More about supporters and how you can help. Skip to content Skip to section menu. Find out more x. Philosophische Abhandlungen by Friedrich Nicolai Book 45 editions published between and in 3 languages and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide. Geburtstag by Friedrich Nicolai Book 8 editions published in in German and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide. The life and opinions of Sebaldus Nothanker. In Kant replied to his criticism in two public letters "Ueber die Buchmacherei", depicting Nicolai as incapable of philosophical thinking.
Das Leben und die Meinungen des Herrn Magister Sebaldus Nothanker
Nicolai defended himself in the present work. Skip to content Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. For the rest, I would request you keep this an absolute secret, since, among other things, I am also counting of seizing the old sinner like a thief in the night. After Cotta agreed to publish the piece, Fichte even requested that Wilhelm Schlegel receive an appropriate douceur and basic honorarium.
Das Zeitalter Goethes und Napoleons — , ed. Maria Fehling [Stuttgart, Berlin ], —58 :. This unexpected and peculiar event has wholly soured him from having anything further to do with the matter, and his intention was to withdraw his hand from the piece and simply put it aside.
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Hence I myself have taken over its publication, put my name on the title page, composed a preface, and sent the manuscript — which Fichte left me to do whatever I please with — to Jena, where as a professor I am not subject to the censor and where I have given instructions to expedite publication in a printing of copies as quickly as possible, if possible with Frommann , so that this brochure, which through being censored will naturally generate twice the interest here, can yet be presented at the next book fair. We have assumed that this incident, considering what you have already arranged with Fichte concerning publication, would not cause any changes; it is just that Fichte himself wants at all costs to avoid having the public think he is in any way still involved in its publication, a measure you yourself would doubtless find quite in order if you were familiar with the full details of the situation.
I have sent written instructions to Jena concerning the details of the printing as discussed with my friend.
Das Leben und die Meinungen des Herrn Magister Sebaldus Nothanker (German Edition)
Should you have any further instructions in this respect, kindly address them to Frommann himself or to my brother in Jena. So much on this matter. The author of this piece [i. When unexpected hindrances arose, however, and considering that the real purpose of the piece had already been achieved by the entertainment he enjoyed in composing it and which he also provided for his friends in distributing it to them, he decided not to expend any further effort on it, thereby withdrawing his hand from any decisions concerning its future.
Among his circle of friends, the manuscript also eventually made its way to me. As far as Nicolai himself is concerned, I fully realize that by publishing this piece I am demonstrating to him an extraordinary act of beneficence.
Das Leben Und Die Meinungen Des Herrn Magister Sebaldus Nothanker by Friedrich Nicolai
For what, indeed, could be more glorious for him — who is incapable of prompting his most important adversaries even to read his long-winded polemical writings in the first place, not to speak of genuinely responding to them, and who is capable of, at most, merely cajoling a few bits of sarcasm out of them — what, I ask, could be more glorious than for Fichte to address him formally as a genuinely existing being, indeed to construe him from principles, and in so doing to make him comprehensible perhaps even to himself? The day this piece is published will undeniably be the most glory-sated day of his long life, and one might even be concerned that, given the frailty of his old age, he may not even survive such surfeit of joy and splendor.
He has in any event in no way merited that I be the one to prepare such a celebration for him, considering how he disgraced me by according me such considerable praise in earlier writings, and in even allowing in more recent pieces that I possess both knowledge and talent. These considerations notwithstanding, however, my reading of the piece presented here has completely attuned me to the generous mood already regnant there, and if he might refrain from repeating his previous, aforementioned presumption in the future, then I can certainly forgive and forget all previous transgressions.
The highest principle from which all the intellectual operations of our hero derive. Our hero has from the onset of his mature years been of the firm opinion that all possible human knowledge has been assembled, comprehended, exhausted, and preserved in his personality and disposition, that his personal assessment concerning the view, treatment, content, and value of all science and knowledge is both unerring and infallible, and that such should serve as a guide and standard for the judgment of all other reasonable beings and as a criterion for their own reasonableness, — in a word: that he himself has already thought everything that is correct and useful in any conceivable field, and that anything he has not thought or will never think is incorrect and useless.
This opinion put him in a position, and not just in his own eyes, to disregard any and all doubts, later examination, and concern that he might be in error after all concerning this or that issue; he was, moreover, just as convinced that such was also the opinion of all other human beings, namely, that they, too, were just as convinced, and he simply assumed that they, too, could not but overcome all doubt as soon as they merely understood correctly how he himself viewed this or that issue. His opponents, he believed, could already sufficiently perceive from this one statement alone that they were in the wrong.
He accordingly never allowed himself to be misled, not by even the most peculiar or strange occurrence or circumstance that might arise, concerning this one presupposition. Even when, as was frequently enough the case in his later years, he was assailed from all sides with unanimous cries to the effect that he ought to defer his own opinion concerning certain things, or that he was a born blockhead, a sanctimonious bore, an old codger, and whatever else one took the liberty of calling him, — he still preferred to assume that people were saying such things merely out of waggishness and in order to avenge themselves for previous rebukes, rather than attributing to human beings the folly of thinking themselves capable of not acknowledging, in all seriousness and with all their hearts, a person such as Nicolai.
He consistently reasoned, assessed, and judged from the perspective of this opinion , never about it. Hence he died, aged and sated with life, without every coming to terms with his own thinking, not even within himself.
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In his conclusion, he turned against Johann Friedrich Cotta as a publisher here pp. But I confess I am not a little astonished that the bookseller, Herr Cotta, possessed such scant sense of honor that he put his own name on the title of such a publication [viz. He is otherwise a quite honorable man, is himself a scholar, so doubtless did not do such a thing out of mere passion.
People whose brain has been strained by excessive speculation commonly reflect very little how their actions may be perceived by people of reason, since they live solely in their own conceit. But a reasonable businessman, who lives not in dreamy speculation but rather in the real world and who lives and acts among real human beings, cannot be indifferent to the way his fellow citizens judge his actions.
What, then, is one to think of Herr Cotta? Does he perhaps consider every single work by Herr Fichte to be excellent? Does he consider it an honor to place his name on them regardless of how good or bad they may be, if they are but from Fichte? Or is he perhaps thinking: What does the content of this piece concern me, whether loutish or a pasquinade or not; lucri bonus odor ex re qualibet!
Honorable booksellers are justifiably concerned, especially these days, when the writing and publishing of books has been subjected to so much abuse, not to place themselves into that particular class of miserable junk-book dealers who are utterly indifferent to justice and injustice, honor and shame, and so on, and who, if it will but earn a few pennies, publish and distribute utterly without reflection, including in reprints, morally ruinous pieces extending even down to outright filthy jokes, slanderously trashy tomes, base pasquinades against honorable people, pieces that disrupt public tranquility, and in general anything that upright people otherwise find repugnant in such books.
I feel quite sorry for Herr Cotta if through his imprudence he has provided even a single upright man, who may not even know him, the occasion to classify him among such people, where in fact he does not really belong.
When agreeing to publish this piece, Cotta presumably believed it to be one of those of which no honorable publisher would have any reason to be ashamed, and only perceived its perniciousness after it was actually published. Though I have no intention of presenting my own manner of thinking as exemplary for anyone, nonetheless I will say what I myself would have done in such a situation.
Nicolai, Friedrich 1733-1811
Had I come to an agreement with an absent writer [i. In the supplement to vol. Does he consider every single work by Herr Fichte to be excellent? Or is he thinking: What does the content of this piece concern me, whether loutish or a pasquinade or not; lucri bonus odor ex re qualibet!