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gainsay

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #220 on: August 12, 2007, 03:31:15 AM »

If you reading into the OP's post quoting Nietzsche as saying that to adopt the Roman attitude and lifestyle one had to engage in prosecution of Jews as Nazi Germany did, I think you are wrong.

In fact, some people tend to dislike Friedrich Nietzsche on the grounds that his thought is dangerous, that it lends itself to totalitarianism and, more specifically, to fascism. The history of Nietzsche's adoption by the forces of National Socialism in Germany has been well documented. Adolf Hitler personally approved of Nietzsche's writings, and upon coming to power he promoted one of Nietzsche's first Nazi disciples, Alfred Baumler, to professor of philosophy in Berlin. During the Nazi period Nietzsche was both widely read and celebrated in Germany. He was considered to be one of the master-thinkers of the Aryan race. After Germany lost the war, Nietzsche's thought fell into disrepute. Martin Heidegger even blamed his involvement in Nazi politics on the influence of Nietzsche. Since that time, however, Nietzsche's work has enjoyed a modest revival. Nevertheless, Nietzsche is still viewed with suspicion in many circles because of a circumstance of history that was beyond his control. Many critics continue to argue that Nietzsche's thinking is at best dangerous or, at worst, downright evil because it leads directly to fascism.

This argument, though, is simply untenable given a careful reading of Nietzsche's work. From an examination of his texts, skipping the "approved" Nazi interpretations, one can easily argue that Nietzsche would have certainly opposed his appropriation by National Socialism, particularly its hideous manifestation in Nazi Germany.


In 1886 Nietzsche broke with his editor, Ernst Schmeitzner, disgusted over his anti-Semitic opinions. Nietzsche saw his writings as "completely buried and unexhumeable in this anti-Semitic dump" of Schmeitzner — associating the editor with a movement that should be "utterly rejected with cold contempt by every sensible mind".

It is his sister Elisabeth, who in 1886, married the anti-Semite Bernhard Förster and traveled to Paraguay to found Nueva Germania, a "Germanic" colony, a plan to which Nietzsche responded with laughter. Elisabeth, for instance, compiled "The Will to Power," from notes he had written, and published it posthumously. The general consensus holds that it does not reflect Nietzsche's intent. Indeed, Mazzino Montinari, the editor of Nietzsche's Nachlass, called it a forgery. Among other forgeries and suppressions of passages, Elisabeth removed aphorism 35 of "The Antichrist," where Nietzsche rewrote a passage of the Bible.

Although Nietzsche had in 1886 announced (at the end of "Beyond Good and Evil") a new work with the title, "The Will to Power: Essay of a Transvaluation of all Values," this project was finally abandoned and its draft materials used to compose "The Twilight of the Idols" and "The Antichrist" (both written in 1888). "The Will to Power," which Elisabeth Förster called Nietzsche's unedited magnum opus (which very concept is alien to Nietzsche's philosophy and style of writing), was in fact abandoned as a book by Nietzsche himself. Förster-Nietzsche cut up, mixed and pasted together fragments, according to her own antisemitic views (which were a bone of contention between her and Nietzsche himself). Nevertheless, the concept remains, and has, since the reading of Karl Löwith, been identified as a key component of Nietzsche's philosophy. So The Will to Power was not written by Nietzsche. But the concept of "will to power" is certainly in itself a major motif of Nietzsche's philosophy, so much so that Heidegger, under Löwith's influence, considered it to form, with the thought of the eternal recurrence, the basis of his thought.

truant

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #221 on: August 12, 2007, 06:25:07 AM »

[...] Nevertheless, the concept remains, and has, since the reading of Karl Löwith, been identified as a key component of Nietzsche's philosophy. So The Will to Power was not written by Nietzsche. But the concept of "will to power" is certainly in itself a major motif of Nietzsche's philosophy, so much so that Heidegger, under Löwith's influence, considered it to form, with the thought of the eternal recurrence, the basis of his thought.


The concept of the "will to power" in Nietzsche's thought has had many interpretations, most notoriously its misappropriation by the Nazis, which amounts to its characterization as a "desire for and of power" ("power" here specifically denoting the more limited concept of "dominance"). Some Nazis (Alfred Bäumler, etc.) also upheld a biological interpretation of the Wille zur Macht, making it equivalent with some kind of social Darwinism, although Nietzsche explicitly criticized the latter in his works. By Wille zur Macht, Nietzsche did not have raw physical or political power in mind. He didn't mean "Will to power", but rather "will-to-power": one particular and inedit concept, rather than the union of two different concepts, "will" and "power". Opposed to a biological and voluntary conception of the Wille zur Macht, Heidegger and Deleuze both argued that the will to power and eternal recurrence are to be considered together. The concept must first be contrasted with Arthur Schopenhauer's "will to live": one must first of all take into account Nietzsche's background and criticism of Schopenhauer.

Schopenhauer posited a "will to live," in which living things were motivated by sustaining and developing their own lives. Nietzsche instead posited a will to power, a significant point of contrast to Schopenhauer's ideation, in which living things are not just driven by the mere need to stay alive, but in fact by a greater need to wield and use power, to grow, to expend their strength, and, possibly, to subsume other "wills" in the process. Thus, Nietzsche regarded such a "will to live" as secondary to the primary "will to power", and more generally there are varied manifestations of it, two prominent distinctions by Nietzsche are: a "life-denying" modality and a life-"enhancing" or -"affirming" one. Henceforth, he opposed himself to social Darwinism, as he contested the validity of the concept of "adaptation", which he considered a narrow and weak "will to live".

Another particular standpoint of the will to power is that it is a process of expansion and venting of creative energy that Nietzsche argued was the underlying -- the "most fundamental fact" -- "inner" force of nature.

Quote

I do not speak to the weak: they want to obey and generally lapse into slavery quickly. In the face of merciless nature, let us still feel ourselves as merciless nature! But I have found strength where one does not look for it: in simple, mild, and pleasant people, without the least desire to rule—and, conversely, the desire to rule has often appeared to me a sign of inward weakness: they fear their own slave soul and shroud it in a royal cloak (in the end, they still become the slaves of their followers, their fame, etc.) The powerful natures dominate, it is a necessity, they need not lift one finger. Even if, during their lifetime, they bury themselves in a garden house!


This supplements his assertion that the fundamental causal power in the world ("cause" not in the sense of a kind of "initial cause", but rather as the interplay of forces within the process of becoming itself, which does not lend itself to the "cause and effect" theory, for Nietzsche denied its ontological status as only useful for "describing events"), the driving force of all natural phenomena and the dynamic to which all other causal powers could be reduced. Indeed, the will to power can be understood anthropologically (as relates to others' drives), but this view is also a part of a more all-inclusive perspective. That is, Nietzsche in part argued for the will to power as a merited idea providing the most elemental foundations for explanations of everything from whole societies, to individual organisms, down to mere lumps of matter. Nietzsche perhaps developed the will to power concept furthest with regard to living organisms, and it is there that the concept is perhaps more inviting to understand by way of analogy. There the will to power is taken as an animal's most fundamental instinct or drive, even more fundamental than the act of self-preservation; the latter is but an epiphenomenon of the former. According to Nietzsche, the will to power is the basic means through which "interpretation" or interaction with the world becomes, and, in this sense, the "world is the will to power -- and nothing besides!"

Quote

Physiologists should think before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength — life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results.


The "will to power" is thus a "cosmic" inner force acting in and through both animate and inanimate objects, but it may also take on many forms that could perhaps involve such mastery but in a "life-denying" modality. Not just instincts but also higher level behaviors (even in humans) were to be reduced to the will to power. In fact, Nietzsche considered consciousness itself to be a form of instinct. This includes both such apparently harmful acts as physical violence, lying, and domination, on one hand, and such apparently non-harmful acts as gift-giving, love, and praise on the other – though its manifestations can be altered significantly, such as through art and aesthetic experience. In "Beyond Good and Evil," he claims that philosophers' "will to truth" (i.e., their apparent desire to dispassionately seek objective, absolute truth) is actually nothing more than a manifestation of their will to power; this will can be life-affirming or a manifestation of nihilism, but it is the will to power all the same. As indicated above, the will to power is meant to explain more than just the behavior of an individual person or animal. It is not psychological, nor intentional or subjective. The will to power lends itself more to the view, though it be homogeneous in expression, its transformations are heterogeneous, based on the altering organizations of "quanta of power".


t --> -t

rend

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #222 on: August 12, 2007, 03:21:04 PM »

Sounds passionless. No thanks.


Exactly! Comparisons between Buddhism and the various schools of existentialism have revealed a number of parallels. Such studies have frequently centered on each tradition's metaphysical approach and the fact that they all appear to share some form of phenomenological methodology. In the area of ethics, however, existentialism and Buddhism generally seem to differ radically. This difference is the most marked in the case of Nietzsche. 

Buddha responds as follows to an enquiry on competing metaphysical theories. 'Apart from consciousness', he says, 'no divers truths exist. Mere sophistry declares this 'true' and that view 'false'.' A similar notion appears in Nietzsche's Will to Power: 

Quote
"Judging is our oldest faith; it is our habit of believing this to be true or false, of asserting or denying, our certainty that something is thus and not otherwise, our belief that we really 'know' what is believed to be true in all judgments?"

The products of this "habit of believing," for both Buddha and Nietzsche, include substance, self, universals, and duration. Both philosophers radically deny the reality of these things in favor of a dynamic, interdependent stream of phenomenon that lacks any objective basis whatsoever. Instead, underneath our perceptions there is only what the Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna called sunyata, and what Nietzsche referred to as the "abyss," a void beyond the categories of being and nothing, true and false. This "emptiness" is the human condition to which both Buddhism and Nietzsche respond. Nietzsche refers to what he interprets as the Buddha's reaction in Thus Spake Zarathustra: 

Quote
"There are those with consumption of the soul: hardly are they born when they begin to die and to long for doctrines of weariness and renunciation. They would like to be dead, and we should welcome their wish. Let us beware of waking the dead and disturbing these living coffins! They encounter a sick man or an old man or a corpse and immediately they say, "Life is refuted." But only they themselves are refuted, and their eyes, which see only this one face of existence."
 
Yet, Nietzsche criticized Buddhism for many of the same faults he attributed to Christianity, though he showed more respect for the former as being more realistic and opposed to revenge (he believed Christianity was a manifestation of latent resentment). He praised Buddhism for setting out to treat "suffering" as opposed to "sin," but believed the treatment itself represented a surrender of life, and ultimately a weak response to the human condition. In the following passage from "Beyond Good and Evil," he contrasts his interpretation of Buddhism (along with Schopenhauer, a major contributor to this interpretation) with a general sketch of his own ideal response: 

Quote
"Whoever has endeavored with some enigmatic longing, as I have, to think pessimism through to its depths and liberate it from the half-Christian, half-German narrowness and simplicity in which it has finally presented itself to our century, namely, in the form of Schopenhauer's philosophy; whoever has really, with an Asiatic and supra-Asiatic eye, looked into, down into the most world-denying of all possible ways of thinking -- beyond good and evil and no longer, like the Buddha and Schopenhauer, under the spell and delusion of morality -- may just thereby, without really meaning to do so, have opened his eyes to the opposite ideal: the ideal of the most high-spirited, alive, and world-affirming human being who has not only come to terms and learned to get along with whatever was and is, but who wants to have what was and is repeated into all eternity..."

These passages illustrate Nietzsche's interpretation of Buddhism as a life-negating philosophy that seeks to escape an existence dominated by suffering. In "The Gay Science" and "Will to Power," Nietzsche comments on Buddhism further, characterising it as an effort to withdraw from pain into an 'Oriental Nothing - called Nirvana," by way of following the maxim "One must not act." In "The Genealogy of Morals," he categorizes Buddhism as one among a group of ideologies that promote "...nihilistic turning away from life, a longing for nothingness, or for life's 'opposite', for a different sort of 'being'" According to Nietzsche, Buddhism can be described as an effort, through restraint from action, to escape suffering and pass into absolute non-existence.

tytyty

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #223 on: August 14, 2007, 08:33:13 AM »

[...] The concept must first be contrasted with Arthur Schopenhauer's "will to live": one must first of all take into account Nietzsche's background and criticism of Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer posited a "will to live," in which living things were motivated by sustaining and developing their own lives. Nietzsche instead posited a will to power, a significant point of contrast to Schopenhauer's ideation, in which living things are not just driven by the mere need to stay alive, but in fact by a greater need to wield and use power, to grow, to expend their strength, and, possibly, to subsume other "wills" in the process. Thus, Nietzsche regarded such a "will to live" as secondary to the primary "will to power", and more generally there are varied manifestations of it, two prominent distinctions by Nietzsche are: a "life-denying" modality and a life-"enhancing" or -"affirming" one. Henceforth, he opposed himself to social Darwinism, as he contested the validity of the concept of "adaptation", which he considered a narrow and weak "will to live".


Very, very, very similar to Schopenhauer's concept.


The force he calls "Wille zum Leben" or Will (literally will-to-life) is the forces driving man to remain alive and to reproduce, a drive intertwined with desire. This Will is the inner content and the driving force of the world. For Schopenhauer, Will had ontological primacy over the intellect; in other words, desire is understood to be prior to thought, and, in a parallel sense, Will is said to be prior to being. In attempting to solve or alleviate the fundamental problems of life, Schopenhauer was a rare philosopher who considered philosophy and logic less important (or less effective) than art, certain charitable practices ("loving kindness", in his terms), and certain forms of religious discipline. Schopenhauer concluded that discursive thought (such as philosophy and logic) could neither touch nor transcend the nature of desire — i.e., Will. He proposed that humans living in the realm of objects are living in the realm of desire, and thus are eternally tormented by that desire.


accolade

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #224 on: August 16, 2007, 07:13:55 AM »

Exactly! Comparisons between Buddhism and the various schools of existentialism have revealed a number of parallels. Such studies have frequently centered on each tradition's metaphysical approach and the fact that they all appear to share some form of phenomenological methodology. In the area of ethics, however, existentialism and Buddhism generally seem to differ radically. This difference is the most marked in the case of Nietzsche. 

Buddha responds as follows to an enquiry on competing metaphysical theories. 'Apart from consciousness', he says, 'no divers truths exist. Mere sophistry declares this 'true' and that view 'false'.' A similar notion appears in Nietzsche's Will to Power: 

Quote
"Judging is our oldest faith; it is our habit of believing this to be true or false, of asserting or denying, our certainty that something is thus and not otherwise, our belief that we really 'know' what is believed to be true in all judgments?"

The products of this "habit of believing," for both Buddha and Nietzsche, include substance, self, universals, and duration. Both philosophers radically deny the reality of these things in favor of a dynamic, interdependent stream of phenomenon that lacks any objective basis whatsoever. Instead, underneath our perceptions there is only what the Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna called sunyata, and what Nietzsche referred to as the "abyss," a void beyond the categories of being and nothing, true and false. This "emptiness" is the human condition to which both Buddhism and Nietzsche respond. Nietzsche refers to what he interprets as the Buddha's reaction in Thus Spake Zarathustra: 

Quote
"There are those with consumption of the soul: hardly are they born when they begin to die and to long for doctrines of weariness and renunciation. They would like to be dead, and we should welcome their wish. Let us beware of waking the dead and disturbing these living coffins! They encounter a sick man or an old man or a corpse and immediately they say, "Life is refuted." But only they themselves are refuted, and their eyes, which see only this one face of existence."
 
Yet, Nietzsche criticized Buddhism for many of the same faults he attributed to Christianity, though he showed more respect for the former as being more realistic and opposed to revenge (he believed Christianity was a manifestation of latent resentment). He praised Buddhism for setting out to treat "suffering" as opposed to "sin," but believed the treatment itself represented a surrender of life, and ultimately a weak response to the human condition. In the following passage from "Beyond Good and Evil," he contrasts his interpretation of Buddhism (along with Schopenhauer, a major contributor to this interpretation) with a general sketch of his own ideal response: 

Quote
"Whoever has endeavored with some enigmatic longing, as I have, to think pessimism through to its depths and liberate it from the half-Christian, half-German narrowness and simplicity in which it has finally presented itself to our century, namely, in the form of Schopenhauer's philosophy; whoever has really, with an Asiatic and supra-Asiatic eye, looked into, down into the most world-denying of all possible ways of thinking -- beyond good and evil and no longer, like the Buddha and Schopenhauer, under the spell and delusion of morality -- may just thereby, without really meaning to do so, have opened his eyes to the opposite ideal: the ideal of the most high-spirited, alive, and world-affirming human being who has not only come to terms and learned to get along with whatever was and is, but who wants to have what was and is repeated into all eternity..."

These passages illustrate Nietzsche's interpretation of Buddhism as a life-negating philosophy that seeks to escape an existence dominated by suffering. In "The Gay Science" and "Will to Power," Nietzsche comments on Buddhism further, characterising it as an effort to withdraw from pain into an 'Oriental Nothing - called Nirvana," by way of following the maxim "One must not act." In "The Genealogy of Morals," he categorizes Buddhism as one among a group of ideologies that promote "...nihilistic turning away from life, a longing for nothingness, or for life's 'opposite', for a different sort of 'being'" According to Nietzsche, Buddhism can be described as an effort, through restraint from action, to escape suffering and pass into absolute non-existence.


Tagging the post so that the jerk of a "scientist" can take a look at!

accretion

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #225 on: August 17, 2007, 08:40:10 AM »

[...] The concept must first be contrasted with Arthur Schopenhauer's "will to live": one must first of all take into account Nietzsche's background and criticism of Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer posited a "will to live," in which living things were motivated by sustaining and developing their own lives. Nietzsche instead posited a will to power, a significant point of contrast to Schopenhauer's ideation, in which living things are not just driven by the mere need to stay alive, but in fact by a greater need to wield and use power, to grow, to expend their strength, and, possibly, to subsume other "wills" in the process. Thus, Nietzsche regarded such a "will to live" as secondary to the primary "will to power", and more generally there are varied manifestations of it, two prominent distinctions by Nietzsche are: a "life-denying" modality and a life-"enhancing" or -"affirming" one. Henceforth, he opposed himself to social Darwinism, as he contested the validity of the concept of "adaptation", which he considered a narrow and weak "will to live".


Very, very, very similar to Schopenhauer's concept.


The force he calls "Wille zum Leben" or Will (literally will-to-life) is the forces driving man to remain alive and to reproduce, a drive intertwined with desire. This Will is the inner content and the driving force of the world. For Schopenhauer, Will had ontological primacy over the intellect; in other words, desire is understood to be prior to thought, and, in a parallel sense, Will is said to be prior to being. In attempting to solve or alleviate the fundamental problems of life, Schopenhauer was a rare philosopher who considered philosophy and logic less important (or less effective) than art, certain charitable practices ("loving kindness", in his terms), and certain forms of religious discipline. Schopenhauer concluded that discursive thought (such as philosophy and logic) could neither touch nor transcend the nature of desire — i.e., Will. He proposed that humans living in the realm of objects are living in the realm of desire, and thus are eternally tormented by that desire.



So basically Nietzsche was bull, he copied Will To Power from Schopenhauer, Eternal Recurrence from Buddhism, and Superman is just some crap built upon the other two ?

abut

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #226 on: August 18, 2007, 04:55:07 PM »

[...] Comparisons between Buddhism and the various schools of existentialism have revealed a number of parallels. Such studies have frequently centered on each tradition's metaphysical approach and the fact that they all appear to share some form of phenomenological methodology. In the area of ethics, however, existentialism and Buddhism generally seem to differ radically. This difference is the most marked in the case of Nietzsche. 

[...]


Nietzsche is often classified and taught along with existentialists, mainly because he is (like Kierkegaard) so adamantly an "individual" and an early advocate of "self-making." But Nietzsche also subscribes to a number of harsh doctrines that might be described as "fatalism" and a kind of "biological determinism," to name but two. Fatalism, strictly understood, means that nothing could be other than it is, and Nietzsche's sharp sarcastic comments about "the improvers of mankind" make it quite clear that he does not think that people can change their (collective) nature. Moreover, his persistent emphasis on "instincts," "drives," and "physiology" suggests a form of determinism based on our biology. Each of us individually has a particular "nature" that (whether actualized or not) cannot be altered. Like such existentialists as Kierkegaard and Sartre, Nietzsche is a powerful defender of what one might call "the existential self," the individual who "makes himself" by exploring and disciplining his particular talents and distinguishes himself from "the herd" and the conformist influences of other people. But Nietzsche also attacks the very concept of freedom and with it the existentialist idea that we are free and responsible to make of ourselves what we will. Furthermore, Nietzsche celebrates precisely those ancient concepts of "fate" and "destiny" that Sartre, in particular, rejects as exemplary of "bad faith."

chide

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #227 on: August 18, 2007, 06:02:23 PM »

Nietzsche is often classified and taught along with existentialists, mainly because he is (like Kierkegaard) so adamantly an "individual" and an early advocate of "self-making." But Nietzsche also subscribes to a number of harsh doctrines that might be described as "fatalism" and a kind of "biological determinism," to name but two. Fatalism, strictly understood, means that nothing could be other than it is, and Nietzsche's sharp sarcastic comments about "the improvers of mankind" make it quite clear that he does not think that people can change their (collective) nature. Moreover, his persistent emphasis on "instincts," "drives," and "physiology" suggests a form of determinism based on our biology. Each of us individually has a particular "nature" that (whether actualized or not) cannot be altered. Like such existentialists as Kierkegaard and Sartre, Nietzsche is a powerful defender of what one might call "the existential self," the individual who "makes himself" by exploring and disciplining his particular talents and distinguishes himself from "the herd" and the conformist influences of other people. But Nietzsche also attacks the very concept of freedom and with it the existentialist idea that we are free and responsible to make of ourselves what we will. Furthermore, Nietzsche celebrates precisely those ancient concepts of "fate" and "destiny" that Sartre, in particular, rejects as exemplary of "bad faith."


Exactly, fatalism is not determinism, although they're sometimes confused with each other. As such, it asserts neither that human affairs have been prearranged by a being outside the causal order nor that a person has an unavoidable fate. Determinism simply says that all human action is caused entirely by preceding events, and not by the exercise of the Will, based on the metaphysical principle that an uncaused event is impossible. The success of scientists in discovering causes of certain behavior and in some cases effecting its control tends to support this principle.

Disagreement exists about the proper formulation of determinism. Physical determinism, which has its origin in the Atomism of Democritus and Lucretius, is the theory that human interaction can be reduced to relationships between biological, chemical, or physical entities; this formulation is fundamental to modern Sociobiology and neuropsychology. The historical determinism of Karl Marx, on the other hand, is transpersonal and primarily economic. In contrast to these two formulations, psychological determinism -- the philosophical basis of psychoanalysis -- is the theory that the purposes, needs, and desires of individuals are central to an explanation of human behavior. The behavioral determinism of B.F. Skinner is a modification of this view, in that Skinner reduces all internal psychological states to publicly observable behavior. His stimulus -- response account also uses modern statistical and probabilistic analyses of causation.

Sartre and other contemporary philosophers have argued that determinism is controverted by introspection, which reveals actions to be the result of our own choices and not necessitated by previous events or external factors. Determinists respond that such experiences of freedom are illusions and that introspection is an unreliable and unscientific method for understanding human behavior.

cleft

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #228 on: August 18, 2007, 06:43:58 PM »

So basically Nietzsche was bull, he copied Will To Power from Schopenhauer, [...]


Here it is explained:


[...] Schopenhauer posited a "will to live," in which living things were motivated by sustaining and developing their own lives. Nietzsche instead posited a will to power, a significant point of contrast to Schopenhauer's ideation, in which living things are not just driven by the mere need to stay alive, but in fact by a greater need to wield and use power, to grow, to expend their strength, and, possibly, to subsume other "wills" in the process. Thus, Nietzsche regarded such a "will to live" as secondary to the primary "will to power", and more generally there are varied manifestations of it, two prominent distinctions by Nietzsche are: a "life-denying" modality and a life-"enhancing" or -"affirming" one. Henceforth, he opposed himself to social Darwinism, as he contested the validity of the concept of "adaptation", which he considered a narrow and weak "will to live". Another particular standpoint of the will to power is that it is a process of expansion and venting of creative energy that Nietzsche argued was the underlying -- the "most fundamental fact" -- "inner" force of nature.

[...]

The "will to power" is thus a "cosmic" inner force acting in and through both animate and inanimate objects, but it may also take on many forms that could perhaps involve such mastery but in a "life-denying" modality. Not just instincts but also higher level behaviors (even in humans) were to be reduced to the will to power. In fact, Nietzsche considered consciousness itself to be a form of instinct. This includes both such apparently harmful acts as physical violence, lying, and domination, on one hand, and such apparently non-harmful acts as gift-giving, love, and praise on the other – though its manifestations can be altered significantly, such as through art and aesthetic experience. In "Beyond Good and Evil," he claims that philosophers' "will to truth" (i.e., their apparent desire to dispassionately seek objective, absolute truth) is actually nothing more than a manifestation of their will to power; this will can be life-affirming or a manifestation of nihilism, but it is the will to power all the same. As indicated above, the will to power is meant to explain more than just the behavior of an individual person or animal. It is not psychological, nor intentional or subjective. The will to power lends itself more to the view, though it be homogeneous in expression, its transformations are heterogeneous, based on the altering organizations of "quanta of power".


Santa Baby

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Re: Legal Reasoning
« Reply #229 on: August 18, 2007, 11:50:07 PM »

If you reading into the OP's post quoting Nietzsche as saying that to adopt the Roman attitude and lifestyle one had to engage in prosecution of Jews as Nazi Germany did, I think you are wrong.

In fact, some people tend to dislike Friedrich Nietzsche on the grounds that his thought is dangerous, that it lends itself to totalitarianism and, more specifically, to fascism. The history of Nietzsche's adoption by the forces of National Socialism in Germany has been well documented. Adolf Hitler personally approved of Nietzsche's writings, and upon coming to power he promoted one of Nietzsche's first Nazi disciples, Alfred Baumler, to professor of philosophy in Berlin. During the Nazi period Nietzsche was both widely read and celebrated in Germany. He was considered to be one of the master-thinkers of the Aryan race. After Germany lost the war, Nietzsche's thought fell into disrepute. Martin Heidegger even blamed his involvement in Nazi politics on the influence of Nietzsche. Since that time, however, Nietzsche's work has enjoyed a modest revival. Nevertheless, Nietzsche is still viewed with suspicion in many circles because of a circumstance of history that was beyond his control. Many critics continue to argue that Nietzsche's thinking is at best dangerous or, at worst, downright evil because it leads directly to fascism.

This argument, though, is simply untenable given a careful reading of Nietzsche's work. From an examination of his texts, skipping the "approved" Nazi interpretations, one can easily argue that Nietzsche would have certainly opposed his appropriation by National Socialism, particularly its hideous manifestation in Nazi Germany.


In 1886 Nietzsche broke with his editor, Ernst Schmeitzner, disgusted over his anti-Semitic opinions. Nietzsche saw his writings as "completely buried and unexhumeable in this anti-Semitic dump" of Schmeitzner — associating the editor with a movement that should be "utterly rejected with cold contempt by every sensible mind".

It is his sister Elisabeth, who in 1886, married the anti-Semite Bernhard Förster and traveled to Paraguay to found Nueva Germania, a "Germanic" colony, a plan to which Nietzsche responded with laughter. Elisabeth, for instance, compiled "The Will to Power," from notes he had written, and published it posthumously. The general consensus holds that it does not reflect Nietzsche's intent. Indeed, Mazzino Montinari, the editor of Nietzsche's Nachlass, called it a forgery. Among other forgeries and suppressions of passages, Elisabeth removed aphorism 35 of "The Antichrist," where Nietzsche rewrote a passage of the Bible.

Although Nietzsche had in 1886 announced (at the end of "Beyond Good and Evil") a new work with the title, "The Will to Power: Essay of a Transvaluation of all Values," this project was finally abandoned and its draft materials used to compose "The Twilight of the Idols" and "The Antichrist" (both written in 1888). "The Will to Power," which Elisabeth Förster called Nietzsche's unedited magnum opus (which very concept is alien to Nietzsche's philosophy and style of writing), was in fact abandoned as a book by Nietzsche himself. Förster-Nietzsche cut up, mixed and pasted together fragments, according to her own antisemitic views (which were a bone of contention between her and Nietzsche himself). Nevertheless, the concept remains, and has, since the reading of Karl Löwith, been identified as a key component of Nietzsche's philosophy. So The Will to Power was not written by Nietzsche. But the concept of "will to power" is certainly in itself a major motif of Nietzsche's philosophy, so much so that Heidegger, under Löwith's influence, considered it to form, with the thought of the eternal recurrence, the basis of his thought.


Not to mention that after he stopped teaching at Basel University in 1879, on a visit to Rome in 1882 at 37 met Lou Salomé, a 21-old Russian-Jewish woman who was studying philosophy and theology in Zurich. He soon fell in love with her, and twice proposed to her. Although his both offers were rejected, the relationship was spoilt by Elisabeth who was absolutely anti-Semitic, and hated the Jewish blood in Lou. Thus Nietzsche has lost his love, and remained alone.
Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.