Mar 28, 2023  
College Catalog 2019-2020 
College Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GERM 314 - Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud

Cross-Listed as PHIL 214  
What happens when God dies? And what if he’s always already been dead? Few authors have pursued the consequences of secular modernity as persistently as Nietzsche and Freud, both of whom were reacting to Darwin’s discovery of natural selection, which did away with nature as proof of God. Focusing on the related domains of ethics, subjectivity, aesthetics, and cultural value, we will explore how modern thought tries, and just as frequently fails, to overcome its religious past. Discussion topics include: the loss of “truth” as a meaningful term; ethics beyond good and evil; alienation, ideology, and false consciousness; art as ersatz-God; mourning, trauma, and transience. Readings include all or parts of: Nietzsche, Daybreak, The Gay Science and The Genealogy of Morals; Freud, Civilization and its Discontents, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, and Totem and Taboo. Requirements: Readings, three papers, weekly reading responses. Prerequisite(s): Not open to entering first-year students. Alternate years. (4 Credits)