For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Nietzsche: Volumes Three and Four

by Heidegger, Martin (1991)


A landmark discussion between two great thinkers--the second (combining volumes III and IV) of two volumes inquiring into the central issues of Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy.

Key Passage

The prepotence of Being in this essential configuration is called machination.* It prevents any kind of grounding of the "projections" that are under its power and yet are themselves none the less powerful. For machination is the prepotence of all unquestioning self-assurance and certitude in securing. Machination alone can hold the stance it adopts toward itself under its unconditioned self-command. Machination makes itself permanent. When meaninglessness comes to power by dint of machination, the suppression of meaning and thus of all inquiry into the truth of Being must be replaced by machination's erection of "goals" (values). One quite reasonably expects new values to be propagated by "life," even though the latter has already been totally mobilized, as though total mobilization were something in itself and not the organization of unconditioned meaninglessness by and for will to power. Such positings and empowerings of power no longer conform to "standards of measure" and "ideals" that could be grounded in themselves; they are "in service" to sheer expansion of power and are valued purely according to their estimated use-value. The age of consummate meaninglessness is therefore the era in which "world-views" are invented and promulgated with a  view to their power. Such worldviews drive all calculability of representation and production to the extreme, originating as they do essentially in mankind's self-im-posed instauration of self in the midst of beings-in the midst of mankind's unconditioned hegemony over all sources of power on the face of the earth, and indeed its dominion over the globe as such. -[Footnote for machination, sentence one of above extract: "Machenschaft, all that has the quality of doing or making, prevails in the realm of purely accessible (ausmachbaren) beings, beings characterized by sheer disposability (Machbarkeit) and malleability (Machsamkeit), where everything is "do-able" (machbar) by way of securement and calculation."] (p.175)


Heidegger, Nietzsche, Technology, Skill, Education


The Nietzsche Lectures, Heidegger Citations

Links to Reference



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