On ‘causalism’: It’s obvious that things-in-themselves cannot stand in a relation of cause and effect to one another, and neither can phenomena: from which it follows that within a philosophy which believes in things-in-themselves and in phenomena, the concept ’cause and effect’ cannot be applied. Kant’s mistakes – … In fact the concept ’cause and effect’, considered psychologically, only arises from a way of thinking that believes will to be working upon will, always and everywhere – that believes only in what lives and at bottom only in ‘souls’ (and not in things). Within the mechanistic view of the world (which is logic and its application to space and time), that concept reduces to the mathematical formula – using which, as must be emphasized again and again, nothing is ever understood, but is denoted, distorted. The unalterable sequence of certain phenomena does not prove a ‘law’ but a power relation between two or several forces. To say: ‘But precisely this relation remains the same!’ means nothing more than: ‘One and the same force cannot be a different force as well’. – It’s not a matter of one after another – but of one in among another, of a process in which the individual factors that succeed one another do not condition each other as causes and effects…. The separation of ‘doing’ from the ‘doer’, of what happens from a something that makes it happen, of process from a something that is not process but is enduring, substance, thing, body, soul, etc. – the attempt to grasp what happens as a kind of displacement and repositioning of what ‘is’, of what persists: that ancient mythology set down the belief in ’cause and effect’ once this belief had found a fixed form in the grammatical functions of language.
Notebook 2, autumn 1886 – autumn 1886 paragraph 139