Zitate von Josef Pieper
Geburtstag: 4. Mai 1904
Todesdatum: 6. November 1997
Josef Pieper war ein deutscher christlicher Philosoph des 20. Jahrhunderts.
Zitate Josef Pieper
„Of course in the present day […] the world of work begins to become — threatens to become — our only world, to the exclusion of all else. The demands of the working world grow ever more total, grasping ever more completely the whole of human existence.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, pp. 64–65
Quelle: Leisure: The Basis Of Culture
„Against the exclusiveness of the paradigm of work as activity, first of all, there is leisure as "non-activity" — an inner absence of preoccupation, a calm, an ability to let things go, to be quiet.
Leisure is a form of that stillness that is the necessary preparation for accepting reality; only the person who is still can hear, and whoever is not still, cannot hear. […] Leisure is the disposition of receptive understanding, of contemplative beholding, and immersion — in the real.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), Leisure, the Basis of Culture, p. 31
„How does the philosophical question differ from the non-philosophical question? To philosophize means, we said, to direct one's view toward the totality of the world. So is that a philosophical question (and that alone) which has for its explicit and formal theme the sum-total of all existing things? No! What is peculiar and distinctive about a philosophical question is that it cannot be posed, considered, or answered (so far at least as an answer is possible) without "God and the world" also coming into consideration, that is, the whole of what exists.“
Since "the answers of the special sciences" do not reach "the horizon of total reality", they are given "without having to speak at the same time of 'God and the world.'" (p. 96)
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, p. 95
„To experience and live out a harmony with the world, in a manner quite different from that of everyday life — this, we have said, is the meaning of "festival." But no more intense harmony with the world can be thought of than that of "Praise of God," the worship of the Creator of this world. Now, as I have often experienced, this statement is often received with a mixture of discomfort and various other feelings, but its truth cannot be denied. The most festive festival that can be celebrated is religious worship or "cult," and there is no festival that does not get its life from such worship or does not actually derive its origin from this. There is no worship "without the gods," whether it be mardi gras or a wedding.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), Leisure, the Basis of Culture, pp. 50–51
„[I]f knowing is work, exclusively work, then the one who knows, knows only the fruit of his own, subjective activity, and nothing else. There is nothing in his knowing that is not the fruit of his own efforts; there is nothing "received" in it. […]
It is the mark of "absolute activity" (which Goethe said "makes one bankrupt, in the end"); the hard quality of not-being-able-to-receive; a stoniness of heart, that will not brook any resistance — as expressed once, most radically, in the following terrifying statement: "Every action makes sense, even criminal acts … all passivity is senseless."“
The Goethe quote is from his Maximen und Reflexionen, ed. Günther Müller (Stuttgart, 1943), no. 1415. The other quote is from Hermann Rauschning's Conversations with Hitler (Gespräche mit Hitler, 1940).
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), Leisure, the Basis of Culture, p. 14
„Now this structure of hope (among other things) is also what distinguishes philosophy from the special sciences. There is a relationship with the object that is different in principle in the two cases. The question of the special sciences is in principle ultimately answerable, or, at least, it is not un-answerable. It can be said, in a final way (or some day, one will be able to say in a final way) what is the cause, say, of this particular infectious disease. It is in principle possible that one day someone will say, "It is now scientifically proven that such and such is the case, and no otherwise." But […] a philosophical question can never be finally, conclusively answered. […] The object of philosophy is given to the philosopher on the basis of a hope. This is where Dilthey's words make sense: "The demands on the philosophizing person cannot be satisfied. A physicist is an agreeable entity, useful for himself and others; a philosopher, like the saint, only exists as an ideal." It is in the nature of the special sciences to emerge from a state of wonder to the extent that they reach "results." But the philosopher does not emerge from wonder.
Here is at once the limit and the measure of science, as well as the great value, and great doubtfulness, of philosophy. Certainly, in itself it is a "greater" thing to dwell "under the stars."“
But man is not made to live "out there" permanently! Certainly, it is a more valuable question, as such, to ask about the whole world and the ultimate nature of things. But the answer is not as easily forthcoming as for the special sciences!
The Dilthey quote is from Briefwechsel zwischen Wilhelm Dilthey und dem Grafen Paul Yorck v. Wartenberg, 1877–1897 (Hall/Salle, 1923), p. 39.
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, pp. 109–111
„When the physicist poses the question, "What does it mean to do physics?" or "What is research in physics?" — his question is a preliminary question. Clearly, when you ask a question like that, and try to answer it, you are not "doing physics." Or rather you are no longer doing physics. But when you ask yourself, "What does it mean to do philosophy?" then you actually are "doing philosophy" — this is not at all a "preliminary" question but a truly philosophical one: you are right at the heart of the business.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, p. 63
„To philosophize (we have already asked, What empowers the philosophical act to transcend the working-world?) — to philosophize means to take a step outside of the work-a-day world into the vis-à-vis de l'univers. It is a step which leads to a kind of "homeless"-ness: the stars are no roof over the head. It is a step, however, that constantly keeps open its own retreat, for the human being cannot live long in this way.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, p. 94
„What happens when our eye sees a rose? What do we do when that happens? Our mind does something, to be sure, in the mere fact of taking in the object, grasping its color, its shape, and so on. We have to be awake and active. But all the same, it is a "relaxed" looking, so long as we are merely looking at it and not observing or studying it, counting or measuring its various features. Such observation would not be a "relaxed" action; it would be what Ernst Jünger termed an "act of aggression." But simply looking at something, gazing at it, "taking it in," is merely to open our eyes to receive the things that present themselves to us, that come to us without any need for "effort" on our part to "possess" them.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), Leisure, the Basis of Culture, p. 9
The Ernst Jünger quote is from Blätter und Steine (Hamburg, 1934), p. 202.
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„""We work in order to be at leisure."" […] Doesn't this statement appear almost immoral to the man or woman of the world of ""total work""? Is it not an attack on the basic principles of human society?
Now I have not merely constructed a sentence to prove a point. The statement was actually made — by Aristotle [Nichomachean Ethics X, 7 (1177b4–6)]. Yes, Aristotle: the sober, industrious realist, and the fact that he said it, gives the statement special significance. What he says in a more literal translation would be: ""We are not-at-leisure in order to be-at-leisure."" For the Greeks, ""not-leisure"" was the word for the world of everyday work; and not only to indicate its ""hustle and bustle,"" but the work itself. The Greek language had only this negative term for it (ά-σχολία), as did Latin (neg-otium).
The context not only of this sentence but also of another one from Aristotle's Politics (stating that the ""pivot"" around which everything turns is leisure [Politics VII, 3 (1337b33)]) shows that these notions were not considered extraordinary, but only self-evident. […] Could this also imply that people in our day no longer have direct access to the original meaning of leisure?“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), Leisure, the Basis of Culture, pp. 4–5
„And in this, that philosophy begins in wonder [Plato, Theaetetus 155d], lies the, so to speak, non-bourgeois character of philosophy; for to feel astonishment and wonder is something non-bourgeois (if we can be allowed, for a moment, to use this all-too-easy terminology). For what does it mean to become bourgeois in the intellectual sense? More than anything else, it means that someone takes one's immediate surroundings (the world determined by the immediate purposes of life) so "tightly" and "densely," as if bearing an ultimate value, that the things of experience no longer become transparent. The greater, deeper, more real, and (at first) invisible world of essences is no longer even suspected to exist; the "wonder" is no longer there, it has no place to come from; the human being can no longer feel wonder. The commonplace mind, rendered deaf-mute, finds everything self-explanatory. But what really is self-explanatory? Is it self-explanatory, then, that we exist? Is it self-explanatory that there is such a thing as "seeing"? These are questions that someone who is locked into the daily world cannot ask; and that is so because such a person has not succeeded, as anyone whose senses (like a deaf person) are simply not functioning — has not managed even for once to forget the immediate needs of life, whereas the one who experiences wonder is one who, astounded by the deeper aspect of the world, cannot hear the immediate demands of life — if even for a moment, that moment when he gazes on the astounding vision of the world.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, pp. 101–102
„Now one may ask, How could a Christian philosophy have something over a non-Christian philosophy, if it does not reach to a higher level of solutions, if it cannot get handy answers, if the problems and questions are still there? Well, perhaps a greater truth could be present in its ability to see the world in its truly mysterious character, in its inexhaustablity. It could even be the case that here, in the very experience of being as a mystery, that it is not to be grasped in the hand as a "well-rounded truth" — herein is reality more deeply and truly grasped than in any transparent system that may charm the mind of the student with its clarity and simplicity. And this is the claim of Christian philosophy: to be truer, precisely because of its recognition of the mysterious character of the world.
In no way, then, does philosophy become easier. Plato appears to have discovered and felt that too — if a certain interpretation of Plato is correct, maintaining that Plato understood philosophy to be something tragic for this reason, that it must constantly have recourse to mythos, since the teaching of philosophy can never close itself into a system.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, pp. 127–128
The "interpretation of Plato" referred to is that of Gerhard Krüger, Einsicht und Leidenschaft (Frankfurt, 1939), p. 301.
„We can begin, like the Scholastic masters, with an objection: videtur quod non … ""It seems not to be true that…"" And this is the objection: a time like the present [i. e., a few years after the Second World War, in Germany] seems, of all times, not to be a time to speak of leisure. […]
That is no small objection. But there is also a good answer to it. […]
For, when we consider the foundations of Western European culture (is it, perhaps, too rash to assume that our re-building will in fact be carried out in a ""Western"" spirit? Indeed, this and no other is the very assumption that is at issue today), one of these foundations is leisure. We can read it in the first chapter of Aristotle's Metaphysics. And the very history of the meaning of the word bears a similar message. The Greek word for leisure (σχολή) is the origin of Latin scola, German Schule, English school. The names for the institutions of education and learning mean ""leisure.""“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), Leisure, the Basis of Culture, pp. 3–4
„Now it is not our purpose here to condemn this world, from the standpoint of some "holiday-world" of philosophy. No words need be wasted on saying that this work-a-day world is very much with us, that in it the foundations of our physical existence are secured, without which no one can philosophize at all! Nevertheless, let us also recall, that among the voices which fill the workplace and the markets ("How do you get this or that item of daily existence?" "Where do you get that?" etc.) — in the midst of all these voices suddenly one calls above the rest: "Why is there anything at all, and not nothing?" — asking that age-old question, which Heidegger called the basic question of all metaphysics! Must we explicitly state how unfathomable this philosopher's question is, in comparison with that everyday world of needs and purposefulness? If such a question as this were asked, without introduction or interpretation, in the company of those people of efficiency and success, wouldn't the questioner be considered rather … mad?“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, pp. 66—67
„The statement is made with certainty: a festival that does not get its life from worship, even though the connection in human consciousness be ever so small, is not to be found. To be sure, since the French Revolution, people have tried over and over to create artificial festivals without any connection with religious worship, or even against such worship, such as the "Brutus Festival" or "Labor Day," but they all demonstrate, through the forced and narrow character of their festivity, what religious worship provides to a festival. […] Clearer than the light of day is the difference between the living, rooted trees of genuine cultic festival and our artificial festivals that resemble those "maypoles," cut at the roots, and carted here and there, to be planted for some definite purpose. Of course we may have to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we are only at the dawn of an age of artificial festivals. Were we [in Germany] prepared for the possibility that the official forces, and especially the bearers of political power, would artificially create the appearance of the festive with so huge an expense in external arrangements? And that this seductive, scarcely delectable appearance of artificial "holidays" would be so totally lacking in the essential quality, that true and ultimate harmony with the world? And that such holidays would in fact depend on the suppression of that harmony and derive their dangerous seduction from that very fact?“
In the three rhetorical questions that end this quote, Pieper alludes to the Nazis' elaborately stage-managed "festivals", in particular the Nuremberg Rally, the subject of Leni Riefenstahl's classic propaganda documentary, Triumph of the Will.
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), Leisure, the Basis of Culture, pp. 51–52
„Leisure lives on affirmation. It […] includes within itself a celebratory, approving, lingering gaze of the inner eye on the reality of creation.
The highest form of affirmation is the festival; and according to Karl Kerenyi, the historian of religion, to festival belong "peace, intensity of life, and contemplation all at once." The holding of a festival means: an affirmation of the basic meaning of the world, and an agreement with it, and in fact it means to live out and fulfil one's inclusion in the world, in an extraordinary manner, different from the everyday.
The festival is the origin of leisure, its inmost and ever-central source. And this festive character is what makes leisure not only "effortless" but the very opposite of effort or toil.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), Leisure, the Basis of Culture, pp. 33–34
The Kerenyi quote is from Karl Kerenyi, Die antike Religion (Amsterdam, 1940), p. 66.
„It should now be clear that "wonder" and philosophizing are connected with each other in a more essential sense than may at first appear in the statement, "Philosophy begins in wonder." For wonder is not merely the beginning, in the sense of initium, the first stage or phase of philosophy. Rather, wonder is the beginning in the sense of the "principle" (principium), the abiding, ever-intrinsic origin of philosophizing. It is not true to say that the philosopher, insofar as he philosophizes, ever "emerges from his wonder"“
if he does depart from his state of wonder, he has ceased to philosophize.
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, pp. 105–106
„Wonder is defined by Thomas [Aquinas] in the Summa Theologiae [I-II, Q. 32, a. 8], as the desiderium sciendi, the desire for knowledge, active longing to know.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, pp. 106–107
„No less incommensurable with the working-world than the philosophical question is the sound of true poetry. […] The lover, too, stands outside the tight chain of efficiency of this working world, and [so does] whoever else approaches the margin of existence through some deep existential disturbance (which always brings a "shattering" of one's environment), or through, say, the proximity of death.“
Quelle: Leisure, the Basis of Culture (1948), The Philosophical Act, pp. 67–68