David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
History of Philosophy Quarterly 30 (3):251-69 (2013)
In this paper, I argue that Nietzsche’s published works contain a substantial, although implicit, argument for the will to power as ontology—a critical and descriptive, rather than positive and explanatory, theory of reality. Further, I suggest this ontology is entirely consistent with a naturalist methodology. The will to power ontology follows directly from Nietzsche’s naturalist rejection of three metaphysical presuppositions: substance, efficient causality, and final causality. I show that a number of interpretations, including those of Clark, Schacht, Reginster, and Richardson, are inconsistent with Nietzsche’s naturalism, because they presuppose efficient or final causality. In contrast, I argue that the will to power is not an explanatory theory, but a description of the basic, necessary character of reality, designed to critically reveal and minimize metaphysical presuppositions—to reject false explanations of reality and human behavior. It avoids substance-metaphysics by describing reality as will, a causal process without discrete efficient causes or agents. It eliminates efficient causality by describing events as maximal manifestations of power, rather than as agent-actualized potentialities. Finally, it opposes teleology by describing life as tending toward the activity of resistance as such, rather than toward explanatory end-states, such as the accumulation of power or overcoming of resistances.
|Keywords||Nietzsche Will to Power Ontology Metaphysics Naturalism Causality|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Steven D. Hales & Rex Welshon (2000). Nietzsche's Perspectivism. University of Illinois Press.
Paul Katsafanas (2011). The Relevance of History for Moral Philosophy: A Study of Nietzsche's Genealogy. In Simon May (ed.), Nietzsche's 'On the Genealogy of Morality': A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
John Richardson (2002). Nietzsche Contra Darwin. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):537-575.
Chad Engelland (2010). Teleology, Purpose, and Power in Nietzsche. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (2):413-426.
Donovan Miyasaki (forthcoming). (2014) The Equivocal Use of Power in Nietzsche's Failed Anti-Egalitarianism. Journal of Moral Philosophy:1-32.
Paul Katsafanas (forthcoming). Philosophical Psychology as a Basis for Ethics. Journal of Nietzsche Studies 44 (2):297-314.
Johanna Oksala (2010). Foucault's Politicization of Ontology. Continental Philosophy Review 43 (4):445-466.
John Richardson (1996). Nietzsche's System. Oxford University Press.
Nadeem J. Z. Hussain (2011). The Role of Life in the Genealogy. In Simon May (ed.), The Cambridge Guide to Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality. Cambridge University Press. 142-69.
Robert Nola (2003). Nietzsche as Anti-Semitic Jewish Conspiracy Theorist. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):35-62.
Babette Babich (2007). Heidegger’s Will to Power. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 38 (1):37-60.
Added to index2011-07-31
Total downloads104 ( #11,777 of 1,101,833 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #14,876 of 1,101,833 )
How can I increase my downloads?