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PHILOS 3EE3 Contemp Continental Philos

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Barry Allen

Email: bgallen@mcmaster.ca

Office: University Hall 301

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23463


Office Hours: TBA

Course Objectives:

The Course

Survey course in the philosophy of Nietzsche. We begin with Schopenhauer for background, then read

eight complete books by Nietzsche.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:


Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Presentation (abridged text, available as

coursepack from McMaster Bookstore)

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy (Cambridge University Press)

______________, The Gay Science (Cambridge University Press)

______________, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Cambridge University Press)

______________, Beyond Good and Evil (Cambridge University Press)

______________, On the Genealogy of Morality (Hackett)

______________, The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, and Twilight of the Idols (Cambridge University Press)

Method of Assessment:

Three writing assignments .... 3 X 20%

Final exam ........................... 20%

Attendance ........................... 20%

Writing Assignments

FIRST: Write on a passage from either The Birth of Tragedy or The Gay Science

SECOND: Write on a passage from either Thus Spoke Zarathustra or Beyond Good and Evil

THIRD: Write on a passage from either Genealogy of Morality or Twilight of the Idols

Select one complete numbered section of the text. First, identify the main points of the passage.

Then discuss one (or more) of these points in detail. Explain why it seems important or worth a closer

look. If you like, you can relate it to other passages of the same book or in other books by Nietzsche (or

Schopenhauer). But don’t get carried away! The most important thing is to make your discussion of the

point(s) you single out interesting and philosophical.

Your grade will be a function of two variables: the clarity and correctness of your writing; and the

interest and accuracy of your analysis, observations, and comments. I expect good, clear, grammatical

writing, and interesting philosophical observations that show your engagement with the passage, the text,

Nietzsche’s work, and our discussions in class.

Format. Please follow this in every particular!

• About 1000 words. Name on top first page. Double space. Identify the passage you are discussing.

• No long quotations; always prefer your own words. No footnotes or endnotes (unless you draw on

reference material, which is not expected). Refer to the volume from which the passage comes by page

number in parenthesis. Refer to other works by these abbreviations with parenthetic page number:

BT The Birth of Tragedy GM On the Genealogy of Morality

GS The Gay Science T Twilight of the Idols

Z Thus Spoke Zarathustra A The Anti-Christ

BGE Beyond Good and Evil EH Ecce Homo

• Do not merely rewrite class notes! If you choose to write on a passage that was discussed in lectures, I

will expect that you have new points to make about it. It will be unsatisfactory merely to write up your

class notes from that discussion.

• These assignments are to be submitted in class. No electronic submissions under any circumstances.

An assignment has not been completed until a printed copy is submitted to the instructor personally.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late assignments subject to penalty of 3% per day (including weekends).

No electronic submission of papers. Do not submit assignments to the Philosophy Department office. Do

not place papers in the department drop-box: the box is not secure, is not regularly checked, and your

paper may be lost. Submit papers in class.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:



Introduction + Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Presentation


The Birth of Tragedy


“On Truth and Lying in a Non-moral Sense”



The Gay Science

10 Mid-Term Recess


Thus Spoke Zarathustra


Thus Spoke Zarathustra (continued)


Beyond Good and Evil



Beyond Good and Evil


On the Genealogy of Morality


On the Genealogy of Morality


Twilight of the Idols




Ecce Homo

Other Course Information: