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

Will to power marks the final metaphysical position of modernity; eternal recurrence implies the end of metaphysics as such (section 2). Will to power may, at least "initially," be identified as quiddity, the "what-being" of beings; recurrence as their existence or "that-being." This distinction coincides with the all-sustaining metaphysical distinction between ontos on (proper being) and me on (nonbeing), in-sofar as the "what?" becomes the guiding question of Western meta-physics. Nietzsche's celebration of Becoming thus actually transforms Becoming into Being; it  remains within the purview of beingness as permanence of presencing and of truth as correctness (section 3). The truth of Being is value, that is, the value-estimation of supreme will to power. The latter is unrestrained anthropomorphism, seeking as it does absolute dominion over the earth and ushering in the age of consummate meaninglessness (section 4). In this age the clearing of Being all but vanishes in the vapors of ultimate adequation-the malleability, manipulability, and disposability of beings, the machination (Machenschaft) of beingness. Having begun with the interpretation of beingness as Idea, specifically, the Idea of the Good, metaphysics ends with revaluation: "The solitary superficies is what remains after the abolition of the 'true' and the 'semblant' worlds." Overman defines the Good as animalitas, animalitas as brutalitas. Superman fashions his superworld. Yet all machination mimes the concealed yet already written history of the (non)essence of Being (section 5) which we call "modernity" (die Neuzeit, das Neuzeitliche). The latter consists essentially in the instauration of man as subiectum and of beingness as representedness. Modernity proves to be an essentially violent, incessant rivalry of self against self within the horizon of meaninglessness.  (p.260)


Heidegger, Nietzsche, Technology, Skill, Education


The Nietzsche Lectures, Heidegger Citations

Links to Reference



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