REL 354
Friedrich Nietzsche: Philosophizing with a Hammer Spring 2018
Division II
Cross-listed REL 354 / COMP 351
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In one of his last major writings, Twilight of the Idols (Götzen-Dämmerung, 1889), Friedrich Nietzsche described his project as an attempt to sound out various established philosophical truths or intellectual “idols,” saying, “they will be touched here with a hammer as with a tuning fork, these are the oldest, most convinced, puffed-up, and fat-headed idols you will ever find…And also the most hollow.” To be sure, Nietzsche directed his often combative prose against everything from traditional religion to philosophy itself. Nietzsche is one of the most frequently cited and most frequently misunderstood philosophers of our current era. By reading Nietzsche’s writings in context, this course will attempt to liberate Nietzsche from his later reputation. We will think with and sometimes against Nietzsche, focusing on his notions of religion, mythology, power, morality, and enlightenment, and we will pay special attention to his reflections on the limits of reason/knowledge. Along the way, students will get a new sense of Nietzsche’s most famous theoretical formulations including “the death of God,” the Übermensch, and the split between Dionysian/Apollonian modes of thought.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3366
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, weekly responses, 10- to 12-page final paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: In-depth seminar on a difficult philosopher who we'll be reading closely.
Distributions: Division II
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under REL; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
REL 354 Division II COMP 351 Division II
Attributes: PHIL Related Courses

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