an increase — unstable [ein Unbeständiges]. The duration of these complex structures is based on the interrelation of increase and preservation. Hence it is a comparative duration. The duration of living things, i.e., of life, is "relatively enduring."

According to Nietzsche, value is "the viewpoint of the conditions for preservation-increase in regard to the complex structures, relatively enduring, of life in the midst of becoming." Here, and generally in the conceptual language of Nietzsche's metaphysics, the stark indefinite word "becoming" does not signify just any flux of all things, nor the mere alteration of states, and not just any development or vague evolution. Becoming means the transition from something to something, that movement and being moved which Leibniz in the Monadology (§ 11) calls changements naturels, which govern the ens qua ens, i.e., the ens percipiens et appetmens. Nietzsche takes this governance as the fundamental trait of all reality, i.e., he takes it in the very broad sense of beings. He understands that which thus determines beings in their essentia as the "will to power."

When Nietzsche concludes his characterization of the essence of value with the word "becoming," that final word points to the essential realm where values and the dispensation of value generally and uniquely belong. "To become" — that, for Nietzsche, is "the will to power." So the "will to power" is the fundamental trait of "life," which Nietzsche also often uses in a broad sense, by which it has been equated within metaphysics (cf. Hegel) to "becoming." Will to power, becoming, life, and being in the broadest sense have the same meaning in Nietzsche's language (The Will to Power, no. 582, from 1885/6 and no. 689 from 1888). Inside of becoming, life, i.e., the living, takes shape as centers of the will to power that are active at particular times. These centers are therefore structures of ruling power. It is as such that Nietzsche understands art, the state, religion, science, society. That is why he can also say (The Will to Power, no. 715) "'Value' is essentially the viewpoint for the gain and loss of these centers of ruling power" (namely, with regard to their ruling character).

So long as Nietzsche, in his delineation of the essence of value cited above, grasps value as the viewpointed condition of the preservation and increase of life, but sees life as grounded in becoming and becoming as the will to power, the will to power reveals itself as that which sets those viewpoints. The will to power is that which, on the basis of its "inner principle" (Leibniz) as the nisus in the esse of the ens, esteems according to values. The will to power is the ground for the necessity of dispensing values and the origin of the possibility of value-estimation. Hence Nietzsche says (The Will to


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