Nietzsche and Critics

Subject PHIL20038 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty-two contact hours per semester: two 1-hour lectures per week for the first 11 weeks and a 1-hour tutorial per week beginning the third week of semester
Total Time Commitment: An average of 8.5 hours each week
Prerequisites: At least one first-year philosophy subject, or permission from the subject coordinator.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: as per prerequisites.
Non Allowed Subjects: Previously available under the title Nietzsche and the Dream of Reason and as Nietzsche and Hegel; also previously available as a level 3 subject with the code 672-359 Students who have completed 672-359 or Nietzsche and the Dream of Reason (161-236) or Nietzsche and Hegel (161-236) are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website :


Mr Sean Bowden


Assoc Prof Christopher Cordner

Subject Overview:

Much philosophy in 19th century Europe reflects almost unlimited confidence in the power of reason to master not only the natural world, but the human world as well. Alongside this confidence, however, there exists deep scepticism about reason, even hostility towards it. A central figure in the second camp is Nietzsche. This course explores Nietzsche's attacks on reason in relation to one or more other philosophers who centralise reason in a way to which Nietzsche is hostile. The other philosopher(s) will usually be from the 19th century eg Kant or Hegel or Schiller, but may also be a figure from elsewhere in the history of philosophy who matters to Nietzsche"s radical critique, for example Socrates.


Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • understand some of the key themes of Nietzsche"s thought.
  • have developed a deeper understanding of some of the philosophical ideas against which Nietzsche was reacting.
  • be able to bring to bear this understanding on their other studies, inside and outside philosophy.
Assessment: A written assignment of 2000 words 50% (due mid-semester), a 2-hour closed-book written examination 47% (due at the end of semester) and tutorial participation 3%.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available at the University Bookshop at the start of semester.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • develop their ability to think critically.
  • be able to express their ideas more clearly.
  • develop a sense of where the limits of philosophical argument lie.
Links to further information:
Notes: This subject satisfies the third-year breadth requirement for third-year students in the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedicine when taken in 2010 only.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology and Social Theory
European Studies
European Studies Major
Philosophy Major
Philosophy and Social Theory
Social Theory

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