The Dennes Room

Philosophy 183

Fall 2014

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
183 Schopenhauer & Nietzsche Kaiser TuTh 11-12:30 20 Wheeler

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

The course offers a systematic comparison of both philosophers’ interpretations of life and human 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 the nature of the will and human drives; the relation between the intellectual ego and the bodily self; language and truth; and the diagnosis and evaluation of nihilism.

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, including 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).

Previously taught: SP13, SP12, SP10, SP06.