Nietzsches Metaphysik

Nietzsche's Metaphysics

This text, written in 1940, was originally announced as a lecture course for Winter Semester 1941–42. Heidegger replaced it at the last moment with the course on Friedrich Hölderlin’s hymn Remembrance. The starting point of his interpretation is that Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy is a unified metaphysics, since he thinks entities in the whole in their truth. His attempt to clarify the hidden unity of Nietzsche’s thought is grounded in the fundamental experience of Being and Time that the truth of being has remained unthought in the history of philosophy. It is a discussion of the five fundamental expressions of Nietzsche’s metaphysics: will to power, nihilism, the eternal recurrence of the same, the overman and justice.

The being of entities is grounded in the will to power. Nihilism is the awareness of the emptiness of values and of the fact that the being of entities counts for nothing. The eternal recurrence of the same names the presencing of being. The overman thinks the essence of human being as the reversal of subjectivity. Justice is the supreme representative of life itself.

The essay closes with a series of questions concerning the ground and origin of metaphysics. Behind these questions lies Heidegger’s conviction that Nietzsche’s philosophy is the completion of metaphysics as its final truth.