What did Nietzsche mean in Beyond Good and Evil when he said "The charm of knowledge would be small if so much shame did not have to be overcome on the road to it."?

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    Butcher gives one interpretation in Giving due Consideration to Shame:"My argument is that shame is integral to the construction of adult educational identities in that its presence is responsible for motivating the decision to both resume and continue studying. I have also shown how this desire is predicated n the emergence of an ideal educated self and that the resumption of study may be the means by which experiences of shame are accommodated biographically".
    – Conifold
    Sep 26, 2018 at 23:58
  • You read in "The Future of Our Educational Institutions" by Nietzsche long passages about becoming "a true man of culture" and self-flaggatory statements about how far off he and his young friend were in their youth -- a shame about 'lacking culture' seeming to motivate them, which would support your quote's interpretation .
    – Ethan NOPE
    Oct 28, 2018 at 15:06
  • To clarify, being ignorant can be embarrassing, and this would motivate someone to study? The reference to the road and overcoming of shame seem to suggest that someone is already on the road. What pushes this person down the road is the charm of avoiding the shame associated with ignorance?
    – Josh W.
    Jun 30, 2019 at 23:38

1 Answer 1


He meant the following (maybe not): on the way to knowledge, the person experiences a lot of difficulties and experiences that he did not know before (becoming a student), but when he climbs to the top of the knowledge of the expected joy and satisfaction that he gets (and the man asks himself the question: "was it worth it to spend so much time and effort to achieve such a result?")...I think so: -), P.S. make an amendment to the self-translation of my text, so as not to lose its meaning...

  • One way to strengthen your answer would be to find a reference that says something similar and quote that reference. That would give the reader a place to go for more information. What is interesting about the Nietzsche quote is the word "shame" which you seem to write as "time and effort". Welcome to this SE! Sep 28, 2018 at 10:57
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    Dear Frank Hubeni, the link is my life experience, and to be honest I don't care if my answer is accepted or not, it is important that people always ask questions and try to find answers: -), I think so... Sep 28, 2018 at 12:30

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