Heidegger’s Nietzsche Volume 1: The New Interpretation of the Sensuous. P212-213

“The sensuous in itself is directed towards overview and order, toward what can be mastered and firmly fixed”

The sensuous is form engendering – it finds in itself a “direction” towards abstraction, idea, for the sake of getting a hold on, fixing. The sensuous grasps and calcifies, sediments. The direction is towards enhancement as an increase of preservation – the increase in mastery is fixated and becomes part of the base. What is the sensuous?

“What lives is exposed to other forces, but in such a way that, striving against them, it deals with them according to their form and rhythm…”

Life is exposed, but not as a brute passivity. Live is exposed in that it can’t but strive with forces. Striving opposes. But not diametrically – striving is sensitive to the form and rhythm of forces. Exposed live strives in “accord” with the form and rhythm of forces – it takes up those rhythms for itself. But why?
“…in order to estimate them in relation to possible incorporation or elimination.”

Life strives in the exposure to forces in accord with their rhythm (form and rhythm is only a way of saying being and becoming – but since ‘becoming’ is itself a fixation, we can leave out form – as it serves to help us forget that all grasping is fixing), but not for no reason. This accord has the purpose of “incorporation or elimination”. Being as life has the character of will to power, preservation-enhancement, for the sake of willing. Since stagnation is already a decline, every striving must either incorporate or eliminate the force that opposes it. Thus striving could never be diametric opposition, glorified stasis. “Opposition” only for the sake of enhancement (incorporation) or preservation (elimination)!

“The angle of vision, and the realm it opens to view, themselves draw the borderline around what it is that creatures can or cannot encounter” (Lizard example)

We are now in a position to interpret transcendence according to Nietzsche’s notion of life as the sensuous. It means: interpretation is primordial. There is no force which life encounters prior to life grasping that force’s form and rhythm in a striving for the sake of culminating in an adoption or elimination. The encounter is itself the striving in accord with rhythm for the sake of adoption/elimination. Life does not first encounter the force and then gear into the accord. Life’s “gearing into the accord” (which certainly does happen) is only possible because it already had a (provisional) grasp on the rhythm. The angle of vision does not first open a view, and then draw a borderline around what it can or can’t encounter. The idea of a being which it cannot encounter is a third person abstraction! Being is nothing but encounterability, and “a being” is nothing about the encountered. Grasp the Lizard example more primordially: we can only grasp the lizard as not encountering the gun shot because “not encountering” is an interpretation of the accord we find ourselves in striving with/against forces. Inadequacy of Lizard example: makes it appear to be the case that the Lizard has a view out towards the real which only allows in certain beings, between “borderlines” – actually, beings are only that which show up within these angles of view! Beings (things) are not prior to Being (angle of view). These borderlines are the limits of the sensuous, the limits of the accord between beings striving against each other in accord with the rhythm of forces, each with the purpose of eliminating or adopting the movement/shape of the other. These limits are ontological.

“Now, in the “organic” there is a multiplicity of drives and forces, each of which has its perspective. The manifold of perspectives distinguishes the organic from the inorganic. Yet even the latter has its perspective; it is just that in the inorganic, in attraction and repulsion, the “power relations” are clearly fixed. The mechanistic representation of “inanimate” nature is only a hypothesis for purposes of calculation; it overlooks the fact that here too relations of forces and concatenations of perspectives hold sway.”

Organic/Inorganic is a “hypothesis for the purposes of calculation” – it is a way we get a grip on the rhythm of forces in order to preserve/enhance. But the inorganic is just as “alive” according to the essence of life – angle of view, perspect, point of force, accord in strife. When we see points of force (beings are always in strifing-accord with forces that oppose them) as a fixed set of relations, we call that comprehensible, fixed, inorganic. Deleuze calls all of the organic essentially inorganic, “abstract machines”, “assemblages” for precisely this reason – they are complexes of forces which can be entirely fixed, and understood in abstraction of the particular instantiation those forces find themselves in. Where the power relations are fixed, we find the inorganic. Since “becoming” is itself a fixation, everything grasped as organic, as a power relations “in becoming”, is potentially graspable as inorganic. But Heidegger moves here in the opposite direction – the inorganic is organic. Organic thus does not mean “internal relations”, i.e. something about the relations is not abstractable, thus the complex of relations is not an assemblage. Rather, organic means life/perspect/the accord in the striving between forces. Distinction is not epistemic. Or rather, the distinction organic/inorganic is epistemic (inorganic is a hypothesis for the purpose of calculation), but the organic is not determined by the distinction. The organic is the essence of the real:

“Every point of force per se is perspectival”

“The sensuous is no longer the “apparent”….Semblance itself is proper to the essence of the real.



  1. This may interest you:

    Heidegger and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
    Get out of your cubicle, and get those cuticles dirty!
    By Michael Agger
    Updated Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at 12:17 PM ET

    When Matthew Crawford finished his doctorate in political philosophy at the University of Chicago, he took a job at a Washington think tank. “I was always tired,” he writes, “and honestly could not see the rationale for my being paid at all.” He quit after five months and started doing motorcycle repair in a decaying factory in Richmond, Va. This journey from philosopher manqué to philosopher-mechanic is the arc of his new book, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work. It’s appropriate that it arrives in May, the month when college seniors commence real life. Skip Dr. Seuss, or a tie from Vineyard Vines, and give them a copy for graduation.


  2. 1 п. “Не имей сто друзей, а имей сто шекелей” тоже хорошо рифмуется 🙂
    8 п. Ты никогда не потеряешь работу. Когда закончатся фотографии можно размещать рисунки (да хоть бы и конкурс объявить на лучший рисунок Одри (-:), аппликации и фотографии поделок из пластилина…
    9 п. Сто пудов ! 🙂


  3. I often find the term “life” and its specific aspects are not given enough consideration in Nietzsche’s thought. I don’t think a blanket vitalism will suffice. However, you might be interested in checking out Bergson.

    Additionally, I think you could express your ideas about the inorganic and the organic in a much clearer manner. It gets especially confusing when you write things like the following,

    “Distinction is not epistemic. Or rather, the distinction organic/inorganic is epistemic (inorganic is a hypothesis for the purpose of calculation), but the organic is not determined by the distinction. The organic is the essence of the real:”


  4. That’s why Heidegger works out what nietzche means by “life”. VItalism is weak. Don’t read Bergson. Bergson is entirely surpassed by Being and Time. Read the Nietzsche courses! Again!


  5. I should re-read Heidegger’s Nietzsche, but that would be a massive undertaking. I’ll add it to the list. Until then, I’ll just have to settle with my enjoyment of your analysis of passages. Bergson might be surpassed, but parts are still useful. Lose one little debate to Einstein about the nature of the universe and suddenly everyone forgets you are a super genius.


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