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Part Two - The Will to Power

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2012

David Dudrick
Affiliation:
Colgate University, New York
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Summary

In the following three chapters we take up topics that relate to the will to power, which is almost universally accepted as one of Nietzsche’s central doctrines. In these chapters we offer a new interpretation of the doctrine and of its centrality to Nietzsche’s philosophy, an interpretation that supports and is informed by the framework for understanding BGE we have set out in Part One.

That the will to power is intended to play a major role in BGE seems clear; no other topic is mentioned as frequently in the first part of the book. Nietzsche discusses it by name in four different sections of BGE One (BGE 9, 13, 22, 23) and without naming it in several others. These passages evidently tell us that philosophy, life, physical nature, and the psyche are all to be understood in terms of the operation of the will to power. Nietzsche then adds in an important section of BGE Two that the very essence of the world – its “intelligible character” – is will to power (BGE 36). These passages from the first two parts of BGE actually contain the only arguments for a doctrine of the will to power in Nietzsche’s books. BGE would therefore seem to be the crucial text if one’s concern is to understand and evaluate the doctrine of the will to power that Nietzsche actually published.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

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