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Max Scheler

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

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

Photo: Unknown author / Public domain

„Zum Sein unserer Person können wir uns nur sammeln, zu ihm hin uns konzentrieren - nicht aber es objektivieren.“

—  Max Scheler

Die Stellung des Menschen im Kosmos, 1928, zitiert nach: Hrsg. Karl-Maria Guth, Die Stellung des Menschen im Kosmos, Vollständige Neuausgabe, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-8430-1765-7, S.45,

„nur der Liebende ist es, der an den Übeln und Schwächen des Geliebten wahrhaft leidet.“

—  Max Scheler

Zur Rehabilitierung der Tugend, in: Abhandlungen und Aufsätze von Max Scheler, Erster Band, Verlag der Weissen Bücher, Leipzig 1915, S.20 Mitte, archive.org https://archive.org/stream/abhandlungenunda01sche#page/20/mode/2up

„Es genügt unter Umständen eine einzige Handlung oder ein einziger Mensch, damit wir in ihm das Wesen dieser Werte erfassen können.“

—  Max Scheler

Der Formalismus in der Ethik und die materiale Wertethik, 1913/1916, zitiert nach: Max Scheler, Der Wert, in: Ethik, Lehr- und Lesebuch, Hg. Robert Spaemann, Walter Schweidler, Klett-Cotta, Dritte Auflage, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-608-94445-7, S.137,

„Der Mensch ist also beides zugleich: eine Sackgasse und - ein Ausweg.“

—  Max Scheler

Die Formen des Wissens und die Bildung, zitiert nach: Max Scheler, Philosophische Weltanschauung, Verlag Friedrich Cohen, Bonn 1929, S.97, Ende zweiter Abschnitt, University of Oxford http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/dlDisplay.do?vid=OXVU1&docId=oxfaleph012432410

„Bildung ist nicht „Ausbildung für etwas”, „für” Beruf, Fach, Leistung jeder Art, noch gar ist Bildung um solcher Ausbildung willen. Sondern alle Ausbildung „zu etwas” ist für die aller äußeren „Zwecke” ermangelnde Bildung da - für den wohlgeformten Menschen selbst.“

—  Max Scheler

Die Formen des Wissens und die Bildung, zitiert nach: Max Scheler, Philosophische Weltanschauung, Verlag Friedrich Cohen, Bonn 1929, S.104, Ende erster Abschnitt, University of Oxford http://solo.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/dlDisplay.do?vid=OXVU1&docId=oxfaleph012432410

„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

Quelle: Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen (1912), L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 85-88

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„This “sublime revenge” of ressentiment (in Nietzsche's words) has indeed played a creative role in the history of value systems. It is “sublime,” for the impulses of revenge against those who are strong, healthy, rich, or handsome now disappear entirely. Ressentiment has brought deliverance from the inner torment of these affects. Once the sense of values has shifted and the new judgments have spread, such people cease to be enviable, hateful, and worthy of revenge. They are unfortunate and to be pitied, for they are beset with “evils.” Their sight now awakens feelings of gentleness, pity, and commiseration. When the reversal of values comes to dominate accepted morality and is invested with the power of the ruling ethos, it is transmitted by tradition, suggestion, and education to those who are endowed with the seemingly devaluated qualities. They are struck with a “bad conscience” and secretly condemn themselves. The “slaves,” as Nietzsche says, infect the “masters.” Ressentiment man, on the other hand, now feels “good,” “pure,” and “human”—at least in the conscious layers of his mind. He is delivered from hatred, from the tormenting desire of an impossible revenge, though deep down his poisoned sense of life and the true values may still shine through the illusory ones. There is no more calumny, no more defamation of particular persons or things. The systematic perversion and reinterpretation of the values themselves is much more effective than the “slandering” of persons or the falsification of the world view could ever be."“

—  Max Scheler

Variante: The man of ressentiment cannot justify or even understand his own existence and sense of life in terms of positive values such as power, health, beauty, freedom, and independence. Weakness, fear, anxiety, and a slavish disposition prevent him from obtaining them. Therefore he comes to feel that “all this is vain anyway” and that salvation lies in the opposite phenomena: poverty, suffering, illness, and death. This “sublime revenge” of ressentiment (in Nietzsche’s words) has indeed played a creative role in the history of value systems. It is “sublime,” for the impulses of revenge against those who are strong, healthy, rich, or handsome now disappear entirely. Ressentiment has brought deliverance from the inner torment of these affects. Once the sense of values has shifted and the new judgments have spread, such people cease to been viable, hateful, and worthy of revenge. They are unfortunate and to be pitied, for they are beset with “evils.” Their sight now awakens feelings of gentleness, pity, and commiseration. When the reversal of values comes to dominate accepted morality and is invested with the power of the ruling ethos, it is transmitted by tradition, suggestion, and education to those who are endowed with the seemingly devaluated qualities. They are struck with a “bad conscience” and secretly condemn themselves. The “slaves,” as Nietzsche says, infect the “masters.” Ressentiment man, on the other hand, now feels “good,” “pure,” and “human”—at least in the conscious layers of his mind. He is delivered from hatred, from the tormenting desire of an impossible revenge, though deep down his poisoned sense of life and the true values may still shine through the illusory ones. There is no more calumny, no more defamation of particular persons or things. The systematic perversion and reinterpretation of the values themselves is much more effective than the “slandering” of persons or the falsification of the world view could ever be.
Quelle: Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen (1912), L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 76-77

„"Among the types of human activity which have always played a role in history, the soldier is least subject to ressentiment. Nietzsche is right in pointing out that the priest is most exposed to this danger, though the conclusions about religious morality which he draws from this insight are inadmissible. It is true that the very requirements of his profession, quite apart from his individual or national temperament, expose the priest more than any other human type to the creeping poison of ressentiment. In principle he is not supported by secular power; indeed he affirms the fundamental weakness of such power. Yet, as the representative of a concrete institution, he is to be sharply distinguished from the homo religiosus—he is placed in the middle of party struggle. More than any other man, he is condemned to control his emotions (revenge, wrath, hatred) at least outwardly, for he must always represent the image and principle of “peacefulness.” The typical “priestly policy” of gaining victories through suffering rather than combat, or through the counterforces which the sight of the priest's suffering produces in men who believe that he unites them with God, is inspired by ressentiment. There is no trace of ressentiment in genuine martyrdom; only the false martyrdom of priestly policy is guided by it. This danger is completely avoided only when priest and homo religiosus coincide."“

—  Max Scheler

Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen (1912)

„These two characteristics make revenge the most suitable source for the formation of ressentiment. The nuances of language are precise. There is a progression of feeling which starts with revenge and runs via rancor, envy, and impulse to detract all the way to spite, coming close to ressentiment. Usually, revenge and envy still have specific objects. They do not arise without special reasons and are directed against definite objects, so that they do not outlast their motives. The desire for revenge disappears when vengeance has been taken, when the person against whom it was directed has been punished or has punished himself, or when one truly forgives him. In the same way, envy vanishes when the envied possession becomes ours. The impulse to detract, however, is not in the same sense tied to definite objects—it does not arise through specific causes with which it disappears. On the contrary, this affect seeks those objects, those aspects of men and things, from which it can draw gratification. It likes to disparage and to smash pedestals, to dwell on the negative aspects of excellent men and things, exulting in the fact that such faults are more perceptible through their contrast with the strongly positive qualities. Thus there is set a fixed pattern of experience which can accommodate the most diverse contents. This form or structure fashions each concrete experience of life and selects it from possible experiences. The impulse to detract, therefore, is no mere result of such an experience, and the experience will arise regardless of considerations whether its object could in any way, directly or indirectly, further or hamper the individual concerned. In “spite,” this impulse has become even more profound and deep-seated—it is, as it were, always ready to burst forth and to betray itself in an unbridled gesture, a way of smiling, etc. An analogous road leads from simple *Schadenfreude* to “malice.”“

—  Max Scheler

The latter, more detached than the former from definite objects, tries to bring about ever new opportunities for *Schadenfreude*.
Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen (1912)

„"This law of the release of tension through illusory valuation gains new significance, full of infinite consequences, for the ressentiment attitude. To its very core, the mind of ressentiment man is filled with envy, the impulse to detract, malice, and secret vindictiveness. These affects have become fixed attitudes, detached from all determinate objects. Independently of his will, this man's attention will be instinctively drawn by all events which can set these affects in motion. The ressentiment attitude even plays a role in the formation of perceptions, expectations, and memories. It automatically selects those aspects of experience which can justify the factual application of this pattern of feeling. Therefore such phenomena as joy, splendor, power, happiness, fortune, and strength magically attract the man of ressentiment. He cannot pass by, he has to look at them, whether he “wants” to or not. But at the same time he wants to avert his eyes, for he is tormented by the craving to possess them and knows that his desire is vain. The first result of this inner process is a characteristic falsification of the world view. Regardless of what he observes, his world has a peculiar structure of emotional stress. The more the impulse to turn away from those positive values prevails, the more he turns without transition to their negative opposites, on which he concentrates increasingly. He has an urge to scold, to depreciate, to belittle whatever he can. Thus he involuntarily “slanders” life and the world in order to justify his inner pattern of value experience.“

—  Max Scheler

Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen (1912)

„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

Quelle: Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen (1912), L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 54-55

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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