Netzsche Online Course

Last Updated on August 8, 2022 by Team College Learners

This online course is an introduction to the works of the 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, an important but sometimes difficult thinker who has a lot to say about morality, religion, and the meaning of life. This nietzsche online course makes his writing accessible and provides ample support for understanding what it is he has to say. Students in this course will read excerpts from several of his major works, including The Gay Science and Thus Spake Zarathustra.

The great courses is comprised of video lessons, exercises and supplemental readings that introduce you to the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and his most famous ideas, including the death of God, the will to power and eternal recurrence.

Course Overview

Friedrich Nietzsche | Biography, Books, & Facts | Britannica

“God is dead.” “The Superman.” “The Will to Power.””The Eternal Recurrence.”Among shapers of contemporary thought—including Darwin, Marx, and Freud—Friedrich Nietzsche is perhaps the most mysterious and least understood. His aphorisms are widely quoted, but as both man and thinker he remains an enigmatic figure, “philosophizing with a hammer” and hurling…Show Full Description

Back in the early 1990s, Rick Roderick, a philosophy professor who taught at Baylor and Duke, became best known for his lectures for The Teaching Company (now known as The Great Courses). Although he passed away at a young age in 2002, his courses now live on online. Above you can watch lectures from his course, Nietzsche and the Postmodern Condition. Find other philosophy courses in our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

Nietzsche on the Impossibility of Truth 

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) was a German-Swiss philosopher whose work did not become influential until the 20th century. He argued that truth is impossible—there can only be perspective and interpretation, driven by a person’s interests or ‘will to power’.

Against [empiricism], which halts at [observable] phenomena—‘There are only facts’—I would say, no, facts is precisely what there is not, only interpretations. We cannot establish any fact ‘in itself’: perhaps it is folly to want to do such a thing.


‘Everything is subjective [for example, a figment of your reasoning mind],’ you say; but even this is interpretation. The ‘subject’ is not something given, it is something added and invented … [Is] it necessary to posit an interpreter behind the interpretation? …

In so far as the word ‘knowledge’ has any meaning, the world is … interpretable, otherwise it has no meaning behind it, but countless meanings—‘Perspectivism’.

It is our needs that interpret the world; our drives … Every drive is a kind of list to rule; each one has its perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives to accept as a norm.

[D]eception, flattering, lying and cheating, talking behind the back, posing, living in borrowed splendor, being masked, the disguise of convention, acting a role before others and before oneself—in short, the constant fluttering around the single flame of vanity is so much the rule and the law that almost nothing is more incomprehensible than how an honest and pure urge for truth could have arisen among men. They are deeply immersed in illusions and dream images; their eye only glides only over the surface of things … their feeling nowhere leads into truth, but contents itself with the reception of stimuli, playing, as it were, a game of blind man’s bluff …

The true world is unattainable, it cannot be proved, it cannot promise anything.

You are aware of my demand upon philosophers, that they should take up a stand Beyond Good and Evil … This demand is the result of a point of view which I was the first to formulate: that there are no such things as moral facts. Moral judgment has this in common with the religious one, that it believes in realities which are not real. Morality is only an interpretation of certain phenomena: or, more strictly speaking, a misinterpretation of them. … [M]oral judgment must never be taken quite literally: as such is sheer nonsense. As a sign code, however, it is invaluable: to him at least who knows, it reveals the most valuable facts concerning cultures …