Nietzsche's Concept of the Will to Power

Arguably, existentialism is an interesting philosophy. However, one may not necessarily agree with its worldview to appreciate its art. I refer to it as art because, in my view, philosophy is an art in general, and Nietzsche is one of philosophy’s artists. Moreover, Nietzsche’s will to power is a metaphysical concept. Metaphysics examines the nature of existence, which existentialism attempts to analyze. Flynn explains Nietzsche’s will to power as “the force that moves the universe . . . Nature as a whole is will to power, and it manifests itself in every dimension of existence” (p. 39). Will to power is a difficult concept to fully grasp because Flynn does not develop exactly how Nietzsche defines will and defines power. Further perplexing is how Nietzsche applies will to power to morality.

Understanding how Nietzsche uses the words will and power may help us understand Nietzsche’s will to power. But, unfortunately, Nietzsche’s exposition of will to power does not exist, as he passed before having the opportunity to expound on the topic entirely. Further adding to the dilemma, according to the author of Nietzsche’s Mirror: The World as Will to Power, Linda L. Williams claims that Nietzsche rarely defines any terms in his writings. Nietzsche never claims a definition of terms but instead speaks in metaphors and aphorisms (p. 15). Although that sounds regrettable, it makes sense towards the existential worldview; after all, how can one define concrete terms if concrete terms deal with the area of absolutes? Moreover, absolutes and concrete terms may contradict the existential point of view that “there are no objective values besides what one creates for oneself” (Friedrich Nietzsche).

Keeping in mind that existentialism is a method or mode of living and living to analyze what we are in existence, it is essential to remember that it is up to the individual to determine their own identity and essence. Remembering that proposition helps appreciate what Nietzsche is trying to do. Will to power is Nietzsche attempting to understand the essence of existence as he exists concurrently with existence. Since will to power is Nietzsche’s personal interpretation, it is up to anyone who reads it as individuals to interpret their own understanding. Therefore, my interpretation of will to power is Nietzsche speaking of an inexplicable invisible force that drives the will of all existence. What I mean is that, power is action, and any action in motion requires a cause set in motion by will. In other words, will of power is action set in motion by will. Since Nietzsche is speaking of an invisible force as will of power, and I realize that Nietzsche’s principle logic was grounded in humanism and away from anything transcendental and eternal, what if Nietzsche was subconsciously articulating the power of God? To put it another way, what if the will of power is the Will of God?

Work Cited

Flynn, Thomas. Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2006. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Williams, Linda L. Nietzsche’s Mirror: The World as Will to Power, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Friedrich Nietzsche. Existentialism.


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