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Nietzsche lecture coming up

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Old Main, USU


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• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

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See the details in the Announcement box, on the right. Here is the abstract for Rutherford’s talk:

“Nietzsche’s writings offer pointed challenges to received views in almost every area of philosophy, from metaphysics to ethics.  One question that is too infrequently raised, however, is how Nietzsche conceives of the activity of philosophy itself.  What is the overall goal of philosophy?  What does it mean to think and live as a philosopher?  I canvass a range of answers to these questions, and argue for the distinctive answers that I believe Nietzsche gives to them.  I conclude by describing what I see as the significance of these answers for Nietzsche’s principal philosophical project: the revaluation of all values.”

All are welcome to attend!



  1. Huenemann says:

    Hi, Vince! I’d say you’re part wrong and part right about Nz. First, you’re wrong that he holds the individual up in a kind of privileged spot. On the contrary! He most ruthlessly explores and uncovers all the cultural, biological, and psychological forces that go into constituting the self. Indeed, he even denies the existence of the self, calling it a mere artifact of grammar. What he puts in its place is a tangled ball of various drives, each trying to gain control of the whole complex so that it can have its way.

    But you’re right that, in the end, he thinks it is up to this “artifact of grammar” to impose values upon the world, and your quote from Mussolini does indeed sound like a scary Nzean echo. How can this “ball of snakes” declare there to be values without those values ending up as arbitrary as a fascist’s? Sometimes, I think, Nz tries to bring in “Life” as a kind of deus-ex-machina to solve this problem: the “right” values are the ones that promote Life, the wrong ones are sick. (My essay on “Valuing from life’s perspective” describes how this works.) But other times Nz seems perfectly content to let the relativistic winds blow, and he seems acutely conscious that the consequence of his view will be wanton cruelty. So, in the end, I think you are right to find the view at least worrisome, and maybe loathsome. (As Kleiner says about me: I walk with Nz up to the end, and then I blink!)


  2. […] an earlier context to one of Hitler’s own, personal hero’s, Friedrich Nietzsche (1, 2, 3, 4). He developed a concept of “man and uberman”, or superman (overman, really) that […]


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