The Schopenhauer-Schule was a group of original and diverse thinkers working in the wake of a common inspiration. This paper elucidates Nietzsche’s relationship with these thinkers specifically as concerns their intertwined theories of will. It shows that despite his efforts to suppress and ridicule them, Nietzsche was influenced by the Schopenhauer-Schule and adopted several of their alterations to Schopenhauer. But it will also show that Nietzsche was a heretical member of this school in the sense that his theory of will was not only different from theirs but also subversive. Whereas each member of the Schopenhauer-Schule posits a realist ontology of will, Nietzsche’s perspectivism undercuts the possibility of their ontological realism and puts in its place a semiotical system of expression. As a result of this contextualized framework, Nietzsche’s will to power is revealed, not as an intended reference to a real “thing” in the world, but as a symbol that expresses his perspective about an unknowable reality.
© 2021 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston