La Li Lo

Lost performative

All sentences that express a norm, rule, opinion or judgment without stating whose judgement, opinion, rule or norm it is, is a lost performative and is part of the metamodel. It is classified as a distortion of reality whereas one can, of course, also argue that it is a deletion. The word “lost” certainly suggests that.

Man as the measurer. – Perhaps all the morality of mankind has its origin in the tremendous inner excitement which seized on primeval men when they discovered measure and measuring, scales and weighing (the word ‘Mensch’, indeed, means the measurer, he desired to name himself after his greatest discovery!). With these conceptions they climbed into realms that are quite unmeasurable and unweighable but originally did not seem to be.

Human, All Too Human book 3, paragraph 21

Injustice necessary. – All judgments as to the value of life have evolved illogically and are therefore unjust. The falsity of human judgement derives firstly from the condition of the material to be judged, namely very incomplete, secondly from the way in which the sum is arrived at on the basis of this material, and thirdly from the fact that every individual piece of this material is in tum the outcome of false knowledge, and is so with absolute necessity. Our experience of another person, for example, no matter how close he stands to us, can never be complete, so that we would have a logical right to a total evaluation of him; all evaluations are premature and are bound to be. Finally, the standard by which we measure, our own being, is not an unalterable magnitude, we are subject to moods and fluctuations, and yet we would have to know ourselves as a fixed standard to be able justly to assess the relation between ourself and anything else whatever. Perhaps it would follow from all this that one ought not to judge at all; if only it were possible to live without evaluating, without having aversions and partialities! – for all aversion is dependent on an evaluation, likewise all partiality. A drive to something or away from something divorced from a feeling one is desiring the beneficial or avoiding the harmful, a drive without some kind of knowing evaluation of the worth of its objective, does not exist in man. We are from the very beginning illogical and thus unjust beings and can recognize this: this is one of the greatest and most irresolvable discords of existence.

Human, All Too Human Part 1, paragraph 32

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