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Heidegger's Critique of Nietzsche's Philosophy

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Table of contents

  1. Heidegger’s Critique on Nietzsche
  2. Heidegger’s Critique on Simone de Beauvoir
  3. Conclusion

Heidegger’s Critique on Nietzsche

In his critique on Nietzsche’s philosophy, Heidegger sates a philosophy that is apparently the consummation of Western metaphysics. According to his arguments, Heidegger believes that Nietzsche’s philosophy is a representation of the epitome of modern nihilism, which is the ultimate manifestation of the nihilistic impulse that is rooted into the Western metaphysics right from the start. In his critique, he asserts that Nietzsche’s philosophy comes from the last metaphysician of the West whereas Nietzsche is considered the first metaphysician thinker.

Heidegger critiques the Nietzsche’s assertion about the will to power in his philosophy. Nietzsche’s assertion on the will to power asserts that the will to power as well as time are unlimited. The assertion is probably based on the likelihood of endlessly rescheduling a limited will to power over an unlimited time. Nietzsche holds that the procedure repeats itself severally as the world changes. His philosophy of the will of power is a description of how he perceives the world to be (Heidegger 412).

In his analysis on the will to power, Heidegger emphasizes that the metaphysics of presence is the interpretation of the present being. Heidegger holds that the metaphysics of presence also includes the distinction between the world of being and the world of future occurrences in the alleged doctrines of Nietzsche on the will to power (Rasmus – Vorrath 44).

In Nietzsche’s doctrines, he claims to have abolished metaphysics as he also abolishes the dualism that exists between appearance and reality. The present being and the future existence in the world, as well as the presence and the absence entail the dualism that Nietzsche describes. He asserts that the varying pairs of the opposites are found blended together in the will to power and the external recurrence of the same

. According to his doctrines, there is no territory of absolute presence, perfect identity and total rest. External recurrence of the same is a concept that brings in the idea of matter having both inert and animate dimensions. Matter is described to have the tendency of either being in motion or at rest. However, matter is said to have a characteristic that leads to its movement from its fall by its own power. The characteristics of matter, therefore, give room for order to dissolve back into chaos.

Heidegger critics the doctrines of Nietzsche, based on an assertion that is twofold. His philosophy makes an assertion against that of Nietzsche that the basic elements of Platonism still exist in Nietzsche. Additionally, he makes an argument that Nietzsche fails to understand the commitment that it takes for one to overcome metaphysics.

Heidegger also argues that the doctrines asserted by Nietzsche on external recurrence and the will to power are definitions of metaphysics in two different ways. To begin with, Heidegger notes that the accounts of external recurrence and the will to power still have the possibility of buying into the metaphysics of presence. Heidegger notes that recurrence is the making permanent of what becomes as well as thinking about how secure what becomes is, in the time of its beginning. On the contrary, Nietzsche thinks about making permanent the presence as a way of self-recapitulation of the identical (Rasmus -Vorrath 50).

Heidegger adds to his critique on Nietzsche that the external recurrence of the same and will to power are held as fundamental determinations of beings as a whole. The more elusive and difficult claim defines will to power as the strange coinage of the identity of beings and external recurrence of the same as the coinage of the identity of beings in a different manner. His philosophy, therefore, creates a distinction that defines and sustains metaphysics. Heidegger asserts that the identity of beings refers to the fact that it is as opposed to the idea of its non-existence.

Platonism in Nietzsche’s philosophy is the identity of a particular being when it is endorsed by its form. For instance, a particular dog has its identity since it is related to the form of a dog. Similar to man, his identity belongs to that of human beings. Platonism, therefore, explains the essence of the identity of particular beings by its materiality (Lozar 122).

In critique of the assertions, Heidegger holds that the plutonic distinction exists in the difference between the will to power and the external recurrence of the same. Will to power states the identity of all beings; thus, it corresponds to the Platonic form. External recurrence of power also names the existence of beings; hence, it corresponds to the instantiation of the Platonic form. Heidegger differentiates will to power from external recurrence as the principle of power and the latter the principle of identity. Heidegger notes that Nietzsche fails to overcome the dualism in his doctrine; thus, he does not also overcome metaphysics (Lozar 123).

Heidegger thinks it is vital to overcome metaphysics by thinking about his distinctive topic. He asserts that the distinctive matter in his doctrines gives and takes way the different epochs of the history of being. Heidegger notes the significance of thinking the truth of being and the exact meaning of being (Lozar 124).

Heidegger’s Critique on Simone de Beauvoir

Heidegger also interprets Simone de Beauvoir’s philosophical work in relation to his doctrines. The interpretation of Beauvoir on disclosure is in accord with the characterizations that highlight different aspects. Beauvoir’s interpretation is also in many respects, true to Heidegger’s development of the concept of time and being. Beauvoir describes Dasein while emphasizing the disclosure, which is the revealing aspect. On the other hand, Heidegger describes Dasein as disclosure and a clearing in. the linguistic differences result in some connotative differences between the two philosophy experts.

Heidegger critics Simone de Beauvoir based on her relationship with other philosophy thinkers such as Sartre. Heidegger claims that Sartre was a chronic womanizer whom in their relation with Simone de Beauvoir, constantly lied to each other and others that they easily manipulated. Simone de Beauvoir is noted by Heidegger to be betraying and manipulating others as objects of her incessant need for satisfaction. There is a disjunction between philosophy and the philosopher; thus, Heidegger notes his politics to be of much intellectual achievements.

Simone de Beauvoir is also critiqued by Heidegger based on her existential ethics. Her notions of ambiguity and disclosure are argued against by Heidegger who draws his theories to finer threads. Simone de Beauvoir defines the position of women in the society as that which is of the low social hierarchy because of their duties. Simone de Beauvoir also specifies the major role that women play to be sex as social norms are defined in the society in favor of males. She also notes that a man needs to operate under the constraints of gender, whereby he cannot undertake some roles. Simone de Beauvoir asserts that such constraints enable man to feel himself as a simple human who is under pure subjectivity (Simons 210).

Simone de Beauvoir, in her doctrines, notes that there is no reason why women should be treated in a particular subservient way. She recognizes the historical treatment of women as a failure and contingency to make the kind of choices in the society. Moreover, she asserts that the choices people make today would have an impact in the future. The lives of thousands of teenagers would be unfairly impacted due to such unfair choices that people have made in the past (Simons 213).

On his position on history, Heidegger asserts that the existence of man is to be historical. However, he is against Simone de Beauvoir’s claim that one simply finds himself/herself at a particular moment in history, conceived as a linear series of events. His assertion on historical existence of being means that selfhood has a strange structure that exists temporarily whereas its origin is historical. For instance, the temporal structure of women in the society could change over time but the origin of the history remains the same, and can be narrated as a series of events. According to Heidegger, the future of man recollects the past to give meaning to the present, which is of much significance in light of what ought to be done (Card 49).


In conclusion, Heidegger’s critique on Nietzsche and Simone de Beauvoir is based on his interest in ontology; the study of beings. He attempts to analyze human existence in terms of being and time in respect to its temporal character and historical character as well. Heidegger’s critique on other thinker’s works brings to the readers’ knowledge that the thinkers share little in common as they have different approaches to encounter various concepts.

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