The Will to Power

Der Wille zur Macht

The Will to Power (German: Der Wille zur Macht) is a book of notes drawn from the literary remains (or Nachlass) of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche by his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche and Peter Gast (Heinrich Köselitz). The title derived from a work that Nietzsche himself had considered writing. The work was first translated into English by Anthony M. Ludovici in 1910, and it has since seen several other translations and publications. (Wikipedia)

Text fro this book:

473 (1886-1887) The intellect cannot criticize itself, simply because it cannot be compared with other species of intellect and because its capacity to know would be revealed only in the presence of “true reality,” i.e., because in order to criticize the intellect we should have to be a higher being with “absolute knowledge.” This presupposes that, distinct from every perspective kind of outlook or sensual-spiritual appropriation, something exists, an “in-itself.”—But the psychological derivation of the belief in things forbids us to speak of “things-in-themselves.”


The will to powerThe Will to Power – An Attempted Transvaluation of All Values by Friedrich Nietzsche Translated By Anthony m. Ludovici VOL. I BOOKS I AND II The will to power is a prominent concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. The will to power describes what Nietzsche may have believed to be the main driving force in humans – achievement, ambition, and the striving to reach the highest possible position in life. These are all manifestations of the will to power; however, the concept was never systematically defined in Nietzsche’s work, leaving its interpretation open to debate. Alfred Adler incorporated the will to power into his individual psychology. This can be contrasted to the other Viennese schools of psychotherapy: Sigmund Freud’s pleasure principle (will to pleasure) and Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy. Each of these schools advocates and teaches a very different essential driving force in human beings. Throughout the 1880s, in his notebooks, Nietzsche also developed an equally elusive theory of the “eternal recurrence of the same” and much speculation on the physical possibility of this idea and the mechanics of its actualization recur in his later notebooks. Here, the will to power as a potential physics is integrated with the postulated eternal recurrence. Taken literally as a theory for how things are, Nietzsche appears to imagine a physical universe of perpetual struggle and force that repeatedly completes its cycle and returns to the beginning.

The will to power 3Nietzsche’s notebooks, kept by him during his most productive years, offer a fascinating glimpse into the workshop and mind of a great thinker, and compare favorably with the notebooks of Gide and Kafka, Camus and Wittgenstein.  The Will to Power, compiled from the notebooks, is one of the most famous boooks of the philosophy.  Here is the first critical edition in any language. Down through the Nazi period The Will to Power was often mistakenly considered to be Nietzche’s crowning systematic labor; since World War II it has frequently been denigrated.  In fact, it represents a stunning selection from Nietzsche’s notebooks, in a a topical arrangement that enables the reader to find what Nietzsche’s wrote on a variety of subjects.  Walter Kaufmann, in collaboration with R. J. Holilngdale, brings to this volume his unsurpassed skills as a Nietzsche translator and scholar. Professor Kaufmann has included an approximate date of each note. His running footnote commentary offers information needed to follow Nietzsche’s train of thought, and indicates, among other things, which notes were eventually superseded by later formulations.  The comprehensive index serves to guide the reader to the extraordinary riches of this book.

In the volume before us we have the first two books of what was to be Nietzsche’s greatest theoretical and philosophical prose work. The reception given to Thus Spake Zarathustra had been so unsatisfactory, and misunderstandings relative to its teaching had become so general, that, within a year of the publication of the first part of that famous philosophical poem, Nietzsche was already beginning to see the necessity of bringing his doctrines before the public in a more definite and unmistakable form. During the years that followed—that is to say, between 1883 and 1886—this plan was matured, and although we have no warrant, save his sister’s own word and the internal evidence at our disposal, for classing Beyond Good and Evil (published 1886) among the contributions to Nietzsche’s grand and final philosophical scheme, “The Will to Power,” it is now impossible to separate it entirely from his chief work as we would naturally separate The Birth of Tragedy, the Thoughts out of Season, the volumes entitled Human, all-too-Human, The Dawn of Day, and Joyful Wisdom. Beyond Good and Evil, then, together with its sequel, The Genealogy of Morals, and the two little volumes, The Twilight of the Idols and the Antichrist (published in 1889 and 1894 respectively), must be regarded as forming part of the general plan of which The Will to Power was to be the opus magnum.

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