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Nietzsche and Politics (EP)


Admission requirements

Good comprehension of German.
This course is also open to MA students from other disciplines subject to instructor’s approval.


A course on Nietzsche as a political thinker with special emphasis on the critical and constructive potential of his thought for contemporary democracy and democratic theory. Key topics include: the problem of Nihilism and its manifestaion in modern democracy; the agon and agonistic appropriations of Nietzsche’s thought; Nietzsche and Arendt; Nietzsche and Rawls on justice and perfectionism; grosse Politik; rethinking democratic values (freedom, equality, popular sovereignty) in Nietzschean terms.

Course objectives

Course objectives will be posted on Blackboard by the start of the course.


See Timetables Master’s Programmes 2010-2011

Mode of instruction

Lectures (hoorcollege) and seminars (2 hours + 1 hour)

Assessment method

  • Seminar presentations & assignments (20%)

  • Paper of 7000 – 9000 words (80%).


Weekly use for announcements, assignments, course documents (lecture notes, primary texts etc.) and course information.

Reading list

  • Various texts from Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke Kritische Studienausgabe (dtv/de Gruyter, Berlin, 1980. ISBN 3-11-008117-2)


Please register for this course on uSis. See registration procedure

Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply

Contact information

Dr. H.W. Siemens:


Specialisations: Ethics and Politics / Philosophical Anthropology and Philosophy of Culture