After recommending three papers with which to begin reading Nietzsche scholarship, my friend responded with several questions, responses to which I wanted to address here. I thought others might find the discussion helpful or want to offer their own thoughts.
The papers I recommended were “The Will to Power” chapter of Reginster’s monograph, The Affirmation of Life, and both of Katsafanas’s “Value, Affect, Drive” and “The Concept of Unified Agency in Nietzsche, Plato, Schiller”.
In reaction to these papers, the following questions arose:
(1) Why is there a limiting of the will to power to human psychology; can’t we understand all life as the will to overcome resistance?
(2) Is it possible to suppress drives (through habituation and training) or are they with us for good?
(3) Does Nietzsche’s distinction between life-affirming and life-denying apply to drives? (e.g., some of our drives are life-affirming and others not so)
(4) Is Nietzsche’s point in writing the way he does an attempt to elicit certain kinds of affections that will allow us to perceive the world and understand what’s valuable differently?
(5) Does the will-to-life/will-to-power distinction map onto life-affirming/life-denying or slave/master distinctions or not?
(6) Nietzsche talks about these blonde beasts of prey who subjugated the slavish to their will. Is Nietzsche giving an historical account (does he think this literally happened)?