Social Philosophy, Advanced Topics

Nietzsche, Naturalism, and Moral Psychology The course has two interlocking aims: (1) to introduce students to Nietzsche's philosophical naturalism and its role in his moral philosophy; and (2) to critically evaluate some of the philosophical issues about moral psychology that Nietzsche raises — about moral motivation, the will, the nature of conscious and unconscious experience, the role of consciousness in agency, the nature and causal import of "character" — in light of recent work in both philosophy and empirical psychology. We shall spend the first few weeks on a careful study of On the Genealogy of Morality (read in conjunction with my Nietzsche on Morality), before turning, first, to critiques of my naturalist reading of Nietzsche (e.g., many of the essays in the recent Blackwell Companion to Nietzsche), and then, second, to a topical study of the issues in moral psychology just noted. Each session will be based on readings from elsewhere in Nietzsche's corpus, together with work by contemporary philosophers (e.g., Doris, Pereboom, G. Strawson, P. Strawson, Velleman) and empirical psychologists (e.g., Haggard, Haidt, Libet, Nisbett, Wegner, Wilson).

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Monday 3:30 - 6:30 pm JON 4.208B
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type


Leiter, Brian R Leiter, Brian R