Philosophy 183

Spring 2012

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
183 Schopenhauer & Nietzsche Kaiser TuTh 2-3:30 20 Wheeler

Schopenhauer’s pessimism and Nietzsche’s forceful ‘affirmation of life’ seem to be worlds apart from each other. On closer analysis though, the two philosophies are interestingly related. In addition, many of Nietzsche’s central theses can be understood properly only against the background of Schopenhauer’s thought.

The course offers a systematic comparative study of both philosophers’ interpretations of life (or existence). Particular attention will be paid to the role of art and the function of aesthetic experience in their accounts of life. Other topics to be discussed include nihilism, the nature of the will and the drives (instincts), and the relation between the rational intellect and the bodily self.

Readings will include selections from Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation and central texts by Nietzsche from the different phases of his philosophy.

Enrollment by instructor’s approval only. Students who would like to enroll should write a brief email to the instructor (at detailing their background in philosophy and their interest in the course.

Previously taught: SP10, SP06.