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Nietzsche's System$
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John Richardson

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195098464

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195098463.001.0001

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(p.73) 2 Becoming
Nietzsche's System

John Richardson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how this power ontology could be compatible with Nietzsche's frequent assertion that the world is “not being but becoming.” That appears to rule out any ontology – understood as a “theory of being” – but I argue that it instead expresses a surprising new ontology, which insists on process (what's real are processes not states) and contextuality (what's real are relations not individuals). I develop this theory of becoming in relation to Plato's formative discussion of being/becoming, arguing that Nietzsche retains far more than we expect or he implies. The chapter then returns to other parts of his system to show their temporal content. For example, the types master–slave–overman each involves a specific temporal stance – in particular the overman's stance involves willing or embracing eternal return.

Keywords:   becoming, contextuality, eternal return, Nietzsche, Plato, process

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