Volume 63, Issue 1, Winter 2019
Eugen Fink, Catherine Homan, Zachary Hamm
Nietzsche’s Metaphysics of Play (1946)
This lecture from 1946 presents Eugen Fink’s interpretation of Nietzsche’s metaphysics. Fink’s aim here is twofold: to work against the trend of psychologistic interpretations of Nietzsche’s work and to perform the philosophical interpretation of Nietzsche he finds lacking in his predecessors. Fink contends that play is the central intuition of Nietzsche’s philosophy, specifically in his rejection of Western metaphysics’ insistence on being and presence. Drawing instead from Heraclitus, Nietzsche argues for an ontology of becoming characterized by the Dionysian as the temporalization of time and the Apollonian as temporalized in time. The play of becoming is thus the cosmic coming to be and passing away of appearance. Playing, as the creative projection of such a play-world of appearing and concealing, is central to understanding the Nietzschean theme of the will to power as the revaluation of values.