This chapter analyzes Nietzsche’s most important psychological concept, the drive (Trieb or Instinkt). Drives are non-conscious dispositions that generate affective orientations. They take a two-part complement, having both an aim and an object. The aim is the drive’s characteristic form of activity; the object is adventitious, a chance occasion for expression. Drives dispose the agent not to realize any particular end, but merely to engage in their characteristic form of activity. Accordingly, they are not satisfied by the attainment of their objects. Nietzsche argues that drive-motivation is pervasive—all of our actions, he thinks, are produced by drives. This has a host of important consequences that are explored in the following chapters.
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