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The Nietzsche Podcast

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A podcast about Nietzsche's ideas, his influences, and those he influenced. Philosophy and cultural commentary through a Nietzschean lens. Support the show at Patreon: A few collected essays and thoughts:


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A podcast about Nietzsche's ideas, his influences, and those he influenced. Philosophy and cultural commentary through a Nietzschean lens. Support the show at Patreon: A few collected essays and thoughts:



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Wandering Above A Sea of Fog #3

Updates on my life, the new direction for the podcast, revealing the next book that we’re analyzing, and general thoughts on the spirit of the show, what binds the community together, and self celebration about the release of my book.


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96: Nietzsche as Educator

A summary of Nietzsche's teachings, examined by considering the parallel of Schopenhauer's influence on Nietzsche with how the modern person could adopt Nietzsche as a similar type of influence. I attempt to distill the central message of Nietzsche's philosophy, and explain how this interpretative framework helps elucidate new angles to many of his important ideas. This episode is my final word on Nietzsche's philosophy, considered in its totality, as the podcast transitions away from our focus on the primary sources in Nietzsche and into interpretations of Nietzsche and Nietzsche-adjacent material. A love letter to the fans and a last hurrah into exegesizing Nietzsche, incorporating topics from throughout the season and with callbacks to the earliest episodes. Celebrating three years of The Nietzsche Podcast as of this month! Episode art: Maxfield Parish - Jason and His Teacher, Chiron the Centaur


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95: The Journey to Hades

In the aphorism, "Journey to Hades" in Human All Too Human Vol 2, Nietzsche lists eight thinkers who helped to shape his thought. Each of these eight is paired with another thinker, a choice which is intentional and intended to reveal something about each pair. These eight are: Epicurus and Montaigne; Goethe and Spinoza; Plato and Rousseau; Pascal and Schopenhauer. In this episode, we will examine each one of these pairs in order to determine what similarities and what differences Nietzsche is attempting to elucidate in counterposing them. In comprehending each of these pairs, we can come to a full understanding of the early development of Nietzsche's thought, and see the way in which he was in dialogue with the ancients. The method of this passage hints at the way in which all of us can orm a relationship to Nietzsche in a similar fashion. Episode art is Johannes Stradanus - Ulysses in Hades


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94: Nietzsche Reviews His Own Books

The second part of a two-parter we began near the beginning of this season. The completion of our analysis of Ecce Homo. In this episode, we consider Nietzsche's reviews of his own books, and argue that it presents a creative narrative of Nietzsche's life: Nietzsche as a tragic figure. Nietzsche mythologizes himself and the circumstances of his great works, dabbling in exaggerations and lacunae - but nevertheless providing an invaluable interpretation the significance of his entire career, and commentary on the development of his thought. With Nietzsche's comments, we can construe his life's work into an early period, an affirmative period that begins with his middle works and culminates with Zarathustra, and a critical period that characterizes his later work.


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93: The Idle Hours of a Psychologist

The Twilight of Idols is described by Nietzsche as a work of leisure: a leap sideways, a bit of sunshine, a form of play rather than work. The laboriousness of 'notebook psychology', in which one strains and squints and spies on reality, could not be further from this natural discernment based on what one is given. In this episode, we explore exactly what Nietzsche means by this distinction. Once again, it is tied in with his differentiation between the artistic and the theoretic. Through Twilight of Idols, Nietzsche remarks on psychology and his approach to it, suggests that it is found in literature, and suggests that some men who claim to be psychologists are really just head cases. Join me as we consider these ideas at a leisurely pace. Episode art is Satan Resting on the Mountain by Gustave Dore.


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92: The Four Great Errors

A deep dive into one of the most important passages in Twilight of Idols. We’ll explore Nietzsche’s critique of our erroneous habits of thought: mistaking the effect for the cause, false causality, creating imaginary causes, creating a doer of the deed, and free will. We explore Nietzsche’s explanation for how these errors take hold of our thought, the psychological need for these errors, and why they persist. Episode art is The Billiard’s Player by William Bastiaan Tholen


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Q&A #9

The ninth time that I’ve done this.


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Untimely Reflections #31: Quinn Williams - On Deleuze, and Methods of Interpretation

My friend Quinn and I discuss whether Deleuze is an accurate interpreter of Nietzsche. What are the faults of Deleuze's interpretation, and what are its merits? We discuss the eternal return, the anti-Hegelian attitude of Deleuze, ressentiment and bad conscience, and the Deleuzian understanding of will to power. More broadly, we discuss what it is that makes an interpretation correct, and how there are different mindsets behind the left and right interpretations of Nietzsche.


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91: Carl Jung - Nietzsche on the Couch

Carl Jung contributed to psychoanalysis in an important way, but that contribution to the field is inseparable from his engagement with Nietzsche. Jung derived a wealth of insights from Nietzsche’s work, and his psychological state that deteriorated into madness. Jung’s central hypothesis is that Nietzsche was possessed by an archetype. Such archetypal inflation was the result of a deep imbalance within Nietzsche’s psyche, springing from his rejection of the spiritual.


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90: Carl Jung - Archetypes & The Collective Unconscious

Carl Gustave Jung was a student of Freud, but broke from his mentor in a dramatic way. Jung acquired the reputation of being a mystic, and put forward ideas that pushed the boundaries of psychoanalysis. This is a crash course in Jung’s most important ideas: projection, archetypes, and the collective unconscious. In this episode, we go in-depth on the major archetypes that Jung describes. These are subpersonalities that exist in every human unconsciousness, which will manifest insensibly in one’s desires, and find themselves projected by the subject into the external world.


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Untimely Reflections #30: Weltgeist - Aesthetics of Schopenhauer & Nietzsche

Weltgeist x The Nietzsche Podcast. A long-awaited conversation. We discuss: the aesthetics of Schopenhauer v/s Nietzsche, the Schopenhauerian influence on Wagner's music, The Pale Blue Dot, the Eros as discussed in Plato's Symposium, philosophy and art as luxuries of civilization, and what Nietzsche describes as the asceticism of the scientific worldview.


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Untimely Reflections #29: Daniel Tutt - Boxing with Nietzsche

Daniel Tutt is the author of How to Read Like a Parasite, a new book which warns leftist thinkers about the power and danger of Nietzsche. Daniel has a long history of engaging with Nietzsche’s philosophy, and argues for a pugilistic relationship with him. In his view, the French leftists who utilized Nietzsche’s work sometimes centered Nietzsche to their own detriment. Daniel’s project aims not at canceling Nietzsche, but in reading him with a sober understanding of his political perspective and the ways in which it informs all of his ideas.


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Untimely Reflections #28: Stephen Hicks - Is Nietzsche a Postmodernist?

Stephen Hicks is a Canadian-American philosopher, and the author of numerous books, including Understanding Postmodernism, and Nietzsche & the Nazis. As Professor Hicks is a critic of postmodernism, I decided to ask him about Nietzsche's connection to postmodern thought. Is Nietzsche a postmodernist, and to what extent did he influence them? How do we explain the moral differences between Nietzsche and the postmodernists? We also discussed some topics related to objectivism and Ayn Rand. How does Nietzsche's epistemology and ethics differ from that of Ayn Rand? Professor Hicks articulates the case for the foundationalist view, and we finished the conversation by discussing the state of the academy as he sees it, and the future of philosophy.


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89: Sigmund Freud - Sublimations, Dreams & Repressions

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) said of Nietzsche that he had "more penetrating knowledge of himself than any man who ever lived or was likely to live." In spite of this, Freud always denied that Nietzsche was an influence on his thought, in spite of his multiple references to Nietzsche in his early work. While Freud certainly drew from Nietzsche's ideas, he was an original thinker in his own right, who followed on the same path of inquiry as Nietzsche, but with the tools of empirical research and the within the scientific spirit of psycho-analysis. Freud comes to believe that the driving force of human life is libido, a sexual impulse, and that the stages of psychosexual development determine the health or pathology of one's adult life. Central to his analysis of human psychology is the Oedipus Complex, and his notion that the superego emerges to suppress it. In this episode, we also discuss the Id (Unconsciousness), the faculty of repression, the concept of cathexis, and the meaning of dreams. In spite of the ways in which Freud has been marginalized in recent years, in his work we find an extraordinary thinker who built upon Nietzsche's ideas, and truly managed to change the entire paradigm of psychological thinking.


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88: René Girard - The Case for the Crucified

Among Nietzsche's critics, René Girard is perhaps unique. Girard's understanding of human civilization and the origins of human culture is that it is based on ritual, collective violence against a scapegoated individual - and he argues that Nietzsche is one of the only thinkers hitherto who understood this. Nietzsche's famous formula - Dionysus versus the Crucified - is the title of Girard's critical essay on Nietzsche. He does not quibble with Nietzsche's framing of the situation, but rather with Nietzsche's conclusions. While Nietzsche takes up for the side of Dionysus, Girard stands on the side of the Crucified, arguing that Nietzsche was fundamentally wrong to lament the ascendance of Christianity and to yearn for a return to the Dionysian. In the course of Nietzsche's defense of Dionysus, he put forward moral theories that were "untenable", and become increasingly "inhuman". Among the many commenters of Nietzsche, both disciples and critics, it is rare to find a figure like Girard, who recognizes Nietzsche's brilliance, but totally condemns his legacy. Join me today to learn about the life of Rene Girard, his theories of mimetic desire and scapegoating, and the impassioned case he puts forward for The Crucified.


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87: Science and Wisdom in Battle

Today we examine an 1875 Fragment, entitled "Science and Wisdom in Battle". Not only does this fragment contain one of my favorite quotations of Nietzsche's, it represents his continual grappling with the meaning of Ancient Greek culture. In particular, we discuss the importance of "relations of tension" in Nietzsche's earlier work: art versus science, culture versus the state, history versus forgetting, and of course, science and wisdom. Both are drives to knowledge, and the tension between them created philosophy in the tragic age of the Hellenes. Science is characterized by logical, objective, specialized knowledge, whereas Wisdom is defined by Nietzsche as a tendency for illogical generalization, leaping to one's ultimate goal, and an artistic desire to reflect the world in one's own mirror. Episode art: Sofia & Athena


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86: Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks pt 2 - Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Democritus

In this episode, we continue our discussion of the Pre-Platonics, and cover the ideas of Parmenides, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, and Democritus. The episode begins with a brief recap of the previous philosophers and the dialogue up to this point. After considering the remaining Pre-Platonics, I have some brief concluding remarks in which I attempt to make sense of the entire picture as Nietzsche lays it out in this unfinished essay.


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85: Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, pt. 1 - Thales, Anaximander, Heraclitus

Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks is one of the more obscure texts in Friedrich Nietzsche’s corpus. There are many good reasons for this: it is unfinished, and ends abruptly; it was never published; and it concerns subject matter that is not as immediately accessible as Nietzsche’s more popular writings. You will not find his major concepts in this work – such as the will to power, or the critique of metaphysics - except insofar as those ideas appear in the background, inchoate, unnamed… not yet fully formed. In Nietzsche’s interpretation of the Pre-Platonic philosophers of Ancient Greece, we find the starting place for his later philosophical career. The inspiration for many of those great ideas, can arguably be found in his exegesis of these extraordinary figures from the Hellenic world, from the 6th to the 4th century BC. In today's episode, I'll introduce the text, then we'll cover the first three figures who I've classed as "the first cosmologists": Thales, Anaximander, and Heraclitus. While I'm mostly sticking to the text of the essay, I fill in some details using Nietzsche's lectures on the Pre-Platonics, on which this essay was based. Episode art: photo of the Temple of Poseidon


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Q&A #8

I answered questions from the Patrons. Enjoy!


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84: Eckermann’s Conversations with Goethe

Nietzsche said of this work that it was “the best German book”. For the last nine years of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s life, Johann Peter Eckermann journaled about their conversations together. Goethe was a celebrity at the time, and destined to be remembered as perhaps the greatest writer of the German language, certainly of the 19th century. Eckermann, on the other hand, was a farmboy with a talent for copying - whether it was the artwork of Ramberg or the poetic style of Korner. When he met Goethe, who was in his seventies at the time, the young Eckermann looked up to him as the greatest of poets, and wanted nothing more than to record all of his wonderful memories with Goethe. In this work we find no narrative arc or rigorous structure, but simply a series of thoughts and feelings. It is a portrait of Goethe rather than a story about him, and offers a fascinating view into a different time and place.