I've read somewhere that Nietzsche argues that destruction is always necessary in order to create, I think that the reference was to "thus spoke Zarathustra" but I couldn't find it myself.

so, I'm looking for specific references to this kind of argumentation, preferably in Nietzsche, but honestly, anything similar may be great!

Another direction - a definition of plastic art as making form out of matter, through destruction of the initial form.

Thank you!

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    "Whoever must be a creator always annihilates", Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 6427, Kauffman's translation. The thought is not original to Nietzsche, who applies it primarily to morality:"And whoever must be a creator in good and evil, verily, he must first be an annihilator and break values. Thus the highest evil belongs to the highest goodness: but this is creative", 6520. See Hicks, Nietzsche and Creative Destruction in Economics for related musings by Nietzsche and others.
    – Conifold
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


Below is what I found relevant to your question referenced from here of Nietzsche's "thus spoke Zarathustra"

Through valuation only is there value; and without valuation the nut of existence would be hollow. Hear it, ye creating ones!

Change of values -- that is, change of the creating ones. Always doth he destroy who hath to be a creator.”

In addition, postmodern Deconstructionism which is influenced by Nietzsche sounds in line with your philosophy of "plastic art as making form out of matter, through destruction of the initial form". In its essence, deconstruction views binary oppositions as incapable of collapsing into a synthesis free from the original contradiction, in contrast to Hegelianism which believes binary oppositions would produce a (united) synthesis...


Creative destruction is mentioned in The Will to Power, as active nihilism. This can be introduced with some contextual preamble from Heidegger.

Heidegger, Off the Beaten Track (Brief quotes from pages 158, 162, 166 & 167)

In keeping with the essential involvement of metaphysics (an involvement that metaphysics itself demands and seeks anew time and again) with the sciences, themselves the offspring of metaphysics, preparatory thinking must also move now and then in the area of the sciences because in many different shapes they are claiming still to predetermine the fundamental form of knowledge and the knowable, either knowingly or through the nature of their validity and effectiveness. ...

Since Plato, or more accurately, since the late Greek and the Christian interpretations of the Platonic philosophy, this realm of the supersensory has been considered the true and actually real world. In contrast to it, the sensory world is only the unreal this-worldly world, the changeable and therefore the merely apparent world. ...

Metaphysics, which for Nietzsche is Western philosophy understood as Platonism, is at an end. Nietzsche understands his own philosophy as the countermovement against metaphysics, i.e., for him, against Platonism. ...

In a note from 1887, Nietzsche poses the question (The Will to Power, aphorism no. 2 ): "What does nihilism mean?" He gives the answer: "That the highest values devalue themselves." ...

i.e. the Platonic ideal of rationalism dismantles Platonism itself.

By nihilism, Nietzsche understands the devaluation of the hitherto highest values. Yet at the same time Nietzsche finds himself affirming nihilism in the sense of a "revaluation of the highest values." The name "nihilism" is therefore ambiguous; seen in relation to its extremes, it always has two meanings from the start, in that it designates the pure devaluation of the former highest values, but at the same time it also means the absolute countermovement to devaluation.

Nietzsche, The Will to Power, Aphorism 23

Nihilism, a normal condition. ...

It reaches its maximum of relative strength, as a powerful destructive force, in the form of active Nihilism.

As for art . . . Aphorism 449.

According to Aristotle, Philosophy is the art of discovering truth. On the other hand, the Epicurians, who availed themselves of Aristotle's sensual theory of knowledge, retorted in ironical opposition to the search for truth: "Philosophy is the art of Life."

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