In the first chapter of Beyond Good and Evil, there are two significant references to the scientific ethos:
‘Physiologists should think before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength–life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results.’ –section 13
‘It is perhaps dawning on five or six minds that physics, too, is only an interpretation and exegesis of the world (to suit us, if I may say so!) and not a world-explanation; but insofar as it is based on belief in the senses, it is regarded as more, and for a long time to come must be regarded as more–namely, as an explanation. Eyes and fingers speak in its favor, visual evidence and palpableness do, too: this strikes an age with a fundamentally plebian tastes as fascinating, persuasive, and convincing–after all, it follows instinctively the canon of truth of eternally popular sensualism. What is clear, what is “explained”? Only what can be seen and felt–every problem has to be pursued to that point. Conversely, the charm of the Platonic way of thinking, which was a noble way of thinking, consisted precisely in the resistance of sense-evidence–perhaps among men who enjoyed even stronger and more demanding senses than our contemporaries, but who knew how to get a higher triumph in remaining masters of their senses–and this by means of pale, cold, gray concept nets which they threw over the motley whirl of the senses–the mob of the senses, as Plato said. In this overcoming of the world, and interpreting of the world in the manner of Plato, there was an enjoyment different from that which the physicists of today offer us–and also the Darwinists and the anti-teleologists among the workers in physiology, with their principle of “the smallest possible force” and the greatest possible stupidity. “Where man cannot find anything to see or grasp, he has no further business” — that is certainly an imperative different from the Platonic one, but it may be the right imperative for a tough industrious race of machinists and bridge-builders of the future, who have nothing but rough work to do.