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June 18 - June 24

Kenyon Summer Seminar

Nietzsche's 'Beyond Good and Evil,' And Where That Left Us

Instructor: Fred Baumann, Professor of Political Science, Kenyon College


Since the late 19th century, Nietzsche has remained the single greatest stumbling block facing any thinker who wants to make rational sense out of the world and how we live in it. Existentialism, "post-modernism," all the fashionable doctrines that dominate the humanities, and even some of the social sciences in the academy and the larger world are footnotes to Nietzsche. Nietzsche’s 1886 book Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future reveals the enormous power of radical relativism and details the reasons Nietzsche thinks this is, despite everything, potentially good news. Led by professor of political science Fred Baumann, this class will reflect on some of the logical consequences of the truth of such a stance, as well as possible reasons to doubt its truth—and determine what Nietzsche thinks a truly noble life is and get a chance to compare it to our own and to what we think of as laudable.

Download the syllabus for this course.