Topics Worth Investigating

  1. Compare Nietzsche's view of life as the "Will to Power" with Glaucon's account in Plato's "The Ring of Gyges." Do both accounts presuppose a state of nature prior to the development of society? How would social contract theory regard the so-called "master-morality"?

  2. Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann suggests that master-morality is revealed in the Iliad, and the slave-morality is indicated by the New Testament. Characterize the main ethical suppositions of both of these works. Does your characterization support Kaufmann's observation?

  3. Compare Nietzsche's concept of the "Will to Power" with Alfred Adler's insight that Nietzsche's "Will to Power" is not essential to human nature, but is, in fact, a neurotic pattern of behavior based on a "fictional goal" created by the individual in order to cope with the demands of society.

  4. Explain Nietzsche's observation that love as passion is of noble or master origin. The origin Nietzsche cites is the "gai saber," the "gay science," of the medieval troubadour. What does he mean when he asserts Europe almost "owes itself" to these poet-cavaliers?

  5. Compare Nietzsche's notion of "will to power" with C. G. Jung's insight: "Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other."[1]



C. G. Jung, On the Psychology of the Unconscious in Collected Papers. 1917.