Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nietzsche banned from professor's door

Now that's unimaginative. If they wanted to do something about that sign, they should have required that the teacher also post a sign signed by God saying "Nietzsche is dead." Equal time, you know.

16 comments:

RD said...

Wouldn't forcing him to put up "Nietzsche is dead. -God" be just as unimaginative as forcing the prof. to remove the quote? For one, that quote has been around for many years.

Also, Nietzsche clearly is not dead, at least if interest in his work is any indication.

Of course you're only joking in your suggestion, but the serious issue seems to be why students are so offended in the first place. Imagine how offended they'd be if they had read similarly inflammatory quotes by Voltaire, Hume, Marx, Mill, Ayer, and others! Maybe the answer is to push for a better public understanding of philosophy. That way people won't be so scared of being confronted with a mean, nasty philosopher's quote.

exapologist said...

Sarah Palin would be proud...

Ilíon said...

VR: "Now that's unimaginative."

But perhaps there is a Nietzschean subtlty you're missing: it's all about "will to power," is it not?

Ilíon said...

And Exapologist is just an ass who needs to continually justify his miserable state.

exapologist said...

I love you, ilion.

Ilíon said...

As well you should. But you're still an ass.

Victor Reppert said...

I happen to think that, short of something pornographic or racist, a teacher can put whatever the heck they want to on a classroom door.

I have heard of rules about the extent to which teachers are permitted to indicate their own political views and candidate support to students. It is quite true that teachers can waste class time on political advocacy (you can always waste class time talking about pro sports), but rules from the administration about that sort of thing is not good. Mere potential to offend is not sufficient reason to censor free classroom expression.

I don't advocate strongly for my own views in class, but if I advocated for Christianity at the secular community college I work for, I would be more likely to be slapped down than if I were to advocate strongly for atheism, which many college teachers do without any complaints being made about them.

I do think students should be fairly treated with respect to their freedom to express their own opinion.

Ilíon said...

And what's "wrong" with pornography and/or racism? I mean, would not Nietzsche agree that there are no such thing as "right" and "wrong?"

Can't you see how amusing it is for Nietzsche (well, this prof, attempting to stand-in for the old reprobate) to try to argue that he has transcendent rights?

RD said...

ilion, you're WAY off.

Nietzsche's aim as a moral philosopher was to set right humanity's false conception of morality. We can distinguish conventional morality, which Nietzsche criticizes, from Nietzsche positive moral vision for humanity. Rather than rejecting morality completely, Nietzsche rejected what passes for morality in the 19th century, and attached positive value to that which produces human flourishing. To figure out what Nietzsche actually said about morality, you could start by reading the stanford encyclopedia of philosophy entry on his moral philosophy.

Ilíon said...

But, RD, as with most everything I've noticed from you, your assertion here is seen to be incoherent upon examination.

A morality that is not transcenrant and objective [as we use that word] is no morality at all. A morality which gets its "truth" -- and it *oughtness* -- from our approval of it, is no morality at all.

So, how is that positive model for human flourishing actually working out? I mean, even aside from the horrors of the 20th century, which directly followed from it?

It would seem to me that a *true* positive model for human flourishing would not result in national, social, nor civilizational suicide. Yet, all three are what is happening.

Mark Frank said...

RD you are spot on and coherent. Ilion has his knickers in a twist. He asserts '"would not Nietzsche agree that there are no such thing as "right" and "wrong?"' You point out that Nietzsche is most unlikely to agree to any such thing. Ilion responds with an insult and then a criticism of Nietzsche. Whatever you may think of this criticism, it is irrelevant to your point which is about what Nietsche said not about whether it was right.

Anonymous said...

It would seem to me that a *true* positive model for human flourishing would not result in national, social, nor civilizational suicide. Yet, all three are what is happening.

Is it?

Jim S. said...

Here's what I'd post on my door: http://agentintellect.blogspot.com/2008/04/thought-of-day.html

Ilíon said...

Yes, Anonymouse, it is.

Ilíon said...

Mr Frank must be a very tender flower to imagine that my knickers are in a twist or that I responded with an insult.

You people have such interesting ideas.

RD says to me "You're ignorant! Get thee to the library, sirrah!"

I resopnd that his overall claim is incoherent ... and I explained why.

Yet *I* dealt in insult. How utterly interesting a view of reality.

Joe said...

Maybe there is some sort of freedom of speech issue, but I'm not sure since his office is likely state property. I can put whatever sign I want up but I can't put whatever sign I want up in someone else’s building.

Freedom of religion? Well I suppose that since the Supreme Court has botched what a “religion” is and said atheism is a religion that may fly. Of course, the real first amendment would be seen as discriminatory by some since it protected the free exercise of religion but did not protect the free exercise of atheism and any other “isms.” But hey our Supreme Court will correct that for us and simply read those isms in. That way the first amendment will say what our current culture thinks it should say. Isn’t that nice?