Thursday, August 07, 2014


Freedom and Unfreedom

‎Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits 2.2.318 (tr. R.J. Hollingdale)
Tokens of freedom and unfreedom.—To satisfy one's necessary requirements as completely as possible oneself, even if imperfectly, is the road to freedom of spirit and person. To let others satisfy many of one's requirements, even superfluous ones, and as perfectly as possible—is a training in unfreedom. The sophist Hippias, who had himself acquired, himself produced, everything he wore, within and without, represents in precisely this the road to the highest freedom of spirit and person. It does not matter if everything is not equally well made, pride will patch up the tattered spots.

Anzeichen von Freiheit und Unfreiheit.—Seine notwendigen Bedürfnisse soviel wie möglich selber befriedigen, wenn auch unvollkommen, das ist die Richtung auf Freiheit von Geist und Person. Viele, auch überflüssige Bedürfnisse sich befriedigen lassen, und so vollkommen als möglich,—erzieht zur Unfreiheit. Der Sophist Hippias, der alles was er trug, innen und aussen, selbst erworben, selber gemacht hatte, entspricht eben damit der Richtung auf höchste Freiheit des Geistes und der Person. Nicht darauf kommt es an, dass alles gleich gut und vollkommen gearbeitet ist; der Stolz flickt schon die schadhaften Stellen aus.
Plato, Hippias Minor 368 b-c (tr. H.N. Fowler):
You said that once, when you went to Olympia, everything you had on your person was your own work; first the ring—for you began with that—which you had was your own work, showing that you knew how to engrave rings, and another seal was your work, and a strigil and an oil-flask were your works; then you said that you yourself had made the sandals you had on, and had woven your cloak and tunic; and, what seemed to every one most unusual and proof of the most wisdom, was when you said that the girdle you wore about your tunic was like the Persian girdles of the costliest kind, and that you had made it yourself.

ἔφησθα δὲ ἀφικέσθαι ποτὲ εἰς Ὀλυμπίαν ἃ εἶχες περὶ τὸ σῶμα ἅπαντα σαυτοῦ ἔργα ἔχων· πρῶτον μὲν δακτύλιον—ἐντεῦθεν γὰρ ἤρχου—ὃν εἶχες σαυτοῦ ἔχειν ἔργον, ὡς ἐπιστάμενος δακτυλίους γλύφειν, καὶ ἄλλην σφραγῖδα σὸν ἔργον, καὶ στλεγγίδα καὶ λήκυθον ἃ αὐτὸς ἠργάσω· ἔπειτα ὑποδήματα ἃ εἶχες ἔφησθα αὐτὸς σκυτοτομῆσαι, καὶ τὸ ἱμάτιον ὑφῆναι καὶ τὸν χιτωνίσκον· καὶ ὅ γε πᾶσιν ἔδοξεν ἀτοπώτατον καὶ σοφίας πλείστης ἐπίδειγμα, ἐπειδὴ τὴν ζώνην ἔφησθα τοῦ χιτωνίσκου, ἣν εἶχες, εἶναι μὲν οἷαι αἱ Περσικαὶ τῶν πολυτελῶν, ταύτην δὲ αὐτὸς πλέξαι.

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