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Max Scheler

Geburtstag:22. August 1874
Todesdatum:19. Mai 1928

Max Ferdinand Scheler war ein deutscher Philosoph, Anthropologe und Soziologe.

Zitate Max Scheler

„All ancient philosophers, poets, and moralists agree that love is a striving, an aspiration of the “lower” toward the “higher,” the “unformed” toward the “formed,”... “appearance” towards “essence,” “ignorance” towards “knowledge,” a “mean between fullness and privation,” as Plato says in the Symposium.... The universe is a great chain of dynamic spiritual entities, of forms of being ranging from the “prima materia” up to man—a chain in which the lower always strives for and is attracted by the higher, which never turns back but aspires upward in its turn. This process continues up to the deity, which itself does not love, but represents the eternally unmoving and unifying goal of all these aspirations of love. Too little attention has been given to the peculiar relation between this idea of love and the principle of the “agon,” the ambitious contest for the goal, which dominated Greek life in all its aspects—from the Gymnasium and the games to dialectics and the political life of the Greek city states. Even the objects try to surpass each other in a race for victory, in a cosmic “agon” for the deity. Here the prize that will crown the victor is extreme: it is a participation in the essence, knowledge, and abundance of “being.” Love is only the dynamic principle, immanent in the universe, which sets in motion this great “agon” of all things for the deity.
Let us compare this with the Christian conception. In that conception there takes place what might be called a reversal in the movement of love. The Christian view boldly denies the Greek axiom that love is an aspiration of the lower towards the higher. On the contrary, now the criterion of love is that the nobler stoops to the vulgar, the healthy to the sick, the rich to the poor, the handsome to the ugly, the good and saintly to the bad and common, the Messiah to the sinners and publicans. The Christian is not afraid, like the ancient, that he might lose something by doing so, that he might impair his own nobility. He acts in the peculiarly pious conviction that through this “condescension,” through this self-abasement and “self-renunciation” he gains the highest good and becomes equal to God....
There is no longer any “highest good” independent of and beyond the act and movement of love! Love itself is the highest of all goods! The summum bonum is no longer the value of a thing, but of an act, the value of love itself as love—not for its results and achievements....
Thus the picture has shifted immensely. This is no longer a band of men and things that surpass each other in striving up to the deity. It is a band in which every member looks back toward those who are further removed from God and comes to resemble the deity by helping and serving them.“

— Max Scheler

„The “noble” person has a completely naïve and non-reflective awareness of his own value and of his fullness of being, an obscure conviction which enriches every conscious moment of his existence, as if he were autonomously rooted in the universe. This should not be mistaken for “pride.” Quite on the contrary, pride results from an experienced diminution of this “naive” self-confidence. It is a way of “holding on” to one’s value, of seizing and “preserving” it deliberately. The noble man’s naive self-confidence, which is as natural to him as tension is to the muscles, permits him calmly to assimilate the merits of others in all the fullness of their substance and configuration. He never “grudges” them their merits. On the contrary: he rejoices in their virtues and feels that they make the world more worthy of love. His naive self-confidence is by no means “compounded” of a series of positive valuations based on specific qualities, talents, and virtues: it is originally directed at his very essence and being. Therefore he can afford to admit that another person has certain “qualities” superior to his own or is more “gifted” in some respects—indeed in all respects. Such a conclusion does not diminish his naïve awareness of his own value, which needs no justification or proof by achievements or abilities. Achievements merely serve to confirm it. On the other hand, the “common” man (in the exact acceptation of the term) can only experience his value and that of another if he relates the two, and he clearly perceives only those qualities which constitute possible differences. The noble man experiences value prior to any comparison, the common man in and through a comparison. For the latter, the relation is the selective precondition for apprehending any value. Every value is a relative thing, “higher” or “lower,” “more” or “less” than his own. He arrives at value judgments by comparing himself to others and others to himself“

— Max Scheler

„In Leibniz we can already find the striking observation that *cogitatur ergo est* is no less evident than *cogito ergo sum*. Naturally, *est* here does not mean existence or reality but being of whatever kind and form, including even ideal being, fictive being, conscious-being [*Bewusst-Sein*], etc. However, we must go even beyond this thesis of Leibniz. The correlate of the act of *cogitatio* is not, as Leibniz said, being simply, but only that type of being we call "objectifiable being." Objectifiable being must be sharply distinguished from the non-objectifiable being of an act, that is, from a kind of entity which possesses its mode of being only in performance [*Vollzug*], namely, in the performance of the act. "Being," in the widest sense of the word, belongs indeed to the being-of-an-act [*Akt-Sein*], to *cogitare*, which does not in turn require another *cogitare*. Similarly, we are only vaguely "aware" of our drives [*Triebleben*] without having them as objects as we do those elements of consciousness which lend themselves to imagery. For this reason the first order of evidence is expressed in the principle, "There is something," or, better, "There is not nothing." Here we understand by the word "nothing" the negative state of affairs of not-being in general rather than "not being something" or "not being actual." A second principle of evidence is that everything which "is" in any sense of the possible kinds of being can be analyzed in terms of its character or essence (not yet separating its contingent characteristics from its genuine essence) and its existence in some mode.

With these two principles we are in a position to define precisely the concept of knowledge, a concept which is prior even to that of consciousness. Knowledge is an ultimate, unique, and underivable ontological relationship between two beings. I mean by this that any being A "knows" any being B whenever A participates in the essence or nature of B, without B's suffering any alteration in its nature or essence because of A's participation in it. Such participation is possible both in the case of objectifiable being and in that of active [*akthaften*] being, for instance, when we repeat the performance of the act; or in feelings, when we relive the feelings, etc. The concept of participation is, therefore, wider than that of objective knowledge, that is, knowledge of objectifiable being. The participation which is in question here can never be dissolved into a causal relation, or one of sameness and similarity, or one of sign and signification; it is an ultimate and essential relation of a peculiar type. We say further of B that, when A participates in B and B belongs to the order of objectifiable being, B becomes an "objective being" ["*Gegenstand"-sein*]. Confusing the being of an object [*Sein des Gegenstandes*] with the fact that an entity is an object [*Gegenstandssein eines Seienden*] is one of the fundamental errors of idealism. On the contrary, the being of B, in the sense of a mode of reality, never enters into the knowledge-relation. The being of B can never stand to the real bearer of knowledge in any but a causal relation. The *ens reale* remains, therefore, outside of every possible knowledge-relation, not only the human but also the divine, if such exists. Both the concept of the "intentional act" and that of the "subject" of this act, an "I" which performs acts, are logically posterior. The intentional act is to be defined as the process of becoming [*Werdesein*] in A through which A participates in the nature or essence of B, or that through which this participation is produced. To this extent the Scholastics were right to begin with the distinction between an *ens intentionale* and an *ens reale*, and then, on the basis of this distinction, to distinguish between an intentional act and a real relation between the knower and the being of the thing known."

―from_Idealism and Realism_“

— Max Scheler
Selected Philosophical Essays

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