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The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche cover art

The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

Written by: The Great Courses,Kathleen M. Higgins,Robert C. Solomon
Narrated by: Kathleen M. Higgins,Robert C. Solomon
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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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©1999 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1999 The Great Courses

What listeners say about The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

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It’s a lecture

Great for while doing dishes or laundry. There is no better time to have an existential crisis.

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4 people found this helpful

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A Will to Listen

This book seems like a good intro in everything Nietzsche. First book I read on him and I found the instructors did a good job giving the essence of him in a way I could understand.

I also liked the format of 30 min lectures. It allows for each lecture to convey one topic about Nietzsche/his philosophy without overwhelming you.

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3 people found this helpful

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Perfect For Newer Philosophy Fans

I bought a couple Nietzsche books in the past; but this was way more digestable.

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3 people found this helpful

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bias saturated

the author(s) used the book as a platform to shoehorn in their Christian messages and they should be ashamed to call this a work of philosophy

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2 people found this helpful

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worst "Great Courses" performance, good material!

I have listened to many great courses series on variety of topics and so far this has been the worst performance. I have not finished the whole series yet but the performance bothered me so much that I had to come and leave a review. The couple who have written and narrated the series have so many hiccups, mistakes and that it makes it so hard to follow the lecture, specially such topics which require uoir absolute attention. Even the tone, speed and the volume of their voices varies through out the lectures and even how they switch from one speaker to another is not very smooth and planned properly.

I was really looking forward to this series and expected a high quality material and performance and I am pretty disappointed.

With regards to the material, since Neitzsche is absolutely interesting and has many material to talk about the content is great, but I find that the lecturers whom have called themselves Neitzache scholars and confessed to be in love with him, are completely biased about his personality and work. Through out the lectures they try to defend him on all of the attacks and accusations that has been made against him in any possible way.

They do try to explain him by speaking about his background, work and life, but I find it very biased and contradictory to Neitzsche's works and essence which is spoken of in this series.

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an armchair intellectual's view

Great overview and it has given me a good foundation to Nietzsche's life and writings. It is their interpretation, but for me it seems thorough enough I can rely on it for my understanding. By having two presenters it helps round that out a bit as well.
The only complaint I had about the performance seems petty but I did find it distracting at times. The female presenter had a click sound at the end of a sentence. I suspect it is hardly noticeable in person but I think being audio only, it was more apparent. Maybe it could have been fixed in post or still could be for future. Not a deal breaker by any means just a shame as she gives a good balance to the topic.

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Great listening in the car.

Excellent explanations, an engaging exploration of Nietzsche. Robert and Kathleen are articulate thinkers that are pleasant to listen to.

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Should be called „In Defence of Nietzsche“

First, the two lecturers are excellent speakers. They are not simply reading verbatim from something they prepared and I love that. Unfortunately the lecturers seem to be more concerned with defending Nietzsche from critics rather than explaining his philosophy. There was excuse after excuse for any criticism rather than what would be to me a realistic acceptance that maybe there were some holes in his philosophy. They often accused other philosophers of the very thing they were defending in Nietzsche: everyone else must be taken word for word in an absolute manner, except Nietzsche for whom exceptions and interpretations can be made. A good example of this is in their denunciation of Sartre. They talk about Sartre‘s rigidity without mentioning how his philosophy evolved over time.
By focusing on what others said about Nietzsche and defending him it also made it rather difficult to follow what Nietzsche’s philosophy actually was. By the end I felt I knew a lot more about Socrates, Kant, Schopenhauer, etc than I knew about Nietzsche.
Overall I wouldn’t recommend this course. It needs to be presented in a much less bias format.

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Fantastic and quite instructive

This is a great review of Nietzsche's life, writing and other philosophers that influenced his thinking.

The performance by both Kathy and Bob (as they call themselves) is equally engaging and superb.

I learned a great deal from this easy to comprehend review and analysis of one of the greatest philosophers of the recent past.

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High points with an extremely disappointing ending

There were certainly high points in this series of lectures in the areas of Nietzsche’s immoralism, master and slave morality and resentment and justice.

HOWEVER

In the very last lecture on the eternal recurrence, was was absolutely mortified that the lecturers had missed the most important aspect of this theory/thought experiment, and consequently the pinnacle of Nietzsche’s thought. The value of the concept of eternal recurrence is NOT some thin vague “what you leave behind after death” notion as was presented here. The true value of the concept of the eternal recurrence is it’s psychological value for this life as it is lived. The person that can will that everything that has happened and ever will happen will happen again and again eternally is the strongest and most flourishing person in all of humanity. This is the person that has truly wrestled the dragon of existence to the ground and taken claim of life for him or herself.

The fact that this psychological aspect of the eternal recurrence was not even touched on in this final lecture leaves me feeling as if these lecturers took Nietzsche all the way to the finish line then fell over dead 10 feet before they got there. They never got the point in the end.

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