Resurrecting the will to live: an exegesis of Nietzsche's revaluation of values

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Fogal, Gary G.
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University of Guelph

Under the auspices of Nietzsche's work, I argue, first, that we, both as individuals and as a culture, need to reevaluate the role that has been attributed to reason in our value system, and secondly, that this will entail a reconceptualization of reason itself. According to Nietzsche, the conception of reason that we have inherited--i.e., as the disembodied, unprejudiced, passionless arbiter of human action--promotes 'decadent' values that are appropriate to an unhealthy, diseased will to live that is in fact a negation of life itself. In order to combat this decadence, I argue that we must re-affirm the vital importance of our instincts, and resurrect life-affirming values and a healthy will to live. These life-affirming values stem from, first, recognizing reason as a function and tool of the body--instead of as an independent entity--that works as a part of, and in cooperation with, the instincts, and second, recognizing the certainty that accompanies actions governed by instinct.

Nietzsche, reason, value system, life-affirming values