Spinoza’s Conatus and Nietzsche’s Will to Power: Self-Preservation vs Increase of Power?
Hannah Grosse Wiesmann
announced: 29. 03. 2015
This paper presents Nietzsche’s reception of Spinoza with regard to the concept of power. It aims to show that Nietzsche’s indirect reception of Spinoza was most formative for his philosophy in the 1880s, where the concept of will to power is of crucial importance. Indeed, Nietzsche elaborates his conception of power through a critical interaction with Spinoza’s principle of self-preservation given in the theory of conatus. He considers this to be a theorem characteristic of the modern metaphysical obsession with being; with his concept of will to power, he opposes to it a principle, not of preservation, but of increase, which aims to revalue the idea of radical becoming. The paper explores Nietzsche’s strategy of interpretation with regard to Spinoza’s theory of conatus, then analyses Nietzsche’s own conception of power, and finally calls in question Nietzsche’s claim for originality with regard to Spinoza.
Spinoza’s Conatus and Nietzsche’s Will to Power: Self-Preservation vs Increase of Power? is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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