Max Scheler

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When we cannot obtain a thing, we comfort ourselves with the reassuring thought that it is not worth nearly as much as we believed.

Max Scheler (August 22, 1874, Munich – May 19, 1928, Frankfurt am Main) was a German philosopher known for his work in phenomenology, ethics, and philosophical anthropology.


  • Immer wieder führt sie sich mit der Wendung ein, es sei doch „nicht genug Liebe in der Welt“, als daß man einen Teil noch an außermenschliche Wesen abgeben könnte—eine echte von Ressentiment diktierte Wendung!
    • Abhandlungen und Aufsätze (1915), p. 184
      • There is not enough love in the world to squander it on anything but human beings.

Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen (1912)[edit]

Full text in English - Full text in German
  • Ressentiment must therefore be strongest in a society like ours, where approximately equal rights (political and otherwise) or formal social equality, publicly recognized, go hand in hand with wide factual differences in power, property, and education.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), p. 50
  • It is peculiar to “ressentiment criticism” that it does not seriously desire that its demands be fulfilled. It does not want to cure the evil. The evil is merely the pretext for the criticism.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), p. 51
  • Existential envy which is directed against the other person’s very nature, is the strongest source of ressentiment. It is as if it whispers continually: “I can forgive everything, but not that you are— that you are what you are—that I am not what you are—indeed that I am not you.” This form of envy strips the opponent of his very existence, for this existence as such is felt to be a “pressure,” a “reproach,” and an unbearable humiliation. In the lives of great men there are always critical periods of instability, in which they alternately envy and try to love those whose merits they cannot but esteem. Only gradually, one of these attitudes will predominate. Here lies the meaning of Goethe’s reflection that “against another’s great merits, there is no remedy but love.”
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 52-53
  • The “noble” person has a completely naïve and non-reflective awareness of his own value and of his fullness of being, an obscure conviction which enriches every conscious moment of his existence, as if he were autonomously rooted in the universe. This should not be mistaken for “pride.” Quite on the contrary, pride results from an experienced diminution of this “naive” self-confidence. It is a way of “holding on” to one’s value, of seizing and “preserving” it deliberately. The noble man’s naive self-confidence, which is as natural to him as tension is to the muscles, permits him calmly to assimilate the merits of others in all the fullness of their substance and configuration. He never “grudges” them their merits. On the contrary: he rejoices in their virtues and feels that they make the world more worthy of love. His naive self-confidence is by no means “compounded” of a series of positive valuations based on specific qualities, talents, and virtues: it is originally directed at his very essence and being. Therefore he can afford to admit that another person has certain “qualities” superior to his own or is more “gifted” in some respects—indeed in all respects. Such a conclusion does not diminish his naïve awareness of his own value, which needs no justification or proof by achievements or abilities. Achievements merely serve to confirm it. On the other hand, the “common” man (in the exact acceptation of the term) can only experience his value and that of another if he relates the two, and he clearly perceives only those qualities which constitute possible differences. The noble man experiences value prior to any comparison, the common man in and through a comparison. For the latter, the relation is the selective precondition for apprehending any value. Every value is a relative thing, “higher” or “lower,” “more” or “less” than his own. He arrives at value judgments by comparing himself to others and others to himself.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 54-55
  • The ultimate goal of the arriviste’s aspirations is not to acquire a thing of value, but to be more highly esteemed than others. He merely uses the “thing” as an indifferent occasion for overcoming the oppressive feeling of inferiority which results from his constant comparisons.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 55-56
  • The medieval peasant prior to the 13th century does not compare himself to the feudal lord, nor does the artisan compare himself to the knight. … From the king down to the hangman and the prostitute, everyone is “noble” in the sense that he considers himself as irreplaceable. In the “system of free competition,” on the other hand, the notions on life’s tasks and their value are not fundamental, they are but secondary derivations of the desire of all to surpass all the others. No “place” is more than a transitory point in this universal chase.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), p. 56
  • If the awareness of our limitations begins to limit or to dim our value consciousness as well—as happens, for instance, in old age with regard to the values of youth—then we have already started the movement of devaluation which will end with the defamation of the world and all its values. Only a timely act of resignation can deliver us from this tendency toward self-delusion.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), p. 59
  • The “old maid” with her repressed cravings for tenderness, sex, and propagation, is rarely quite free of ressentiment. What we call “prudery,” in contrast with true modesty, is but one of the numerous variants of sexual ressentiment. The habitual behavior of many old maids, who obsessively ferret out all sexually significant events in their surroundings in order to condemn them harshly, is nothing but sexual gratification transformed into ressentiment satisfaction. Thus the criticism accomplishes the very thing it pretends to condemn.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 61-62
  • The process of aging can only be fruitful and satisfactory if the important transitions are accompanied by free resignation, by the renunciation of the values proper to the preceding stage of life. Those spiritual and intellectual values which remain untouched by the process of aging, together with the values of the next stage of life, must compensate for what has been lost. Only if this happens can we cheerfully relive the values of our past in memory, without envy for the young to whom they are still accessible. If we cannot compensate, we avoid and flee the “tormenting” recollection of youth, thus blocking our possibilities of understanding younger people. At the same time we tend to negate the specific values of earlier stages. No wonder that youth always has a hard fight to sustain against the ressentiment of the older generation
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 62-63
  • Even after his conversion, the true 'apostate' is not primarily committed to the positive contents of his new belief and to the realization of its aims. He is motivated by the struggle against the old belief and lives on for its negation. The apostate does not affirm his new convictions for their own sake; he is engaged in a continuous chain of acts of revenge against his own spiritual past. In reality he remains a captive of this past, and the new faith is merely a handy frame of reference for negating and rejecting the old. As a religious type, the apostate is therefore at the opposite pole from the 'resurrected,' whose life is transformed by a new faith which is full of intrinsic meaning and value.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 66-67
  • To a lesser degree, a secret ressentiment underlies every way of thinking which attributes creative power to mere negation and criticism. Thus modern philosophy is deeply penetrated by a whole type of thinking which is nourished by ressentiment. I am referring to the view that the “true” and the “given” is not that which is self-evident, but rather that which is “indubitable” or “incontestable,” which can be maintained against doubt and criticism.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), p. 67
  • All the seemingly positive valuations and judgments of ressentiment are hidden devaluations and negations.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), p. 67
  • Whenever convictions are not arrived at by direct contact with the world and the objects themselves, but indirectly through a critique of the opinions of others, the processes of thinking are impregnated with ressentiment. The establishment of “criteria” for testing the correctness of opinions then becomes the most important task. Genuine and fruitful criticism judges all opinions with reference to the object itself. Ressentiment criticism, on the contrary, accepts no “object” that has not stood the test of criticism
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 67-68
  • Ressentiment is always to some degree a determinant of the romantic type of mind. At least this is so when the romantic nostalgia for some past era (Hellas, the Middle Ages, etc.) is not primarily based on the values of that period, but on the wish to escape from the present. Then all praise of the “past” has the implied purpose of downgrading present-day reality.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), p. 68
  • We have a tendency to overcome any strong tension between desire and impotence by depreciating or denying the positive value of the desired object.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), p. 73
  • When we cannot obtain a thing, we comfort ourselves with the reassuring thought that it is not worth nearly as much as we believed.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), p. 73
  • To its very core, the mind of ressentiment man is filled with envy, the impulse to detract, malice, and secret vindictiveness. These affects have become fixed attitudes, detached from all determinate objects. Independently of his will, this man’s attention will be instinctively drawn by all events which can set these affects in motion. The ressentiment attitude even plays a role in the formation of perceptions, expectations, and memories. It automatically selects those aspects of experience which can justify the factual application of this pattern of feeling.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), p. 74
  • The man of ressentiment cannot justify or even understand his own existence and sense of life in terms of positive values such as power, health, beauty, freedom, and independence. Weakness, fear, anxiety, and a slavish disposition prevent him from obtaining them. Therefore he comes to feel that “all this is vain anyway” and that salvation lies in the opposite phenomena: poverty, suffering, illness, and death. This “sublime revenge” of ressentiment (in Nietzsche’s words) has indeed played a creative role in the history of value systems. It is “sublime,” for the impulses of revenge against those who are strong, healthy, rich, or handsome now disappear entirely. Ressentiment has brought deliverance from the inner torment of these affects. Once the sense of values has shifted and the new judgments have spread, such people cease to been viable, hateful, and worthy of revenge. They are unfortunate and to be pitied, for they are beset with “evils.” Their sight now awakens feelings of gentleness, pity, and commiseration. When the reversal of values comes to dominate accepted morality and is invested with the power of the ruling ethos, it is transmitted by tradition, suggestion, and education to those who are endowed with the seemingly devaluated qualities. They are struck with a “bad conscience” and secretly condemn themselves. The “slaves,” as Nietzsche says, infect the “masters.” Ressentiment man, on the other hand, now feels “good,” “pure,” and “human”—at least in the conscious layers of his mind. He is delivered from hatred, from the tormenting desire of an impossible revenge, though deep down his poisoned sense of life and the true values may still shine through the illusory ones. There is no more calumny, no more defamation of particular persons or things. The systematic perversion and reinterpretation of the values themselves is much more effective than the “slandering” of persons or the falsification of the world view could ever be.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 76-77
  • Beyond all conscious lying and falsifying, there is a deeper “organic mendacity.” Here the falsification is not formed in consciousness, but at the same stage of the mental process as the impressions and value feelings themselves: on the road of experience into consciousness. There is “organic mendacity” whenever a man’s mind admits only those impressions which serve his “interest” or his instinctive attitude. Already in the process of mental reproduction and recollection, the contents of his experience are modified in this direction. He who is “mendacious” has no need to lie! In his case, the automatic process of forming recollections, impressions, and feelings is involuntarily slanted, so that conscious falsification becomes unnecessary.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1973), pp. 77-78
  • All ancient philosophers, poets, and moralists agree that love is a striving, an aspiration of the “lower” toward the “higher,” the “unformed” toward the “formed,” … “appearance” towards “essence,” “ignorance” towards “knowledge,” a “mean between fullness and privation,” as Plato says in the Symposium. … The universe is a great chain of dynamic spiritual entities, of forms of being ranging from the “prima materia” up to man—a chain in which the lower always strives for and is attracted by the higher, which never turns back but aspires upward in its turn. This process continues up to the deity, which itself does not love, but represents the eternally unmoving and unifying goal of all these aspirations of love. Too little attention has been given to the peculiar relation between this idea of love and the principle of the “agon,” the ambitious contest for the goal, which dominated Greek life in all its aspects—from the Gymnasium and the games to dialectics and the political life of the Greek city states. Even the objects try to surpass each other in a race for victory, in a cosmic “agon” for the deity. Here the prize that will crown the victor is extreme: it is a participation in the essence, knowledge, and abundance of “being.” Love is only the dynamic principle, immanent in the universe, which sets in motion this great “agon” of all things for the deity.
    Let us compare this with the Christian conception. In that conception there takes place what might be called a reversal in the movement of love. The Christian view boldly denies the Greek axiom that love is an aspiration of the lower towards the higher. On the contrary, now the criterion of love is that the nobler stoops to the vulgar, the healthy to the sick, the rich to the poor, the handsome to the ugly, the good and saintly to the bad and common, the Messiah to the sinners and publicans. The Christian is not afraid, like the ancient, that he might lose something by doing so, that he might impair his own nobility. He acts in the peculiarly pious conviction that through this “condescension,” through this self-abasement and “self-renunciation” he gains the highest good and becomes equal to God. …
    There is no longer any “highest good” independent of and beyond the act and movement of love! Love itself is the highest of all goods! The summum bonum is no longer the value of a thing, but of an act, the value of love itself as love—not for its results and achievements. …
    Thus the picture has shifted immensely. This is no longer a band of men and things that surpass each other in striving up to the deity. It is a band in which every member looks back toward those who are further removed from God and comes to resemble the deity by helping and serving them.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 85-88
  • There are two fundamentally different ways for the strong to bend down to the weak, for the rich to help the poor, for the more perfect life to help the “less perfect.” This action can be motivated by a powerful feeling of security, strength, and inner salvation, of the invincible fullness of one’s own life and existence. All this unites into the clear awareness that one is rich enough to share one’s being and possessions. Love, sacrifice, help, the descent to the small and the weak, here spring from a spontaneous overflow of force, accompanied by bliss and deep inner calm. Compared to this natural readiness for love and sacrifice, all specific “egoism,” the concern for oneself and one’s interest, and even the instinct of “self-preservation” are signs of a blocked and weakened life. Life is essentially expansion, development, growth in plenitude, and not “self-preservation,” as a false doctrine has it. Development, expansion, and growth are not epiphenomena of mere preservative forces and cannot be reduced to the preservation of the “better adapted.” … There is a form of sacrifice which is a free renunciation of one’s own vital abundance, a beautiful and natural overflow of one’s forces. Every living being has a natural instinct of sympathy for other living beings, which increases with their proximity and similarity to himself. Thus we sacrifice ourselves for beings with whom we feel united and solidary, in contrast to everything “dead.” This sacrificial impulse is by no means a later acquisition of life, derived from originally egoistic urges. It is an original component of life and precedes all those particular “aims” and “goals” which calculation, intelligence, and reflection impose upon it later. We have an urge to sacrifice before we ever know why, for what, and for whom! Jesus’ view of nature and life, which sometimes shines through his speeches and parables in fragments and hidden allusions, shows quite clearly that he understood this fact. When he tells us not to worry about eating and drinking, it is not because he is indifferent to life and its preservation, but because he sees also a vital weakness in all “worrying” about the next day, in all concentration on one’s own physical well-being. … all voluntary concentration on one’s own bodily wellbeing, all worry and anxiety, hampers rather than furthers the creative force which instinctively and beneficently governs all life. … This kind of indifference to the external means of life (food, clothing, etc.) is not a sign of indifference to life and its value, but rather of a profound and secret confidence in life’s own vigor and of an inner security from the mechanical accidents which may befall it. A gay, light, bold, knightly indifference to external circumstances, drawn from the depth of life itself—that is the feeling which inspires these words! Egoism and fear of death are signs of a declining, sick, and broken life. …
    This attitude is completely different from that of recent modern realism in art and literature, the exposure of social misery, the description of little people, the wallowing in the morbid—a typical ressentiment phenomenon. Those people saw something bug-like in everything that lives, whereas Francis sees the holiness of “life” even in a bug.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 88-92
  • In the ancient notion of love, on the other hand, there is an element of anxiety. The noble fears the descent to the less noble, is afraid of being infected and pulled down. The “sage” of antiquity does not have the same firmness, the same inner certainty of himself and his own value, as the genius and hero of Christian love.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), p. 92
  • The fake love of ressentiment man offers no real help, since for his perverted sense of values, evils like “sickness” and “poverty” have become goods.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), p. 92
  • The important thing is not the amount of welfare, it is that there should be a maximum of love among men. The act of helping is the direct and adequate expression of love, not its meaning or “purpose.” Its meaning lies in itself, in its illumination of the soul, in the nobility of the loving soul in the act of love. Therefore nothing can be further removed from this genuine concept of Christian love than all kinds of “socialism,” “social feeling,” “altruism,” and other subaltern modern things. When the rich youth is told to divest himself of his riches and give them to the poor, it is really not in order to help the “poor” and to effect a better distribution of property in the interest of general welfare. Nor is it because poverty as such is supposed to be better than wealth. The order is given because the act of giving away, and the spiritual freedom and abundance of love which manifest themselves in this act, ennoble the youth and make him even “richer” than he is.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), p. 93
  • Antiquity believed that the forces of love in the universe were limited. Therefore they were to be used sparingly,and everyone was to be loved only according to his value.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), p. 94
  • There is a completely different way of stooping to the small, the lowly, and the common, even though it may seem almost the same. Here love does not spring from an abundance of vital power, from firmness and security. Here it is only a euphemism for escape, for the inability to “remain at home” with oneself (chez soi). Turning toward others is but the secondary consequence of this urge to flee from oneself. … Modern philosophical jargon has found a revealing term for this phenomenon, one of the many modern substitutes for love: “altruism.” This love is not directed at a previously discovered positive value, nor does any such value flash up in the act of loving: there is nothing but the urge to turn away from oneself and to lose oneself in other people’s business. We all know a certain type of man frequently found among socialists, suffragettes, and all people with an ever-ready “social conscience”—the kind of person whose social activity is quite clearly prompted by inability to keep his attention focused on himself, on his own tasks and problems.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 95-96
  • It is precisely the essential feature of egoism that it does not apprehend the full value of the isolated self. The egoist sees himself only with regard to the others, as a member of society who wishes to possess and acquire more than the others. Self-directedness or other-directedness have no essential bearing on the specific quality of love or hatred. These acts are different in themselves, quite independently of their direction
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), p. 96
  • In ressentiment morality, love for the “small,” the “poor,” the “weak,” and the “oppressed” is really disguised hatred, repressed envy, an impulse to detract, etc., directed against the opposite phenomena: “wealth,” “strength,” “power,” “largesse.” When hatred does not dare to come out into the open, it can be easily expressed in the form of ostensible love—love for something which has features that are the opposite of those of the hated object. This can happen in such a way that the hatred remains secret. When we hear that falsely pious, unctuous tone (it is the tone of a certain “socially-minded” type of priest), sermonizing that love for the “small” is our first duty, love for the “humble” inspirit, since God gives “grace” to them, then it is often only hatred posing as Christian love.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 96-97
  • When we are told, in the same tone, that these people will be rewarded in “heaven” for their distress, and that “heaven” is the exact reverse of the earthly order (“the first shall be last”), we distinctly feel how the ressentiment-laden man transfers to God the vengeance he himself cannot wreak on the great. In this way, he can satisfy his revenge at least in imagination, with the aid of an other-worldly mechanism of rewards and punishments.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), p. 97
  • The “kingdom of God” has become the “other world,” which stands mechanically beside “this world”—an opposition unknown to the strongest periods of Christianity.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), p. 97
  • The highest and ultimate personality values are declared to be independent of contrasts like rich and poor, healthy and sick, etc. The world had become accustomed to considering the social hierarchy, based on status, wealth, vital strength, and power, as an exact image of the ultimate values of morality and personality. The only way to disclose the discovery of anew and higher sphere of being and life, of the “kingdom of God” whose order is independent of that worldly and vital hierarchy, was to stress the vanity of the old values in this higher order.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), p. 98
  • The precepts “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you” … are born from the Gospel’s profound spirit of individualism, which refuses to let one’s own actions and conduct depend in any way on somebody else’s acts. The Christian refuses to let his acts be mere reactions—such conduct would lower him to the level of his enemy. The act is to grow organically from the person, “as the fruit from the tree.” … What the Gospel demands is not a reaction which is the reverse of the natural reaction, as if it said: “Because he strikes you on the cheek, tend the other”—but a rejection of all reactive activity, of any participation in common and average ways of acting and standards of judgment.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 99-100
  • Jesus’ “mysterious” affection for the sinners, which is closely related to his ever-ready militancy against the scribes and pharisees, against every kind of social respectability … contains a kind of awareness that the great transformation of life, the radical change in outlook he demands of man (in Christian parlance it is called “rebirth”) is more accessible to the sinner than to the “just.” … Jesus is deeply skeptical toward all those who can feign the good man’s blissful existence through the simple lack of strong instincts and vitality. But all this does not suffice to explain this mysterious affection. In it there is something which can scarcely be expressed and must be felt. When the noblest men are in the company of the “good”—even of the truly “good,” not only of the pharisees—they are often overcome by a sudden impetuous yearning to go to the sinners, to suffer and struggle at their side and to share their grievous, gloomy lives. This is truly no temptation by the pleasures of sin, nor a demoniacal love for its “sweetness,” nor the attraction of the forbidden or the lure of novel experiences. It is an outburst of tempestuous love and tempestuous compassion for all men who are felt as one, indeed for the universe as a whole; a love which makes it seem frightful that only some should be “good,” while the others are “bad” and reprobate. In such moments, love and a deep sense of solidarity are repelled by the thought that we alone should be “good,” together with some others. This fills us with a kind of loathing for those who can accept this privilege, and we have an urge to move away from them.
    • L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 100-101

Quotes about Max Scheler[edit]

  • Dr. Scheler has attempted in this volume an exhaustive discussion and exposition of what he regards as the philosophical method par excellence. He has endeavored to combine the transcendental method so called with the psychological method. The present situation is one that in the author’s opinion imperatively demands a reconstruction of philosophical ways of procedure, and the question, as Dr. Scheler puts it, is not contained in Windelband’s maxim that “To understand Kant is to transcend Kant,” but rather “How shall Kant be transcended.” That this has yet been done Dr. Scheler cannot bring himself to admit, even in the face of the many admirable contributions that have latterly been made to philosophy. Under the influence of Professor Eucken, the philosophical method which Dr. Scheler has developed is termed the noological method. The following are some of the results: Apart from the principles of formal logic, there is no absolutely solid or self-evident datum from which philosophy in any or its forms may proceed. Neither the axioms of mathematics, nor theorems of physical science, nor “experience” in the transcendental sense, nor sensation, are entitled to lay claim to the dignity of such datum. The transcendental method is quite inadequate for treating the problems of philosophy; so is the psychological method. The noological method is an attempt to combine the divergent methods of procedure of the transcendental philosophy and the transcendental psychology. Its fundamental concepts are: “World of work” (Arbeitswelt) and “form of spiritual life” (Geistige Lebensform). By “world of work” are understood the relations recognized as interconnecting the achievements of human civilization; it is not in itself a self-evident datum, but a “well-grounded phenomenon.” Mind, and therefore also its constituent “intellect,” is at the beginning of the quest for its contents a perfectly problematic conception. It is the x that renders the “world of work” possible. Inasmuch as the “world of work” is being continually enriched by the progress of human history, it is not possible to say precisely at any one point in history what the conception of mind is. A systematic deduction of a priori principles for “all possible experience” is impossible. The formal principles have too much content to hold valid for all possible historical experience, and have too little contents to be vigorously applied in any actual historically-determined civilization.

    Such is the sum of Dr. Scheler’s philosophy. It will be seen that it conforms to many respects to the spirit of our time, which is gradually drifting away from the anchorage of the formal philosophy of which Kant was the greatest exponent, and of that ideal of rigor which the stupendous development of the mathematical and physical sciences of the eighteenth and the first part of the nineteenth centuries had established as the goal of perfection which research in every department of human inquiry should strive to attain. Dr. Scheler’s work is not uninstructive reading, and his discussion of some of the present dilemmas in philosophy are not without value.

  • At one time in his life the apostate radically changes his political, religious or philosophical convictions by taking up all possible means of argumentation against that which he formerly held to be true, and lives now for the sake of its negation. His new ideas and opinions consist in continuous acts of revenge on his spiritual past.
    • Manfred Frings, Max Scheler (1996), p. 60
  • Scheler himself emphasizes the passive aspect of resentment and remarks on the prominent place it occupies in the psychology of women who are dedicated to desire and possession. The fountainhead of rebellion, on the contrary, is the principle of superabundant activity and energy. Scheler is also right in saying that resentment is always highly colored by envy. But one envies what one does not have, while the rebel’s aim is to defend what he is. He does not merely claim some good that he does not possess or of which he was deprived. His aim is to claim recognition for something which he has and which has already been recognized by him, in almost every case, as more important than anything of which he could be envious.
  • According to Scheler, resentment always turns into either unscrupulous ambition or bitterness, depending on whether it is implanted in a strong person or a weak one. But in both cases it is a question of wanting to be something other than what one is. Resentment is always resentment against oneself. The rebel, on the contrary, from his very first step, refuses to allow anyone to touch what he is. He is fighting for the integrity of one part of his being.
    • Albert Camus, The Rebel, A. Bower, trans. (1956), pp. 17-18
  • Scheler wants to demonstrate that humanitarian feelings are always accompanied by a hatred of the world. Humanity is loved in general in order to avoid having to love anybody in particular.
  • Our vulnerability [to ressentiment], is unavoidable (and probably incurable) in a kind of society in which relative equality of political and other rights and formally acknowledged social equality go hand in hand with enormous differences in genuine power, possessions and education; a society in which everyone “has the right” to consider himself equal to everybody else, while in fact being unequal to them.
    • Zygmunt Bauman, paraphrasing the view of Max Scheler in The Art of Life (Cambridge: 2008), p. 25

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