Nietzsche Was No Darwinian



John Richardson (2002, 2004) argues that Nietzsche’s use of teleological notions, such as the “will to power” and psychological “drives,” can be naturalized within the Darwinian framework of natural selection. Although this ambitious project has merit, the Darwinian framework does not provide the strong teleology necessary to interpret Nietzsche’s explanatory project. Examining the logic of selection, the conceptual limitations on biological functions, and the evidential demands that must be met to deploy evolutionary theory show that Nietzsche’s explanatory project does not cohere with the Darwinian framework. Thus, coherence with currently accepted evolutionary theory should not constrain the philosophical project of interpretation in this case.