Great Books IV Spring 2022

Genealogy of Morals - Friedrich Nietzsche

"The Conscience of  Morality"

Reading/Discussion Schedule

Jan 27: pp. 15-56; Jan 31: pp. 57-96; Feb 3: pp. 97-134; Feb 7: pp. 134-163

Reading/Discussion Prompts

Jan 27

Questions du Jour:

Who was your worst enemy in elementary school?

Where does your name come from?

  1. Why has Nietzsche written this work?

  2. Where does Nietzsche begin in determining the foundation or origin of morals? What is his technique?

  3. What makes a person good?

  4. Why do we need enemies?

  5. How does Miltonian evil compare with Nietzsche’s evil?

  6. According to Nietzsche, is God good? Evil? Bad?

  7. What is the connection between goodness and 1) strength, 2) the other.

  8. How does he define and use each of the following terms for his genealogy:  pity, evil, good, value, virtue, ressentiment, justice, strength, weakness, moral, culture, slave, nobility, Jesus, priesthood, and barbaric.

Jan 31

Question du Jour:

What was your worst punishment?

  1. What polarities/dualities does Nietzsche bring to the discussion and how does he use them?

  2. How is his notion of polarity itself a concept of morality?

  3. How do memory and morality relate to one another? What does their synergy create?

  4. What is the a) origin, b) purpose, c) form of punishment and suffering found in moral systems?
  5. Where does bad conscience originate?
  6. What does all of this have to do with morality? Why is Nietzsche writing this series of essays?
  7. What does the Christian model reveal about the nature of morality?

Feb 3

Question du Jour:

What personal luxury would you have a hard time renouncing?

  1. Continue to identify polarities and their purposes.
  2. What is the connection between ressentiment, bad conscience, and asceticism?
  3. Is asceticism required in order to have morality?
  4. Who is the ascetic priest? What is his task/duty/job?
  5. What is the greatest opponent to asceticism?
  6. What is a will to nothingness?
  7. Read this article

Feb 7

Question du Jour:

  1. Bring your contemporary application of Nietzsche to class.
  2. What loose ends do we need to tie up?
  3. Bring your own interpretive questions for discussion.