Nietzsche's will-to-power ontology : an interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil


Authors
Mark Minuk
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Abstract
Abstract: Nietzsche's Will-to-Power Ontology: An Interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil § 36 By: Mark Minuk Will-to-power is the central component of Nietzsche's philosophy, and passage 36 of Beyond Good and Evil is essential to coming to an understanding of it. 1 argue for and defend the thesis that will-to-power constitutes Nietzsche's ontology, and offer a new understanding of what that means. Nietzsche's ontology can be talked about as though it were a traditional substance ontology (i.e., a world made up of forces; a duality of conflicting forces described as 'towards which' and 'away from which'). However, 1 argue that what defines this ontology is an understanding of valuation as ontologically fundamental—^the basis of interpretation, and from which a substance ontology emerges. In the second chapter, I explain Nietzsche's ontology, as reflected in this passage, through a discussion of Heidegger's two ontological categories in Being and Time (readiness-to-hand, and present-at-hand). In a nutshell, it means that the world of our desires and passions (the most basic of which is for power) is ontologically more fundamental than the material world, or any other interpretation, which is to say, the material world emerges out of a world of our desires and passions. In the first chapter, I address the problematic form of the passage reflected in the first sentence. The passage is in a hypothetical style makes no claim to positive knowledge or truth, and, superficially, looks like Schopenhaurian position for the metaphysics of the will, which Nietzsche rejects. 1 argue that the hypothetical form of the passage is a matter of style, namely, the style of a free-spirit for whom the question of truth is reframed as a question of values. In the third and final chapter, 1 address the charge that Nietzsche's interpretation is a conscious anthropomorphic projection. 1 suggest that the charge rests on a distinction (between nature and man) that Nietzsche rejects. I also address the problem of the causality of the will for Nietzsche, by suggesting that an alternative, perspectival form of causality is possible
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