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Single Idea 20251

[catalogued under 20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 4. Responsibility for Actions]

Full Idea

Of all actions, the ones least understood are those undertaken for a purpose, no doubt because they have always passed for the most intelligible and are to our way of thinking the most commonplace.

Gist of Idea

Actions done for a purpose are least understood, because we complacently think it's obvious


Friedrich Nietzsche (Dawn (Daybreak) [1881], 127)

A Reaction

You feel that Nietzsche is right about our stupendous lack of of self-knowledge, but then a bit of a panic ensues, because it is not clear what you are supposed to do about anything, particularly if we don't know why anyone else does anything.

Book Reference

Nietzsche,Friedrich: 'Dawn (Daybreak)', ed/tr. Smith, Brittain [Stanford 2011], p.94