Nietzsche and Habermas on Wille zur Macht: From a Metaphysical to a Post-Metaphysical Interpretation of Life

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In this article, Shea aims to overturn Jürgen Habermas's characterization of Nietzsche in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity as a postmodern irrationalist. On Habermas's account, Nietzsche employs Wille zur Macht both as a principle by which to invalidate the claims of metaphysics and as a primordial " other " to reason that unmasks reason as an expression of domination. If Habermas's reading is correct, Nietzsche's work is ultimately incoherent since it either lapses back into metaphysics or puts forward a self-refuting anti-metaphysics. Contrary to Habermas, Shea argues that Nietzsche's theoretical inquiries result from a considered methodological decision on the part of Nietzsche to suspend metaphysical interpretations. For this reason, Wille zur Macht can be read as the fabrication of a post-metaphysical principle for interpreting life rather than as a purported insight into the ultimate nature of reality and thus as a genuine alternative to the trappings of both metaphysical and anti-metaphysical philosophies.

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