Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

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

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the central problems that Nietzsche claims to have diagnosed.
  • the concepts and arguments that he draws upon.
  • how those concepts and arguments relate to issues in other areas of philosophy, for instance to issues in ethics, metaphysics and epistemology.
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.
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.


The syllabus may vary from year to year. Topics may include: - 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.

Independent Study117
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

F Nietzsche. On the Genealogy of Morals. 

M Tanner (1994). Nietzsche. 

B Leiter (2002). Nietzsche on Morality. 

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

F Nietzsche. Beyond Good and Evil. 



Draft piece


MethodPercentage contribution
Commentary 33%
Commentary 67%


MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


No additional costs have been associated with this module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings