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Reading Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morality


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to BA students in Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and who have also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including Philosophy of Mind.


The course offers a sequential reading of Nietzsche’s 1887 text On the Genealogy of Morality. It emphasises the philosophical framework within which Nietzsche addresses the is-ought problem in a novel way, and engages with the difficulties related tot he genalogical fallacy. It is meant to constitute a systematic point of entry for Nietzsche’s thought in general and the subsequent critiques of morality and of modernity as found in Foucault, Heidegger and the Frankfurt school.

Course objectives

This course aim to provide the students with a detailed view of:

  • Nietzsche’s genealogical method

  • Nietzsche’s critique of morality

  • Nietzsche’s mature metaphysics

  • The Nietzschean elements in contemporary critical philosophy

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • the conceptual stakes of the kustification for morality;

  • some of the conceptual stakes of the metaphysics of value;

  • the conflict between morality and flourishing.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • critically understand, comment and interconnect Nietzsche’s texts with each other;

  • critically understand, comment and interconnect Nietzsche’s texts with some texts by later thinkers;

  • critically engage with some of secondary literature on Nietzsche;

  • present a broadly consistent and comprehensive view of Nietzsche’s metaphysical thought.


The timetable is available on the BA Filosofie website

  • BA Filosofie, BA3 – BA Plus-traject and Standaardtraject

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load 10 x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Attending seminars: 13 x 13 hours = 39 hours

  • Literature: 80 hours

  • Preparation for seminars: 36 hours

  • Assignment: 45 Hours

  • Presentation: 20 Hours

  • Preparation assignments: 60 hours

Assessment method


  • Oral presentation and abstract (20%)

  • Take-home paper (60%

  • Peer-graded textual exercise (20%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests. A subtest can be graded as unsatisfactory.
Class attendance is required – without sufficient attendance students will be excluded from submitting a final paper.


The resit will be a thoroughly demanding survey take-home exam covering the entirety of the course materials, and including a text commentary, a series of short questions and an argumentative essay. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term or final tests. The mark for the resit replaces any partial result.
Students will only be eligible for resits if they have submitted/presented all other assessments in the term.Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination(s) cannot take the resit.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for posting texts, general information documents (syllabus etc), assignments and updates.

Reading list

  • All students shall work with the 2nd Student edition of Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality, Edited by keith Ansell-Pearson and translated by Carol Diethe, Cambridge University Press. (Please bear in mind that the first and second edition have different paginations).

  • In addition, some secondary and complementary literature will be posted on Blackboard.


Enrolment for courses and exams through uSis is mandatory.

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. F. Chouraqui