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PH924-30 Nietzsche

Department
Philosophy
Level
Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Andrew Huddleston
Credit value
30
Module duration
10 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

This module provides an advanced introduction to Nietzsche, one of the most seminal thinkers in the tradition of continental philosophy.

Module aims

In this module, we undertake an in-depth study of one of Nietzsche’s most important and difficult books Beyond Good and Evil (1886). In it, Nietzsche treats a wide variety of themes, including the nature of philosophical enquiry, the search for truth, the motivations of metaphysics, the constitution of the human psyche, the sociology and psychology of Judeo-Christian morality, the structure of society, the ideal of nobility of soul, and many other themes. We will proceed methodically through the main sections of the text, paying particular attention to the relevance of the structure and style of Nietzsche’s presentation for understanding the philosophical content.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Background Reading:

Keith Ansell-Pearson and Christa Davis Acampora (eds.), Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil: A Reader’s Guide (Continuum, 2011).

Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick, The Soul of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil (Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Rolf-Peter Horstmann, “Introduction” to Beyond Good and Evil [in Judith Norman trans. of BGE, Cambridge University Press, 2002)].

Michael Tanner, “Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil” Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures 20:197-216 (1986).

Main Text:
I recommend the translation of Beyond Good and Evil by Walter Kaufmann (Vintage Books,1966). The translation by Judith Norman (Cambridge University Press, 2002) is also good.

Each week I give the main reading from BGE, followed by a couple readings from the secondary literature to discuss in the seminar. I give further readings as well for those wishing to go into more depth. (Some of the secondary readings are of course relevant to multiple weeks, but I’ve included them where they seem most apposite, given the passages discussed.)

Week 1: Preface
Beyond Good and Evil, “Preface.”

Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick, The Soul of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil (Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 1-29.

Ken Gemes, “Life’s Perspectives,” in the Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche, ed. Ken Gemes and John Richardson (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Further Reading:

Mark Alfano, “Nietzsche’s Affective Perspectivism as a Philosophical Methdology,” in Nietzsche’s Metaphilosophy: The Nature, Method, and Aims of Philosophy, ed. Matthew Meyer and Paul Loeb (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

R. Lanier Anderson, “Truth and Objectivity in Perspectivism,” Synthese 115:1 (1998), 1-32.

Laurence Lampert, Nietzsche’s Task: An Interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil (Yale University Press, 2001), p. 1-17.

Robert Pippin, “Figurative Philosophy in Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil,” The New Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Week 2: On the Prejudices of Philosophers

Beyond Good and Evil, “On the Prejudices of Philosophers.”

Jessica Berry, “The Will to a System, Nietzsche on Philosophy as Psychopathology” in The Nietzschean Mind, ed. Paul Katsafanas (Routledge, 2018).

Nadeem Hussain, “Nietzsche’s Positivism,” European Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):326–368 (2004).

Further Reading:
Maudemarie Clark & David Dudrick, “Nietzsche’s Post-Positivism,” European Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):369-385 (2004) [replying to Hussain above, overlaps with below]

Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick, The Soul of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil (Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. 30-112; 137-243.

Scott Jenkins, “Nietzsche’s Psychology of Metaphysics, or Metaphysics as Revenge” in Nietzsche’s Metaphilosophy: The Nature, Method, and Aims of Philosophy, ed. Matthew Meyer and Paul Loeb (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Peter Poellner, Nietzsche and Metaphysics (Oxford University Press, 1995), esp. p. 1-57.

Week 3: Free Spirit and the Essence of Religion

Beyond Good and Evil, “The Free Spirit” and “What is Religious.”

Maudemarie Clark, Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 1990), Ch. 7, esp. p. 217-227.

Robert Pippin, “Nietzsche’s Masks: Philosophy and Religion in Beyond Good and Evil,” in Nietzsche’s Metaphilosophy: The Nature, Method, and Aims of Philosophy, ed. Matthew Meyer and Paul Loeb (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Further Reading:
Keith Ansell-Pearson and Christa Davis Acampora, Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil: A Reader’s Guide, p. 53-97.

Rebecca Bamford, “The Relationship between Science and Philosophy as a Key Feature of Nietzsche’s Metaphilosophy,” in Nietzsche’s Metaphilosophy: The Nature, Method, and Aims of Philosophy, ed. Matthew Meyer and Paul Loeb (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Laurence Lampert, Nietzsche’s Task: An Interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil (Yale University Press, 2001), p. 61-99.

Bernard Reginster, “What is a Free Spirit? Nietzsche on Fanaticism,” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 85 (1):51-85 (2003).

Week 4: Epigrams and Interludes
Beyond Good and Evil, “Epigrams and Interludes”

Jill Marsden, “Nietzsche and the Art of the Aphorism,” in A Companion to Nietzsche, ed. Keith Ansell-Pearson (Blackwell, 2006).

Alexander Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature (Harvard University Press, 1985), Ch. 1.

Further Reading:

Keith Ansell-Pearson and Christa Davis Acampora, Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil: A Reader’s Guide, p. 98-109.

Laurence Lampert, Nietzsche’s Task: An Interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil (Yale University Press, 2001), p. 137-145.

Week 5: Natural History of Morals
Beyond Good and Evil, “Natural History of Morals.”

Paul Katsafanas, “Nietzsche’s Moral Methodology” in Nietzsche’s Metaphilosophy: The Nature, Method, and Aims of Philosophy, ed. Matthew Meyer and Paul Loeb (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Maudemarie Clark, “Nietzsche’s Immoralism and the Concept of Morality,” in Nietzsche, Genealogy, Morality, ed. Richard Schacht (University of California Press, 1993).

Further Reading:
Raymond Geuss, “Nietzsche and Morality” and “Nietzsche and Genealogy” in his Morality, Culture and History (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

Brian Leiter, “Nietzsche and the Morality Critics,” Ethics 107 (1997), 250-85.

Week 6: Scholars vs. Philosophers of the Future
Beyond Good and Evil, “We Scholars.”

Alexander Nehamas, “Who Are the ‘Philosophers of the Future’?” In Reading Nietzsche, ed. Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins (Oxford University Press, 1988).

Paul Loeb, “Genuine Philosophers, Value Creation, and the Will to Power: An Exegesis of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, §211,” in Nietzsche’s Metaphilosophy: The Nature, Method, and Aims of Philosophy, ed. Matthew Meyer and Paul Loeb (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Further Reading:
Ken Gemes, “Nietzsche’s Critique of Truth,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research LII: 1 (1992), 47-65.

Paul Loeb, “Nietzsche’s Futurism,” in Journal of Nietzsche Studies 49:2, 253-9.

Harold Langsam, “Nietzsche and Value Creation: Subjectivism, Self-Expression, Strength,” Inquiry 61:1 (2018), 100-113.

Week 7: Our Virtues
Beyond Good and Evil, “Our Virtues.”

Melissa Lane, “Honesty as the Best Policy: Nietzsche on Redlichkeit and the Contrast Between Stoic and Epicurean Strategies of the Self,” in ed. Mark Bevir, Jill Hargis & Sara Rushing, Histories of Postmodernism, (Routledge, 2007).

Gudrun von Tevenar, “Nietzsche’s Objections to Pity and Compassion,” in Nietzsche and Ethics, ed. Gudrun von Tevenar (Peter Lang, 2007).

Further Reading:
Mark Alfano, “The Most Agreeable of All Vices: Nietzsche as Virtue Epistemologist,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21:4 (2013).

Mark Alfano, Nietzsche’s Moral Psychology (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Edward Harcourt, “Nietzsche and Eudaimonism,” in Nietzsche and Ethics, ed. Gudrun von Tevenar (Peter Lang, 2007).

Alan White, “The Youngest Virtue,” in Nietzsche’s Postmoralism: Essays on a Prelude to Philosophy’s Future, ed. Richard Schacht (Cambridge University Press, 2001).

Week 8: Peoples and Fatherlands
Beyond Good and Evil, “Peoples and Fatherlands.”

Nicholas Martin, “‘We Good Europeans’: Nietzsche's New Europe in Beyond Good and Evil,” History of European Ideas 20 1:3, 141-44 (1995).

Diane Morgan, “Nietzsche and National Identity,” in A Companion to Nietzsche, ed. Keith Ansell-Pearson (Blackwell, 2006).

Further Reading:

Hugo Drochon, Nietzsche’s Great Politics (Princeton University Press, 2017)

Ken Gemes, “The Biology of Evil: Nietzsche on Degeneration (Entartung) and Jewification (Verjüdung), Journal of Nietzsche Studies 51:1 (2021), 1-25.

Peter Poellner, “Aestheticist Ethics,” in Nietzsche, Naturalism, and Normativity, ed. Christopher Janaway and Simon Robertson (Oxford University Press, 2012), esp. p. 57-60.

Tamsin Shaw, Nietzsche’s Political Skepticism (Princeton University Press, 2007).

Julian Young, Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Week 9: What is Noble?
Beyond Good and Evil, “What is Noble” and “From High Mountains: Aftersong”

Rachel Cristy, “Nietzsche on the Good of Cultural Change,” manuscript

Andrew Huddleston, “Nietzsche on Magnanimity, Greatness, and Greatness of Soul,” in The Measure of Greatness: Philosophers on Magnanimity (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Further Reading:
Maudemarie Clark, “Nietzsche’s Antidemocratic Rhetoric” and “Nietzsche’s Misogyny” in her Nietzsche on Ethics and Politics (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Robert Guay, “Orders of Rank,” in the Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche, ed. Ken Gemes and John Richardson (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Andrew Huddleston, Nietzsche on the Decadence and Flourishing of Culture (Oxford University Press, 2019), Ch. 6.

Gudrun von Tevenar, “Nietzsche on Nausea,” Journal of Nietzsche Studies 50:1 (2019), 58-78.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • By the end of the module students should have a sound and scholarly understanding of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil and important themes from his philosophy as they appear there. They should also be able to discuss incisively and critically key concepts and ideas both in seminar discussions and written work.
Indicative reading list

Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, trans. Walter Kaufmann (Vintage Books, 1966).

Subject specific skills

Close textual reading skills. Hermeneutic skills. Advanced reasoning skills. Fluency in essay writing.

Transferable skills

Strong presentation skills, verbally and in writing. Skills in logical and analytical reasoning. Skills in creative thinking.

Study time

Type Required
Seminars 9 sessions of 2 hours (6%)
Private study 282 hours (94%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Private study and essay preparation

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A2
Weighting Study time
7500 word essay 100%
Feedback on assessment

Feedback on essays will be provided on the coversheet for the essay, addressing standard areas
of evaluation and individual content.

Courses

This module is Option list A for:

  • TPHA-V7PN Postgraduate Taught Philosophy and the Arts
    • Year 1 of V7PN Philosophy and the Arts
    • Year 2 of V7PN Philosophy and the Arts