Nietzsche's Will to Power as Naturalist Critical Ontology

History of Philosophy Quarterly 30 (3):251-69 (2013)
Abstract
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)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,085
External links
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
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.
Johanna Oksala (2010). Foucault's Politicization of Ontology. Continental Philosophy Review 43 (4):445-466.
Babette Babich (2007). Heidegger’s Will to Power. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 38 (1):37-60.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-07-31

Total downloads

101 ( #10,979 of 1,101,604 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

22 ( #6,881 of 1,101,604 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.