The Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche

The Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche

When it comes to discussing the works and ideas of the nineteenth century's greatest minds and philosophers, undoubtedly you will hear the name Frederick Nietzsche brought up time and time again. Frederick Nietzsche is one of the most read and debated philosophers of the 19th century and focused his work mainly on morality, religion, science, and society. Some of his most popular works of literature revolve around the ideas of existentialism, perspectivism, the Death of God and the Will to Power. Because of his seemingly blasphemous view on religion, Nietzsche wasn't well respected among his peers but fortunately over time his opinions on multiple ideas and concepts have garnered much attention and a dedicated following of believers.

Friedrich Nietzsche: Nietzsche was born in 1844 in the small town of Rocken, Prussia. He attended private school as a child and was particularly fond of the discussion of Religion, given his Christian background in him home city. In 1868, Nietzsche became the youngest professor of Classics ever when he accepted the professor position at the University of Basel where he taught Classical Philology, which is the study of the classic languages such as Greek, Sanskrit and Latin. After serving in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-1871, Nietzsche began to delve deeper into the Art of Philosophy and began crafting lectures and essays on his ideas. In 1872, he published his first work The Birth of Tragedy. He went on to publish 13 more works on philosophy prior to going insane in 1889. He eventually died in 1900 due to health complications.

After his death, Nietzsche's works became increasingly popular among the philosophical community at large as well as several high level politicians and world leaders. Hitler used multiple aphorisms taken from Nietzsche's work in his own autobiography Mein Kampf. Theodore Roosevelt, Charles De Gaulle, and Mussolini were some of the other prolific leaders who were avid readers of Nietzsche's work. Although he became more popular after his death, his ideas and concepts weren't without much debate and controversy. One of his most controversial works is that of The Will to Power.

Will to Power by Friedrich Nietzsche: According to Wikipedia The will to power is a prominent concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. The will to power describes what Nietzsche believed to be the main driving force in man; achievement, ambition, the striving to reach the highest possible position in life, these are all manifestations of the will to power.

Alfred Adler incorporated the will to power into his individual psychology. This can be contrasted to the other Viennese schools of psychotherapy: Sigmund Freud's pleasure principle (will to pleasure) and Victor Frankl's logotherapy (will to meaning). Each of these schools advocate and teach a very different main driving force in man. The relevance of gender and cultural differences in the application of these theories to universal humanity and non-human life is a source for serious concern among many scholars. The will to power has been "identified in nature in the dominance hierarchies studied in many living species" In other words, many different philosophical concepts have been based off of Nietzsche's Will to Power as it seems to be the most simplistic urge of man and thus is found basically in everything we do whether it be strive for success, strive to find love, or strive to gain power.

In essence, the Will to Power states: that man's ultimate driving force is that of asserting their will upon others by being ambitious enough to gain power or strength whether it is financially, physically, intellectually or politically. Furthermore, since all men possess this Will to Power, there is essentially a plethora of power struggles taking place simultaneously among all men as they clamor for power over each other. Nietzsche once stated: My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (its will to power) and to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement ("union") with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the process goes on.

In modern times, the term Will Power has become quite popular and is used daily in regards to personal motivation as well as the journey of self fulfillment of ones desires. It is stated that one must have strong will power in order to accomplish their goals in life as life's external stressors simultaneously seek to corrupt one's values, morals, intentions or actions while in pursuit of a goal. Although Will Power and Nietzsche's Will to Power are somewhat related, they have their differences as well.

Will Power can be succinctly defined as The strength of will to carry out one's decisions, wishes, or plans. It can be argued that will power is essentially the method that one uses in order to achieve Nietzsche's Will to Power. Although Nietzsche's Will to Power seems to carry with it negative connotations it isn't inherently so as you can assert power over another person without negatively affecting them. Examples of this can be seen within the family as well as government. In a family structure, there is one or two dominant forces-the parents. The parents assert their power over their children in order to guide them in the right way. In government, the government asserts its power is seemingly the same way, for the betterment of society as a whole.

In order to assert your power or have a Will to Power, one must first have will power as will power is necessary in order to carry out one's plans for success. Once you have will power, you have the ability to focus on a goal and keep from straying from that goal. This allows you to effectively and efficiently ascertain the power in which you seek which in turn allows you to assert this power upon others. In the end, the modern concept of will power is a necessary value to obtain in order to actually successfully accomplish Nietzsche's Will to Power.

19th century philosophers
There are several reasons why the two 19th century philosophers, Friedrich Nietzsche and Soren Kierkegaard, should be compared. Both of them were not respected and recognized while they lived, in fact neither of them became popular before several decades after their death. The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard died in 1855 and Nietzsche was born in 1844, so they are not exactly contemporary with each other.

You can read more about Soren Kierkegaard in my InfoBarrel article: The Philosophy of Life Found in Soren Kierkegaard Quotes
And read more about Friedrich Nietzsche at:
The Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche: