User account

Kieran Aarons (ed.), Reiner Schürmann, ...: Modern Philosophies of the Will

Reiner Schürmann, Kieran Aarons (ed.), Francesco Guercio (ed.)

Modern Philosophies of the Will

Softcover, 192 pages

PDF, 192 pages

How did the will come to dominate the self-understanding of the modern subject? What lies at the root of the megalomania of desire that defines human experience in the age of global technology? In Modern Philosophies of the Will, Reiner Schürmann traces a philosophical archeology of the willing subject from Ancient Greece into the 20th century.


Through a series of original readings of Kant, Schelling, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, Schürmann uncovers the strategic interplay of submission and command that sets the stage for the will’s epochal “triumph,” while hinting at possibilities of subverting its mastery over both the self and the world. With an appendix offering a polemical critique of Hannah Arendt’s The Life of the Mind, as well as an editorial afterword contextualizing these lectures in Schürmann’s broader work, this volume will be of value to specialist and student alike.

  • 7


  • 9–13

    List of Abbreviations

  • 15

    Edition Guidelines

  • 17–25

    Historical Introduction

  • 27–73

    Part I: Rationality and Irrationality of the Will

  • 75–108

    Part II: The Ontological Turn in the Philosophy of the Will

  • 109–115

    Part III: Legislation and Transgression

  • 117–124

    Appendix: The Time of the Mind and the History of Freedom. Review of Hannah Arendt, »The Life of the Mind«

  • 125–153


  • 155–179

    Afterword: The willing animal to whom nature must conform

  • 181–189

    Tentative Chronology of Reiner Schürmann’s Courses at the New School for Social Research

  • 190–191

    Lecture Notes of Reiner Schürmann at the NSSR— Pierre Adler’s Inventory (1994)

  • Heidegger
  • Nietzsche
  • Kant

My language

Selected content

Kieran Aarons

teaches political philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. His articles have appeared in Theory & Event, Mute Magazine, Hostis, and elsewhere. He is the translator of François Zourabichvili’s Deleuze: A Philosophy of the Event, as well as many other articles in French and Italian philosophy. He is currently completing a book on the concept of destituent power, linking the philosophies of time and festivity in Furio Jesi and Giorgio Agamben to contemporary social and ecological movements.

Francesco Guercio

is a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought at the European Graduate School. His doctoral research has focused on late Reiner Schürmann’s published works and unpublished materials—which he is also translating into Italian. He is the editor of Reiner Schürmann’s The Philosophy of Nietzsche, Modern Philosophy of the Will (co-ed. with K. Aarons), and Le origini (Italian trans. by F. Scabbia).
Other texts by Francesco Guercio for DIAPHANES
Reiner Schürmann

Reiner Schürmann

(1941–93) was a German philosopher. He was born in Amsterdam and lived in Germany, Israel, and France before immigrating to the United States in the 1970s, where he was professor and director of the Department of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York. He is the author of three books on philosophy: Heidegger on Being and Acting, Wandering Joy, and Broken Hegemonies. Origins is his only work of fiction. He never wrote nor published in his native German.
Other texts by Reiner Schürmann for DIAPHANES