作者: Heinrich Meier 译者:
The backbone of modern civilization is modern science. German criticism of modern civilization is therefore primarily criticism of modern science, either in the form of a limitation of its bearing or in a still more radical form. That criticism was expressed by the German philosophic movement of the end of the 18th and of the beginning of the 19th century, by the movement culminating in Hegel, in the form of the opposition of history as the realm of freedom vs. nature as the realm of (mathematical or mechanical) necessity, or of the opposition of organic growth or dialectical process vs. rational construction. This interpretation of the criticism of modern civilization naturally was an important factor in German postwar philosophy. But it was not characteristic of the latter. The slogan which expressed the attitude characteristic of postwar Germany towards modern civilization, is, not history vs. unhistorical naturalism, or the grown vs. the made, but life or existence vs. science, science being any purely theoretical enterprise. The science criticized in the name of life or existence, comprises both natural science and history. The German postwar criticism is directed as much against Hegel and romanticism as against Descartes. The originator of that criticism was Nietzsche who had made it its principle to look at science from the point of view of art, and to look at art from the point of view of life. 索引
Criticism of modern civilization is related to a longing for some past, for some antiquity. An English acquaintance of mine told me that what struck him most, and what was most incomprehensible to him, when he was talking to Germans, was their longing for their tribal past. Now, longing for the Teutonic past is only the most crude and unintelligent, the most ridiculous form of a deep dissatisfaction with modern civilization. In its most enlightened form, it is a longing for classical antiquity, especially for Greek antiquity. In a famous aphorism, Nietzsche has described German thought as one great attempt to build a bridge leading back from the modern world to the world of Greece. One has only to recall the names of Leibniz, Lessing, Goethe, Schiller, Holderlin and Hegel to see that Nietzsche's remark is based on some evidence. This much is certain: Nietzsche's own philosophy, the most powerful single factor in German postwar philosophy, is almost identical with his criticism of modern civilization in the name of classical antiquity.