Captain Skyhawk (epictetus_rex) wrote in thspaknietzsche,
Captain Skyhawk
epictetus_rex
thspaknietzsche

Dear Nietzche Scholars,

O learned ones, hear my plea. I have two questions.


I am doing a large project, studying Nietzchean influences on modern ethical thinkers. Bernard Williams and Ricky Rorty are the most obvious candidates, but do you know of any others, roughly in the analytic tradition, who display some kind of Nietzschean outlook?

My second question is more complex. Given the famous characterization of Will To Power from BGE 259:

Anything which] is a living and not a dying body... will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant - not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is will to power!

Do you think it's reasonable to conclude that Will To Power is the wellspring of ALL human action? That is to say, we cannot act but out of (conscious or unconscious) will to expand, grow, dominate?

If this is the case, doesn't it seem ludicrous that Nietzsche is often portrayed as commanding us to excercise our WTP? What sense could there be in such a command, when we cannot help but act under the influence of WTP?

As a corollary, what do YOU see as Nietzsche's ultimate command/reccomendation? It is purely existential, involving affirmation in the face of eternal recurrence? Or is it more other-directed, perhaps a command to protect ourselves from domination by others?
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic
  • 12 comments
Perhaps it is unfair to say that all human actions are created by Will to Power. Indeed, perhaps the Will to Safety & Security, are also wellsprings for action. Except the actions of Safety & Security create slave morality, while power creates the master morality.

Perhaps the quote you use is somewhat for non-literal uses. Perhaps those that do not act upon will to power are not living bodies, but dead ones. Dead ones that we see walk and talk, but dead on the inside. Who knows?

As for N's ultimate command? To be a creator and not a follower.

Or so I see it.
you write "ALL", and then write "human actions"......

the key is in that it is living rather than a "dying body"

in that you dont simply have needs(nneeds which are individual wills and the expression of their own will to power - just as it is possible for a man to think with his penis only, or annything on its own and let that need drive you) but that you seek ends for them all....that you organise your needs, away from just eating food, or perhaps scavenging, to actualy finding a more fertile place to live, or even planting crops....

....away from banging notes on a piano....towards compossing.....

everytinhg is the will to power, but that doesnt mean everything human is in control of itself....

think about the will to power from the counter-darwinian point of view
“Ricky Rorty” aka Richard Rorty? If so, I am not sure if Rorty is more of a Nietzschean than a Hegelian. I don’t think he can have it both ways, at least with out Peirce, which he did his dissertation on.

“doesn't it seem ludicrous that Nietzsche is often portrayed as commanding us to excercise our WTP?”

The German language is full of imperative forms. The command to any and everyone seems to be “Achieve your highest potential”, which is an Aristotelian theme. But Aristotle said it with less flamboyance, so civilization has almost forgotten his maxim, until Nietzsche came along.
"But Aristotle said it with less flamboyance, so civilization has almost forgotten his maxim, until Nietzsche came along."

Well said!

I recall writing a paper on how Aristotle's "Being" became Spinoza's "God" and then Schopenhauer's "Will" and then finally Nietzsche's "Will-to-Power".

Nietzsche was like Aristotle (in some ways), but N was wayy funnier.

idk, pretty tough to top sayings like some humans are no different than plants
I think God is dead tops em all.

Within context at least.
This would make an interesting post Enders: "a paper on how Aristotle's "Being" became Spinoza's "God" and then Schopenhauer's "Will" and then finally Nietzsche's "Will-to-Power"."
Arendt, but that's rather straightforward. She's not very difficult to read, she's well-respected, and she borrows quite a bit from Nietzsche.

Foucault, if you want to do a lot of digging. I seem to think that "ethics" is a collection of his essays. There are three subjects: power, sexuality, ethics. I've only ever really been interested this idea of "power" because it seems to come before ethics, but that's just me.

Have you read GoM? It's one of his easier works, and it does a wonderful job of giving the reader an idea of his thinking as a whole. He equates the "Will to Power" with an "instinct for freedom" early in the second essay, if that helps.

That said, I'm very hesitant to bring in any notion of a will to domination of others as some intrinsic desire. That's rather peripheral, if it's anything at all. I'm sure I'm opening myself up to all sorts of nasty reply comments, but I tend to think that the Will to Power is much more individualistic than you portray it here.

The Will to Power or instinct for freedom, then, is innate in all, but it is buried quite deeply in most.

What is his ultimate command? Become who you are. This requires shedding societal constraints and whatnot (imagine me waving my hand away, indicating that this is a minor point), which is important, but it is the beginning. Beyond that, the process of self-becoming is very independent, even of Nietzsche himself. This is where one begins to explore and create.

Last note: I think of eternal recurrence as a thought experiment to oppose the dominate Christian idea of living for something off in the future.
While Arendt and Foucault are clearly Nietzschean, the OP wanted analytic thinkers. Those two are much closer to the continental tradition
Okay, I'll grant you that one.

In my defense, I love A and F very much, and cannot talk about N without mentioning the other two. It's a personal shortcoming.
What is his ultimate command? Become who you are.

This always makes me think of the film I Heart Huckabees.

How am I not myself?
there is a slight distiction between being who you are in the sense of everything I am is me, and becoming what you desire to be at a most base level. Differance between one mearly acting and one creating.

I am myself, but my inherint self (desries, wills, aspirations, loves and hatreds) I am still becoming and the manifestations of theses things throught themselves (say i truly desire beauty, but i only act towards that in a limited sense, thus not fully being my self) rather than just "becoming" in a typical way which does not orriginate from me.

i find most people who are in to nietzch are troubled by this for they allready act in such a mannor and sometimes ignore just how little others act inacordence with what they fully, truthfully ( is it not better to say at base? - oh goddess i sound like him now *rolls eyes*)will