Humanity as the Will to Power: Affirmation and Danger in the Eternal Return

InCircolo - Rivista di Filosofia E Culture 1 (10):118-137 (2020)
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I present an image of humanity as the will to power expressed in context of affirmationand danger in the eternal return. Nietzsche argues the death of God not as a theological argument but as an existential challenge for humanity to be re-experienced. It is read in light of the eternal return: without ontological references or quasi-transcendentals, how is life to be lived? Deleuze contextualizes Nietzsche’s critique of nihilism qua a typology of active and reactive modes of being, however I go beyond to provide what I consider an anthropological account. I do this by differentiating the will to power from individual willing and present the danger that an affirmation of life entails. Nietzsche challenges us with the eternal return. With this, one is led to realize that she is her own destruction (Untergehen) at the same time as her overture (Übergehen). She has the ability, power, capacity to overcome and self-create. With this realization one ought to remain truthful to this in form of truth-telling (Redlichkeit). Nietzsche projects humanity as a perilous crossing over from nihilism to affirmation with an embrace of an ethics of danger. This crossing over is a mark of life as the will to power. It is an overcoming of nihilism and the assurance amidst nihilism’s farce that the godhead is dead and that the eternal return is a daunting challenge we cannot escape from. With these, we are afforded an image of humanity as the will to power.

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Anton Heinrich Rennesland
University of Santo Tomas


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