Volume 84, Issue 2, Spring 2010
Teleology, Purpose, and Power in Nietzsche
Nietzsche subjects traditional philosophical causality to a skeptical critique. With the moderns, he rejects form as superficial. Against the moderns, he finds
physical laws and their ground in a free consciousness equally superficial, and he thinks that the principle of utility is ultimately life denying. However, Nietzsche
is not a skeptic, and he has his own doctrine of causality centered on the noble power of the philosopher. The philosopher has the ability to impose new purposes, and this power is the culmination of nature and history. The philosopher believes himself to be a kind of exemplar cause, the consummation of the whole. His is not an instrumental good but one sought for its own sake.