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PHI 90 — Overcoming the Tradition: Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Arendt

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Virtual
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jun 25—Aug 13
Time: 6:45—9:05 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Jul 8
Units: 2
Tuition: $490
Instructor(s): Frederick M. Dolan
Status: Closed
Please Note: This is a virtual course. Click here for more information about our course formats, including FAQs. These class sessions will be recorded for later viewing.
Summer
Virtual
Thursdays
6:45—9:05 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Jun 25—Aug 13
8 weeks
Drop By
Jul 8
2 Units
Fees
$490
Instructor(s):
Frederick M. Dolan
Closed
Please Note: This is a virtual course. Click here for more information about our course formats, including FAQs. These class sessions will be recorded for later viewing.
An oft-repeated theme over the last two centuries of philosophy has been the need for a radical criticism and overhaul of the entire Western tradition. Karl Marx (1818–1883) told us that everything we believed about human history was wrong, and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) was similarly dismissive of our moral commitments. Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) announced that the tradition was tainted because it had ignored what he called “the question of being,” a notion he formulated for the very first time. Finally, Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) argued that our inherited political categories prevent us from appreciating what is truly significant about political action itself. Each of these thinkers, moreover, attributed some conspicuous ills of modernity (alienation for Marx, nihilism for Nietzsche, technology for Heidegger, and the atrophy of political judgment for Arendt) to defects in the tradition from which they are attempting to free us. This course provides an opportunity to evaluate the arguments, ideas, and aspirations of these four pivotal thinkers.

Frederick M. Dolan, Professor of Rhetoric, Emeritus, UC Berkeley

Frederick M. Dolan’s interests include political and moral philosophy, theories of interpretation, and aesthetics and the philosophy of art. He received a PhD from Princeton.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) ed. Eugene Kamenka, The Portable Karl Marx (ISBN 014015096X)
(Required) ed. Walter Kaufmann, Basic Writings of Nietzsche (ISBN 9780679783398)
(Required) Martin Heidegger, Heidegger:Basic Writings, 2008 edition (ISBN 0061627011)
(Required) Arendt, ed. Baehr, The Portable Arendt (ISBN 9780142437568)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)