Philosophy | Phenomenology and Existentialism
P335 | 0481 | Eisenberg
Topic: Kierkegaard and Nietzsche
NOTE: This section is a COAS Intensive Writing Section and also
requires registration in COAS W333.
Working independently of one another, the Danish thinker Soren
Kierkegaard (813-1855) and the German Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
are now usually seen as the two “fathers” or founders of the very
important movement in modern philosophy known as existentialism. In
this course, which will carry intensive-writing credit, we shall
examine many of the principal views of both thinkers, including their
critiques of modern society and their ideas about what a really good
life for a human being is or would be. On this latter topic their
views were radically different from one another, since Kierkegaard, a
theist, argued that the “great man” or woman has to be a profoundly
religious person, whereas Nietzsche, an atheist argued that the “free
spirit” must be one who creates his or her own values.
Readings for the course will include the following works, in whole or
in part: Kierkegaard’s Either/Or, Repetition, Fear and Trembling, the
Sickness unto Death, and The Point of view for My Work as an Author,
and Nietzsche’s “On Truth and Lie in the Extra-Moral
sense, “Schopenhauer as Educator, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Twilight of
the Idols, and Ecce Homo.
The final grade will be based on a mid-session and a final exam, both
of the essay type, and on two papers (the first approximately five
pages in length; the second, approximately fifteen pages).