from Will to power

556 (1885-1886)

A ”thing-in-itself” just as perverse as a ”sense-in-itself,” a ”meaning-in-itself.” There are no ”facts-in-themselves,” for a sense must always be projected into them before there can be ”facts.”

The question ”what is that?” is an imposition of meaning from some other viewpoint. ”Essence,” the ”essential nature,” is something perspective and already presupposes a multiplicity. At the bottom of it there always lies ”what is that for me?” (for us, for all that lives, etc.)

A thing would be defined once all creatures had asked ”what is that?” and had answered their question. Supposing one single creature, with its own relationships and perspectives for all things, were missing, then the thing would not yet be ”defined”.

In short: the essence of a thing is only an opinion about the ”thing.” Or rather: ”it is considered” as the real ”it is,” the sole ”this is.”

One may not ask: ”who then interprets?” for the interpretation itself is a form of the will to power, it exists (but not as a ”being,’ but as a process, a becoming) as an affect.

The origin of ”things” is wholly the work of that which imagines, thinks, wills, feels. The concept ”thing” itself just as much as all its qualities.–Even ”the subject” is such a created entity, a ”thing” like all others: a simplification with the object of defining the force which posits, invents, thinks, as distinct from all individual positing, inventing, thinking as such. Thus a capacity as distinct from all that is individual–fundamentally, action collectively considered with respect to all anticipated actions (action and the probability of similar actions).



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