Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 15, Issue 5/6, 2005

Kinds of an Ways to Wisdom

Hope K. Fitz
Pages 43-53

Nietzsche’s Philosophy of the Will to Power as a Kind of Elan Vital and Creative Expression

In this paper I argue that, for Nietzsche, the will to power is a kind of élan vital, i.e., vital impulse, force or drive. In living creatures, it is a drive to express their natures. In human beings, it is complex and must be developed in stages. The initial stages include becoming independent and striving for freedom of spirit and expression. Of the few that achieve the last stage, some will become the Übermensch or superior persons who will achieve great creative acts and in so doing enhance the capabilities of all humans. Nietzsche spoke as if he were one of the free spirits, but implicit in his writings is the idea that he is an exemplar of the Übermensch.