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Reading the Existentialists: Nietzsche  

Friedrich Nietzsche, (1844 - 1900) found himself in the awkward position of distrusting almost everything about the cultural world around him. How is it possible to carve out a meaningful life if traditional sources of value and meaning are undercut? Nietzsche thought of himself as a kind of prophet, warning of disasters to come and advocating an individualism founded on psychological insight. His criticisms of his age were incisive, even bitter. But his proposals were meant to go beyond fixed traditions and express a rigorous authenticity. It is not as heavy as it sounds, mostly because of his humor and outrageous imagination. Each session will have a short introduction, but the main focus will be on discussing the readings. Required reading for this course is “Beyond Good and Evil” by Friedrich Nietzsche (ISBN 97806797246650).

 

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