Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Nietzsche's Naturalism Reconsidered"

A draft of this paper is here. This is slated for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche, which will be edited by Gemes and Richardson. Comments would be most welcome. Here is the abstract:

According to one recent scholar, "Most commentators on Nietzsche would agree that he is in a broad sense a naturalist in his mature philosophy" (Janaway 2007: 34). This may come as a surprise to those who think of Heidegger, Kaufmann, DeMan, Kofman, Deleuze, and Nehamas, among others, as "commentators" on Nietzsche. And yet there are, indeed, clear signs that in the last twenty years, as Nietzsche studies has become more philosophically sophisticated, the naturalist reading of Nietzsche has come to the fore, certainly in Anglophone scholarship. In Nietzsche on Morality (2002), I set out a systematic reading of Nietzsche as a philosophical naturalist, one which has attracted considerable critical comment, including from some generally sympathetic to reading Nietzsche as a philosophical naturalist. In this paper, I revisit that reading and respond to various objections. Topics covered include the role of "speculation" in Nietzsche's naturalism; the difference between the Humean and Therapeutic Nietzsches; the role of culture in naturalistic explanations; the status of claims about causation in Nietzsche's naturalism; whether the apparent metaphysics of the will to power is compatible with naturalism; and how Nietzsche's speculative naturalism fares in light of subsequent work in empirical psychology.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Teaching Next Year at Chicago

A couple of folks have asked, so here's what's on the agenda:

I'll be doing the "Law and Philosophy Workshop" all year on the topic "Toleration and Religious Liberty." This is cross-listed between the Law School and Philosophy Department, and is open to students in either unit, as well as others at the university; all students will need to submit a statement of interest and other information to be considered for admission (there are details at the link, above). Speakers at the workshop will include Joseph Raz, Simon Blackburn, Susan Mendus, Leslie Green, and Martha Nussbaum, as well as various legal scholars and legal theorists.

In the fall quarter, I'll be offering in the Law School the basic Jurisprudence I course (scroll down) covering the nature of law and the theory of adjudication. In the Spring quarter, I'll offer Jurisprudence II (again, scroll down), which will cover "topics in moral, political, and legal theory." I haven't fixed the precise topics yet, but Juris I won't be a prerequisite. JD students get priority for these, though MA and PhD students from other units can take them as cognates.

Michael Forster and I have also been talking about doing some kind of informal reading group on Nietzsche during 08-09; he's on leave a good bit of next year, but we will have sorted out details by fall. (We will probably offer a formal course/seminar for credit on some figures/topics in German philosophy in 2009-10.)

Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

Friday, July 4, 2008

"Nietzsche's Moral and Political Philosophy"

Some time in the next year, I mean to update my SEP essay on this topic.
I'd welcome suggestions from readers about topics/discussions that require revision or expansion, or additional topics that might be included. Thanks.

By the way, I have finally added a response to the interesting comments of Scott Jenkins from the Janaway thread from May. I appreciate those and the other comments there, and may have more to say on this.