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African Spir (1837 – 1890)


Russian Neo-Kantian philosopher of German descent, whose book Denken und Wirklichkeit [Thought and Reality] exerted a "lasting impact" on the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche.
African Spir
The most sacred duty, the supreme and urgent work, is to deliver humanity from the malediction of Cain - fratricidal war.
Spir quotes
If the present civilisation does not acquire some stable moral fondations ("bases morales stables", Fr.), its existence will hardly be more assured than that of the civilisations that have preceeded it, and which have fallen (or collapse, or failed)
Spir
The duty of the State is double; it must strive to perfect its member, by promoting their intellectual and moral progress, et try to keep the right and the justice in their mutual relationships.




Spir African quotes
The first principle from which stems the moral of about all people at all time; it is summarized in this precept: Love thy neighbour as thyself, and: do as you would be done by.
Spir African
Nothing that rest on some contradictory basis shall succeed or last in the long run ("ne saurait réussir ou durer, ? la longue", Fr.); all that involve (or imply...) a contradiction is fatally destined, early or late, to disintegrate and disappear.
African Spir quotes
The intellectual development of man, far from having get men away from war, has, rather, on the contrary, bring them to a refinment always more perfected in the art of killing. They even came to raise the methods of slaughter to the rank of "science"... We would not (On ne saurait", Fr.) imagine a more extraordinary moral blindness!
African Spir
So many forces and resources would become available if States, aware (or conscious) of their true (or real) mission, would want to get on (or agree) to abolish every politics aiming at ("visant ?", Fr.) expansion or hegemony; system that maintain among nations a a perpetual distrust and tension, impose on them (or force or compel, "leur impose", Fr.) formidable armies and crushing war budgets.
Spir African quotes
Nothing is more stimulating and more salutary to (or for) the inner (or inward) development than the exemple of men devoted to the good. It is in the company of men pursuing a same ideal that the still weavering (or unsteady) soul can set oneself ("se fixer", Fr) and stick to (or attach to) everything that is noble and generous.
Spir
There are (or is) indeed no contradiction between science and religion, the fields of which are different, and which, far from mutually fighting and persecute, must, on the contrary, complete each other.
Spir African
For those who do not need to work to provide for their maintenance, it is a question of conferring to their lives a content worthy of themselves. Now, this purpose can be attained only if we do not act solely with a view to our own benefits, but with a view to the benefit of all. Christ said: 'Where is your treasure, there also will be your heart.'
African Spir
Whoever has recognized the vainglory of individuality will not attach any store ("n'attachera aucun prix ?", Fr.) to fame. The only one thing which is really valuable, it is to do good.




African Spir quotes
If we accomplish a good deed, a charity in the hope of (getting...) future rewards, or with a more or less confessed (or admitted) ulterior motive to profit from personal advantages ("d'en retirer quelque avantage personnel", Fr.), we are probably doing a useful thing, but which is devoided of any ("tout", Fr.) truly moral character (or disposition)" - p .39
African Spir
The concept of absolute, hence (or whence) springs, in the moral field, the moral laws or norms, represent, in the field of knowledge, the principle of identity, which is the fundamental law of the thought; norms of logic springs from it, that govern the thought (or mind) in the field of science." ("Le concept de l'absolu, d'o? découlent, dans le domaine moral, les lois ou normes morales, constitue, le principe d'identité, qui est la loi fondamentale de la pensée; il en découle les normes logiques qui régissent la pensée dans le domaine de la science.")
Spir quotes
(Generally or) Men in general are too inclined to let themselves be overawed by what is quantitatively great. It is thus that even thoughtful minds let themselves be impressed ("éblouis", Fr.) by the strenght of Napoléon 1st, to much so that (to the point that) seeing (to see) in his person something august (or majestic), when indeed (in fact) he only have had ("il n'ait eu que", Fr.) selfish aims (or plans). Half the earth ("globe terrrstre", Fr.) is put to fire and sword to obtain to a man the pleasant sensation of his own absolute power.
Spir African
It is from the education of the new generations that we will especially be able to expect a real moral progress. It is important first of all to develop in it (or 'him', the next generations...) self-control, love of truth and solidarity spirit.
Spir African quotes
The physical (or material, "matériel" Fr.) man, who does not imagine that everyhting is relative, yield (or bow down before, "s'incline", Fr.) to outer force, that impress him (or command him respect) from outside, and whose effects are tangible to him, whether they manifest themselves by force, wealth or by domination.
African Spir
A man, engaged in his simple reflections in everyday life, will comprehend neither the possibility, nor the benefits of self-sacrifice, but, when given ("qu'on lui donne", Fr.) a great cause to defend, and he will find only natural to sacrifice oneself for it.
African Spir quotes
In this world everything that is won to the ideal, is an eternal (or imperishable, - "impérissable", Fr.) good.
African Spir
It must be all the same to the citizens ("ressortissants", Fr.) of a country that their governing (those in power) speak such language or such other ("telle langue ou telle autre", Fr.); likewise that it must be all the same to them that these adhere to such or such religion, so long as a full (or complete) liberty is equally garantee for everyone.
Spir African
The supreme blossoming of character lies (or reside) in renounciation (or renuncement) and abnegation of self ("abnégation de soi", Fr.)


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