Nietzsche Studien 47 (1):272-313 (2018)

Sebastian Kaufmann
Marquette University (PhD)
Will to Power, Eternal Recurrence, and the Being of Entities. Heidegger’s “Aus-einander-setzung” with Nietzsche. The article examines the internal dynamics of Heidegger’s influential interpretation of Nietzsche, focusing on his lectures written between 1936 and 1942, which form the basis for Heidegger’s two-volume book Nietzsche, first published in 1961. Speaking of Heidegger’s interpretation of Nietzsche is potentially misleading, however, since Heidegger gave a series of different interpretations that contradict one another in some essential points. In the first two lectures from 1936/37, we can still observe a far-reaching identification with Nietzsche as the mastermind of a ‘new beginning’ in the ‘history of being’. Nevertheless, shortly afterwards, Heidegger makes Nietzsche’s metaphysics responsible for the domination of modern technology and thus for the last stage of the ‘forgetting of being’. As such, Heidegger no longer views Nietzsche as a thinker of ‘transition’, but merely as the philosophical founder of a hopeless ‘end time’. Against this backdrop, and after the Second World War, Heidegger declared that this particular critique of Nietzsche entailed an “intellectual resistance” against National Socialism. This assertion is discussed at the end of the article together with Heidegger’s rapprochement with Nietzsche during the early 1950s.
Keywords Eternal recurrence  History of being  Martin Heidegger  National Socialism  Nietzsche lectures  Nietzsche reception  Nietzsche’s Nachlass  Nihilism  Will to power
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DOI 10.1515/nietzstu-2018-0011
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