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The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche | [The Great Courses]

The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

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?
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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.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

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

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  •  
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 04-13-14
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 04-13-14 Member Since 2015

    Audiobook addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Engaging Course"

    This is a very comprehensive course on Nietzsche. Not just his works and his thoughts, but there is a rather helpful and contexualizing of his life as well.

    It's a real pleasure to listen to lecturers who love their subject. A few, though by no means all, of these Courses series are taught by people who have a really selective preference for certain parts of what their teaching, but not all of it, and it shows.

    Professors Higgins and Solomon are tremendous fans of Nietzsche's work; it comes through in their passion and enthusiasm for the topic and it makes some of the harder-to-grasp concepts presented much easier to take on board.

    I also really appreciated some of the back and forth, dialogic style of the presentation. It made the apologetics more vibrant and fertile.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan 07-25-14
    Dan 07-25-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Great Insight on one of my very favorite people"
    What made the experience of listening to The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche the most enjoyable?

    It had many varieties of thots considering the two that wrote it were very much studiers of Nietzsche which made it interesting


    What did you like best about this story?

    Nietzshe is one of the most interesting philosophers of all time. There is so much to be revealed and think about when you read his writings


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Some was too much opinion and not enough reading of the actual parts of the writings


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    It's good to hear another view, we all have our opinions and sometimes it is good to just take a Nietzshe book to a place that is quiet and read the intensity of it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arn M. 03-21-15
    Arn M. 03-21-15

    Geopolitics, history, and philosophy junkie. I love smoothly flowing prose that moves me effortlessly from one idea to the next.

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    "Uninspiring Community College Level Lecture"
    Any additional comments?

    I'm not a big fan of being uber harsh on teachers. They worked hard to learn their subject and take the time to present it for my education. However, since I'm paying for it...

    There are great lecturers that entice and interest me in the subject. Then there are those that bore and repel me, this was the latter. I learned very little about Nietzsche that I didn't already know. An enlightened discussion about his philosophy it was not...or very little. Too bad, a missed opportunity in a very worthwhile subject.

    After listening to a 100 books here on Audible, I have found it most important that the performance is better than or at least equal to the material being presented. If not, then it becomes laborious...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew 03-12-15
    matthew 03-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great introduction to Nietzsche"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a great course for anyone seeking to understand the basic philosophical frameworks of Nietzsche. I am a Master's student and used the lectures from this audio book to prepare for a course in sociology theory. I really enjoyed the content and found it to be extremely helpful in providing an overview for such an in depth subject. I liked the fact that the lecturers were husband and wife, and I especially enjoyed hearing a women's perspective on Nietzsche, who is often portrayed as misogynistic. They clarified the fundamental themes in Nietzsche's writings, and provided context that my college course did not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charley Yeager State College, PA 03-09-15
    Charley Yeager State College, PA 03-09-15 Member Since 2014

    If you're down with the ISTP then we can read Wikipedia together all night.

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    "Perfect entry point for understanding Nietzsche"
    Where does The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very satisfying, will be listened to sever times to fully understand.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    good balance of biography and analysis with extensive contextual education


    What does Professor Kathleen M. Higgins and Professor Robert C. Solomon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    world class expertise and passion for Nietzsche


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I knew I was interested in Nietzsche, but I never knew I would adore his views this much


    Any additional comments?

    combine this book with some additional content to get a more rounded experience, a Nietzsche documentary or a read of his work (which is difficult to appreciate for me taken alone)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DWLaCroix 10-05-14
    DWLaCroix 10-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Defense of Nietzsche"
    What disappointed you about The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche?

    The first 5 lectures (sorry I'm quitting there) come across as an apologetic of Nietzsche. Not a discussion of his writing. Much about how he is misunderstood.

    In comparing Nietzsche's thoughts to Christianity, the lecturers try to show how he was misunderstood, that he meant something different than theologians in his use of some words. Perhaps he is misunderstood, but on the flip side, I don't think many theologians would recognize what the lecturers say is the Christian meaning.


    If you’ve listened to books by The Great Courses before, how does this one compare?

    The only one I didn't finish


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps after learning more about Nietzsche from other sources this would be a worthy listen

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-6 of 6 results
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  • Toby B
    3/26/15
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    "A sanitised one-sided diet of opinion"
    What would have made The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche better?

    First and foremost, a confession that the views stated here reflect the lecturers' opinions, but are not to be considered THE truth of the matter. I have listened to other 'Great Courses', and I've found the lecturers to be generally balanced and eager to state that 'there are two sides, and I think this, but others disagree'. This is what you expect in an 'introductory' course. Here, we have an outrageously skewed attempt to defend Nietzsche against any who dislike him, for whatever reason. Yes, Nietzsche has been dealt with as an absurd straw man by many idiots over the years, but those can be dismissed fairly rapidly. We don't need an entire course saying: 'he wasn't as bad as you've heard!'
    Secondly, some (at least SOME) coverage of the alternative interpretations. Not only of Nietzsche and his work, but also of the many other philosophers (covered in this course) to whom Nietzsche was responding. For example (this one really made me mad), the treatment of Hegel here is outrageously 'revised', when there is a genuinely 50/50 disagreement in academic philosophy between 'revised' Hegel and 'traditional' Hegel... I'm not saying the lecturers shouldn't argue their case, but they should at least acknowledge that there's some genuine interpretative disagreement here, and provide the listener with some informative stuff about each side. More importantly, the traditional Hegel interpretation is almost certainly closer to the one that Nietzsche was responding to, so it's borderline disingenuous - and, frankly, dishonest - to present Hegel in this modern way in the context of a Nietzsche introduction.
    Thirdly, what they've made of Nietzsche's work... This process of defending him against all criticism, against all sensitive sensibilities, ends up stripping his work of the larger part of its power. It is meant, at times, to be upsetting, shocking, etc. That's part of the point. This sanitised 'nicey-nicey' version ends up looking like a shallow self-help system. The listener would be forgiven for thinking, on the basis of this introduction, that Nietzsche was just a misunderstood hippy.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Irritation, disappointment, frustration. I appreciate that I'm in a slightly different position to most listeners, in that I'm pretty well-versed in this stuff (PhD Philosophy, university philosophy lecturer who teaches Nietzsche), but I was hoping this would have some interesting discussion and interpretation, some different points of views or ways of putting/explaining things, some interesting facts that I hadn't heard before, just as I've found in other 'great courses'. But this was really lousy! I'm annoyed that there are now a load of people in the world who've heard this course and probably think Nietzsche was essentially a misunderstood hippy...! I found myself constantly wanting to say: 'Seriously, you're not going to mention THAT?!' Or: 'Seriously, you're going to leave it at THAT, and not mention the (sometimes dominant) view to contrary?!'


    Any additional comments?

    It's also rather US-centric. (Emerson gets some focus, but no Dostoevsky?!) Most of the 'up-to-date-real-life examples' are cringingly #firstworldproblems.
    In conclusion, I'm left with this strange feeling that they've somehow insulted Nietzsche in this... They've tried to fit him and his work into anything that would feel comfortable for them. They've turned Nietzsche into a 'Last Man' version of Nietzschean philosophy. I think he'd be appalled.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    Saffron Walden, United Kingdom
    3/7/15
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    "Just what I wanted"

    Great level, lots of background into the man and enough depth to make me feel I have a bit more than an overview of the subject

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • hafiz
    7/8/14
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    "A deep and detailed analysis of Nietzche"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version but this is very easy to listen to. The narrators are great and they obviously love Nietzsche but also have a good understanding of him and attempt to be fair.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is very revealing and talks in a more fair way about a complex man rather than just presenting him as one sentence that is the usual way of presenting him.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Many of the deep philosophical studies made me see the world differently and gain a better understanding of life.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    It would make a boring film and is much more suited to this type of media, or even as a written book.


    Any additional comments?

    If you want to know about Nietzsche this is a great introduction to his life and his works, so you not only get an understanding of what he wrote and thought, but also maybe why he wrote it and thought it that way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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