pressure of these possibilities of suffering, men are accustomed to moderate
their claims to happiness just as the pleasure principle itself, indeed, under the influence of the external
world, changed into the more modest reality principle.
How to deal with sufferings from others?
1. One way to live in isolation.
2. Another extreme way is to join other people in their activities to become a member of the
community helping other people.
3. The most effective method is intoxication. Sometimes, when we are suffering, our body
might produce some intoxication substances that help us stand or overcome the pain.
Against the suffering which may come upon one from human relationship the readiest safeguard is
voluntary isolation, keeping oneself aloof from other people. The happiness which can be achieved along
this path is, as we see, the happiness of quietness.
There is, indeed, another and better path: that of becoming a member of the human community. The
crudest, but also the most effective among these methods of influence is the chemical one –intoxication.
The body defends itself by producing an intoxication substance that lessens the pain.
Another idea: if we are suffering of not satisfying our sexual instincts, the best way is to kill off
the instincts by practicing or exercising yoga. But this means needs sacrificing pleasure. It is
effective but achieved at the expense of life
But there must be substances in the chemistry of our own bodies which have similar effects, for we know
at least one pathological stat, mania, in which a condition similar to intoxication arises without the
administration of any intoxicating drug.
One may therefore hope to be freed from a part of one‟s sufferings by influencing the instinctual
impulses. This type of defense against suffering is no longer brought to bear on the sensory apparatus; it
seeks to master the internal sources of our needs. The extreme form of this is brought about killing off the
instincts, as is prescribed by the worldly wisdom of the East and practiced by yoga.
Another means of diminishing our sufferings is sublimation of instincts through art. Instead of
making love, you write a poem about making love. By the way, literature to Freud is a kind of
day-dreaming; it is an outlet for the repressed feelings. Sublimation of instincts is not open to all
people who have some talent [by reading novels and watching movies].
The task here is that of shifting the instinctual aims in such a way that they cannot come up against
frustration from the external world. In this, sublimation of the instincts lends its assistance. A satisfaction
of this kind, such as an artist‟s joy in creating, in giving his phantasies body, or a scientist‟s in solving
problems or discovering truths.
Satisfaction could occur through enjoyments of arts. This kind of satisfaction is not really strong;
nevertheless, art can bring a transient satisfaction [it is not strong enough to bring us
If one cannot stand reality and one has many anxieties and fears; one way to deal with this is to
recreate the world of one‟s own that fits his / her reality and one‟s own wishes to suit him / her
by creating pleasant aspects.
The teacher doesn‟t agree with the coming idea: Freud considers that the person who recreates
reality lives in delusion (figment of the imagination); he adds that religion is a kind of a mass-
delusion [the world is terrible but it promises us another world that is more pleasing].
At the head of these satisfactions through phantasy stands the enjoyment of work of art. Nevertheless the
mild narcosis induced in us by art can do no more that bring about a transient withdrawal from the
pressure of vital needs, and it is not strong enough to make us forget real misery.
But one can do more than that; one can try to re-create the world, to build up in its stead another world
in which its most unbearable features are eliminated and replaced by others that are in conformity with
one‟s wishes. But whoever, in desperate defiance, sets out upon this path to happiness will as a rule attain
nothing. Reality is too strong for him. He becomes a madman, who for the most part finds no one to help
him in carrying through his delusion.
Some say that love is the greatest happiness to Freud, this is not true. When you are in love, the
happiness is precarious [because you might lose either the lover or the love of the lover]
A special importance attaches to the case in which this attempt to procure a certainty of happiness and a
protection against suffering through a delusional remolding of reality is made by a considerable number
of people in common. The religious of mankind must be classed among the mass-delusions of this kind.
I am, of course, speaking of the way of life which makes love the center of everything, which looks for all
satisfaction in loving and being loved.
According to Lucratias and Freud after him, romantic love is not recommended. It is risky to
stick to one‟s love. Freud relates everything to sexuality, he goes far in this. Even beauty is
related to sexuality.
It is what we are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as
when we have lost our loved object or its love.
All that seems certain is its derivation from the field of sexual feeling. The love of beauty seems a perfect
example of an impulse inhibited of the sexual object.
Pages 34 - 35
Even aesthetic and artistic beauties are related to sexuality. Wordsworth relates rhythm in poetry
to rhythm in sexuality. Here is the summary:
The programme of becoming happy, which the pleasure principle imposes on us [p.25], cannot be
fulfilled; yet we must not –indeed, we cannot –give up our efforts to bring it nearer to fulfillment by some
means or other. Very different paths may be taken in that direction, and we may give priority either to the
positive aspect of the aim, that of gaining pleasure, or to its negative one, that of avoiding unpleasure. By
none of these paths can we attain all that we desire. Happiness, in the reduced senses in which we
recognize it as possible, is a problem of the economics of the individual‟s libido. There is no golden rule
which applies to everyone: every man must find out for himself in what particular fashion he can be
saved. All kinds of different factors will operate to direct his choice.
It is a question of how much real satisfaction he can expect to get from the external world, how far he is
led to make himself independent of it, and, finally, how much strength he feels he has for altering the
world to suit his wishes. In this, his psychical constitution will play a decisive part, irrespectively of the
external circumstances. The man who is predominantly erotic will give first preference to his emotional
relationships to other people; the narcissistic man, who inclines to be self-sufficient, will seek his main
satisfactions in his internal mental processes; the man of action will never give up the external world on
which he can try out his strength.
Religion deals with sufferings and limits the choices giving us one single way. It tells us that this
life is not worth living; it is just a transitory life. Let us hope for a more promising life. Of
course, religion saves some common people of being neurotic by keeping them at an infantile
stage of life.
2. Surrender completely to what God says.
We just accept what God dictates to do [unconditional submission].
This way you live happy, but this is delusion.
Religion restricts this play of choice and adaptation, since it imposes equally on everyone its own path to
the acquisition of happiness and protection from suffering. Its technique consists in depressing the value
of life and distorting the picture of the real world in a delusional manner which presupposes an
intimidation of the intelligence. At this price, by forcibly fixing them in a state of psychical infantilism and
by drawing them into a mass –delusion, religion succeeds in sparing many people an individual neurosis.
But hardly anything more. There are, as we have said, many paths which may lead to such happiness as
is attainable by men, but there is none which does so for certain. Even religion cannot keep its promise. If
the believer finally sees himself obliged to speak of God‟s „inscrutable decrees‟, he is admitting that all
that is left to him as a last possible consolation and source of pleasure in his suffering is an unconditional
submission. And if he is prepared for that, he could probably have spared himself the detour he has made.
Session 8 - Tuesday February 26, 2007
Pages 37 – 38
Freud says many people claim that civilization is responsible for our miseries and that if we go
back to our primitive kind of life we will be happier and we will not suffer anymore.
We have given the answer already [p.26] by pointing to the three sources from which our suffering
1. The superior power of nature (earthquakes, flood …),
2. The feebleness of our own bodies and
3. The inadequacy of the regulation which adjust the mutual relationship of human being in the
family, the state and society.
This contention holds that what we call our civilization is largely responsible for our misery, and that we
should be much happier if we gave it up and returned to primitive conditions. How has it happened that
so many people have come to take up this strange attitude of hostility to civilization?
Why do people believe that civilization causes our miseries?
They believe in that because of the restrictions of civilization on our instincts (sexuality and
aggression). People, who are against civilization, believed that the rules imposed by civilization
stop us from being happy and when we remove these restrictions we become happier.
It was discovered that a person becomes neurotic because he cannot tolerate the amount of frustration
which society imposes on him in the service of its cultural ideals, and it was inferred from this that the
abolition or reduction of those demands would result in a return to possibilities of happiness.
What civilization achieve?
Civilization contributed much to improve our life. In 1930, we had planes, telephones and now
we have even more new discoveries in medicine and technology...
Civilization brings then new discoveries in many fields, but still people are not happy with
civilization. In a way, it enables us to communicate with our children and deprives us at the same
time from living with them. Although civilization brings new innovations in medicine to give us
extra ten years to live, but what good to us is a long life and why we should live longer if we are
not happy. Although medicine made our children live more decreasing mortality among them,
we restricted our sexuality in not giving more birth for the good of humanity.
If there had been no railway to conquer distances, my child would never have left his native town and I
should need no telephone to hear his voice traveling across the ocean by ship had not been introduced,
my friend would not have embarked on his sea-voyage and I should not need a cable to relieve my
anxiety about him.
Freud will define civilization and discuss its nature:
We shall therefore content ourselves with saying once more that the word „civilization‟ describes the
whole sum of the achievements and the regulations which distinguish our lives from those of our animal
ancestors and which serve two purpose –namely to protect men against nature and to adjust their mutual
We recognize as cultural all activities and resources which are useful to men for making the earth
serviceable to them, for protecting them against the violence of the forces of nature, and so on.
Freud gives us more about culture and civilization. He gives examples of civilization and how
was the discovery of writing and what it replaced. According to him, the house is a substitution
to our mother‟s womb because we long to our mother‟s womb and he substitutes it to the house
because this was the only place where we were happy and when we left it troubles begun.
Writing was in its origin the voice of an absent person; and the dwelling-house was a substitute
for the mother‟s womb, the first lodging, for which in all likelihood man still longs, and in which
he was safe and felt at ease.
Pages 44 – 45
According to Freud, Gods in mythology and god are characterized by omnipotence [God is all
powerful and all knowing → this is what humans want to be but cannot be] and omniscience.
Whatever man cannot achieve; he embodied in God. Because of advances in science and
technology, man has become somewhat omnipotent and omniscient – a god-like figure, but in
spite of all our achievements still we are not happy.
Long ago he formed an ideal conception of omnipotence and omniscience which he embodied in
his gods. One may say, therefore, that these gods were cultural ideals. Today he has come very
close to the attainment of this ideal; he has almost become a god himself.
Freud discusses other characteristics of civilization?
Among these things are beauty, cleanliness and order that civilization values. In the past, those
were not emphasized. Another characteristic is that civilization values also what we call
intellectual scientific and artistic achievements. To him, religious systems are the products of the
human mind. In addition to that, we have philosophy and what we call ideas or perfection.
Civilization seeks perfection at the individual and at the community level.
Beauty, cleanliness and order obviously occupy a special position among the requirements of
civilization. No one will maintain that they are as important for life as control over the forces
of nature or as some other factors with which we shall become acquainted. And yet no one
would care to put them in the background as trivialities. That civilization is not the example of
beauty, which we decline to omit from among the interests of civilization. The usefulness of
order is quite evident. With regard to cleanliness, we must bear in mind that it is demanded of
us by hygiene as well, and we may suspect that even before the days of scientific prophylaxis
the connection between the two was not altogether strange to man. Yet utility does not entirely
explain these efforts; something else must be at work besides.
No feature, however, seems better to characterize civilization than its esteem and
encouragement of man‟s higher mental activities his intellectual, scientific and artistic
achievements and the leading role that it assigns to ideas in human life. Foremost among those
ideas are the religious systems, on whose complicated structure I have endeavored to throw
light elsewhere. Next come the speculations‟ his ideas of a possible perfection of individuals,
or of peoples or of the whole of humanity, and the demands he sets up on the basis of such
The importance of regulation covering human relationships and civilization such as rules, laws of
conduct and moral principles… One of the major achievements of civilization is regulating
human relationships in the family, in the community and in the state as well …
The last, but certainly not the least important, of the characteristic feature of civilization remains
to be assessed: the manner in which the relationships of men to one another, their social
relationships, are regulated relationships which affect a person as a neighbor, as a source of
help, as another person‟s sexual object, as a member of a family and of a state. Here it is
especially difficult to keep clear of particular ideal demands and to see what is civilized in
general perhaps we may begin by explaining that the element of civilization enters on the scene
with the first attempt to regulate these social relationships. If the attempt were not made, the
relationships would be subject to the arbitrary will of the individual. [Note that Freud uses sexist
language: men replace people]
The major issue here is the replacement of the power of the individual by that of the community.
In the past, the individual could do whatever he wants; he was living on his own not coordinating
with others, but people found out that it is helpful to come up with rules to govern humans so
they restricted the power of the individual and gave more power to the community at large. For
instance, one should stick to one wife / husband instead of desiring many women / men. You
own a piece of land → ownership … Justice is the first requisite for civilization; people agree on
certain laws and they agree on abiding by these laws. It is some kind of social contract; it is just
an agreement. So most people agree on certain rules and they abide by them except for a few
who don‟t abide. This provides more security to the individual especially to the weak. Law,
justice are of a great importance in civilization.
This replacement of the power of the individual by the power of a community constitutes the
decisive step of civilization. The essence of it lies in the fact that the members of the community
restrict themselves in their possibilities of satisfaction, whereas the individual knew no such
restrictions. The first requisite of civilization, therefore, is that of justice that is, the assurance
that a law once made will not be broken in favor of an individual. This implies nothing as to the
ethical value of such a law. The further course of cultural development seems to end towards
making the law no longer an expression of the will of a small community a caste or a stratum of
the population or a racial group which, and perhaps more numerous, collections of people. The
final outcome should be a rule of law to which all except those who are by a sacrifice of their
instincts, and which leaves no one again with the same exception at the mercy of brute force.
Pages 51 – 52
Another feature of civilization is the sublimation or our instincts through music and arts. So in
civilized life, instincts are sublimated into artistic and scientific works. The instincts are
redirected; we find alternative outlets for our instincts. For instance, instead of killing someone,
we write a play or a story about it. For that reason, we are not happy with civilization because it
achieves its aim at the expense of personal satisfaction and instincts. To create then a harmonious
society, the two basic instincts of humans need to be tamed or sublimated so that civilization
achieves its goal at the expense of individual satisfaction and it might lead to cultural frustration.
Sublimation of instinct is an especially conspicuous feature of cultural development; it is what
makes it possible for higher psychical activities, scientific, artistic or ideological, to play such an
important part in civilized life. If one were to yield to a first impression, one would say that
sublimation is a vicissitude which has been forced upon the instincts entirely by civilization.
But it would be wiser to reflect upon this a little longer. In the third place, finally and this seems
the most important of all, it is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built up
upon a renunciation of instinct, how much it presupposes precisely the non-satisfaction.
„Cultural frustration‟ dominates the large field of social relationships between human beings.
Freud is influenced by Darwin and accepts the idea that man descended from lower species. He
also says that the idea of family was long ago.
Even earlier, in his ape-like prehistory, man had adopted the habit of forming families, and the
members of his family were probably his first helpers.
Pages 54 – 55
Why do we have family life and how did family life start?
In the primitive family, the power of the father of the family is unrestricted. His will was
arbitrary then the children united agreed to put an end to the dictatorship of the father and they
killed him and later they regretted their act and reemphasized the importance of the family
[myth]. One thing they learned is that working together allowed them to fight their father and
two considerations led to family life:
1. The need to work together
2. The power for love and the need to share love with someone.
These two considerations necessity and love contributed to the family life and civilization.
In this primitive family one essential feature of civilization is still lacking. The arbitrary will of its
head, the father, was unrestricted. I have tried to show how the way led from this family to the
succeeding stage of communal life in the form of bands of brothers. In overpowering their father, the
sons had made the discovery that a combination can be stronger than a single individual.
Human believed that only genital sexuality gives much satisfaction so they built hope on it and
that through it they can be happy. Freud says sexual love is risky because you might love either
the lover or the love of the lover → sufferings. People as a result have sublimated sexual love
into human love [friendship or love of the brother / sister]. In this way, they avoid the risks of
love towards one individual.
We said there that man‟s discovery that sexual (genital) love afforded him the strongest experiences
of satisfaction, and in fact provided him with the prototype of all happiness, must have suggested to
him that he should continue to seek the satisfaction of happiness in this life along the path of sexual
relations and that he should make genital erotism the central point of his life.
A small minority are enabled by their constitution to find happiness, in spite of everything, along the
path of love. But far-reaching mental changes in the function of love are necessary before this can
happen. These people make themselves independent of their object‟s acquiescence by displacing
what they mainly value from being loved on to loving; they protect themselves against the loss of the
object by directing their love, not to single object but to all men alike; and they avoid the
uncertainties and disappointments of genital love by turning away from its sexual aims and
transforming the instinct into an impulse with an inhibited aim.
One meaning of love is the love of a woman to a man and vice versa, but they have broader the
meaning of love.
People give the name „love‟ to the relation between a man and a woman whose genital needs have
led them to found a family; but they also give the name „love‟ to the positive feelings between parents
and children and between the brothers and sisters of a family, although we are obliged to describe
this as „aim-inhibited love‟ or „affection‟.
[Sexist idea] → outdated because he considers that women don‟t work and that man‟s energy is
divided between inside and outside. He is not a full time husband and father. According to him,
women take a negative attitude towards civilization because it deprived them at least partly of
the attention of their husband.
Genital love leads to the formation of new families, and aim-inhibited love to „friendships‟ which
become valuable from a cultural standpoint because they escape its exclusiveness.
The work of civilization has become increasingly the business of men, it confronts them with ever
more difficult tasks and compels them to carry out instinctual sublimations of which women are
little capable. Since a man does not have unlimited quantities of psychical energy at his disposal,
he has to accomplish his tasks by making an expedient distribution of his libido. What he
employs for cultural aims he to a great extent withdraws from women and sexual life. His
constant association with men, and his dependence on his relations with them, even estrange him
from his duties as a husband and father. Thus the woman finds herself forced into the
background by the claims of civilization and she adopted a hostile attitude towards it.
In the past, he says that almost everybody approved of one type of sexuality (heterosexual), but
to Freud this deprives some people of happiness. Also, in some societies you are expected to
stick to a certain woman in life, but some people would like to have more than one because of
more energy they have and Freud claims that this is not just for such people. In some strict
societies [Puritans]; they consider sexuality is allowed only for having children or for giving
birth and not for pleasure, but this cannot be tolerated by man.
The requirement, demonstrated in these prohibitions, that there shall be a single kind of sexual
life for everyone, disregards the dissimilarities, whether innate or acquired, in the sexual
constitution of human beings; it cuts off a fair number of them from sexual enjoyment, and so
becomes the source of serious injustice. Present-day civilization makes it plain that it will only
permit sexual relationships on the basis of solitary, indissoluble bond between one man and
one woman, and that it does not like sexuality as a source of pleasure in its own right and is
only prepared to tolerate it because there is so far no substitute for it as a means of
propagating the human race.
Pages 61 – 62
This was an extreme picture; not so many stick to it. According to Freud, only the weak listen to
these and others have secret relationships. On the whole, these restrictions weaken sexual life of
How aggression and sexuality go together? He tells the story of a peasant woman who thought
that her husband doesn‟t love her anymore because he did not beat her this week like usual →
refer to the notes on page 62.
This, of course, is an extreme picture. Everybody knows that it has proved impossible to put it
into execution, even for quite short periods. Only the weaklings have submitted to such an
extensive encroachment upon their sexual freedom, and stronger natures have only done so
subject to a compensatory condition, which will be mentioned later. The sexual life of civilized
man is notwithstanding severely impaired.
The love-object will not always view these complications with the degree of understanding and
tolerance shown by the peasant woman who complained that her husband did not love her any
more, since he had not beaten her for a week.
Page 65 – 66 – 67
It is about Christian moral principles. We are told in Christianity to love our neighbor as
ourselves, but Freud is not of this opinion. He says that to love our neighbor, there should be a
good reason to do so. The response to this is that if I love someone, he must deserve in some
ways my love. I might love him if I find myself in him or if he is more perfect than me and look
upward to be like him. Nietzsche says that we should offer respect and love to people who are
equal to us and not others. Should I love him the way I love an insect; then a small amount of
love will go to him. To Freud, this commandment is not reasonable to fulfill. To other
commandment “love you enemies” is against human nature → refer to the notes on page 67.
The clue may be supplied by one of the ideal demands, as we have called them, of civilized society. It is
known throughout the worlds and is undoubtedly older than Christianity, which puts it forward as its
proudest claim. Yet it is certainly not very old; even in historical times it was still strange to mankind.
Why should we do it? What good will it do us? But, above all, how shall we achieve it? How can it be
possible? My love is something valuable to me which I ought not to throw away without reflection. It
imposes duties on me for whose fulfillment I must be ready to make sacrifices. If I love someone, he must
deserve it in some way.
He deserves it if he is so like me in important ways that I can love myself in him; and he deserves it if he
is so much more perfect than myself that I can love my ideal of my own self in him.
But if he is a stranger to me and if he cannot attract me by any worth of his own or any significance that
he may already have acquired for my emotional life, it will be hard for me to love him. Indeed, I should
be wrong to do so, for my love is valued by all my own people as a sign of my preferring them, and it is an
injustice to them if I put a stranger on a par with them. But if I am to love him (with this universal love)
merely because he, too, is an inhabitant of this earth, like an insect, an earth worm or a grass-snake, then
I fear that only a small modicum (amount) of my love will fall to his share.
What is the point of a precept enunciated with so much solemnity if its fulfillment cannot be recommended
And there is a second commandment, which seems to me even more incomprehensible and arouses still
stronger oppositions in me. It is „Love your enemies‟. If I think it over, however, I see that I am wrong in
treating it as a greater imposition. At bottom it is the same thing.
Pages 68 - 69
To him, if people are left to their instincts [with no laws or police], what would people do? They
will steal each other‟s possessions and they might kill their neighbors or they might do anything.
People to him are not peaceful so that aggressiveness is part of human nature. Many examples of
these are found in history. Even the Crusaders for him offer an example for atrocity in human
nature. The Civil War in 1975 in Lebanon provides another example of aggressiveness.
The element of truth behind all this, which people are so ready to disavow (refuse to acknowledge), is that
men are not gentle creatures who want to be loved, and who at the most can defend themselves if they are
attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a
powerful share of aggressiveness. As a result, their neighbor is for them not only a potential helper or
sexual object, but also someone who tempts them to satisfy their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his
capacity for work without compensation, to use him sexually (rape) without his consent, to seize his
possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him.
The atrocities committed during the racial migrations or the invasions of the Huns (Turkish troupes), or
by the people known as Mongols under Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, or at the capture of Jerusalem by
the pious Crusaders, or even, indeed, the horrors of the recent World War – anyone who calls these
things to mind will have to bow humbly before the truth of this view.
Session 9 - Tuesday February 27, 2007
Because of the aggressiveness of human nature, civilized society is threatened with this
disintegration and might cause destruction. People need to work with each others, but it seems
the instincts in human beings are stronger or more important than the need for working together.
They were not reasonable in that sense. Freud was against commandment but he admitted that
we might need them for they helped in taming human‟s aggression although he believed they
were against human nature.
In consequence of this primary mutual hostility being, civilized society is perpetually threatened
with disintegration. The interest of work in common would not hold it together; instinctual
passions are stronger than reasonable interests. Civilization has to use its utmost efforts in order
to set limits to man‟s aggressive instincts and to hold the manifestations of them in check by
psychical reaction-formations. Hence, therefore, the use of methods intended to incite people
into identifications and aim-inhibited relationships of love, hence the restriction upon sexual life,
and hence too the ideal‟s commandment to love one‟s neighbor as oneself a commandment
which is really justified by the fact that nothing else runs so strongly counter to the original
nature of man. In spite of every effort, these endeavors of civilization have not so far achieved
Pages 70 - 71
The communists believed that human nature is good unlike Freud that all evil arises from private
property so if we abolish (put an end to) private properties there will be no struggle among
people who will live peacefully. Freud is not of this opinion; he says even when we abolish
private properties people will find many other causes to fight. Even when there were not private
properties, people used to fight and people would fight for other reasons such as competition
between men for the same woman for instance.
The communists believe that they have found the path to deliverance from our evils. According to
them, man is wholly good and is well-disposed to his neighbor; but the institution of private
property has corrupted his nature. The ownership of private wealth gives the individual power,
and with it the temptation to ill-treat his neighbor; while the man who is exclude from possession
is bound to rebel in hostility against his oppressor. If private property were abolished, all wealth
held in common, and everyone is allowed to share in the enjoyment of it, ill-will and hostility
would disappear among men. Aggressiveness was not create times, when property was still very
scanty. If we do away with personal rights over material wealth, there still remains prerogative
in the field of sexual relationships, which is bound to become the source of the strongest dislike
and the most violent hostility among men who in other respects are on an equal footing.
Pages 72 – 73
People would not be satisfied if they didn‟t satisfy their aggression in the past. The Jewish
people were persecuted; the Jews were used by Europeans as an outlet for the aggression of the
community in which they lived. Despite this, these Western communities did not live in peace
although St. Paul emphasized love but still Christians were not tolerant in dealing with other
communities. Freud refers to Anti-Semitism and to Narcissism.
One manifestation of aggression against the other is Anti-Semitism (fact of being against Jews)
because German killed millions of Jews (holocaust). The 2nd manifestation of aggression is in
communism; the communists turned against the Bourgeois and persecuted them, but what they
will do next? After failing the bourgeois, these will turned against other enemies and there will
be always some reasons for aggression.
Why aren‟t people happy with civilization? People are not happy with civilization because of the
restrictions it imposes on our two major instincts: sexuality and aggression
It is clearly not easy for men to give up the satisfaction of this inclination to aggression. They do
not feel comfortable without it. In this case respect the Jewish people, scattered everywhere,
have countries that have been their hosts; but unfortunately all the massacres of the Jews in the
Middle Ages did not suffice to make that period more peaceful and secure for their Christian
fellows. When once the apostle Paul had posited universal love between men as the foundation of
his Christian community, extreme intolerance on the part of Christendom towards those who
remained outside it became the inevitable consequence.
Neither was it an unaccountable chance that the dream of a Germanic world-dominion called for
Anti-Semitism as its complement; and it is intelligible that the attempt to establish a new,
communist civilization in Russia should find its psychological support in the persecution of the
bourgeois. One only wonders, with concern, what the soviets will do after they have wiped out
If civilization imposes such great sacrifices not only on man‟s sexuality but on his aggressively,
we can understand better why it is hard for him to be happy in that civilization. In fact, primitive
man was better off in knowing no restrictions of instinct.
There are basic mistakes in civilization that we cannot remove, but maybe we can make some
improvements. Like Nietzsche, Freud says that civilization leads to leveling [treating people as
equal] where the talented are not given what they really deserve because of democracy and
equality. Civilization is then at the expense of the most talented. America at that time was
considered a democracy and the danger is evident there for it over-emphasized democracy. To
him, this leveling is damaging civilization.
We may expect gradually to carry through such alterations in our civilization as will better
satisfy our needs and will escape our criticisms. But perhaps we may also familiarize ourselves
with the idea that there are ideas that there are difficulties attaching to the nature of civilization
which will not yield to any attempt at reform. Over and above the tasks of restricting the
instincts, which we are prepared for, there force itself on our notice the danger of a state of
things which might be termed „the psychological poverty of groups‟. This danger is most
threatening where the bonds of a society are chiefly constituted by the identification of its
members with one another, while individuals of the leader type do not acquire the importance
that should fall to them in the formation of a group.
1. Life Instinct [Eros]
In this part, he establishes a definition for the two instincts: 2. Death Instinct [Thanatos]
There is a tendency to preserve life and there is an opposite tendency to destroy life. These two
instincts are always in struggle, because a part of us wants life and another part wants death and
this will put them in conflict.
Starting from speculations on the beginning of life and from biological parallels, I drew the
conclusion that, besides the instinct to preserve living substance and to join it into ever larger
units, there must exist another, contrary instinct seeking to dissolve those units and to bring them
back to their primeval, inorganic state. That is to say, as well as Eros there was an instinct of
death. The phenomena of life could be explained from the concurrent or mutually opposing
action of these two instincts.
As such, it is not easy to detect death instinct or to note it, but in some cases we find both
instincts together in which Sadism [sexuality and aggression deviated towards the other] and
Masochism [sexuality and aggression deviated towards the self] provide good examples. What is
not easily detected will be then detected if the two instincts are combined.
At the same time one can suspect from this example that the two kinds of instinct seldom perhaps
never appear in isolation from each other, but are alloyed with each other in varying and very
different proportions and so become unrecognizable to our judgment. In sadism, long since
known to us as a component instinct of sexuality, we should have before us a particularly strong
alloy of this kind between trends of love and the destructive instinct; while its counterpart,
masochism, would be a union between destructiveness directed inwards and sexuality a union
which makes what is otherwise an imperceptible trend into a conspicuous and tangible one.
We always look for a scapegoat ( ,)ﻜﺒﺶ ﻤﺤﺮﻘﺔbecause we tend to blame someone for our
mistakes. If we ask religion about who is to blame, the answer would be the devil. Freud asks
why did God create the devil or allow him to exist. We blame everything on the devil [this is a
philosophical]. In the past the European blamed everything for the Jews.
God has made them in the image of his own perfection; nobody wants to be reminded how hard
it is to reconcile the undeniable existence of evil despite the protestation of Christian science
with his all-powerfulness or his all-goodness. The devil would be the best way out as an excuse
for god; in that way he would playing the same part as an agent of economic discharge as the
Jew does in the world of the Aryan ideal. But even so, can hold god responsible for the existence
of the devil just as well as the existence of the wickedness which the devil embodies.
Pages 80 – 81
Again we have a definition of sadism where libido stands for instincts. It is not easy to detect the
death instinct unless it is combined with the life instinct. In Sadism we can detect the aggression
instinct because it can be mixed with sexuality. Aggression is part of human nature. Civilization
tries to create harmony among human beings at large.
The name „libido‟ can once more be used to denote the manifestations of the power of Eros in order
to distinguish them from the energy of the death instinct. It must be confessed that we have much
greater difficulty in grasping that instinct; we can only suspect it, as it were, as something in the
background behind Eros, and it escapes detection unless its presence is betrayed by its being alloyed
with Eros. It is in sadism, where the death instinct twists the erotic aim in its own sense and yet at the
same time fully satisfies the erotic urge, which we succeed in obtaining the clearest insight into its
nature and its relation to Eros. In all that follows I adopt the standpoint, therefore, that the
inclination to aggression is an original, self-subsisting instinctual disposition in man, and I return to
my view. I may now add that civilization is a process in the service of Eros, whose purpose is to
combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one
great unity, the unity of mankind. Why this has to happen, we do not know.
The evolution of civilization is accompanied by the struggle between the two instincts: the life
instinct and the death instinct. Because of this struggle between these two instincts, life on earth
can be threatened as a result of the severity of this struggle and because we are not sure whether
peace or war will win and afraid of the consequence of this struggle we turn our face to religion.
This religion is then one way to deal with our struggle whose outcome is uncertain.
This aggressive instinct is the derivative and the main representative of the death instinct which
we have found alongside of Eros and which shares world-dominion with it. And now, I think, the
meaning of the evolution of civilization is no longer obscure to us. It must present the struggle
between Eros and death, between the instinct of life and the instinct of destruction, as it works
itself out in the human species. The struggle is what all life essentially consists of, and the
evolution of civilization may therefore be simply described as the struggle for life of the human
species. And it is this battle of the giants that our nurse-maids try to appease with their lullaby
Pages 83 - 84
Similar to Darwin: To Freud, animals are our ancestors.
How does civilization deals with aggression? The idea of the super-ego and conscience is like a
guard over our aggression [it does not let it express itself]. Instead of directing it to the outside,
we directed it to the inside through the super-ego.
Another question is raised on page 83 and the answer is provided on page 84. We develop a
superego or a conscience and instead of directing aggression towards the other we internalize it
towards our ego. Whenever I do something wrong, I feel guilty. The superego is compared to a
garrison. The superego a guard watching over the ego and not letting the aggression directed
towards the other.
Why do our relatives, the animals, not exhibit any such cultural struggle? What means does
civilization employ in order to inhibit the aggressiveness which opposes it to, make it harmless,
to get rid of it, perhaps?
What happens in him to render his desire for aggression innocuous? Something very remarkable,
which we should never have guessed and which is nevertheless quite obvious. His aggressiveness
is introverted, internalized; it is, in point of fact, sent back to where it came from that is, it is
directed towards his own ego. There it is taken over by a portion of the ego, which sets itself over
against the rest of the ego as super-ego, and which now, in the form of „conscience‟, is ready to
put into action against the ego the same harsh aggressiveness that the ego would have liked to
satisfy upon other, extraneous individuals.
The tension between the harsh super-ego and the ego that is subjected to it, is called by us sense
of guilt; it expresses itself as a need for punishment. Civilization, therefore, obtains mastery over
the individual‟s dangerous desire for aggression by weakening and disarming it and by setting
up an agency within him to watch over it, like a garrison in a conquered city.
Pages 86 – 87 – 88
The superego is always supervising the ego by not allowing it to express itself. And the more
virtuous is a person, the more severe is his / her superego (the sense of guilt increases). We
usually remember our conscience more where we are in problem or when we face ill-luck. When
we are ok our concience is forgotten. Refer to the footnotes on page 87 where he quotes from
Mark Twaine. There is difference between a civilized man and a primitive one in terms of sense
of guilt; the civilized blames himself whereas the primitive blame his fetish [object with magical
powers which alert him when he commits a sin and he punishes it instead of punishing himself].
This sense of guilt might have originated when the children killed their father [as seen earlier].
The super-ego torments the sinful ego with the same feeling of anxiety and is on the watch for
opportunities of getting it punished by the external world.
For the more virtuous a man is, the more sever and distrustful is its behavior, so that ultimately
it is precisely those people who have carried saintliness furthest who reproach themselves with
the worst sinfulness.
Ill-luck that is external frustration so greatly enhances the power of the conscience in the super-
ego. As long as things go well with a man, his conscience is lenient and lets the ego do all sorts
of things; but when misfortune befalls him, he searches his soul, acknowledges his sinfulness,
heightens the demands of his conscience, imposes abstinences on himself and punishes himself
with penances. This enhancing of morality as a consequence of ill-luck has been illustrated by
mark twain in a delightful little story. The first melon I ever stole. This first melon happened to
be unique. I heard mark twain tell the story.
It is remarkable how differently a primitive man behaves. If he has met with a misfortune, he
does not throw the blame on himself but on his fetish, which has obviously not done its duty, and
he gives it a thrashing instead of punishing himself.
Whether you kill your father literally or in your dreams in all cases a sense of guilt develops.
This sense of guilt might spring from:
1. Oedipus Complex
2. The result of children who killed their father.
We cannot get away from the assumption that man‟s sense of guilt springs from the Oedipus
complex and was acquired at the killing of the father by the brothers banded together. On that
occasion an act of aggression was not suppressed but carried out; but it was the same act of
aggression whose suppression in the child is supposed to be the source of his sense of guilt. At
this point I should not be surprised if the reader were to exclaim angrily: „so it makes no
difference whether one kills one‟s father or not one gets a feeling of guilt in either case!‟
Pages 95 – 96
So the children who killed their father regretted it and the superego is a replacement for the
father. Therefore this sense of guilt will not allow the deed to be repeated. It is as if humanity at
large has inherited this sense of guilt.
We also have:
1. Cultural superego
2. Individual superego.
We have rules that we apply in our private life, but we must stick to regulation of society and
civilization at large. Civilization will not continue unless we intensify the sense of guilt at a
cultural scale and thus we obey the father and obey the society at large and consequently the
individual superego develops into a cultural superego.
The development of civilization is then at the expense of individual happiness. To achieve
harmony and peace in society would be at the expense of the instincts of the individual who
would he suffer from repression.
After their hatred had been satisfied by their act of aggression, their love came to the fore in
their remorse for the deed. It set up the super-ego by identification with the farther; it gave that
agency the father‟s power, as though as a punishment for the deed of aggression they had
carried out against him, and it created the restrictions which were intended to prevent a
repetition of the deed.
When an attempt is made to widen the community, the same conflict is continued in forms which
are dependent on the past; and it is strengthened and results in a further intensification of the
sense of guilt. Since civilization obeys an internal erotic impulsion which causes human beings
to unite in a closely-knit group, it can only achieve this aim through an ever-increasing
reinforcement of the sense of guilt. What began in relation to the father is completed in relation
to the group.
Pages 97 – 98
Educational institutions such as schools and colleges do not prepare young people for life
properly. In schools and colleges, they tell students that human beings are very nice, but when
you graduate people that you meet in the work market are not that nice. So, instead of telling
students that people are great we should tell them that people should be good but they are not.
Also, sexuality was a taboo in the past to talk about in schools. In this way, they don‟t prepare
them to the aggressiveness of others.
The development of civilization and to show that the price we pay for our advance in civilization
is a loss of happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt.
Refer to the footnotes: That the education of young people at the present day conceals from them
the part which sexuality will play in their lives is not the only reproach which we are obliged to
make against it. Its other sin is that it does not prepare them for the aggressiveness of which they
are destined to become the objects. In sending the young out into life with such a false
psychological orientation, education is behaving as though one were to equip people starting on
a Polar expedition with summer clothing and maps of the Italian Lakes. In this it becomes
evident that a certain misuse is being made of ethical demands. The strictness of those demands
would not do so much harm if education were to say: „this is how men ought to be, in order to be
happy and to make others happy; but you have to reckon on their not being like that‟. Instead of
this the young are made to believe that everyone else fulfils those ethical demands; that is, that
everyone else is virtuous. It is on this that the demand is based that the young, too, shall become
We have three terms that are closely related to each others although not quite equivalents
3. Sense of guilt.
Though it cannot be of great importance, it may not be superfluous to elucidate the meaning of a
few words such as „super-ego‟, „conscience‟, „sense of guilt‟, „need for punishment‟ and
„remorse‟, which we have often, perhaps, used too loosely and interchangeably. They all relate
to the same state of affairs, but denote different aspects of it. The super-ego is an agency which
has been inferred by us, and conscience is a function which we ascribe, among other functions,
to that agency.
As we develop as individuals and members of society at large which both are important in our
life, we have two tendencies:
2. Altruistism (sharing with others)
Freud says that for a society to be harmonious it should be at the expense of personal happiness.
To put it in other words, the development of the individual seems to us to be a product of the
interaction between two urges, the urge towards happiness, which others in the community,
which we call „altruistic‟. It almost seems as if creation of a great human to be paid to the
happiness o the individual.
You live your own life as an individual and you live also as a member of the community at large.
Just as a planet revolves around a central body as well as rotating on its own axis, so the human
individual takes part in the pursues his own path in life.
He assumes that what the individual contributes to the happiness of the community is at the
expense of individual happiness. When you are in harmony with society; it will be at the expense
of individual happiness as if these two contradict each other.
So, also, the 2 urges, the one towards personal happiness and the other towards union with other
human beings must struggle with each other in every individual; and so, also, the two processes
of individual and of cultural development must stand in hostile opposition to each other and
mutually dispute the ground
Here he elaborates on the cultural super-ego which is embodied in great persons such as
Socrates, the Christ ... Such people of superior talents are usually tortured by their society and
they might be killed in a cruel fashion.
The analogy between the process of civilization and the path of individual development may be
extended in an important respect. It can be asserted that the community, too, evolves a super-ego
under whose influence cultural development proceeds. It would be a tempting task for anyone
who has a knowledge of human civilization to follow out this analogy in detail. I will confine
myself to bringing forwards a few striking points. The super-ego of an epoch of civilization has
an origin similar to that of an individual. It is based on the impression left behind by the
personalities of great leaders men of overwhelming force of mind or men in whom one of the
human impulsions has found its strongest and purest, and therefore often its most one-sided,
expression. In many instances the analogy goes still further, in that during their lifetime these
figure were often enough, even if not always mocked and maltreated by others and even
dispatched in a cruel fashion. In the same way, indeed, the primal father did not attain divinity
until long after he had met his death by violence. The most arresting example of this fateful
conjunction is to be seen in the figure of Jesus Christ if, indeed, that figure is not a part of
mythology, which called it into being from an obscure memory of that primal event.
Pages 108 - 109
He is questioning somehow the reality of Jesus Christ. Role of Ethics (branch of philosophy that
deals with morals): It deals with moral principles. Ethics tries to create the harmonious peaceful
cultural or society he says if the …
We cannot really have so many restrictions on the Id → sexuality. If we ask somebody not to
watch sexual movies or read such books then the human beings will not be able to tolerate.
Ethics did not go far in restricting human‟s ego; this might lead to neurosis [psychological
disturbance]. People look for immediate reward.
On the contrary, it assumes that a man‟s ego is psychologically capable of anything that is
required of it, that his ego has unlimited mastery over his id. This is a mistake; and even in what
are known as normal people the id cannot be controlled beyond certain limits.
If more is demanded of a man, a revolt will be produced in him or a neurosis, or he will be
unhappy. The commandment, „love thy neighbor as thyself‟, is the strongest defense against
human aggressiveness and an excellent example of the unpsychological proceedings of the
cultural super-ego. The commandment is impossible to fulfill; such an enormous inflation of love
can only lower its value, not get rid of the difficulty.
If you are good, you will be rewarded not in Earth but in the other world. If there are no
immediate rewards here on earth, people will not be virtuous
„Natural‟ ethics, as it is called, has nothing to offer here except the narcissistic satisfaction of
being able to think oneself better than others. At this point the ethics based on religion
introduces its promise of a better afterlife. But so long as virtue is not rewarded here on earth,
ethics will, I fancy, preach in vain.
In some cultures like the puritans, they have become neurotic. We cannot restrict the human‟s
instinct and the whole community will be neurotic
Under the influence of cultural urges, some civilizations, or some epochs of civilization possibly
the whole of mankind have become „neurotic‟? An analytic dissection of such neuroses might
lead to therapeutic recommendations which could lay claim to great practical interest.
He doesn‟t quite agree with people that would say that civilization is great but he agree partly
without getting angry with others that believe that civilization might be worth the trouble for it
doesn‟t contribute much in making people happy. Freud is more sympathetic with the 2nd view.
I have endeavored to guard myself against the enthusiastic prejudice which holds that our
civilization is the most precious thing that we possess or could acquire and that its path will
necessarily lead to heights of unimagined perfection. I can at least listen without indignation to
the critic who is of the opinion that when one surveys the aims of cultural endeavor and the
means it employs, one is bound to come to the conclusion that the whole effort is not worth the
trouble, and that the outcome of it can only be a state of affairs which the individual will be
unable to tolerate.
The 2 instincts of life and death are competing because he lived in a period when there were too
many wars. He is afraid that the death instinct might win or that the life instinct will not be able
to go over the death instinct. People are worried that the aggressive instinct will end destroying
the world and whether or not we can master this tendency. Freud wrote this book before the 2nd
World War and he had experience with the 1st World War, so he was aware of aggressiveness.
Man has developed weapons of mass destruction that could exterminate humanity at large. Had
he been living now, he would say that it could be destroying the world millions of time. So it is
hoped that the life instinct will make an effort to stop the death instinct, but he ends with a
questions, because he is not quite confident of this result.
Conclusion: The fateful question for the human species seems to me to be whether and to what
extent their cultural development will succeed in mastering the disturbance of their communal
life by the human instinct of aggression and self-destruction. It may be that in this respect
precisely the present time deserves a special interest. Men have gained control over the forces of
nature to such extent that with their help they would have no difficulty in exterminating one
another to the last man. They know this, and hence come a large part of their current unrest,
their unhappiness and their mood of anxiety. And now it is to be expected that the other of the
two „heavenly powers‟ [p.96f.] eternal Eros, will make an effort to assert himself in the struggle
with his equally immortal adversary. But who can foresee with what success and with what
Session 10 - Tuesday March 06, 2007
It is a book of science written by Stephen Hawking who is handicapped. He is a British writer
trying with other scientists to explain the origin of the Universe – how it started, how it
developed and how it might end. We have different explanations and different myths:
Religion is one way of explaining the universe.
Philosophy is another way of explaining the universe.
Literature might be also a way in explaining it and how scientist have been progressing the
universe and where is the situation now.
Pages 1 – 2
Hawking is working with other scientists on two combined theories. What are some of the
questions that science will answer? What do we know about the universe?
What do we know about the universe, and how do we know it? Where did the universe come from, and
where it is? Did the universe have a beginning, and if so, what happened before? What is the nature of
time? Will it ever come to an end? Can we go back in time? Recent breakthrough in physics, made
possible in part by fantastic new technologies, suggest answers to some of these longstanding questions.
These are questions asked by scientists who are now coming close to answering them.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle, in his book on the heavens, was able to put forward two good arguments
for believing that the earth was a round sphere rather than a flat plate. First, he realized that eclipses of
the moon were caused by the earth coming between the sun and the moon.
Aristotle thought the earth was stationary and that the sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars moved in
circular orbits about the earth. He believed this because he felt, for mystical reasons, that the earth was
the center of the universe, and that circular motion was the most perfect. This idea was elaborated by
Ptolemy in the second century A.D. into a complete cosmological model. The earth stood at the center,
surrounded by eight spheres that carried the moon, the sun, the stars, and the five planets known at the
time, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Pages 3 – 4
He starts by tracing the development of science. At first, people said that the Earth was flat and
then Aristotle came and proved that it is circular, stationary and the sun and other planets moved
around it. Christianity accepted this model, because it leaves a place to heaven. Later Galileo
showed that the Earth rotates around the stationary sun. It seems that Galileo has been persecuted
by the church because of this theory.
Ptolemy recognized this flaw, but nevertheless his model was generally, although not universally,
accepted. It was adopted by the Christian church as the picture of the universe that was accordance with
scripture, for it had the great advantage that it left lots of room outside the sphere of fixed stars for
heaven and hell.
A simpler model, however, was proposed in 1514 by a polish priest, Nicholas Copernicus. (At first,
perhaps for fear of being branded a heretic by his church, Copernicus circulated his model
anonymously). His idea was that the sun was stationary at the center and that the earth and the planets
moved in circular orbits around the sun. Nearly a century passed before this idea was taken seriously.
Then two astronomers the German, Johannes Kepler, and the Italian, Galileo started publicly to support
the Copernican theory, despite the fact that the orbits it predicted did not quite match the ones observed.
Isaac Newton contributed much to science through his theory of gravity which was a break through
science. Before the 20th century, no scientists argued that the universe was expanding or contracting.
An explanation was provided only much later, in 1687, when sir Isaac Newton published his philosophiae
Naturalis principia mathematical, probably the most important single work ever published in the physical
sciences. In it Newton not only put forward a theory of how bodies move in space and time, but he also
developed the complicated mathematics needed to analyze those motions.
Pages 6 – 7
One reason is that they believed that the age of the universe is limited but now that they believe
that the age could last milliards of years. According to Saint Augustine, the world is created 5000
before J.C. and he believed in progress, but Aristotle and other philosophers did not believe in
the progress of the universe. They believe that the world existed for ever and that history will be
repeated again and again every now and then.
It is an interesting reflection on the general climate of though before the twentieth century than no one
had suggested that the universe was expanding or contracting.
The beginning of the universe had, of course, been discussed long before this. According to a number of
early cosmologies and the Jewish / Christian / Muslim tradition, the universe started at a finite, and not
very distant, time in the past. One argument for such a beginning was the feeling that it was necessary to
have “first cause” to explain the existence of the universe.
St. Augustine in his book the city of god, he pointed out that civilization is progressing and we remember
who performed this deed or developed that technique. Thus man, so also perhaps the universe, could not
have been around all that long. St. Augustine accepted about 5000 B.C. for the creation of the universe
according to the book of Genesis.
Kant, a German philosopher, said that these cannot be proved. He called these principles
antinomies. We can‟t have a definite answer whether the universe had a beginning in time and
whether it is limited in space.
Aristotle, and most of the other Greek philosophers, on the other hand, did not like the idea of a creation
because it smacked too much of divine intervention. They believed, therefore, that the human race and the
world around it had existed, and would exist, forever. The ancients had already considered the argument
about progress described above, and answered it by saying that there had been periodic floods or other
disasters that repeatedly set the human race right back to the beginning of civilization.
The questions of whether the universe had a beginning in time and whether it is limited in space were
later extensively examined by the philosopher Immanuel Kant in his monumental (and very obscure) work
critique of pure reason, published in 1781. He called these questions antinomies (that is, contradictions)
of pure reason because he felt that there were equally compelling arguments for believing the thesis, that
the universe had a beginning, and the antithesis, that it had existed forever.
Hubble came with the idea of the big bang. There was a time called the big bang where the world
was small and dense and under such conditions laws of science do no apply and such theory
leaves a place to God. He is trying to show that the universe could have existed without a creator.
One could account for what was observed equally well on the theory that the universe had existed forever
or on the theory that it was set in motion at some finite time in such a manner as to look as thought it had
existed forever. Hubble‟s observations suggested that there was a time, called big bang, when the
universe was infinitesimally small and infinitely dense. Under such conditions all the laws of science, and
therefore all ability to predict the future, would break down. One could still imagine that god created the
universe at the instant of the big bang, or even afterwards in just such a way as to make it look as though
there had been a big bang, but it would be meaningless to suppose that it was created before the big
bang. An expanding universe does not preclude a creator, but it does place limits on when he might have
carried out his job!
He tells us how scientists work. What is a scientific theory? A good scientific theory is good if it
satisfies two requirements:
1. It shall make definite prediction that could be tested empirically but every scientific theory is
provisional; it holds as long as the prediction that falls from it is true but if we find any
exception the theory is rejected for we start to question it.
2. It must describe a large class of observation.
They are always tentative. A theory can never be proved positively and for good, but it can be
easily falsified. We stick with it as long as we don‟t find any exception.
A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements. It must accurately describe a large class of
observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make define
predictions about the results of future observations.
Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis: you can never prove it.
No matter how many times the result of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that
the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by
finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory. As philosopher of
science Karl Popper has emphasized, a good theory is characterized by the fact that it makes a number of
predictions that could in principle be disproved or falsified by observation. Each time new experiments
are observed to agree with the predictions the theory survives, and our confidence in it is increased; but if
ever a new observation is found to disagree, we have to abandon or modify the theory.
Einstein‟s theory was an improvement over Newton‟s theory. It is a more sophisticated one but
we still use the Newton theory because Einstein did not falsify it. What is science aiming at?
Science is aiming at providing a theory that would describe the whole universe and this should
deal with two issues:
1. How the universe changes with time?
2. To explain the initial state of the universe
Some scientists believe that science should deal only on how the universe changed or developed.
To Hawkins, science should deal with both.
He says that there are two theories that are partial and need to be combined.
1. General theory of relativity that deals with large scale phenomena
2. Quantum mechanics that deals with small things and now scientist are trying to combine both
theories according to Hawkins.
Einstein‟s general theory of relatively predicted a slightly different motion from Newton‟s theory. The fact
that Einstein‟s predictions matched what was sees, while Newton‟s did not, was one of the crucial
confirmations of the new theory. However, we still use Newton‟s theory fall practical purpose because the
difference between its predictions and those of general relatively is very small in the situations that we
normally deal with.
The eventual goal of science is to provide a single theory that describes the whole universe. However, the
approach most scientists actually follow is to separate the problem into two parts. First, there are the
laws that tell us how the universe changes with time.
Second, there is the question of the initial state of the universe. Some people feel that science should be
concerned with only the first part; they regard the question of the initial situation as a matter for
metaphysics or religion.
Hawkins refers to Darwin [man will be able to explain the universe]. To some people who are
really smart, they will be able to answer such questions. He is confident that some individuals
will develop the ability through scientific theories that are developing they want to know why?
And how? People always want to explain the universe; they are not satisfied to be ignorant. He is
after a complete / definite explanation of the universe.
The only answer that I can give to this problem is based on Darwin‟s principle of natural selection. The
idea is that in any population of self reproducing or organisms, there will be variations in the genetic
material and upbringing that different individuals have.
These differences will mean that some individuals are better able than others to draw the right
conclusions about the world around them and to act accordingly. These individuals will be more
likely to survive and reproduce and so their pattern of behavior and though will come to dominate. It
has certainly been true in the past that what we call intelligence and scientific discovery has
conveyed a survival advantage. It is not so clear that this is still the case: out scientific discoveries
may well destroy us all, and even if they don‟t, a complete unified theory may not make much
difference to our chances of survival. However, provided the universe has evolved in a regular way,
we might expect that the reasoning abilities that natural selection has given us would be valid also in
our search for a complete unified theory, and so would not lead us to the wrong conclusions. The
discovery of a complete unified theory, therefore, may not aid the survival of our species. It may not
even affect our life-style. But ever since the dawn of civilization, people have not been content to see
events as unconnected and inexplicable. They have craved an understanding of the underlying order
in the world. Today we still yearn to know why we are here and where we came from. Humanity‟s
deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest. And our goal is
nothing less than a complete description of the universe we live in.
Pages 22 - 23
Time is relative not absolute; it is related to space whether we are stationary or moving.
In other words, the theory of relativity put an end to the idea of absolute time! It appeared that each
observer must have his own measure of time, as recorded by a clock carried with him, and that
identical clocks carried by different observers would not necessarily agree.
The theory of relativity does, however, force us to change fundamentally our ideas of space and time.
We must accept that time is not completely separate from and independent of space, but is combined
with it to from an object called space-time.
If we have two twins, one will age more than the other depending on the space they are located
in. Time is not absolute but relative.
Newton‟s laws of motion put an end to the ideal of absolute position in space. The theory of relativity
gets one twin goes to live on the top of a mountain while the other stays at sea level. The first twin
would age faster than the second. Thus, if they met again, one would be older than the other. In this
case, the difference in ages would be very small, but it would be much larger if one of the twins went
for a long trip in a spaceship at nearly the speed of light. When he returned, he would be much
younger than the one who stayed on earth.
Conclusion: They are trying to show that the universe has a beginning and an end.
The old idea of an essentially unchanging universe that could have existed, and could continue to
exist, forever was replaced by the notion of a dynamic, expanding universe that seemed to have
begun a finite time ago, and that might end at a finite time in the future. That revolution forms the
subject of the next chapter. And years later, it was also to be the starting point for my work in
theoretical physics. Roger Penrose and I showed that Einstein‟s general theory of relativity implied
that the universe must have a beginning and, possibly, an end.
In the past, they believed that the universe is static and this is why the idea of the universe
expanding is the product of the 20th Century.
This behavior of the universe could have been predicted from Newton‟s theory of gravity at any time in
the nineteenth, the eighteenth, or even the late seventeenth century. Yet so strong was the belief in a static
universe that it persisted into the early twentieth century. Even Einstein, when he formulated the general
theory of relativity in 1915, was so sure that the universe had to be static that he modified his theory to
make this possible, introducing a so-called cosmological constant into his equations.
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Answer: it might start contracting but after a long period time.
Will the universe eventually stop expanding and start contracting, or will it expand forever? The present
evidence therefore suggests that the universe will probably expand forever, but all we can really be sure
of is that even if the universe is going to recollapse; it won‟t do so for at least another ten thousand
million years, since it has already been expanding for at least that long. This should not unduly worry us:
that time, unless we have colonized beyond the solar system, mankind will long since have died out,
extinguished along with our sun!
Conclusion: It has been proven that the universe has a beginning and an end. The general theory
cannot deal with the big bung only, so quantum mechanics is the combination of both theories.
We have seen in this chapter how, in less than half a century, man‟s view of the universe, formed over
millennia, has been transformed. Hubble‟s discovery that the universe was expanding, and the realization
of the insignificance of our own planet in the vastness of the universe, was just the starting point. As
experimental and theoretical evidence mounted, it became more and more clear that the universe must
have had a beginning in time, until in 1917 this was finally proved by Penrose and myself, on the basis of
Einstein‟s general theory of relativity. That proof showed that general relativity is only an incomplete
theory: it cannot tell us how the universe started off, because it predicts that physical theories, including
itself, break down at the beginning of the universe. However, general relativity claim to be only a partial
theory, so what the singularity theorems really show is that there must have been a time in the very early
universe when the universe was so small that one could no longer ignore the small-scale effects of the
other partial theory of the twentieth century, quantum mechanics. At the start of the 1970s, then, we were
forced to turn our search for an understanding of the universe from our theory of the extraordinarily vast
to our theory of the extraordinarily tiny. That theory, quantum mechanics, will be described next, before
we turn to the efforts to combine the two partial theories into a single quantum theory of gravity.
The Catholic Church in the 80s held a conference of scientists because the church wanted to keep
track of what is happening in science and to show that science is not against religion. Hawkins
gave a lecture in which he says that there is no need to have a creator. He was grateful that the
pope did not understand what he said, because he didn‟t want to face the same destiny as Galileo.
Does the universe in fact have a beginning or an end? And if so, what are they like? Throughout the
1970s I had been mainly studying black holes, but in 1981 my interest in questions about the origin and
fate of the universe was reawakened when I attended a conference on cosmology organized by the Jesuits
in the Vatican. The Catholic Church had made a bad mistake with Galileo when it tired to lay down the
law on a question of science, declaring that the sun went round the earth. Now, centuries later, it had
decided to invite a number of experts to advise it on cosmology. At the end of the conference the
participants were granted an audience with the pope. He told us that it was all right to study the evolution
of the universe after the big bang, but we should not inquire into the big bang itself because that was the
moment of creation and therefore the work of god. I was glad then that he did not know the subject of the
talk I had just given at the conference the possibility that space-time was finite but had no boundary,
which means that it had no beginning, no moment of creation. I had no desire to share the fate of Galileo,
with whom I feel a strong sense of identity, partly because of the coincidence of having been exactly 300
years after his death!
The universe is governed by certain laws that can be god-governed or scientist-governed. There
are theories that emphasize the role of the creator. Things are not spontaneous; there should be
some cause to hold human life. He‟s arguing against these theories: there is no need for a creator.
The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary
manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired.
Hawkins is trying to develop a theory in which there is no need for a creator [or first cause], He
says that he is not going to admit any role for God unless science proves it.
God may know how the universe began, but we can‟t give any particular reason for thinking it began one
way rather than another. On the other hand, the quantum theory of gravity has opened up a new
possibility, in which there would be no boundary to space-time and so there would be no need to specify
the behavior at the boundary. There would be no singularities at which the laws of science broke down,
and no edge of space-time at which one would have to appeal to god or some new law set the boundary
conditions for space-time. One could say: “the boundary condition of the universe is that it has no
boundary”. The universe would be completely self-contained and not affected by anything outside itself. It
would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE.
Conclusion: the idea that space and time may form a closed surface without boundary also has profound
implications for the role of god in the affairs of the universe. With the success of scientific theories in
describing events, most people have come to believe that god allows the universe to evolve according to a
set of laws and does not intervene in the universe to break these laws. However, the laws do not tell us
what the universe should have looked like when it started it would still be up to god to wing up the
clockwork and choose how to start it off. So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it
had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it
would have neither beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?
Conclusion of the book: Science and Philosophy have been trying to explain the universe, but
philosophy started in the late 19th Century giving up metaphysical questions, because they
believed they cannot find answers so they gave cannot but science has not given up. And he is
confident that sc will arrive at a theory that describes the universe and will be made available to
everyone to understand.
However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by
everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be
able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the
answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason for then we would know the mind of