Nietzsche in a New Key: The Informatic Will to Power

Prof Daniel White
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Nietzsche's rethinking of philosophy as a form of writing, as an art of textuality and signs, has made him a herald of the information age. As Friedrich Kittler has argued, Nietzsche wrote in a "telegraphic" style in which signifiers and their meanings were reorganized for the postal and wire systems emerging in the late 19th century industrial world where "The topology and economics of the signifier [were] more a matter for the engineers than for Renaissance philologists" (Discourse Networks, p. 190). Indeed, Nietzsche's conception of power (Macht) in conjunction with his idea of the sign (Zeichen) suggests the reanimation of language by productive forces — the printing press, the telegraph, the telephone, and later radio, film, television, and myriad forms of digital communication. The key contribution made by Nietzsche to technology and philosophy was his radical reinvention of the power of the sign so that new forms of communication and knowledge might emerge simultaneously. Nietzsche's Will to Power was, in effect, a dynamics of the process of signification (epitomized by Derrida's notion of différance) which would lead to an informatics modeling the generation of everything from organisms to poetry, in a new ecology of communication.

Keywords: Nietzsche, Informatics, Cybernetics, Communication, Ecology
Stream: Aesthetics, Design, Language, Linguistics, Knowledge, Philosophy, Ethics, Consciousness, Globalisation, Cyberspace, Technology, Science, Environment and the Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Nietzsche in a New Key

Prof Daniel White

Professor, Honors College, Florida Atlantic University

Ref: H05P0550