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Introduction to “Friedrich Nietzsche: On the Concept of the Organic since Kant”

Translated and annotated by Th. Nawrath, Paderborn

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No one perhaps considers Friedrich Nietzsche to be a thinker who expressed himself self-evidently at first sight. Although his published works are usually magnificently phrased, many people miss an academic clearness, like in a treatise—presenting a distinct structure of definitions, proofs, corollaries, and the like. Therefore a reader might expect a certain tension between what one knows from Nietzsche on the one hand and the draft of an academic dissertation on the other hand as it has to uphold several standards concerning style, content, and form of argumentation. The translated dissertation draft shows how Nietzsche tried to manage such demands, giving an insight into these three dimensions of his thought in spring 1868 as well.

a) The Historic Situation: Schopenhauer vs. Kant

1868 was one of the most important years in Nietzsche’s development as a thinker. It marks the moment when he abandoned the struggle of the Hegel scholars and seized on the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer, widely recognized as Nietzsche’s “educator”, maintained a critique of Immanuel Kant, the genius of the leading philosophical schools in Germany at their times. Kant’s thought did not linger in the fog of different speculations about the essence of revelation or other religious topics (as did the thought of the Young Hegelians). It focused on the core problem of cognition as the main part of the conditio humana. Accordingly, criticism either had to target Kant’s idea of cognition or his undue preference for it in general. Nietzsche found such criticism in Schopenhauer, who gave a pretty clear approach of his argument in contrast to other authors. Here Nietzsche found the two reasons in principle to reject Kantian thought. And in the dissertation draft he tried to apply them to the contemporary state of biological research.

b) The Biographical Situation: A Letter to Paul Deussen

During his time as a soldier Nietzsche had a riding accident that caused him physical pain for several weeks. But at the same time he learned that he did not want to stay a private first class (“Gefreiter”), but to become a free civilian again (“Befreiter”).(1) He finished his letter to Paul Deussen with the sentence: “Please leave the military address line aside.”(2)

In fact, Nietzsche felt himself cured from any pathos both military and philosophical. His aim was to write a number of papers that were supposed to be appreciated by contemporary scholars for being down-to-earth. Among them, he referred to a doctoral dissertation that was meant to prove that “Kant” was no solid ground anymore. His inspiration was the profound development of the physiologic sciences of the last fifty years. The argument seemed to be absolutely clear to him; for he planned to complete the dissertation within half a year as his “preliminary work [was] pretty finished.” Without any “philosophical clutter” it was planned to be “half philosophical, half scientific.” The concrete aim was to prove that metaphysics belongs to the realm of psychological needs or the arts.(3) As a result, there will be no “absolute truth” left. All human beings can have is an “awareness of the relativity of knowledge”.

c) Becoming Structured

The dissertation draft consists of 52 fragments (mixed up with some remarks on Democritus, Homer, Hesiod and Nietzsche’s teaching schedule). While Nietzsche’s published writings are phrased in a sophisticated manner (style, grammar and vocabulary), the draft consists of rushed notes like a spontaneous oral presentation. Incomplete sentences and very short glances at various topics sometimes take the reader through a whole line of argumentation each moment. Different from other editions,(4) this translation tries to preserve this fragmentary character and does not try to add headings or other aspects of an order that is not already provided by the KGW.

After some kind of an introduction about teleology in general the first group of notes, captioned Natural-Philosophically [naturphilosophisch], is supposed to lead the reader to a refutation of Kant’s thought. It seems to be intended to contain the following steps of discussion: (1) The presentation of the problem; (2) Kant’s rejection of other approaches to the problem; (3) Approaches of natural philosophers after Kant; (4) Criticism of Kant’s opinion. Such a structure would have matched the standards of a dissertation, presenting a problem, a plain discussion, and a clear result.

So far, so good. Since Nietzsche had a plan on hand, he could get into detail now, outlining each thesis he had to prove or reject. The next group of notes—on `purposiveness´—states two such theses: positively (1) we only recognize the mechanism; and negatively (2) we do not recognize the organism. To prove these ideas, Nietzsche could have employed several contemporary approaches, especially those of the Young Hegelians, who formed his horizon until then. Or he could have employed arguments of Schopenhauer, who was his main interest at that time. But he did not. In fact Nietzsche named the third section Goethe’s experiments, introducing a very special perspective on the issue: the concept of a force and not of an individual for it was not an appropriate notion of organic purposiveness.

Next, the draft’s short fourth section, A wrong opposition, applies this change of paradigm in four steps: (1) Elimination of the extended imagination of teleology; (2) Borders of the concept. The purposive in nature; (3) Purposive equals capable of existence; (4) Organisms as multiplicities and unities. These “multiplicities and unities” can be considered as the achieved result of the argumentation and the reason why Nietzsche seized on the approach of Goethe, although it was as odd among scientists at that time as today.

Afterwards in section five on Kant Nietzsche presented several theses of Kant’s notion of ends in nature—just to tackle it with counter-arguments immediately. These arguments seem to mark a clearing of thought for Nietzsche, who noted two different roadmaps of his whole argumentation again. The first one tries to keep on a rather logical level and puts a conflict common to traditional (pre-Kantian) approaches against the teleological argument for the existence of God: (1) Concept of purposiveness; (2) Organism (the undefined concept of life, the undefined concept of the individual); (3) The alleged impossibility to explain an organism mechanically; (4) The recognized purposelessness in nature in conflict with purposiveness. In comparison the latter structure already shows a deeper insight, especially into the concept of `life´, which has been only part of step two of the other earlier structure. Now the inquiry into the problem of teleology will turn on the idea of `life´ after Goethe’s concept of a force has been applied to it: (1) Teleological inquiry is inquiry by forms; (2) Forms (individuals) are appendant to and taken from the human organization; (3) Life force.

d) The Argument. Unclosing a Lifelong Intellectual Ordeal

Of course, it is not a metaphysically satisfying argument that someone’s reasons must be wrong if only his conclusions are incorrect. In the draft Nietzsche referred to several ideas that show that one of Kant’s later ideas is wrong (namely the concept of ends in nature as a proof of the reality of teleology). This is not a good inquiry for three reasons: firstly, Nietzsche did not really present the arguments or test the research that led to the conclusion that nature can be explained mechanically. Secondly, he did not recognize Kant’s assumption correctly, but read his ideas second-hand. Thirdly, if he rejects the laws of logic, he should not apply them to his criticism of Kant as well.

Despite these apparent problems, one can already find several insightful aspects in the draft that point to the unexpectedly far distanced thoughts of Nietzsche at that time. He was going to employ works of empirical research. But in the actual draft he mainly refers to philosophical authors like Empedocles, Goethe, and Schopenhauer. In fact he was going to write what we would call an interdisciplinary treatise. Or should I say: a multi-perspectival investigation?

Beside this nucleus of a perspectivism, the text deals with the possibility of forms arising out of chaos. Such an idea of natural perfectibility is known from Nietzsche’s history of the mind, which is present in the tension between the types of life described in the Genealogy of Morals and the several notions of the Übermensch and his wandering to real-ideal independence and actual freedom. In the draft Nietzsche struggles with these problems, too. He thinks about such questions as: How can there be anything we can only consider completely with our intellectual faculty? Does it belong to our reason or to any reason at all?

While the first question would lead to radical idealism, the second one would lead to a teleological proof of the existence of God. (Or what one might call his `God´.) Contrary to the Genealogy of Morals the dissertation draft does not state a negative argument against the existence of things that require to be created purposively, but it positively tries to present a third way to answer the puzzle: chance.

Can there be a universe simply due to chance? Nietzsche does not go on to extend the scope of his investigation within the draft, facing the two extremes of the possibility of unpredicted creativity and existence on the one hand (symbolized as the Übermensch), and of the cosmological idea of an eternal repetition on the other hand. And he does not need to extend his thoughts up to these spheres. But for what reason could he feel himself satisfied with nothing more than the problem of teleology and a mechanism of life? Because the concept of the will he had at that time allowed him to ignore the remaining questions.

The draft is still written under the influence of Schopenhauer: “All parts of nature comply with each other because there is a will.” But Nietzsche does not simply employ the idea of a will without any further reflection. If there is a will that solves the problem of organisms, does that will have to solve the problem of the antagonism among the organisms as well? The problem of evil in the world arises. Or traditionally: theodicy.

Now we face the sharp problem that has been seen by Nietzsche and has made him stop at that point: How to reject the metaphysics of teleological judgment and simultaneously not to get into an even more metaphysical meshwork? What is the `organism´ in itself?

Schopenhauer provides two starting grounds to answer these questions: (1) there is a concept of cognition different from Kant’s; (2) and there is an omnipresent will to be considered in every speculation about reality. Now, if Nietzsche did not add further arguments, there would be no great difference from Schopenhauer’s own treatment. But in fact it is not the only support he accepted. Actually Nietzsche quotes Goethe’s ideas on the formation of organisms. He summarizes: “There are no individuals in reality; rather, individuals and organisms are nothing but abstractions.” We can conclude briefly that Schopenhauer’s concept of will allowed Nietzsche to reject Kant’s notion of an organism while Goethe’s concepts of individuality and holism allowed him to reject Schopenhauer’s pessimism concerning the effects of the will.

Unknowingly Nietzsche seems to tacitly outline an `arena´ wherein exactly the ideas associated with his future philosophy are present: ideas of non-individuals (power quanta) and of the problem of identity throughout a universe without any given substantive identity (a flow of the same). Whatever such hen-kai-pân sameness might be in metaphysics, the draft offers us nothing less than a picture of Nietzsche a moment “before sunrise”– –

Friedrich Nietzsche

On the Concept of the Organic since Kant(5)

[549] On Teleology

Kant attempts to demonstrate that there is a necessitation to think the natural bodies as premeditated by ourselves, i.e. by concepts of ends. I can only concede that this is a way to explain teleology to oneself.

In addition; the analogy of human experience provides the random, i.e. not meditated emergence of the purposeful, e.g. in the happy coincidence of talent and destiny, lottery tickets etc.

Therefore, the convenient and purposive cases must be within the infinite plenitude of real cases, too.

The necessitation that Kant deals with exists hardly anymore for our time: but one may consider that even Voltaire himself regarded teleological proof as non-compelling.

Optimism and teleology go hand in hand: both are down to disclaiming the non-purposeful as something really inexpedient.

[550] In general the weapon against teleology is: proof of the inexpedient.

Thereby it will only be evinced that the highest reason acts only sporadically, that there is an area for a lower reason, too. Therefore there is no unique teleological world; but a creating intelligence.

The conjecture of such a one is made by human analogy: why can there be no power unconsciously creating the purposive, i.e. nature: one may think of the instinct of the animals. This [is] the standpoint of natural philosophy.

Also one no longer places the act of knowing outside the world.

But we get stuck in metaphysics and have to bring up the thing in itself.

Finally there can be a possible solution on a strictly human standpoint: the Empedoclean one, where the purposive only appears as one case beneath many non-purposive ones.

Two metaphysical solutions have been attempted:

One, roughly anthropological, places an ideal man outside the world;

the other one, metaphysical as well, resorts to an intelligible world in which the end is immanent to things.(6)

The purpose is the exception.

The purpose is random.

It reveals a completely unreason.

One has to eliminate every theological interest from the question.

[551] Teleology since Kant.

Natural-Philosophically [naturphilosophisch].

The simple idea unfolds in a multiplicity of parts and states of the organism, but it remains as a unity in the necessary conjunction of the parts and functions. This is the act of the intellect.

The purposiveness of the organic [and] the regularity of the inorganic are brought into nature by our reason.

The same idea as enhanced presents the explanation of outer purposiveness. The thing in itself must show its unity in the harmony of all phenomena. All parts of nature comply with each other because there is a will.(7)

But the contrary to the whole theory is formed by that awful battle of the individuals (who also manifest an idea) and the species. Hence the explanation presupposes a continuous teleology: which does not exist.

That which is difficult is just the assemblage of the teleological and the non-teleological world.

The presentation of the problem.

Kant’s rejection of approaches to the problem.

Approaches of natural philosophers.

Criticism of Kant’s opinion.

[552] Kant, Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens.(8)

The Only Possible Foundation for a Proof of the Existence of God.(9)

Holbach, Système de la Nature.(10)

Hettner, [History of the French literature in the 18th century, vol.] 2.(11)

Moleschott, Cycle of Life.(12)

The question has its similarity to that of the freedom of the human will where they were looking for its solution in the field of an intelligible world because they disregarded the possibility of coordination.

There is no question that is necessarily solved only by assuming an intelligible world.

Teleology: inner purposiveness. We see a complicated machine that preserves itself and cannot sensibly imagine any other architecture in order to construe it in an easier way. But that only means: the machine preserves itself, therefore it is purposive. [553] We are not entitled to any judgment about a ‘highest purposiveness’. At the utmost(13) we could conclude on a reason, but we have no right to call it a higher or lower one.

An outer purposiveness is an illusion.

Against this we know the method of nature as to how such a ‘purposive’ body emerges, a senseless method. According to that purposiveness proves itself only as viability, i.e. a condition sine qua non. Chance can reach the most beautiful melody.

Secondly we know by [or through] the method of nature how to preserve such a purposive body. By senseless recklessness.

But teleology moots a lot of questions which are unsolvable or are not solved until now.

The world-organism, origin of evil, does not belong here.

But e.g. the emergence of intellect.

Is it necessary to face teleology with an explained world?

It is only left to prove another reality within a limited domain.

Counter-assumption: the self-revelatory logical laws can be higher on higher stages. But we are not allowed to talk about logical laws at all.

[554] Purposive.

We see a method for achieving the end or more correctly: we see existence and its means and conclude that these means are purposive. The recognition of a high or even the highest degree of reason does not lie herein yet.

Thereupon we marvel at the complicated(14) and conjecture (by human analogy) an extraordinary wisdom therein.

The marvelous for us is really organic life: and we call all means to preserve it purposive. Why does the concept of the purposive stop in the inorganic world? Because we have nothing but unities here, but not interacting parts belonging together.

The removal of teleology has a practical value. It all depends only on rejecting the concept of a higher reason: so we are already satisfied.

Esteem of teleology in its appreciation for the human world of ideas.

Teleology like optimism is an aesthetic product.

[555] The strict necessity of cause and consequence excludes ends from unconscious nature. Because the representations of ends do not originate in nature, they must be regarded as motives injected from external causality here and there; whereby the strict necessity is just continually interrupted. Existence(15) is perforated by miracles.

Teleology as purposiveness and consequence of a conscious intelligence still pushes ahead. One asks for the end of scattered intervention and stands in front of pure arbitrariness here.

There is no order and disorder in nature.

We attribute those effects to chance where we do not see its nexus with causes.

Much funny in Brockes.(16)

See Strauß, Minor Writings.(17)

Zeller, On the Stoics, vol. 4.(18)

Things do exist, therefore they must be able to exist, i.e. they must have the conditions of existence.

If man construes something, i.e. wants to make it capable of existence,(19) he considers under which conditions this might take place. Later he calls the conditions of the existence of the finished work purposive.

[556] Therefore he calls the conditions of the existence of things purposive, too: i.e. only under the hypothesis they were originated like human works.

When a man draws a lot out of an urn and this time it is not the lot of death: then it is neither non-purposive nor purposive but, as man says, random, i.e. without previous consideration. But it states the condition of his ongoing existence.(20)

“The organization of nature is not analogous to any causality which we know”(21) (i.e. the organism) Kant says, Critique of Teleological Judgment [§ 65].

“An organism is that in which everything is an end and mutually also a means.” [§ 66](22)

“Everything that lives, Goethe says, “is no individual, but a plurality: even insofar as it appears as an individual to us, it keeps a gathering of living independent beings.” [Formation and Transformation of Organic Natures. Introduction](23)

Very important Goethe [On natural philosophy in general, intuitional power of judgment(24)] on the origin of his natural philosophy from a Kantian sentence.

[557] What understanding recognizes by its concept of nature is nothing but the effect of a moving force, i.e. mechanism. What is not purely mechanically recognized, that is no keen natural scientific insight.

Explaining mechanically means explaining by outer causes.

Specification cannot be explained by outer causes. But nothing without cause. Therefore inner causes, i.e. ends, i.e. imaginations.

Perspective(25) is no cognition yet.

The principle of such a necessary perspective must be a concept of reason.(26)

The sole principle of this kind is natural purposiveness.

Through the concept of mechanical regularity the architecture of the world,(27) but no organism can be explained.

It is impossible to imagine natural purposiveness inhering matter.

Matter is only outer appearance.

The purposiveness of a thing can only be valid with respect to an intelligence the intention of which the thing conforms to. To wit, either our own [intelligence] or an alien [one] which underlies the thing itself.(28) In the last case the intention, which reveals itself in the phenomenon, the existence of the thing. In the other case only our imagination of the thing is judged as purposive. This last case of purposiveness refers only to the form [558] (power of imagination and intelligence harmonize in the simple contemplation of the object).

Only the mechanical way of originating of things is cognizable.

A sort of things is not cognizable.

We only understand a mechanism.

The mechanical origination of things is cognizable, but we cannot know whether there is a totally different one.

It is conditioned by our organization to understand only a mechanical origin of things.

Now there is, according to Kant, a necessitation in our organization that makes us believe in organisms, too.

 human nature:

we only recognize the mechanism;

we do not recognize the organism.

But now mechanism like organism is nothing that belongs to the thing in itself.

The organism is a form. Disregarding the form, it is multiplicity.

1. Organism as a product of our organization

2. Only the mathematical is recognizable


[559] The organic body is a matter the parts of which are composed purposively with each other.

Therefore we demand causes that are able to compose the parts of a matter purposively, i.e. Kant says(30) organizing causes which must be thought as effective by ends –

But herein a leap lies. It is only necessary to exhibit a coordinated possibility to remove the constraining of Kant’s imagination.

Mechanism combined with casualism(31) provides this possibility.

What Kant demands, he demands it following a poor analogy: because according to his confession there is nothing similar to the relation of purposiveness of the organisms.(32)

The purposive originated as a special case of the possible: a welter of forms originates, i.e. mechanical compositions: among these innumerable [forms] there can be viable ones.

The precondition is that the living can originate from mechanism. Kant denies this.

In reality what is sure is that we can only recognize the mechanical. What is beyond our concepts is completely unrecognizable. The origin of the organic is insofar a hypothetical one: as we imagine a human understanding has been present.

But now even the concept of the organic is just human; one has to point out the analogous: the viable originates among a vast amount of non-viable. Therewith we come closer to the solution of the organism.

[560] We see that much that is viable originates and is preserved and see the method.(33)

Assuming the force which acts in the viable and in those things that originate and preserve to be the same: so this [force] must be very unreasonable.

But this is the presumption of teleology.

The idea of the effect is the concept of the whole.

In the organism the effecting principle is the idea of the effect to bring forth.

But the concept of the whole is our achievement. Here the source of the imagination of an end lies. The concept of the whole does not lie in things, but in us.

But these units which we call organisms are multiplicities again.

There are no individuals in reality rather individuals and organisms are nothing but abstractions.

Into the units we made we carry the idea of an end afterwards.

We presume that the force which generates organisms of one kind is an integrated one.

Then the method of how this force creates and preserves the organisms is to be considered..

[561] Here it turns out that we just call purposive what is viable.

The secret is only ‘life’.

Whether this is just an idea conditioned in the organization?

“The raving wastefulness astonishes us.(34) Schopenhauer (World as Will and Representation [vol. 2, second book, chap. 26]) says: “To nature works do not cost any efforts;”(35) therefore destruction is an indifferent will.

Schopenhauer means that there is an analogy to the organism (World as Will and Representation [loc. cit.]. “The will [is] the moving; what moves it [is] the motive (causa finalis).”(36)

Goethe’s Experiments:

Metamorphosis belongs to the explanation of the organic out of the one of the effectuating cause.

Ultimately every effectuating cause bears on something inscrutable

(exactly that proves that this is the right human way).

Thus no one demands final causes in inorganic nature because there are no individuals but forces to be noticed;

i.e. because we can disintegrate anything mechanically and in consequence of this do not believe in ends anymore.


Only that much can be completely conceived as one can construe and effectuate by concepts oneself.(37)

A Wrong Opposition(38)

If only mechanical forces prevail in nature, so the purposive phenomena are only illusionary, too; their purposiveness is our idea.

The blind forces act unintentionally; therefore they cannot effectuate anything purposive.

The viable is configured according to a chain of failed and half successful trials.(39)

[563] Life, the organism does not prove any higher intelligence: no continuous degree of intelligence at all.

The existence of organisms only shows blindly effectuating forces.

1. Elimination of the extended imagination of teleology.

2. Borders of the concept. The purposive in nature.

3. Purposive equals capable of existence.(40)

4. Organisms as multiplicities and unities.

The imagination of the whole considered as cause is the end.

N.B. But the ‘whole’ itself is only an imagination.


Possible that organisms emerged purely mechanically.

Impossible that we can deduce them mechanically.


Understanding is discursive, not intuitive.

It can comprehend and compose the whole only of the parts.

But within an organism the parts are conditioned by the whole.

Now the understanding tries to start with the whole which is not given in intuition but only in imagination. So the imagination of the whole is supposed to condition the parts: the imagination of the whole as cause, i.e. end.

[564] [If] the understanding is supposed to comprehend the whole from the parts, then it will proceed mechanically, [if] it is supposed to comprehend the given parts out of the whole, then it can only deduce them from the concept of the whole.(41)

Briefly, it lacks intuition.

Within an organism not only the parts are conditioned by the whole but also the whole by the parts.

So differently, if the organisms are emerged mechanically, then they must be deducible, too.

Admitted that we keep only one side in sight.

Now initially the parts are considered and decomposed in their parts: so one gets for instance to the cell.

On condition that the organisms emerged mechanically. But if a concept of a purpose was functioning, too, the creation took place by mechanism anyway (as Kant admits).

So a mechanism must be ascertainable.

A generatio aequivoca [is] unproved.(42)

Final causes as well as mechanisms are human ways of intuiting. Purely one only knows the mathematical.

The law (in inorganic nature) as a law is something analogous to final causes.

What in nature is not just mechanically constituted, this is no object of the understanding.

[565] Only the strictly mathematical in nature can be explained.

Explaining mechanically means explaining from outer causes / this definition is introduced to oppose the inner ones later.

On the contrary explaining mechanically means:

“Only that much can be completely conceived as one oneself can construe and effectuate by concepts.”(43)

Therefore one can only completely conceive the mathematical (therefore formal understanding). For the rest one faces the unknown. To cope with this man invents concepts which however only aggregate a sum of appearing attributes, but do not come  close to the thing.

Force, matter, individual, law, organism, atom, final cause all belong here.

These are not constitutive, but only reflect judgments.

Kant catches the meaning of mechanism as the world without final causes: the world of causality.

We cannot imagine crystallization without the idea of effect, either.

The emergence u and preservation of organic beings—in how far does it belong to the final causes?(44)

[566] Ends in nature: in siring, preservation of the individual and the species. Therewith compare § 62.(45)

Then Kant foists the concept of a thing (§ 63) and loses sight of the general forms of purposiveness.

The randomness of its form in relation to reason (which is found in the crystal, too).

“A thing exists as a natural end if it is a cause and effect on its own.”(46) This proposition is not deduced. A single case is taken.

The deduction, that organisms are the sole natural ends, has not been accomplished.

In nature already a machine would lead to final causes.

Concept of purposiveness: only the ability of existence.(47) Herewith nothing is testified about the degree of the herein revealed reason.

It is something different, Kant says, to consider a thing by its inner form as purposive and to regard the existence of this thing as an end of nature. —Therefore the inexpedient method of preservation and reproduction of an organism does not struggle with its own purposiveness by all means.(48)

Against this the same has to be said: this organism is purposive and this organism is viable. So not: the existence of this thing is the end of nature: but: what we call purposive is nothing but us finding a thing viable and following this, its conditions as purposive.

[567] Who complains about the method of nature to preserve as inexpedient regards now the existence of a thing as an end of nature.

The concept of an end of nature sticks only to the organism.

“But, Kant says, “this concept now leads necessarily to the idea of the whole nature as a system by the rule of ends.

“by the example, nature provides in its organic products, one is authorized to expect it and its laws to be nothing but what is purposive in toto.”(49)

This reflection is only achieved by

1. discounting the subjective of the concept of purpose;

2. comprehending nature as a unit;

3. presuming it a unit of means, too.

“Now if one introduces the concept of God into natural science and in its context to make purposiveness in nature explicable, and needs this purposiveness hereafter again to prove that there is a God: then in none of both sciences is there any substance(50) and an elusive vicious circle(51) brings each in uncertainness, through which they make their borders merge with one another.”(52)

Chap. 1.   Concept of purposiveness (as ability of existence).

“        2.   Organism (the undefined concept of life, the undefined concept of individual).

“        3.   The alleged impossibility to explain an organism mechanically (what does mechanically


“        4.   The recognized purposelessness in nature in conflict with purposiveness.

[568] To infer the emergence of organisms at all out of the method of nature during preservation etc. of the organism: is not the Empedoclean view. But the Epicurean one indeed. But it presupposes that chance might be able to assemble motley organic beings: while here the point at issue lies. A tragedy can be pieced together out of letters (against Cicero), an earth out of meteor pieces: but it is questionable now what ‘life’ is, whether it is just a simple principle of order and form (like the tragedy) or something completely diverse: However one has to admit that within organic nature there exists no other principle for the behavior of organisms than within inorganic nature. The method of nature in treating things is equal, it is an impartial mother, hard towards inorganic and organic children in equal measure.

Chance rules by all means, i.e. the opposite of purposiveness in nature. The storm that carries the things around is chance. This is conceivable.

Here the question appears whether the force that makes things is the same as the one which preserves them? etc.

Within the organic being the parts are purposive for its existence; i.e. it would not live if the parts were inexpedient. But therewith nothing is arranged for the sole part yet. It(53) is a form of purposiveness: but it is not to make out that it is the only possible form. Hence the whole does not command the parts necessarily, while the parts necessarily command the whole.(54) Who asserts the first, too, [569] asserts the highest purposiveness, i.e. the highest purposiveness selected from the different possible forms of purposiveness of the parts: whereby he assumes that there is a sequence of steps of purposiveness.

Which is the idea of effect now? Life under the conditions necessary thereto? This is one idea of effect common to all organisms?

Life in a form under the conditions necessary thereto? But the form and the conditions coincide here, i.e. if a form is set as a cause, so the degree of purposiveness is thought right into the cause, too. Because life in one form is just organism. What else is organism than form, formed life?

But if we say about the parts of the organism, they were not necessary, then we say, the form of the organism is not necessary: in other words we place the organic into somewhere else than the form. But furthermore it is simply still life. So our proposition will be: for living(55) there are different forms i.e. purposivenesses.

Life is possible among an astonishing bulk of forms.

Each of these forms is purposive: but because a welter of forms exists, so there is a welter of purposive forms, too.

In human life we make a sequence of steps of the purposive: we set it equally ‘reasonable’ not until a very narrow choice takes place. If a human being finds the only purposive way in a complicated situation, so we say, he is acting reasonably. But if one wants to travel into the world and runs an arbitrary way, so he is acting purposively but not yet reasonably.

Therefore a(56) reason does not reveal itself in the ‘purposive’ organisms.

[570] Therefore what the cause of the effect is as an idea, that is only the form of life. Life itself cannot be considered as an end because it is assumed to act by ends.

Therefore if we talk about concepts of ends and final causes: so we mean: on a living and thinking being a form is intentioned in which it wants to appear.

In other words employing final causes we do not approach the explanation of life but only of form.

Now we do not conceive anything at all of a living but forms. The eternally becoming(57) is life; by the nature of our intellect we conceive forms: our intellect is too obtuse to apprehend the perpetual metamorphosis: that which is cognizable to it, it calls form. Truly there can be no form because in each point sits an infinitude. Each thought unity (point) describes a line.

A similar concept like form is the concept individual. So one calls organisms units, centers of ends. But there are only units for our intellect. Each individual has an infinitude of living individuals within itself. It is only a coarse intuition, maybe firstly taken from the body of the human being.

All ‘forms’ can be diced out, but life!

The idea of the whole as cause: thereby it is said that the whole conditions the parts: nothing more: for that the parts construe the whole is self-evident.

[571] If one deals with final causes, one only means that in the building of the parts the form of the whole was in mind, that a form cannot have emerged mechanically.

Life along with procreation is that which is not enclosed among final causes. The ‘act of self-organization’(58) is deduced arbitrarily in Kant.

Does one need final causes to explain that something is alive? No, only to explain how it lives.

Do we need final causes to explain the life of a thing?

No, ‘life’ is something completely dark upon which we can thus spend no light by dint of final causes, either.

We seek to make obvious only the forms of life.

When(59) we say ‘the dog is alive’ and ask now ‘why is the dog alive?’ it does not belong here. Because here we have taken ‘living’ equally for ‘being’.(60) The question ‘why is [there] anything’ belongs to outer teleology and falls outside our area. (Childish anthropomorphic examples also in Kant).

We cannot explain the dog mechanically; that demands that he is a living being.

Form is all what appears from ‘life’ at the surface.

Therefore the inquiry into final causes is an inquiry into forms.

As a matter of fact we are even necessitated to look for final causes in an increasing crystal.

In other words: teleological inquiry and inquiry of organisms do not coincide


[572] teleological inquiry and inquiry into forms.

Ends and forms are identical in nature.

Therefore if the students of nature(61) opine, an organism could emerge from ‘chance’ i.e. not from final causes, so this has to be admitted as the form. It is only questionable what ‘life’ is.

To read are

Schopenhauer, On the Will in Nature.(62)

Treviranus, On the Appearance and Laws of the Organic Life.(63)

Czolbe, New Exposition of Sensualism.(64)

()     The Borders and the Origin of Human Cognition.(66)

Moleschott, Cycle of Life.(67)

”        The Unit of Life.(68)

Virchow, Four Speeches on Life and Illness.(69)

”        Collected Treatises on Scientific Medicine.(70)

Trendelenburg, Logical Inquiry.(71)

Überweg, System of Logic.(72)

Helmholz, On the Preservation of Force.(73)

”        On the Interaction of Natural Forces.(74)

Wundt, Lectures on the Human and Animal Spirit.(75)

Lotze, Polemics.(76)

”        Medical Psychology.(77)

Trendelenburg, Monthly Reviews of the Berlin Academy

November 1854

February 1856.(78)

[573] ”             Historical Contributions to Philosophy.(79)

Herbart, Analytical Illumination of Natural Law and Morals.(80)

Schelling, Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature.(81)

Herder, Ideas for the Philosophy of History of Humanity.(82)

Bichat, Sur la Vie et la Mort,(83) have to read

Joh. Müller, On the Organic Life.(84)

”        On the Physiology of the Senses.(85)

Chap. 1. Teleological inquiry is inquiry by forms.

”        2. Forms (individuals) are appendant to and taken from the human organization.

”        3. Life force. = (86)

Which right do we assume to comprehend the aspect of appearance(87) of a thing e.g. of a dog as preexistent? Form is something for us. Considering it as a cause thus we award a phenomenon the worth of a thing in itself.

‘Purposive’ is only said in relation to ‘life’.

Not so in relation to the forms of life.

[574] Therefore recognition of rationality does not fall within the concept of purposiveness.

What is supposed to be cause as the idea of effect, cannot be ‘life’ but only form.

I.e. an aspect of appearance of a thing is considered as preexistent and as real.

A thing lives—therefore its parts are purposive: the life of a thing is the end of its parts.

But to be alive, there are infinitely different ways i.e. forms i.e. parts.

Purposiveness. Is not an absolute, but a very relative one: from another point of view, usually inexpedience.

Final cause means:

the idea of the whole denoted as a cause

i.e. a form of appearance denoted as real and preexistent.

The concept of the whole is only related to the form, not to ‘life’.

1. Not “a ‘life’ shall be originated, therefore forms must be searched”;

2. but “among the following forms a ‘life’ shall appear”.

It is impossible to comprehend the concept of life: therefore it does not belong to the idea of the whole.

On the Possibility of an Emergence of the Organisms
from ‘Chance’, ‘Inexpedience’. (Mechanism)(88)

[575] Kant admits to the possibility, but disavows the possibility of cognition.

The method of nature is the same in organic and inorganic realm.(89)

So if there is the possibility of a mechanism, so there should be the possibility of cognition, too.

But our understanding is discursive. But even that is sufficient if the mechanism is explained.

Individual is an insufficient term.

What we see of life is form; how we see it, individual. What is behind it is unrecognizable.

Procreation is not included within final causes: because it asks: for which end shall this being become? This belongs to outer teleology i.e. in a system of the ends of nature.

A system of the ends of nature is opposed to the following theses:

1. The subjective of a concept of the ends in the organisms is taken objectively;

2. nature is taken as a unit;

3. and a unit of means is ascribed to it.

Is a thing not purposive hence, because it emerged mechanically?

Kant asserts this. Why is chance unable to beget anything purposive?

He is right: then the purposive is only in our idea.

‘Life’ occurs together with sensing: therefore we take sensation(90) for a condition of the ‘organic’.(91)

‘Living’ is to exist ‘consciously that is humanlike’.

[576] The question of the organism is this one: whence the humanlike in nature?

At the lack of self-awareness?

Kant, Critique of Judgment.(92)

Fries, Mathematical Philosophy of Nature.(93)

Schleiden, On Materialism in Newer Science of Nature (in Schleiden the mechanical explainability of organisms).(94)

C. Rosenkranz, Schelling Lectures.(95)

Sal. Maimon, Berlin Journal of Enlightenment, ed. by A. Riem, vol. 8, July 1790.(96)

Schelling, System of Transcendental Idealism.(97)

Oken, The Procreation.(98)

”        Primer to Natural Philosophy.(99)

Carus, Main Features of Comparing Anatomy and Physiology.(100)

We cannot imagine ‘life’ i.e. the sensing, growing existence other than analogously to the human. Man recognizes several humanlike and human-alien(101) in nature and asks for an explanation.

I have observed that one constantly thinks asleep from time to time: an accidental awakening informs of it as there are still smithereens of the recent thoughts in the head.

Do we comprehend the unconscious cooperation of single parts for one whole?

[577] In inorganic nature, e.g. in the constitution of the universe there is regularity and purposiveness very well considerable as a consequence of mechanism.

Therein Kant saw an orderly necessity(102), the opposite of chance (Kuno Fischer [History of the Newer Philosophy, vol. 3, chap. 7, sect. 2]).

Most notable passage: “Me thinks one could say in a certain sense without any arrogance: give me matter, I will demonstrate you how a world shall emerge out of it” – – – etc.(103)

What Hamann says about Kant’s optimism (Reflections on Optimism) applies to optimism at all: “His ideas are like blind cubs fawn by a hasty bitch – – He appeals to the whole to judge about the world. But that belongs to a knowledge, which is no more a patchwork. To reason the fragments from the whole is just the same as [to reason] the known from the unknown”.(104)

Hamann, Writings, part 1.

It is hard for Kant to project alien philosophems.: what is very characteristic for an original thinker.

[578] Nice words against the theological standpoint on the occasion of teleology.

“For it is something very absurd to expect enlightenment from reason and however to predict it prior which way must necessarily result” (Cr. o. Pur. Reas. 2. sect.).()

Translated and annotated by Th. Nawrath, Paderborn

(1)         Nietzsche to F. Zarncke (15 April 1868), KGB, sect. 1, vol. 2, p. 266.

(2)         This quotation and the following ones can be found in Nietzsche to P. Deussen (April/May 1868), KGB, sect. 1, vol. 2, p. 267-271. My translation.

(3)         In the draft Nietzsche says: “Teleology like optimism is an aesthetic product.” (KGW, sect. 1 vol. 4, p. 554)

(4)         Especially the Musarion edition (Friedrich Nietzsche: Jugendschriften. Dichtungen, Aufsätze, Vorträge, Aufzeichnungen und Philologische Arbeiten 1858-1868. Munich 1922; p. 269-291) construes a text too easy to read by adding comments and arranging parts arbitrarily.

(5)         This translation is based on Friedrich Nietzsche: Nachgelassene Aufzeichnungen (Herbst 1864 - Frühjahr 1868), KGW, sect. 1 vol. 4 (Berlin/New York 1967f). Numbers in brackets refer to the pagination of this edition. The text is the draft of a planned academic dissertation to achieve a doctorate. The inquiry has never been completed. Its original scope was not only on teleology, but as the designated title explains ‘On the concept of the organic since Kant’ (‘Begriff des Organischen seit Kant’; cf. Nietzsche’s letter to Paul Deussen, April/May 1868, KGB, sect. 1 vol. 2 (Berlin/New York, 1975-2004).

(6)         The German text states: “Zweck” which is translated as “end” according to the Kantian jargon Nietzsche employs consistently.

(7)         The German text is not clear as to whether Nietzsche means the numeral or the indefinite article. With respect to Nietzsche’s reading of Schopenhauer, the indefinite article was chosen for translation.

(8)         Immanuel Kant: Allgemeine Naturgeschichte und Theorie des Himmels (1755).

(9)         Immanuel Kant: Der einzig mögliche Beweisgrund zu einer Demonstration des Daseins Gottes (1763).

(10)       Paul Henri Thiry d'Holbach: Système de la Nature, ou Des lois du monde physique & du monde moral (1770). Nietzsche cites the French title in the German text, too.

(11)       Hermann Hettner: Geschichte der französischen Literatur im achtzehnten Jahrhundert, vol. 2 (Braunschweig 1860).

(12)       Jacob [Jakob] Moleschott: Der Kreislauf des Lebens. Physiologische Antworten auf Liebig's Chemische Briefe(Mainz 1852).

(13)       There is a paronomasia in the German text: ‘highest purposiveness’ is ‘höchste Zweckmäßigkeit’ and ‘At the utmost we could’ is ‘Wir können also höchstens’ (italics by the translator).

(14)       The German text states: “das Complicirte” (cf. Beyond Good and Evil, § 19).

(15)       The German text states: “Dasein”.

(16)       Barthold Heinrich Brockes (1680-1747) was a German poet who wrote lyrics on nature and man’s direction to God. Already in the 18th century he was rejected as a trivial and artless observer without any message by the German philosophers of the Enlightenment, like J. J. Breitinger or J. C. Gottsched.

(17)       David Friedrich Strauß: Kleine Schriften, Neue Folge (Berlin, 1866).

(18)       Eduard Zeller: Die Philosophie der Griechen in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwicklung, Dritter Theil. Die nacharistotelische Philosophie, erste Hälfte (Leipzig 1865).

(19)       The German text states: “existenzfähig”.

(20)       The Kritische Gesamtausgabe adds another paragraph which seems to be taken out of context: “Is it true that Democritus claimed that language emerged from convenience?”

(21)       Nietzsche states page numbers which are out of time. Therefore the paragraphs of Kant’s Critique of Judgment are given in the translation. The sentence is correctly quoted by Nietzsche: “Genau zu reden, hat also die Organisation der Natur nichts Analogisches mit irgend einer Causalität, die wir kennen.” (Academy edition vol. 5, p. 375; italics by the translator, they indicate the part Nietzsche cited)

(22)       Kant’s § 66 of the Critique of Judgment is entitled: ‘On the principle of judging about the inner purposiveness of organized beings’ (‘Vom Princip der Beurtheilung der innern Zweckmäßigkeit in organisirten Wesen.’). Nietzsche quotes a part of the first sentence: “Dieses Princip, zugleich die Definition derselben, heißt: Ein organisirtes Product der Natur ist das, in welchem alles Zweck und wechselseitig auch Mittel ist. Nichts in ihm ist umsonst, zwecklos, oder einem blinden Naturmechanism zuzuschreiben.” (Academy edition vol. 5, p. 376; italics indicate the part Nietzsche cited) Nietzsche confounds “organisirtes Product der Natur” with “Organismus”.

(23)       The quotation of Goethe’s Bildung und Umbildung organischer Naturen (1807) can be found in the introduction (‘Die Absicht eingeleitet’) to his Morphologie (printed in 1817): “Jedes Lebendige ist kein Einzelnes, sondern eine Mehrheit; selbst insofern es uns als Individuum erscheint, bleibt es doch eine Versammlung von lebendigen selbständigen Wesen, die der Idee, der Anlage nach gleich sind, in der Erscheinung aber gleich oder ähnlich, ungleich oder unähnlich werden können. Diese Wesen sind teils ursprünglich schon verbunden, teils finden und vereinigen sie sich. Sie entzweien sich und suchen sich wieder und bewirken so eine unendliche Produktion auf alle Weise und nach allen Seiten.” (Hamburg edition, vol. 13, p. 56; italics indicate the part Nietzsche cited)

(24)       Cf. Goethe: Zur Naturphilosophie im Allgemeinen, Anschauende Urteilskraft, Hamburg edition, vol. 13, p. 30.

(25)       The German text states: “Betrachtungsweise”.

(26)       The German text states: “Vernunftbegriff”. Kant defines this term in his Critique of Pure Reason (p. B 367/A 310). His Critique of Judgment employs it several times; with respect to the definition of teleology, see especially § 61 (Academy edition, vol. 5, p. 361).

(27)       The German text states: “Weltbau”.

(28)       Nietzsche says “dem Dinge selbst” (the thing itself), not “dem Ding an sich” (the thing in itself), which could easily be mismatched in translation.

(29)       Only 1 and 2 are completed.

(30)       Nietzsche obviously contracts parts of the named paragraphs 65 and 66 of Kant’s Critique of Judgment, but a complete quotation cannot be found. Furthermore Nietzsche uses the German word “Materie” in a way that makes it appear as a synonym for ‘object’.

(31)       The German text states: “Casualismus” (not “Causalismus”). Cf. Kant’s Critique of Judgment, § 81.

(32)       The German quotation is: “nichts dem Zweckmäßigkeitsverhältniß der Organism Ähnliches giebt”. But Kant himself does not employ concepts like “Organismus” or “Zweckmäßigkeitsverhältniß” in his whole Critique of Judgment. For Kant’s understanding of the similarity (“Ähnlichkeit”) between reality and imagination see §§ 77 and 80 there.

(33)       Nietzsche employs the collective form (“vieles Lebensfähige”, “much”), not the countable one (“viele Lebensfähige”, “many”) avoiding the use of an ontology of individual `things´ in his expression.

(34)       The German text states: “Die rasende Verschwendung setzt uns in Erstaunen”. It contracts the following passage of Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Representation: “Wenn wir uns der Betrachtung des so unaussprechlich und endlos künstlichen Baues irgend eines Thieres, wäre es auch nur das gemeinste Insekt, hingeben, uns in Bewunderung desselben versenkend, jetzt aber uns einfällt, daß die Natur eben diesen, so überaus künstlichen und so höchst komplicirten Organismus täglich zu Tausenden der Zerstörung, durch Zufall, thierische Gier und menschlichen Muthwillen rücksichtslos Preis giebt; so setzt diese rasende Verschwendung uns in Erstaunen. Allein dasselbe beruht auf einer Amphibolie der Begriffe, indem wir dabei das menschliche Kunstwerk im Sinne haben, welches unter Vermittelung des Intellekts und durch Ueberwältigung eines fremden, widerstrebenden Stoffes zu Stande gebracht wird, folglich allerdings viel Mühe kostet.” (Zurich edition, vol. 2, p. 384; italics indicate the part Nietzsche cited)

(35)       The German text contracts the passage that follows directly after his previous quotation: “Der Natur hingegen kosten ihre Werke, so künstlich sie auch sind, gar keine Mühe; weil hier der Wille zum Werke schon selbst das Werk ist; indem, wie schon gesagt, der Organismus bloß die im Gehirn zu Stande kommende Sichtbarkeit des hier vorhandenen Willens ist.” (Zurich edition, vol. 2, p. 385; italics indicate the part Nietzsche cited)

(36)       The German text contracts the following passage: “Denn, was man auch zwischen den Willensakt und die Körperbewegung physiologisch einschieben möchte, immer bleibt hier eigenständlich der Wille das Bewegende, und was ihn bewegt, ist das von außen kommende Motiv, also die causa finalis; welche folglich hier als causa efficiens auftritt.” (Zurich edition, vol. 2, p. 387; italics indicate the part Nietzsche cited)

(37)       See Kant: Critique of Judgment, § 68 (academy edition vol. 5, p. 384). Nietzsche quotes this sentence later again.

(38)       The Kritische Gesamtausgabe adds another paragraph before this subheading that seems to be taken out of context: It is about Nietzsche’s teaching schedule.

(39)       The Kritische Gesamtausgabe adds another paragraph after this one that seems to be taken out of context: It is about Nietzsche’s teaching schedule again.

(40)       The German text states: “existenzfähig”.

(41)       The German text puts an undefined conditional clause (without a subjunction). This style rhetorically implies the unsuccessfulness of the condition.

(42)       The generatio aequivoca is a scientific hypothesis that asserts an original origination of organic individuals from inorganic matter. For Nietzsche cf. Kant’s Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens which contains the so called Kant-Laplace theory.

(43)       See Kant: Critique of Judgment, § 68 (academy edition vol. 5, p. 384).

(44)       Nietzsche puts the question (the second part of the sentence) with a singular subject although there are two concepts given in the first place. Grammatically there can be no definitive decision which one of them is meant (or if he means both of them covered in rhetorical style).

(45)       See Kant: Critique of Judgment, § 65 (academy edition vol. 5, esp. p. 374), not § 62.

(46)       The quotation refers to: “Ich würde vorläufig sagen: ein Ding existirt als Naturzweck, wenn es von sich selbst (obgleich in zwiefachem Sinne) Ursache und Wirkung ist; denn hierin liegt eine Causalität, dergleichen mit dem bloßen Begriffe einer Natur, ohne ihr einen Zweck unterzulegen, nicht verbunden, aber auch alsdann zwar ohne Widerspruch gedacht, aber nicht begriffen werden kann. Wir wollen die Bestimmung dieser Idee von einem Naturzwecke zuvörderst durch ein Beispiel erläutern, ehe wir sie völlig auseinander setzen.” (Academy edition vol. 5, p. 370-1; italics indicate the part Nietzsche cited). Nietzsche regards neither Kant’s preliminary remark that this is only a provisory attempt nor his insertion that this is no univocal concept yet.

(47)       The German text states “Existenzfähigkeit”.

(48)       Nietzsche refers to the following passage in Kant: “Ein Ding seiner innern Form halber als Naturzweck beurtheilen, ist ganz etwas anderes, als die Existenz dieses Dinges für Zweck der Natur halten.” (Academy edition vol. 5, p. 378; italics indicate the parts Nietzsche presents). Anything about the ‘inexpedient method’ cannot be found in Kant’s Critique of Judgment at all.

(49)       The quotation refers to Kant’s Critique of Judgment: “Aber dieser Begriff führt nun nothwendig auf die Idee der gesammten Natur als eines Systems nach der Regel der Zwecke, welcher Idee nun aller Mechanism der Natur nach Principien der Vernunft (wenigstens um daran die Naturerscheinung zu versuchen) untergeordnet werden muß. Das Princip der Vernunft ist ihr als nur subjectiv, d.i. als Maxime, zuständig: Alles in der Welt ist irgend wozu gut; nichts ist in ihr umsonst; und man ist durch das Beispiel, das die Natur an ihren organischen Producten giebt, berechtigt, ja berufen, von ihr und ihren Gesetzen nichts, als was im Ganzen zweckmäßig ist, zu erwarten.” (Academy edition vol. 5, p. 378-379; italics indicate the parts Nietzsche cited). The quotation is shortened and therefore a little reconverted but is in the main correct.

(50)       The word “substance” is given as the translation of the German “innerer Bestand”.

(51)       The word “vicious circle” is given as the translation of “Diallele”.

(52)       See Kant’s Critique of Judgment, § 68 (cf. Academy edition vol. 5, p. 381). The quotation is both correct and complete (word for word translated by TN).

(53)       “It” refers to “the sole part” and not the arrangement.

(54)       The verb “command” is given as the translation of the German “bedingen”.

(55)       In German “life” and “to live” are literally indistinguishable (“Leben”) although it can stand for a noun or a verb.

(56)       In German it is not clear whether Nietzsche wants to refer to the one reason or a reason at all.

(57)       `The eternally becoming´ (“Das ewig Werdende”) will remind a German speaking reader to a very similar expression in Goethe’s drama Faust (last verse of part 2) where he names the teleological force of the eternal process of being itself `the eternally feminine´ (“Das ewig Weibliche”).

(58)       The German text states “sich selbst Organisiren” which could also be given in translation as `autopoiesis´.

(59)       The German text states “Wenn”, which could also be translated as “if”. I have chosen “when” because the next thought is introduced with “jetzt” (“now”).

(60)       The German text opposes the two verbs “leben” (“living”) and “dasein” (“being”).

(61)       The German “Naturforscher” refers especially to those who employ empirical research.

(62)       Arthur Schopenhauer: Über den Willen in der Natur (1836).

(63)       Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus, Beiträge zur Aufklärung der Erscheinungen und Gesetze des organischen Lebens, 4 vols.(Bremen, 1831-1832).

(64)       Heinrich Czolbe: Neue Darstellung des Sensualismus. Ein Entwurf(Leipzig, 1855).

(65)      Nietzsche employs these quote marks to indicate that the text in question belongs to the same author as the previous line.

(66)       Heinrich Czolbe: Die Grenzen und der Ursprung der menschlichen Erkenntnis im Gegensatz zu Kant und Hegel. Naturalistisch-teologische Durchführung des mechanischen Princips (Jena, 1865).

(67)       Jacob [Jakob] Moleschott: Der Kreislauf des Lebens. Physiologische Antworten auf Liebig's Chemische Briefe (Mainz, 1852).

(68)       Jacob [Jakob] Moleschott: Die Einheit des Lebens; Vortrag bei der Wiedereröffnung der Vorlesungen über Physiologie an der Turiner Hochschule am 23. November 1863 gehalten (Giessen 1864).

(69)       Rudolf Virchow: Vier Reden über Leben und Kranksein (Berlin, 1862).

(70)       Rudolf Virchow: Gesammelte Abhandlungen zur wissenschaftlichen Medicin (Frankfurt (Main), 1856).

(71)       Friedrich Adolf [Adolph] Trendelenburg: Logische Untersuchungen (Berlin, 1840) (later editions Leipzig).

(72)       Friedrich Ueberweg: System der Logik und Geschichte der logischen Lehren (Bonn, 1857).

73()       Hermann Helmholtz: Ueber die Erhaltung der Kraft. Eine physikalische Abhandlung (Berlin, 1847).

(74)       Hermann Helmholtz: Ueber die Wechselwirkung der Naturkräfte und die darauf bezüglichen neuesten Ermittelungen der Physik. Ein populär-wissenschaftlicher Vortrag gehalten am 7. Februar 1854 (Königsberg 1854).

(75)       Wilhelm Wundt: Vorlesungen über Menschen- und Thierseele (Leipzig, 1863).

(76)       Rudolph Hermann Lotze: Streitschriften (Leipzig, 1857).

(77)       Rudolph Hermann Lotze: Medicinische Psychologie oder Physiologie der Seele (Leipzig, 1852).

(78)       Friedrich Adolf [Adolph] Trendelenburg: Über Herbart’s Metaphysik und eine neue Auffassung derselben (Monatsberichte der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1854); F. A. T.: Über Herbart’s Metaphysik und neue Auffassungen derselben. Zweiter Artikel. Eine Entgegnung (Monatsberichte der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1856, p. 87-115; online at: http://bibliothek.bbaw.de/ bibliothek-digital/digitalequellen/schriften/ anzeige/ index_html?band=09-mon/1856&aufloesung:int=1& seite:int=90).

(79)       Friedrich Adolf [Adolph] Trendelenburg: Historische Beiträge zur Philosophie (Berlin 1846-1867).

(80)       Johann Friedrich Herbart: Analytische Beleuchtung des Naturrechts und der Moral. Zum Gebrauch beym Vortrage der praktischen Philosophie (Göttingen 1836).

(81)       Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling: Ideen zu einer Philosophie der Natur (1797).

(82)       Johann Gottfried Herder: Ideen zur Philosophie der Geschichte der Menschheit (1784-1791).

(83)       Marie François Xavier Bichat: Recherches Physiologiques sur la Vie et la Mort (Paris 1799/1800). Nietzsche cites the French title in the German text, too.

(84)       Probably Johannes Peter Müller: Handbuch der Physiologie des Menschen, Koblenz 1837-40. Especially the first chapters deal with organic matter, the organism, and life.

(85)       Johannes Peter Müller: Zur vergleichenden Physiologie des Gesichtssinnes des Menschen und der Tiere nebst einem Versuch über die Bewegungen der Augen und über den menschlichen Blick, Leipzig 1826.

(86)       The German text states “Lebenskraft. =” but not the second part of the equation.

(87)       “Aspect of appearance” is given as the translation of “Erscheinungsweise” (instead of “way of appearance”) because on p. 574 Nietzsche uses the term referring to the epistemological “form” which is rather an ‘aspect’ of appearing than a ‘way’.

(88)       I consider this line as a subheading, but it could probably also be read as an ordinary text line.

(89)       The German “Reich” is given as “realm” because there is no political notion here. The concept seems to refer to the neutral term “Reich der Natur” like “Pflanzenreich” (“plant world) or “Tierreich” (“animal world”).

(90)       “Sensation” is given as a Kantian translation of “Empfinden”.

(91)       The German sentence is inverted; it is not clear whether Nietzsche wants to call sensation the one condition or one among others.

(92)       Immanuel Kant: Kritik der Urteilskraft, 1790.

(93)       Jakob Friedrich Fries: Die mathematische Naturphilosophie nach philosophischer Methode bearbeitet. Ein Versuch, Heidelberg 1822.

(94)       Matthias Jacob Schleiden: Ueber den Materialismus der neueren deutschen Naturwissenschaft, sein Wesen und seine Geschichte, Leipzig 1863.

(95)       Karl Rosenkranz: Schelling. Vorlesungen gehalten im Sommer 1842 an der Universität zu Königsberg, Danzig 1843.

(86)       Salomon Maimon published six articles in Berlinisches Journal für Aufklärung in 1790; these are: Ueber Wahrheit. Schreiben des Herrn Maimon an Herrn Tieftrunk (vol. 7/1, p. 22-51); Baco und Kant. Schreiben des H. S. Maimon an den Herausgeber dieses Journals (vol. 7/2, p. 99-122); Ueber die Weltseele. Entelechia universi (vol. 8/1, p.47-92); Ueber Wahrheit, an den Herrn S. Maimon. Von J. H. Tieftrunk (vol. 8/2, p. 115-158); Ankündigung (vol. 8/2, p. 186-192); Antwort des Hrn. Maimon auf voriges Schreiben (vol. 9/1, p. 52-80). Most of the articles can be read online at: http://www.ub.uni-bielefeld.de/diglib/aufkl/berlaufk/berlaufk.htm; the last one can be found at: http://www.salomon-maimon.de/schriften/antwort.htm.

(97)       Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling: System des transcendentalen Idealismus (1800).

(98)       Lorenz Oken: Die Zeugung, Bamberg 1805.

(99)       Lorenz Oken: Lehrbuch der Naturphilosophie, Zurich 1843 (this refers to the third and enhanced edition).


(100)     Carl Gustav Carus: Grundzüge der vergleichenden Anatomie und Physiologie, 3 vol., Dresden 1828.

(101)     The German text states “Menschenähnliche” and “Menschenfremde”.

(102)     The German text states: “Planmäßige Nothwendigkeit”, which cannot be found in any of Kant’s writings but in the interpretation of Kuno Fischer: Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, Mannheim 1860, vol. 3, p. 130 (book 1, chap. 1, no. 4).

(103)     The quotation refers to the following passage of Kant’s Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens, Second Part, Preface: “Mich dünkt, man könne hier in gewissem Verstande ohne Vermessenheit sagen: Gebet mir Materie, ich will eine Welt daraus bauen! das ist, gebet mir Materie, ich will euch zeigen, wie eine Welt daraus entstehen soll. Denn wenn Materie vorhanden ist, welche mit einer wesentlichen Attractionskraft begabt ist, so ist es nicht schwer diejenigen Ursachen zu bestimmen, die zu der Einrichtung des Weltsystems, im Großen betrachtet, haben beitragen können.” (Academy edition vol. 1, p. 229 et seq.; italics indicate the parts Nietzsche quoted) The quotation is part of the preface. It is shortened, but apart from that almost correct; Nietzsche confutes “Verstande” with “Sinne” which might be of no harm here. But he does not consider that Kant’s text is from 1755 and belongs to Kant’s earliest period of work—about 25 years before the critical turn in 1781. Nietzsche seems to quote this passage of Kant from Kuno Fischer: Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, loc. cit., vol. 3, p. 132 (book 1, chap. 1, no. 4); different from Nietzsche Fischer quoted Kant correctly.

(104)     Johann Georg Hamann to Johann Gotthelf Lindner (12 October 1759): “Seine [= Kants] Gründe verstehe ich nicht; seine Einfälle aber sind blinde Jungen, die eine eilfertige Hündinn geworfen. Wenn es der Mühe lohnte ihn zu wiederlegen; so hätte ich mir wohl die Mühe geben mögen, ihn zu verstehen. Er beruft sich auf das Ganze, um von der Welt zu urtheilen. Dazu gehört aber ein Wißen, das kein Stückwerk mehr ist. Vom Ganzen also auf die Fragmente zu schließen, ist eben so als von dem Unbekannten auf das Bekannte.” (italics indicate the parts Nietzsche quoted) In: Hamanns Briefe, ed. by Walther Ziesemer and Arthur Henkel, 1955-1979, vol. 1, p. 425. Nietzsche seems to quote this letter of Hamann from Kuno Fischer: Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, loc. cit., vol. 3, p. 143 (book 1, chap. 1, no. 6).

(105)     Cf. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, B 775; German quotation is completely correct.

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