Nietzsche's Perspective Of The Self

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Throughout his philosophy, Nietzsche describes the activity of creating the self. He writes about freeing oneself from established valuations in order to discover who one is. By clearing the path for new values, Nietzsche believes we can impose our own meaning on the world. “But do you want to go the way of your affliction, which is the way to yourself? Then show me your right and your strength to do so. Are you a new strength and a new right? A first movement? A self-propelled wheel? Can you compel the very stars to revolve around you?” [1] This picture of freedom for creation becomes tangled when seen next to Nietzsche’s ideas that express a fatalist understanding of the self. He reduces the causal relations
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From this perspective, all activity in the world is determined by the drives for power, growth, and domination, “life simply is will to power.” [8] Human activity and valuing are products of the competition among the drives of life, such that the will-to-power is the causal lens through which Nietzsche views life. This interpretation that Nietzsche imposes on the becoming of the world serves multiple purposes for his project. Through the lens of the will-to-power, Nietzsche explains the origin of anti-natural morality, diagnoses its psychologically damaging effects, and exposes its self-contradictory nature. Along with this, the will-to-power reinforces Nietzsche’s fatalist interpretation of the self, helping to alleviate the sickening effects of guilt and bad conscience. The will-to-power harmonizes with Nietzsche’s interpretation of the world as becoming, in that it understands concepts and values as having histories of meanings. The meaning of a concept is unstable, and subject to the struggle of dominance between competing interpretations. The imposing of meaning and value on the world is fundamental activity of humans, and Nietzsche understands one’s valuing to be determined by the will-to-power. Thus, anti-natural morality (as well as Nietzsche’s philosophy) is understood to be a product of life’s competing drives. “Life itself forces us to posit values; life itself values through us when we posit values.”
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