Philosophy 190

Fall 2015

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
190 Proseminar: Nietzsche on Ethics & Aesthetics Kaiser TuTh 9:30-11 234 Moses Hall

As taught this semester, this course may satisfy the 160-187 requirement for the major.

Nietzsche’s approach to the question of the meaning of life was centered around a radical rethinking of the relation between ethics and aesthetics as the two main areas of human self-expression. Already his early account of the Apollonian and the Dionysian art drives aimed at a model that would foster both sources of energy within a productive unity. Later on in his ‘Zarathustra’ and other less ‘literary’ writings Nietzsche questions deep-seated metaphysical and psychological assumptions about selfhood and personal development. Nietzsche’s genealogical approach to morality, intertwined as it is with the question of aesthetic ‘education’, provokes us to rethink the question of valuing at the basis of ethics and aesthetics.

Texts to be studied include the ‘The Birth of the Tragedy’, ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’, the ‘Genealogy of Morals’, and excerpts from other writings and late notes. [We will also look at some recent papers by leading Nietzsche scholars relevant to the discussed topic.]

Admission to the seminar is by instructor’s approval only. If you are interested in taking the seminar please apply directly to me via email ( briefly detailing in a couple of sentences the courses you’ve taken and your interest in this seminar. Decision about admission will be made by the end of June. However, a few seats will be reserved until the 1st week of the semester.

Previously taught: SP15, FL14, SP13.