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PHI 95 — Nietzsche and His Progeny: Heidegger, Foucault, and Kittler

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 9 weeks
Date(s): Oct 5—Dec 7
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Oct 7
Units: 2
Tuition: $530
Instructor(s): Josef Chytry
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Aug 22, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on November 23
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Oct 5—Dec 7
9 weeks
Refund Date
Oct 7
2 Units
Josef Chytry
Registration opens Aug 22, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on November 23
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Friedrich Nietzsche is generally recognized as one of the more scandalous figures in the history of Western philosophy, and certainly the most irascible. This course introduces the student to Nietzsche’s body of work primarily as summed up in his master concepts: the will to power, the eternal recurrence, and the superman. It then traces the wide and convoluted history of his legacy primarily through two succeeding thinkers: Martin Heidegger for German thought and Michel Foucault for French thought. We will analyze Heidegger’s attempts to absorb Nietzsche’s will to power concept into his own metaphysics as a forgetfulness of being, and his efforts to articulate a postmetaphysical thinking while wrestling with the problem of modern technology, fully recognizing Heidegger’s problematic relationship to German National Socialism. Turning to Foucault, we will compare his admiration for Heidegger’s reading of Nietzsche and his own exploitation of the Nietzschean concept of genealogy to develop new and influential interpretations of power and resistance with his later efforts to outline a new aesthetics of existence. Finally, we will look at Friedrich Kittler’s Nietzschean explication of current media theory.

Whether or not students agree with the tenor of Nietzsche’s legacy, the goal of this course is to deepen understanding of why such thinking against the grain has exercised an enduring influence on contemporary thinkers and academic disciplines.

Familiarity with European intellectual history is helpful but not required.

Senior Adjunct Professor and Director, Centre for Aesthetics and Politics, California College of the Arts; Founding Managing Editor, Industrial and Corporate Change, UC Berkeley

Josef Chytry is the author of Cosmotheism: Cytherean Sitings between Heraclitus and Kittler; The Cytherean Cycle: Rhea Silvia, Paris Alexandros, Nausikaa; and The Aesthetic State: A Quest in Modern German Thought. Chytry was an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellow in philosophy at the University of Tuebingen. He received a DPhil in politics and the history of ideas from the University of Oxford and a Master of International Affairs (MIA) from Columbia.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Friedrich Nietzsche (Author) R. J. Hollingdale (Translator) , Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and No One (ISBN 978-0140441185)
(Required) Friedrich Nietzsche (Author), R. J. Hollingdale (Translator) , The Twilight of the Idols and the Anti-Christ: or How to Philosophize with a Hammer (ISBN 978-0140445145)
(Required) Martin Heidegger (Author), Gregory Fried (Translator), Richard Polt (Translator), Introduction to Metaphysics (ISBN 978-0300186123)
(Required) Michel Foucault (Author), Alan Sheridan (Translator, Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison (ISBN 978-0679752554)
(Required) Friedrich A. Kittler (Author), Erik Butler (Translator), The Truth of the Technological World: Essays on the Genealogy of Presence (ISBN 978-0804792547)