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3. Nihilism

Plato, with whose thought metaphysics begins, understood beings as such, that is, the Being of beings, as "Idea. " The ideas are the one in the many, which first appears in the light of the many and only in so appearing is. As this unifying one, the ideas are also at the same time the permanent, the true, in contrast with the fluctuating and semblant. Conceived in terms of the metaphysics of will to power, the ideas must be considered as values; and the supreme unities must be thought as the uppermost values. Plato himself clarifies the essence of the idea in terms of the highest idea, the idea of the good (agathon). For the Greeks, however, "good" meant what makes a thing good for something, and thus makes it possible. The ideas, as Being, make beings good for visibility; it makes them be present, that is, makes them be beings. From that time, Being, as the unifying one in all metaphysics, has had the character of "condition of possibility." With his determination of Being as objectiveness (objectivity), Kant rendered this character of Being an interpretation defined by the subjectivity of the "l think." On the basis of the subjectivity of will to power, Nietzsche comprehended these conditions of possibility as "values. "

Yet Plato's concept of the good did not contain value thinking. Plato's "Ideas" are not values; for the Being of beings is not yet projected as will to power. Nonetheless, on the basis of his own fundamental metaphysical position, Nietzsche can regard the Platonic interpretation of beings, the "Ideas," and therefore the suprasensuous, as values. Under this interpretation, all philosophy since Plato becomes the metaphysics of values. Beings as such and as a whole are conceived in terms of the suprasensuous, which at the same time is recognized as true being, whether it be God, as the Christian Creator


Martin Heidegger (GA 6 II) Nihilism as Determined by the History of Being - Nietzsche 4