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PHIL3007 Nietzsche

Module Overview

Reading the works of Friedrich Nietzsche is both exciting and troubling. He sets out to undermine the basis of many of our beliefs about values. Christianity, he believed, has had a powerfully negative effect on the potential of human beings. His method of ‘genealogy’ seeks to reveal the origins of our present-day values and make us question them. What are our values, and what should they be, if we no longer believe in God? Is morality good for us, or does it stifle great achievements? Why do we hold the values we do? What do our cherished beliefs in the values of compassion, equality, and safety from harm tell us about our own psychology? Are we under illusions about our own identity and freedom? This module will explore these issues through close readings of Nietzsche’s seminal works, On the Genealogy of Morals and Beyond Good and Evil.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

? Introduce to you and explain Nietzsche’s seminal works, On the Genealogy of Morals and Beyond Good and Evil. ? Situate these works in their historical context and with respect to Nietzsche’s other published works. ? Consider the extent to which Nietzsche’s methods and arguments have been acknowledged by subsequent philosophical ethics. ? Enable you to understand and assess Nietzsche’s key claims and ideas.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the central problems that Nietzsche claims to have diagnosed.
  • Demonstrate a solid grasp of the concepts and arguments that he draws upon.
  • Relate those concepts and arguments to issues in other areas of philosophy, for instance to issues in ethics, metaphysics and epistemology.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Undertake, with adequate supervision, independent work, including identifying and using appropriate resources.
  • Work effectively to deadlines.
  • Extract key information from complex texts.
  • Take notes from talks and written materials.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Interpret, synthesise and criticise complex texts and positions.
  • Present and debate ideas, both orally and in writing, in an open minded and rigorous way.

Syllabus

You can expect to explore topics such as: ? The death of God ? Naturalism and genealogy ? The slave revolt ? Ascetic ideals, ascetic procedures ? Truth and perspectivism: the self-overcoming of the ascetic ideal ? Nihilism, the Last Man and eternal recurrence ? The original noble and the sovereign individual ? A counter-art of the soul

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include ? Lectures. ? In-class discussion. ? Individual consultation with the module co-ordinator during office hours or by appointment. Learning methods include: ? Attending lectures and taking notes. ? Participating in class discussion. ? Meeting with the module co-ordinator. ? Doing research for and writing textual commentaries. ? Independent study and revision for exams.

TypeHours
Independent Study117
Teaching33
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

M Tanner (1994). Nietzsche. 

D Owen (2007). Nietzsche’s ‘Genealogy of Morality’. 

B Leiter (2002). Nietzsche on Morality. 

F Nietzsche. On the Genealogy of Morals. 

F Nietzsche. Beyond Good and Evil. 

Assessment

Formative

Commentary

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment  (90 minutes) 50%
Commentary  (1500 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (3 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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