Spring 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
The work of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) has exerted a peculiar influence over the cultural-intellectual life of both Europe and America over the past century. Few continental philosophers are as widely known--and few have affected the interpretation of politics and aesthetics as powerfully as Nietzsche. And yet despite all of this attention and engagement no consensus has emerged over whether his works should be embraced or shunned. On the contrary, Nietzsche continues to provoke controversy and conflict. Among political philosophers he is still appropriated by those on the left as well as on the right. Among gender theorists he is attacked as a reactionary and sometimes praised as a kind of proto-feminist. Among cultural critics his works get read as high modernist tracts and/or as postmodern puzzles. I would like to read him in his own context this semester and try to help us come to our own decisions about his work by focusing on the texts themselves.
We will begin our semester by reading some short essays from his early work on "The Greek State," "Homer on Competition" and "On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense." We will then turn to a reading of his major texts--Thus Spoke Zarathustra, The Genealogy of Morality, The Will to Power, and Twilight of the Idols. By reading a variety of texts from a twenty-year period I want both to provide an overview of his thoughtpath and establish a hermeneutic context within which to develop a theory of literary authorship.
The Nietzsche Reader, ed. K. Ansell -Pearson
The Will to Power
Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Hollingdale translation)
Twilight of the Idols
Philosophy and Truth
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
Course requirements include TWO ESSAYS –the first 5pp. essay (30%) the second 8-10 pp. essay (60%). Classroom participation will constitute 10% of the grade (based on quality of insight) and ATTENDANCE.