The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche : The Great Courses: Modern Philosophy

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Kathleen M. Higgins, Professor Robert C. Solomon
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern Philosophy
  • 12 hrs and 16 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Who was Friedrich Nietzsche? This lonely and chronically ill, yet passionate, daring, and complex man is perhaps the most mysterious and least understood of all contemporary philosophers. Why are his brilliant insights so relevant for today? How did he become the most misinterpreted and unfairly maligned intellectual figure of the last two centuries?
To provide shape to Nietzsche's thought, each of these 24 lectures focuses on specific ideas that preoccupied Nietzsche while tracing the profound themes that give meaning to his work. You'll get a chance to put Nietzsche's life and work in a larger historical and philosophical context. You'll explore the controversial philosopher's subtle, complex critique of both religious belief and Greek rationalism.
You'll also spend a wealth of time focusing on Nietzsche's famous writing style, which deftly combines the majesty of the prophet, the force of the Homeric warrior, and the lyricism of the poet - but which nonetheless is rife with inconsistencies, exaggerations, and personal attacks. And you'll get a better understanding of Nietzsche's complaints and criticisms of the intellectual currents of his time: Christian moralism, evolution, socialism, democracy, and nationalism.
As you make your way through these lectures, you'll discover that Nietzsche, even at his most polemical and offensive, exudes an unmistakable enthusiasm and love of life. In fact, you'll see that his exhortation to learn to love and accept one's own life, to make it better by becoming who one really is, forms the project that is the true core of his work.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Engaging Course

This is a very comprehensive course on Nietzsche. Not just his works and his thoughts, but there is a rather helpful and contexualizing of his life as well.

It's a real pleasure to listen to lecturers who love their subject. A few, though by no means all, of these Courses series are taught by people who have a really selective preference for certain parts of what their teaching, but not all of it, and it shows.

Professors Higgins and Solomon are tremendous fans of Nietzsche's work; it comes through in their passion and enthusiasm for the topic and it makes some of the harder-to-grasp concepts presented much easier to take on board.

I also really appreciated some of the back and forth, dialogic style of the presentation. It made the apologetics more vibrant and fertile.
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- Madeleine "Audiobook addict."

Questionable Interpretations

What would have made The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche better?

A different set of professors/lecturers would have been potentially better. Professor Solomon's and Higgins' interpretations of Nietzsche are sometimes highly suspect. I'm not a professional philosopher, but I have spent a fair amount of time studying and reflecting upon Nietzsche's works with the aid of secondary literature.

For example, early on in the lectures, Professor Solomon insists that Nietzsche isn't a moral relativist in the strictest sense. This is a very questionable reading of Nietzsche's moral philosophy. While I am aware that Nietzsche saw the rise of nihilism as a problem for humanity, the most plausible interpretation of his works clearly suggests that he was a moral anti-realist. For this reason, it seems as though Professor Solomon is trying to fit Nietzsche into his own worldview rather than representing the philosophy more objectively.

Not all of the lectures are as disappointing. The lectures on Amor Fati and Nietzsche's virtue ethics are interesting and on point for the most part.

My biggest complaint is Professor Solomon's narration style. It reminded me of why I often despise the lecture format for learning in general. It turns out that "how you say it" does indeed matter just as much as "what you say."

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Very dull delivery.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


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- mylifeisnotthesame

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses