Max Scheler citáty

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Max Scheler

Datum narození: 22. srpen 1874
Datum úmrtí: 19. květen 1928

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Max Scheler byl německý filosof a sociolog. Vyšel z novokantovství, později se zabýval fenomenologií a filosofickou antropologií. Kromě Edmunda Husserla jej ovlivnili hlavně Immanuel Kant, Henri Bergson a Friedrich Nietzsche.

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Citáty Max Scheler

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„There is usually no ressentiment just where a superficial view would look for it first: in the criminal. The criminal is essentially an active type. Instead of repressing hatred, revenge, envy, and greed, he releases them in crime. Ressentiment is a basic impulse only in the crimes of spite. These are crimes which require only a minimum of action and risk and from which the criminal draws no advantage, since they are inspired by nothing but the desire to do harm. The arsonist is the purest type in point, provided that he is not motivated by the pathological urge of watching fire (a rare case) or by the wish to collect insurance. Criminals of this type strangely resemble each other. Usually they are quiet, taciturn, shy, quite settled and hostile to all alcoholic or other excesses. Their criminal act is nearly always a sudden outburst of impulses of revenge or envy which have been repressed for years. A typical cause would be the continual deflation of one's ego by the constant sight of the neighbor's rich and beautiful farm. Certain expressions of class ressentiment, which have lately been on the increase, also fall under this heading. I mention a crime committed near Berlin in 1912: in the darkness, the criminal stretched a wire between two trees across the road, so that the heads of passing automobilists would be shorn off. This is a typical case of ressentiment, for any car driver or passenger at all could be the victim, and there is no interested motive. Also in cases of slander and defamation of character, ressentiment often plays a major role...“

— Max Scheler

„But this instinctive falsification of the world view is only of limited effectiveness. Again and again the ressentiment man encounters happiness, power, beauty, wit, goodness, and other phenomena of positive life. They exist and impose themselves, however much he may shake his fist against them and try to explain them away. He cannot escape the tormenting conflict between desire and impotence. Averting his eyes is sometimes impossible and in the long run ineffective. When such a quality irresistibly forces itself upon his attention, the very sight suffices to produce an impulse of hatred against its bearer, who has never harmed or insulted him. Dwarfs and cripples, who already feel humiliated by the outward appearance of the others, often show this peculiar hatred—this hyena-like and ever-ready ferocity. Precisely because this kind of hostility is not caused by the “enemy's” actions and behavior, it is deeper and more irreconcilable than any other. It is not directed against transitory attributes, but against the other person's very essence and being. Goethe has this type of “enemy” in mind when he writes: “Why complain about enemies?—Could those become your friends—To whom your very existence—Is an eternal silent reproach?” (West-Eastern Divan). The very existence of this “being,” his mere appearance, becomes a silent, unadmitted “reproach.” Other disputes can be settled, but not this! Goethe knew, for his rich and great existence was the ideal target of ressentiment. His very appearance was bound to make the poison flow.“

— Max Scheler

„Yet all this is not ressentiment. These are only stages in the development of its sources. Revenge, envy, the impulse to detract, spite, *Schadenfreude*, and malice lead to ressentiment only if there occurs neither a moral self-conquest (such as genuine forgiveness in the case of revenge) nor an act or some other adequate expression of emotion (such as verbal abuse or shaking one's fist), and if this restraint is caused by a pronounced awareness of impotence. There will be no ressentiment if he who thirsts for revenge really acts and avenges himself, if he who is consumed by hatred harms his enemy, gives him “a piece of his mind,” or even merely vents his spleen in the presence of others. Nor will the envious fall under the dominion of ressentiment if he seeks to acquire the envied possession by means of work, barter, crime, or violence. Ressentiment can only arise if these emotions are particularly powerful and yet must be suppressed because they are coupled with the feeling that one is unable to act them out—either because of weakness, physical or mental, or because of fear. Through its very origin, ressentiment is therefore chiefly confined to those who serve and are dominated at the moment, who fruitlessly resent the sting of authority. When it occurs elsewhere, it is either due to psychological contagion—and the spiritual venom of ressentiment is extremely contagious—or to the violent suppression of an impulse which subsequently revolts by “embittering” and “poisoning” the personality. If an ill-treated servant can vent his spleen in the antechamber, he will remain free from the inner venom of ressentiment, but it will engulf him if he must hide his feelings and keep his negative and hostile emotions to himself.“

— Max Scheler

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„One cannot love anybody without turning away from oneself. However, the crucial question is whether this movement is prompted by the desire to turn toward a positive value, or whether the intention is a radical escape from oneself. “Love” of the second variety is inspired by self-hatred, by hatred of one’s own weakness and misery. The mind is always on the point of departing for distant places. Afraid of seeing itself and its inferiority, it is driven to give itself to the other—not because of his worth, but merely for the sake of his “otherness.” Modern philosophical jargon has found a revealing term for this phenomenon, one of the many modern substitutes for love: “altruism.” This love is not directed at a previously discovered positive value, nor does any such value flash up in the act of loving: there is nothing but the urge to turn away from oneself and to lose oneself in other people’s business. We all know a certain type of man frequently found among socialists, suffragettes, and all people with an ever-ready “social conscience”— the kind of person whose social activity is quite clearly prompted by inability to keep his attention focused on himself, on his own tasks and problems. Looking away from oneself is here mistaken for love! Isn’t it abundantly clear that “altruism,” the interest in “others” and their lives, has nothing at all to do with love? The malicious or envious person also forgets his own interest, even his “preservation.” He only thinks about the other man’s feelings, about the harm and the suffering he inflicts on him. Conversely, there is a form of genuine “self-love” which has nothing at all to do with “egoism.” It is precisely the essential feature of egoism that it does not apprehend the full value of the isolated self. The egoist sees himself only with regard to the others, as a member of society who wishes to possess and acquire more than the others. Selfdirectedness or other-directedness have no essential bearing on the specific quality of love or hatred. These acts are different in themselves, quite independently of their direction.“

— Max Scheler

„Jesus’ “mysterious” affection for the sinners, which is closely related to his ever-ready militancy against the scribes and pharisees, against every kind of social respectability … contains a kind of awareness that the great transformation of life, the radical change in outlook he demands of man (in Christian parlance it is called “rebirth”) is more accessible to the sinner than to the “just.” … Jesus is deeply skeptical toward all those who can feign the good man’s blissful existence through the simple lack of strong instincts and vitality. But all this does not suffice to explain this mysterious affection. In it there is something which can scarcely be expressed and must be felt. When the noblest men are in the company of the “good”—even of the truly “good,” not only of the pharisees—they are often overcome by a sudden impetuous yearning to go to the sinners, to suffer and struggle at their side and to share their grievous, gloomy lives. This is truly no temptation by the pleasures of sin, nor a demoniacal love for its “sweetness,” nor the attraction of the forbidden or the lure of novel experiences. It is an outburst of tempestuous love and tempestuous compassion for all men who are felt as one, indeed for the universe as a whole; a love which makes it seem frightful that only some should be “good,” while the others are “bad” and reprobate. In such moments, love and a deep sense of solidarity are repelled by the thought that we alone should be “good,” together with some others. This fills us with a kind of loathing for those who can accept this privilege, and we have an urge to move away from them.“

— Max Scheler
L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 100-101

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„Impulses of revenge lead to ressentiment the more they change into actual *vindictiveness*, the more their direction shifts toward indeterminate groups of objects which need only share one common characteristic, and the less they are satisfied by vengeance taken on a specific object. If the desire for revenge remains permanently unsatisfied, and especially if the feeling of “being right (lacking in an outburst of rage, but an integral part of revenge) is intensified into the idea of a “duty,” the individual may actually wither away and die. The vindictive person is instinctively and without a conscious act of volition drawn toward events which may give rise to vengefulness, or he tends to see injurious intentions in all kinds of perfectly innocent actions and remarks of others. Great touchiness is indeed frequently a symptom of a vengeful character. The vindictive person is always in search of objects, and in fact he attacks—in the belief that he is simply wreaking vengeance. This vengeance restores his damaged feeling of personal value, his injured “honor,” or it brings “satisfaction” for the wrongs he has endured. When it is repressed, vindictiveness leads to ressentiment, a process which is intensified when the *imagination* of vengeance, too, is repressed—and finally the very emotion of revenge itself. Only then does this *state of mind* become associated with the tendency to detract from the other person's value, which brings an illusory easing of the tension."“

— Max Scheler

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