Universität Wien FIND

180236 LPS Reading Course (2019W)

5.00 ECTS (3.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work

Block-LV Diplom-Lehramt PP
Für Lehramt und MA Ethik

Moodle; Sa 07.12. 13:15-18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock



max. 45 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 10.10. 17:00 - 18:30 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock
Friday 11.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Hörsaal 2G, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/2.Stock, 1010 Wien
Saturday 19.10. 10:00 - 15:00 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 31.10. 15:00 - 20:00 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Thursday 14.11. 15:00 - 20:00 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
Saturday 23.11. 13:15 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock
Saturday 30.11. 13:15 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3B NIG 3.Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

As the zenith of the tradition of both moral philosophy and its critique, Nietzsche’s polemic „On the Genalogy of Morals“ is concerned with uncovering the condition upon which morality – as a distinction between “good” and “evil” – could develop. Nietzsche, in his historical analysis, traces this genesis of morality back to the sociological, political and historical asymmetries of power and the subsequent reactions to them in the formation of a master or slave morality. Following the genealogical method, he traces the development of morality from these conditions, within which the victory of ressentiment becomes more apparent over time as is evidenced in his analysis of guild as the basis for morality. This genealogical lineage culminates in his depiction of the ascetic ideals, whose unconditional “Will to Truth” – operative not only in priests, philosophers, artists, but also non-metaphysical thinkers like atheists and scientists – leads to a negation of life itself. In the confrontation of the ascetic ideals and the crisis of all fundamental values of the Europe of the nineteenth century, a “Will to Nothing” manifests as the dominant cultural sentiment; nihilism. Although having reached the present with his sketch of European nihilism, Nietzsche concludes his book with the philosophical provocation, that the ascetic ideals where so widely accepted simply because we had no alternative ideals to speak of. The positive task of philosophy is therefore to create counter-ideals, strong enough to counteract the current nihilism.
By close reading Nietzsche’s polemic, the philosophical, psychological as well as historical problems necessitating a critique of morals or morality in general will be concretized, the methodological approach (genealogy) tested and the course of the argument reconstructed. Texts by Deleuze, Foucault, Rorty and Irigary will be read tentatively to view certain aspects of the text from multiple angles as well as reflect on them critically. In doing so, the text will not only allow us to reflect on philosophical problems, but also on philosophy as a problem itself, its goals, values and practices. In the end, this will open up the discussion on a philosophy not solely based on arguments.
After visiting the seminar, the students should be able to use the method of genealogy, to know Nietzsche’s course of argumentation immanent to text, to understand an reflect on both in the broader context of the history of philosophy and to grasp its consequences.

Assessment and permitted materials

Active participation (20%), weekly questions on the text (40%), one final essay (40%)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Minimum requirement for passing this class is earning at least 50% on the overall score

Examination topics

The topics for the essays will be based on the problems and questions discussed in the seminar and will be determined individually by the student at the end of the course in conversation with the professor.

Reading list

Works by Nietzsche

Nietzsche, Friedrich: Zur Genealogie der Moral. Kritische Studienausgabe Bd. 5, herausgegeben von Giorgio Colli und Mazzino Montinari, München: de Gruyter 1999.

Works on Nietzsche

Birnbacher, Dieter und Sommer, Andreas Urs (Hgs.): Moralkritik bei Schopenhauer und Nietzsche. Würzburg: Königshausen und Niemann 2013.
Deleuze, Gilles: Nietzsche und die Philosophie. Hamburg: Europäische Verlagsanstalt 2013.
Foucault, Michel: „Nietzsche, die Genealogie, die Historie“, in: ders.: Schriften in vier Bänden. Dits et Écrits, Bd. 2, herausgegeben von Daniel Defert und François Ewald, Frankfurt am Main.: Suhrkamp 1971, S. 166–191.
Höffe, Ottfreid (Hg.): Zur Genealogie der Moral. Klassiker Auslegen. Berlin: Akademie Verlag 2004.
Irigaray, Luce: Marine lover of Friedrich Nietzsche. New York: Columbia University Press 1991.
Rorty, Richard: Kontingenz, Ironie und Solidarität. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 1992.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Tu 01.10.2019 19:08