at its present state as a specific individual science

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
Nevertheless. - However credit and debit balance may stand: at its present state as a specific individual science the awakening of moral observation has become necessary, and mankind can no longer be spared the cruel sight of the moral dissecting table and its knives and forceps.
(Friedrich Nietzsche, "Human, All Too Human", translated by R.J. Hollingdale, "On the History of the Moral Sensations", # 37)

The original text:
Trotzdem.- Wie es sich nun mit Rechnung und Gegenrechnung verhalte: in dem gegenwärtigen Zustande einer bestimmten einzelnen Wissenschaft ist die Auferweckung der moralischen Beobachtung nöthig geworden, und der grausame Anblick des psychologischen Secirtisches und seiner Messer und Zangen kann der Menschheit nicht erspart bleiben.
(Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, "Menschliches, Allzumenschliches", "Zur Geschichte der moralischen Empfindungen", # 37)

Could someone please compare these two sentences and tell me what "its" in the English text refers to?
(Or tell me if this cannot be extracted from these sentences and grammar, of which I'm somehow almost certain.)

Last edited:
  • Demiurg

    Senior Member
    The chapter is about "moral / psychological observation":

    Advantages of Psychological Observation. — That reflection on the human, all-too-human — or, according to the learned expression, psychological observation — is one of the means by which one may lighten the burden of life, ...
    In your sentence "its" refers to "moral observation":

    At its present state, moral observation is a specific individual science but its awakening has become necessary ...
    < Previous | Next >