File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1998/nietzsche.9801, message 91

Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 13:43:32 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Inkonsequenz Spinozas (3 of 11)

(3 of 11)
(I cont)

Section 13 of _Beyond_Good_and_Evil_ consists of four sentences.
The first sentence speaks of "the physiologists" and points to a
basic disagreement with their postulation of self-preservation as
the basic organic drive.  The second sentence puts forward Nietzsche's
own postulate, identifying life with _Wille_zur_Macht_ (will to power);
self-preservation is interpreted as a consequence of this.  The
third sentence gives a reason for rejecting self-preservation as 
the basic organic drive, namely that it involves a superfluous
teleological principle, and suggests, albeit in parentheses, that
this principle comes from an inconsistency in Spinoza's thought,
or rather from a failure to draw the full consequences of his
thought ("die Inkonsequenz Spinozas").  Finally, the last sentence
asserts that method, being essentially the economy of principles,
demands the avoidance of such superfluous principles.  It is
worth noting in passing that a most important section (36) dealing
with _Wille_zur_Macht_ in the second chapter makes a similar
appeal to method as the economy of principles.

Only four sections in Chapter 1 speak explicitly of _Wille_zur_Macht_:
section 9, which identifies philosophy with the most spiritual
will to power, and sections 13, 22, and 23.  That this is not
because this conception is unimportant in this chapter is indicated,
if by nothing else, by the fact that the two concluding sections
are among the four.

It might be thought that the reference to Spinoza, being in
parentheses, is of little significance.  But it should be noted
that only six philosophers are mentioned in this chapter, namely,
Kant (sections 5 and 11), Spinoza (sections 5 and 13), Plato
(sections 7 and 14), Schopenhauer (sections 16 and 19),
Epicurus (section 7), and Locke (section 20), despite the fact
that philosophy, or rather philosophers, are the theme of the
chapter, at least according to its title, "On the Prejudices of
Philosophers".  Nietzsche's care over mentioning and not
mentioning philosophers is further brought out by passages
such as the beginning of section 16, which speaks of the
"immediate certainty" of "I think", that is, the famous cogito;
Descartes seems clearly meant, but is carefully not mentioned.
Finally, that Nietzsche did indeed consider Spinoza eminently
worthy of thought--and for an independent thinker like Nietzsche
this is the most we should expect--becomes clear, I think, if
we take other passages from Nietzsche's books into account.
I will cite here only one such passage, section 15 of _Toward
a_Genealogy_of_Morals_ II, a book connected by its subtitle
to _Beyond_Good_and_Evil_.  Here, while discussing the
psychology of conscience, Nietzsche not only mentions Spinoza
respectfully, but also refers to a specific passage in the _Ethics_
(namely Part III, Prop.18, Sch. 1 and 2).

     Kelly Timothy Lynch     ||    "Dei potentia est       ||  ipsa ipsius essentia."
   Toronto, Ontario, Canada  ||         Spinoza

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