Will as Affect, Passion, and Feeling

attempts to define the essential concept of will. This work we must do ourselves. Yet the questions (what are affect, passion, and feeling?) remain unanswered. Nietzsche himself often equates the three; he follows the usual ways of representing them, ways still accepted today. With these three words, each an arbitrary substitute for the others, we depict the so-called irrational side of psychic life. For customary representational thought that may suffice, but not for trite knowledge, and certainly not if our task is to determine by such knowledge the Being of beings. Nor is it enough to revamp the current "psychological" explanations of affects, passions, and feelings. We must above all see that here it is not a matter for psychology, nor even for a psychology undergirded by physiology and biology. It is a matter of the basic modes that constitute Dasein, a matter of the ways man confronts the Da, the openness and concealment of beings, in which he stands.

We cannot deny that the things physiology grapples with—particular states of the body, changes in internal secretions, muscle flexions, occurrences in the nervous system—are also proper to affects, passions, and feelings. But we have to ask whether all these bodily states and the body itself are grasped in a metaphysically adequate way, so that one may without further ado borrow material from physiology and biology, as Nietzsche, to his own detriment, so often did. The one fundamental point to realize here is that no result of any science can ever be applied immediately to philosophy.

How are we to conceive of the essence of affect, passion, and feeling, indeed in such a way that in each case it will be fruitful for an interpretation of the essence of will in Nietzsche's sense? Here we can conduct our examination only as far as illumination of Nietzsche's characterization of will to power requires.

Anger, for instance, is an affect. In contrast, by "hate" we mean something quite different. Hate is not simply another affect, it is not an affect at all. It is a passion. But we call both of them "feelings." We speak of the feeling of hatred and of an angry feeling. We cannot plan or decide to be angry. Anger comes over us, seizes us, "affects" us. Such a seizure is sudden and turbulent. Our being is moved by a kind of excitement, something stirs us up, lifts us beyond ourselves, but in