a philosophy blog

Zoo-ish creatures

Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 1889, Kaufmann translation, “The Improvers of Mankind”, sec. 2:

To call the taming of an animal its “improvement” sounds almost like a joke to our ears. Whoever knows what goes on in menageries doubts that the beasts are “improved” there. They are weakened, they are made less harmful, and through the depressive effect of fear, through pain, through wounds, and through hunger, they become sickly beasts.—

Weininger’s (and Kafka’s) criminal dog, a creature that makes a menagerie of whatever environment—without, I would say, something of the dignity of even the domestic cat. The latter more successfully resists “improvement”. Of the dog there is no doubt what it means. Weininger had difficulty making out the cat.

Posted by luno in Nietzsche, Weininger (Thursday July 21, 2005 at 1:16 pm)

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