In response to my last post, commenting an excerpt from William James’s PSYCHOLOGY: Briefer Course (available for free download here) quoted by Adam Kotsko (here), I was asked to explicate my relating it to Nietzsche’s conception of the will.
From a lexical point of view the quote begins with “Will” (“Will you or won’t you have it so?”). Conceptually it attributes to this disposition of the will the highest value (“most probing question”, “deepest organs”) and the effort invested in this willing the source of our value (“the measure of our worth as men”). The will for Nietzsche is a pluralist concept relating to a field of multiple forces with their quantities, qualities, and directions. We can see this formula for the will in an aphorism such as “A yes, a no, a straight line, a goal” where the link to consents and non-consents (plural) is clear. Willing is valuing for Nietzsche. Further the will is metamorphic, so the binary choice is no mere homogeneous distribution but is inseparable from transformatory bifurcations: eg the Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit in THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA. This concept of will affirms our own participation by consent and non-consent in what happens: To redeem what is past in man and to recreate all ‘it was’ until the will says, ‘Thus I willed it! Thus I shall will it!’.