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Fall 2023 Course

Nietzsche for Lawyers

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

“Truly speaking, “wrote Emerson “it is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul.” In this course, we”ll read selections by Nietzsche [plus one book: The Genealogy of Morals] in that spirit. The premise is that provocation by this Master Provocateur may be just the therapy that law students need. One former law student, after all, advised that anything we read “must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” [Kafka.]

In our last meeting, we’ll discuss a great movie: Deer Hunter.

No prior study of Nietzsche is needed. His biography; his “intent”; the phases of his twenty-year career; the context [historical, philosophical] in which he wrote; his interpretation by others; indeed “the” meaning of his writing … all of that fosters erudite avoidance … and so will be out of bounds. The course is for “amateurs” able to take Nietzsche’s passionate, enigmatic words personally – and, so, able to be provoked by them.

Each student will volunteer to initiate discussion of at least one passage or problem each week. Short final paper required.