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The Will to Power

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  8,868 ratings  ·  202 reviews
Nietzsche's notebooks, kept by him during his most productive years, offer a fascinating glimpse into the workshop and mind of a great thinker, and compare favorably with the notebooks of Gide and Kafka, Camus and Wittgenstein. The Will to Power, compiled from the notebooks, is one of the most famous books of the past hundred years, but few have studied it. Here, at last, ...more
Paperback, 575 pages
Published August 17th 2011 by Vintage Books (first published 1901)
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R. [I am the editor and one of the translators of the Penguin edition]. As long as one keeps firmly in mind that this is nothing more than a topically ar…more[I am the editor and one of the translators of the Penguin edition]. As long as one keeps firmly in mind that this is nothing more than a topically arranged collection of notes, just like most of Wittgenstein's "books" are, there's no reason not to read this. People differ about how to take these notes. Insofar as they are notes Nietzsche didn't publish (he was working up to the summer of 1888, set the notes aside, and collapsed a few months later) you can either regard them as the key to his thought and the soil from which the published works spring, or as the thoughts Nietzsche rejected. Neither approach is altogether reasonable. Much is sometimes made of the idea that Nietzsche's sister distorted his thought by what she chose to collect here, but there's really very little evidence that she played a significant role in the editing or that the people who did were trying to push an agenda. Rather, the notes were selected because they emphasized aspects of his thinking which his published writings did not: his thoughts on nihilism, his "philosophy of nature" speculations and related attempts to grapple with some traditional metaphysical and epistemological problems, and some quasi-political thoughts about a future ruling caste. Attitudes towards the book are largely dictated by attitudes towards these last two topics. However that may be, Nietzsche did write these notes down while writing his most famous published works, and they have interest on that basis alone. The advantage of the Penguin edition is that the German text has been thoroughly checked against Nietzsche's manuscripts, eliminating (we hope, completely) discrepancies between the published German "Will to Power" and what Nietzsche actually wrote, and the translation is closer to natural and readable English prose than prior versions. (less)
Being and Time by Martin HeideggerThe Republic by PlatoCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantThus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich NietzscheHegel's Phenomenology of Spirit by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Der Wille Zur Macht = The Will to Power, Friedrich Nietzsche
The will to power is a prominent concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. The will to power describes what Nietzsche may have believed to be the main driving force in humans – achievement, ambition, and the striving to reach the highest possible position in life. These are all manifestations of the will to power; however, the concept was never systematically defined in Nietzsche's work, leaving its interpretation open to debat
Biblio Curious
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What can I say about a book that I enjoyed the experience of reading but would never recommend to folks unless I knew them very well?

Social conventions would dictate: admit that you've read it when at a dinner party & then shuffle the conversation back to Dickens, the lovely Mr. Gaiman or newest Superhero movie. "Leave it alone, don't pick!", your conscience would say.

Well, here on GR, we can pick; it's what we do. Will to Power's a great book. Period. It's also frightfully creepy. It's loaded
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Jul 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
Pernicious nonsense wrapped in twiddle twaddle ramblings while easily being one of the most influential books published in the 20th century. This is the most different of all of Nietzsche’s books while simultaneously epitomizing all of his other writings even to the point of making this book seem unoriginal, something that I’ve never felt with any of his other books. It’s clear that a lot of this book were notes from his other books, and the rest were notes for what would become this book. There ...more
C. Quabela
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I think the most important thing to keep in mind when reading “The Will to Power” is that it is NOT a “book” in the proper sense of the term. It is merely a collection of thoughts and scraps that are extensions of previous thoughts, meditations on works that were being fleshed out at that time, and projections towards future investigations. As Kauffman points out (who, by the way, I became a bit annoyed with throughout this edition with his constant self aggrandizement – despite the fact that he ...more
Apr 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
It seems to me that the only thing more tragic than the fact that Nietzsche was never able to write the Will to Power, is that this hodgepodge of notes and jottings was mistaken for it. Still I am surprised that so many academics simply accepted all the ludicrous claims that it was his masterpiece. There was Heidegger who, perhaps defensively, suggested ignoring the published works in favor of it. And at an even further extreme was Derrida who thought we really ought to be looking more closely a ...more
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Nietzsche makes his world, based on Becoming and Creating, in order to replace (Destroy! God help us!) Plato’s world which was based on Being and Knowing. I should really say Plato’s worlds; after all, Modernity and its various Ideologies are also, for Nietzsche, Platonisms that have descended into nihilism …That is the difficulty, ‘Worlds’, even philosophically manufactured worlds, tend to fragment over time. It is exactly as Heidegger somewhere indicated; nihilism is not the destructio
Rebecca Bratten
Sep 27, 2007 rated it liked it
The lack of coherent structure in this work which may delight such lovers of disorder who might like to claim poor Fritz as their own is, in sooth, due to the unfortunate fact that Will to Power was not really written by Nietzsche. His sister, who appears to have gotten the short end of the genius stick in the family (and was thus deeply anti-semitic) collected her favorite of her brother's aphorisms which he had never intended to publish. At the time he was laid up in bed, sick and a maniac, so ...more
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities—I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not—that one endures.”
Dyary Abubakr
Nietzsche's magnum opus, the crown of his philosophy, the book that has been accused of creating a world war, the book that some held as their bible, the book that took me seven months to finish, the book that influenced the Nazis.


It is long, hard-reading book and it is not really a book written by Nietzsche himself, it is a collection of his notes which he wrote in his most productive years of his life, he was trying to finish his philosophy, to create a new valuation for the world after he ha
Mohamedridha Alaskari محمد رضا العسكري
This is not a book, it is set of essays for Friedrich published after his death, which I consider it as a rich text of him. Very accurate and informative essays. It can be used as a reference for the writers.

Absolutely deserves five starts as well as the translation was excellent.
Scriptor Ignotus
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I approached The Will to Power with some caution, knowing that it is not a refined and completed work but rather a collection of Nietzsche’s previously-unpublished writings, organized thematically. Readers are justified in wondering just how heavy an editorial hand was exercised upon this work by Friedrich’s tawdry, conniving bitch of a sister, who shared some of his mental instability but none of his intelligence.

That being said, there’s not much evidence that the actual content of the writing
Brent McCulley
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Simply a fascinating look into the creative period of one of the most enigmatic and profound minds in German history, Nietzsche's "Will to Power" offers a unique look simply because in contradistiction to his polished published books, this is merely a collection of his most interesting notes arranged topically by editors and published after his death. What is most remarkable about this fact is how so many people could actually mistake this work for a supposed crowning systematic philosophy. Clea ...more
Erik Graff
Oct 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nietzsche fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: philosophy
When it comes to Nietzsche I have been prejudiced by the work of Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. Kaufmann, who translated most of the philosopher's works, clearly cared for his subject and attempted a positive reconstruction of the man in his biography of him as well as in his translations. His work as akin to that of an honest scholar of Christian antiquity who happens to be Christian himself.

Consequently, Kaufmann's attempt to fabricate his subject's unpublished manuscripts into a fair r
May 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the final years of his sane life, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, decided to work out a new philosophical programme – a philosophy for the future philosopher. After destroying religion, philosophy, science and morality in his earlier works, and hinting at a future ‘new species’ of man which would take back its freedom to act, the only reasonable thing left do – or so one would think – was to sketch the path to this new species.

Nietzsche was planning to publish this new programme in a work h
Billy Roper
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent treatise not on separating oneself from the herd, but recognizing your separateness and actualizing it. Not for slaves or snowflakes.
Andrew Olsen
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books-1
The Will to Power is an incomplete book. It was one that Nietzsche fully intended to complete but was never able to because he contracted syphilis and was unable to complete any more complete books.

Through the compilation of the notebooks we get a rough sketch of the ideas of will to power, eternal recurrence and some genuinely polished aphorisms. But if you want to delve deeply into the ideas of Nietzsche's philosophy please read any number of his other books. For example: The Genealogy of Mora
Sep 20, 2015 added it
Shelves: philosophy
"In order to sustain the theory of a mechanistic world, therefore, we always have to stipulate to what extent we are employing two fictions: the concept of motion (taken from our sense language) and the concept of the atom (=unity, deriving from our psychical "experience"): the mechanistic theory presupposes a sense prejudice and a psychological prejudice...

The mechanistic world is imagined only as sight and touch imagine a world (as "moved") --so as to be calculable-- thus causal unities are in
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
The most purely philosophical and easily digestible summation of Nietzsche's ideas, written by Nietzsche himself. Whether you agree with him or not, well, of course, that's your choice. If you agree with all of his aphorisms, well, I think you should perhaps go on a some sort of inhibitor of some kind, or perhaps become a French postmodernist. I'm very glad Nietzsche's ideas exist and are discussed, even if I believe they are almost all reactionary and critical, rather than creating some solid f ...more
Ivan Soto
Sep 16, 2011 rated it liked it
The editor Walter Kaufman says that everything a reader can understand about Nietzsche's philosophy is available from his completed books. The Will to Power is a compilation of notes from Nietzsche's manuscripts, organized by a publisher, that were either included in his published books or were notes of work in progress or work planned. The book still adds fascinating insight into Nietzsche's way of recording and dwelling on his ideas, and lends emphasis to one of his central concerns: human nat ...more
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's very interesting to compare this translation with the one my mother owns. This is newer than hers and it's based on more recent scholarship and a more complete original version. This translation negates much of the interference of Nietzsche's sister and her husband (who edited and reorganized his work to push their own antisemitic beliefs). The sense of Nietzsche's meaning and values in this newer version is profoundly different - and sometimes contradictory - to the translation that was st ...more
Dec 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Book has given me so much. Above all, the work did turn upside-down everything I considered a good, proper or moral...true that in 1999 I was very Young and my personality wasnt yet developed...I have to add, that understanding latin, speaking spanish, german and english, was easier to read, I only needed some help for translation of french citates and it did enlarge my horizon...Time has come again and I will read it once again...I will add a note to present You the difference of understanding ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I reread The Will to Power recently and I absorbed, yet again, another set of meaning from this work.
Pros: Nietzsche makes me laugh and say "No he didn't!" quite often.

Cons: He switches between making up his own history and then whining about it quite often. But c'mon, it's Nietzche.

Overall: I didn't go all out on my review here mostly because there are dozens of volumes of commentaries on Nietzsche's work out there. I liked it, but I can't think of another person I would recommend it to.
Sabina Manolache
Fair to say this is not an easy book. not sure if I should even call it a book, it's more of a collection of notes put together into "Books" with each a different theme. I particularly enjoyed this book, although it took me so long to finish it. The penguin edition especially is very helpful with the notes at the end. Great book! would recommend to people who want to learn more on Nietzsche's philosophy, not for a light read before bed!
Spencer Endres
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Probably the most pivotal work by Nietzsche in my opinion. Concepts in this book are timeless, and often seem almost scientific in their accuracy and relevancy.
Compared to other philosophy works by other authors Nietzsche seems to write in more straight forward words that the average person would find readable and often entertaining.
Steven Millar
Mar 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
They butchered him, they great mans works subverted for a cause he had no time for. Shows which sibling was ever so wise. The bits that appear to be writen by the man himself are interesting but you can clearly see a switch in style and tone through out the book.
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Too bad he was a Fascist. A really smart Fascist to boot! He wasn't a Nazi because he was not an anti-semite, but a Fascist none the less. Don't let your college professor sugar coat it, Nietzsche was bat-shit crazy, and that's why I love his books!
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book that gets misinterpreted and mangled constantly, by people who probbably have never read it or have no grasp of what it describes. If you're like me you'll love it ;o)
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This text is bizarre, really. It is unlike all of Nietzsche's other works, which is unsurprising, considering it's a collection of notes, rather than something that was intended for publishing. In these notes, we come much closer to Nietzsche the Thinker than Nietzsche as Poet-Priest. There is more rigor, actual argumentation and engagement with the philosophy that Nietzsche has apparently always been opposed to! Fascinating, really.

What does it all amount to? The dream of a madman who thinks h
Kieran McLoughlin
Jan 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
Did not enjoy. I know many appreciate his work, but it just seemed like endless ramblings of his mind jotted down with no work to clarify or explain further and more concise (side note: I know this collection is essentially that, but that still doesn't give it an excuse). Give it a try for yourself, make your own opinions. I read a third or so before deciding enough was enough.
Cristina Chițu
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All that is done in weakness ends in failure.

‘Health and sickness are not two essentially different modes (…) Do not make them into separate principles (…) In reality, between these two ways of being there are only differences of degree; exaggeration, disproportion, disharmony of normal phenomena is what constitutes the diseased state’ (C.Bernard)

‘Objectivity’ or, equivalently, the want of personality, want of will and the inability to love.
‘Passion’ as a name for disorder or intemperance.
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Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality. He was interested in the enhancement of individual and cultural health, and believed in life, creativity, power, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond. Central to his philosophy is the idea of “life- ...more

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“To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities—I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not—that one endures.” 250 likes
“It is a self-deception of philosophers and moralists to imagine that they escape decadence by opposing it. That is beyond their will; and, however little they acknowledge it, one later discovers that they were among the most powerful promoters of decadence.” 98 likes
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