Fall/Winter Timetable

POL485H1S L0201

Graduate Course Code: POL2027H1S L0201

Topics in Political Thought II

Nietzsche's Heirs


In the late 19th century, Nietzsche highlighted more powerfully than any other thinker the conception of late modernity as a post-Christian epoch. This was intended both as a cultural description and as a normative cultural project (to move to something deliberately post-Christian). What are the implications of highlighting this particular understanding of late modernity, and how was Nietzsche’s project received by leading thinkers of the 20th century? We’ll start with Freud, Weber, and Heidegger as decisive heirs of Nietzsche’s radical articulation of the agenda for 20th-century thought, but the seminar will be open to consideration of other important post-Nietzschean thinkers. For the background to this seminar, see Beiner. Civil Religion, chapters 29-31; and Beiner, Political Philosophy: What It Is and Why It Matters, Second Prologue.


Friedrich Nietzsche, Schopenhauer as Educator; Sigmund Freud, Civilization and its Discontents; Max Weber, The Vocation Lectures; Martin Heidegger, Letter on Humanism.

Format and Requirements

One two-hour seminar per week. Course requirements TBA.


POL200Y1/?POL200Y5/(POLC70H3, POLC71H3)