Philosophy 183

Spring 2013

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
183 Schopenhauer & Nietzsche Kaiser TuTh 11-12:30 122 Wheeler

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

The course offers a comparative study of both philosophers’ interpretations of life and human existence. Topics to be studied include their accounts of the role of art and the function of aesthetic experience; the nature of the drives (will); the relation between the intellectual ego and the bodily self; and the diagnoses and evaluation of nihilism.

Readings from Schopenhauer’s philosophy will be drawn mostly from his famous The World as Will and Representation. The relevant works by Nietzsche span the different phases of his philosophy. We will concentrate on key selections from The Birth of the Tragedy, The Gay Science, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, The Genealogy of Morals and his posthumously published late notes (Will to Power).

The course is intended for junior and senior philosophy majors. 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: SP12, SP10, SP06.