Philosophy | Phenomenology and Existentialism
P535 | 3296 | Eisenberg

Topic: Nietzsche

In this course, on the philosophy of Nietzsche, I want to do three
things:  (1) In response to the many claims (most notably, by
Jaspers) that Nietzsche offers a large number of intriguing
speculations but not a coherent philosophy (since, allegedly, any
given one of his philosophical claims is sooner or later contradicted
by Nietzsche himself), I want to argue (rather than to assume, as
many other interpreters of Nietzsche's work do) that he does offer a
system of thought, especially in his major writings of the 1880's.
(2) I then want to offer an extended overview of that system--more
particularly, I want to present Nietzsche's views on a variety of
important philosophical topics, to show something of the
interconnections between or among various of those views, and to
indicate some of the historically important philosophical sources
from which Nietzsche was working in the development of his positive
views or which he was critiquing.  (3) Lastly, I want to turn to that
work of his which Nietzsche himself regarded--I think rightly--as his
philosophical masterpiece (namely, THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA), and to
discuss it with the students in close detail.  The required readings
will be drawn from all periods of Nietzsche's philosophical career.
Two papers (including an approximately fifteen-page final paper) will
be assigned, and there will be a final exam.  Graduate students in
Philosophy wishing to use this course for distribution credit may use
it for such credit EITHER in history (the course standardly carries
credit in that area) OR ELSE in value theory (provided that the final
paper is devoted to some topic pertaining to Nietzsche's ethics,
philosophy of art, or socio-political philosophy).