Will to Power Framework 2

The value criterion is...consistency with will to power.

Here are some of the best justifications for a will to power framework.

Metaphysical concepts are nonsensical; we need an ontology based on our conception of the world to avoid nihilism. MIYASAKI:


Nietzsche’s naturalism is both ontological and methodological: both a naturalist view of reality and a naturalist method of justifying knowledge claims.  His ontological naturalism follows directly from his rejection of metaphysical dualism.  Metaphysic[s]al concepts, he claims, are derived from the direct negation of the characteristics of the world as it appears to the senses, making metaphysics nothing more than an inverted image of the natural world disguised as discovered non-sensible entities and qualities: “The ‘real world’ has been constructed out of the contradiction of the actual world” (TI “Reason” 6).  This is, it should be noted, a critical claim about metaphysics, rather than a positive assertion about the nature of reality.  Nietzsche rejects competing, non-naturalist conceptions on the grounds that they are insubstantial, containing no positive information about a non-natural realm, for once we exclude the negation of the sensible world from metaphysics, we are left with nothing.  This leaves open the possibility that, although metaphysics as traditionally practiced has failed to describe another kind of reality, future metaphysical accounts may avoid the error of merely negative descriptions of metaphysical beings or properties.  However, Nietzsche further supports his view that the natural world exhausts reality by suggesting there can be no plausible competing views, since “another kind of reality is absolutely indemonstrable” (TI “Reason” 6).  While he does not explicitly defend this claim, the context makes it clear: a metaphysical world is indemonstrable because the demonstration must either repeat the error of negat[e] the sensible world rather than demonstrating a non-sensible world, or it must be made using sensible evidence, in which case it fails to demonstrate another kind of reality. 


Notion of distinct identity don’t make sense. All entities are becoming. MIYASAKI (2):

The first step in Nietzsche [rejects] ’s naturalist argument for a will to power ontology is the rejection of the metaphysical notion of substance, of the view that discrete, self-identical unities constitute the basic structure of reality by underlying the changeable sensible properties of objects: “We see ourselves as it were entangled in error, necessitated to error, precisely to the extent that our prejudice in favor of reason [das Vernunft-Vorurteil] compels us to posit unity, identity, duration, substance, cause, materiality [Dinglichkeit], being” (TI “Reason” 5).  This position leads him to reject the apparent ontological independence of objects and to reconceive [objects] as essentially interrelated, as equal to the activities and relations immediately given in experience, rather than inferring from sensible experience an underlying “thing” or “object” distinct from those activities and relational properties. In Nietzsche’s view this is a less presumptuous, more naturalistic view, because it more faithfully describes experience. Unlike the physicist who tells us that a table is not really the solid, unified thing of our sensible experience, but rather countless particles separated by empty space, Nietzsche claims we do not experience unified substances at all; we infer them from the more primary experience of disunity and change: “Insofar as the senses show becoming [and], passing away, change, they do not lie” (TI “Reason” 2).  If this is true, then we cannot, without returning to metaphysics, assume that an object remains self-identical throughout changes to its properties, nor can we assume that the object is ontologically independent of any other objects to which it is related.


There is agent separate from its characteristics – everything is manifested through action so morality cannot be based on fixed concepts. Interrelated agency requires that all factors like drives, dispositions influences and motives are relevant – they can only be excluded if we identify a subject ontologically distinct from the entities that compose it – but that is impossible.


The standard is consistency with will to power.


FIRST, power embodied by entities with coercive force is the best explanation for moral prohibitions in a REAL understanding of justice divorced from abstraction. NIETZSCHE:

On the Geaneology of Morals from Basic Writings of Nietzsche. Trans. by Walter Kauffman. Modern Library Publisher.

Historically speaking, justice on earth represents – I say this to the annoyance of the above-mentioned agitator (who himself once confessed: ‘The doctrine of revenge has woven its way though all my work and activities as the red thread of justice’)54 – the battle, then, against reactive sentiment, the war waged against the same on the part of active and aggressive forces, which have expended their strength in trying to put a stop to the spread of reactive pathos, to keep it in check and within bounds, and to force a compromise with it. Everywhere that justice is practised and maintained, the stronger power can be seen looking for means of putting an end to the senseless ravages of ressentiment amongst those inferior to it (whether groups or individuals), partly by lifting the object of ressentiment out of the hands of revenge, partly by substituting, for revenge, a struggle against the enemies of peace and order, partly by working out compensation, suggesting, sometimes enforcing it, and partly by promoting certain equivalences for wrongs into a norm which ressentiment, from now on, has to take into account. The most decisive thing, however, that the higher authorities can invent and enforce against the even stronger power of hostile and spiteful feelings – and they do it as soon as they are strong enough – is the setting up of a legal system, the imperative declaration of what counts as permissible in their eyes, as just, and what counts as forbidden, unjust: once the legal code is in place, by treating offence and arbitrary actions against the individual or groups as a crime, as violation of the law, as insurrection against the higher authorities themselves, they distract attention from the damage done by such violations, and ultimately achieve the opposite of what revenge sets out to do, which just sees and regards as valid the injured party’s point of view –: from then on the eye is trained for an evermore impersonal interpretation of the action, even the eye of the injured party (although, as stated, this happens last). – Therefore ‘just’ and ‘unjust’ only start from the moment when a legal system is set up (and not, as Dühring says, from the moment when the injury is done.) Therefore ‘just’ and ‘unjust’ only start from the moment when a legal system is set up (and not, as Dühring says, from the moment when the injury is done.) To talk of ‘just’ and ‘unjust’ as such is meaningless, an act of injury, violence, exploitation or destruction cannot be ‘unjust’ as such, because life functions essentially in an injurious, violent, exploitative and destructive manner, or at least these are its fundamental processes and it cannot be thought of without these characteristics. One has to admit to oneself something even more unpalatable: that viewed from the highest biological standpoint, states of legality can never be anything but exceptional states, as partial restrictions of the true will to life, which seeks power and to whose overall purpose they subordinate themselves as individual measures, that is to say, as a means of creating greater units of power. A system of law conceived as sovereign and general, not as a means for use in the fight between units of power but as a means against fighting in general, rather like Dühring’s communistic slogan that every will should regard every other will as its equal, this would be a principle hostile to life, an attempt to assassinate the future of man, a sign of fatigue and a secret path to nothingness. –


SECOND, we are drives and impulses that must be unified through will to power for us to see ourselves as the cause of our own action. Regarding choices as ours requires viewing them as representing ourselves. WARREN:

Nietzsche and Political Philosophy Author(s): Mark Warren Source: Political Theory, Vol. 13, No. 2 (May, 1985), pp. 183-212

The final presupposition of willing, according to Nietzsche, concerns self-reflective motivation, the desire for the experience of agent unity, the violation of which produces nihilism. Nietzsche sometimes refers to this motive as the "affect of command," sometimes as the "instinct for freedom,'' and still other times as the desire for the "feeling of power."40 The self-reflective nature of human power is expressed in Nietzsche's choice of the expression "will to power": One wills that one have power, one values the experience of subject unity, the experience of control of one's surroundings and futures, the experience of beginning a causal sequence of events, and identifies one's place (or lack of place) in the world according to such self-experiences. "Freedom of the will," Nietzsche claims in summarizing the conditions that go into constituting an action, "is the expression for the complex state of delight of the person exercising volition, who commands and who at the same time identifies himself with the executor of the order-who, as such, enjoys the triumph over obstacles, but thinks within himself that it was really [her] will itself that overcame them."'4' For Nietzsche power is not descriptive of classes of observable events that might be seen as the aim of all human acts,  events such as political domination over others. Instead, he is interested in the meaning that behaviors have for individuals in terms oftheir experiences of agent-unity. Put otherwise, to claim as Nietzschedoes that humans are universally motivated by power is not to make aclaim about what kinds of acts they are likely to engage in if only giventhe chance but, rather, to claim that human motives necessarily are self-reflective in nature: Humans are fundamentally motivated by a desire to experience the self as autonomous, as a free-will. The telos of action is to experience the self as an agent. Autonomy of the self in this sense is, in Nietzsche's view, the universal motive and thus theuniversal value of self-reflective beings.42 His concept of will to power addresses the question of the way the world must be for such self-reflective motives for agency to become actual and thus for nihilism to be overcome. 

[This framework originally and generously contributed by Torrey Pines VB.]