Friedrich Nietzsche: Philosophizing with a Hammer
Cross-listed as REL354 / COMP351
This is not the current course catalog
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: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, weekly responses, 10- to 12-page final paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Enrollment Preference: In-depth seminar on a difficult philosopher who we'll be reading closely.
Distributions: Division II;
Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under REL; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP
Attributes: PHIL Related Courses