The Question Concerning Technology

or as in Schelling out of freedom as the necessity of every particular being which, as such a being, remains determined through the distinction between ground and existence.

The representation of value is just as essential to the modern interpretation of that which is, as is the system. Where anything that is has become the object of representing, it first incurs in a certain manner a loss of Being. This loss is adequately perceived, if but vaguely and unclearly, and is compensated for with corresponding swiftness through the fact that we impart value to the object and to that which is, interpreted as object, and that we take the measure of whatever is, solely in keeping with the criterion of value, and make of values themselves the goal of all activity. Since the latter is understood as culture, values become cultural values, and these, in turn, become the very expression of the highest purposes of creativity, in the service of man's making himself secure as subiectum. From here it is only a step to making values into objects in themselves. Value is the objectification of needs as goals, wrought by a representing self-establishing within the world as picture. Value appears to be the expression of the fact that we" in our position of relationship to itJ act to advance just that which is itself most valuable; and yet that very value is the impotent and threadbare disguise of the objectivity of whatever is, an objectivity that has become flat and devoid of background. No one dies for mere values. We should note, for the sake of shedding light on the nineteenth century, the peculiar in-between position of Hermann Lotze, who at the same time that he was reinterpreting Plato's Ideas as values undertook, under the title Microcosmos, that Attempt at an Anthropology (1856) which still drew sustenance for the nobility and straightforwardness of its mode of thinking from the spirit of German idealism, yet also opened that thinking to positivism. Because Nietzsche's thinking remains imprisoned in value representation, he has to articulate what is essential for him in the form of a reversal, as the revaluation of all values. Only when we succeed in grasping Nietzsche's thinking independently of value representation do we come to a standing-ground from which the work of the last thinker of metaphysics becomes a task