The Antichrist § 11

One more word against Kant as a moralist. ‘Virtue’, ‘duty’, ‘goodness in itself’, goodness that has been stamped with the character of the impersonal and the universally valid—these are all chimeras, and expression of decay, of the final exhaustion of life, of the Königsberg Chineseanity.

A people is destroyed when it confuses its own duty with the concept of duty in general…

Kant became an idiot. — And such a man was the contemporary of Goethe! This disaster of a spider passed for the German philosopher — and still does!

1 Reply on “The Antichrist § 11

  1. (1) Nietzsche not only called Kant ‘an idiot’ but Jesus as well.

    (2) ‘A people is destroyed when it confuses its own duty with the concept of duty in general’, that is, the German people are destroyed when they confuse their völkisch duty with universal altruism.

    (3) Königsberg Chineseanity. Königsberg was Kant’s native town in Prussia (in 1945 the Soviet forces annexed it and now is in Russia). The French word chinoiserie refers to an European artistic style in architecture that reflects the Chinese influence. Nietzsche, who read French, seems to be coining a new term: ‘chinoiserie’ in the sense of the extreme obscurity in Kantian metaphysics (like reading Chinese) with ‘Christianity’.

    So ‘Königsberg Chineseanity’ is analogous to what we have been calling Neochristianity because Kant expelled God from the front door in his Critique of Pure Reason only to let Xtian morals reenter through the back door in his Critique of Practical Reason.

    (4) To understand the term ‘spider’ in the context of philosophy you would have to become familiar with the metaphor of ‘the ant, the spider, and the bee’ in Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum.

    Nietzsche read Bacon and wrote above ‘This disaster of a spider passed for the German philosopher…’ A contemporary critic of the German idealists may conclude that Kant was the Big Shelob of ‘philosophy’: an extremely disgusting and repulsive creature. Disgusting, because those who in the late 18th century and throughout the 19th century spent valuable years of their lives trying to decipher ‘Königsberg Chineseanity’ were idiot insects who got trapped in Shelob’s web.

    It is a shame that so many Germans allowed to became entangled in Kant’s cobwebs for so long.