Philosophical Critiques of Morality: Nietzsche and Stegmaier

Organized by Dr. Reinhard G. Mueller and Dr. Dr. Timon Boehm

Weekly meetings will take place on Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (US Central Time) beginning on June 13, 2023. There will be 8 seminar sessions.


Today’s political discourses and media have become increasingly polarized. Their opposing standpoints are based on such different truths, footholds, and plausibilities that they seem more and more foreign to each other. “Wokeism” and “cancel culture” are just two key words in this clash of worldviews. Our hypothesis is that these worldviews are expressions of different moral attitudes at a very fundamental level that are eventually incomprehensible for each other. To explore this, we discuss and compare the polemic critique of morals by Friedrich Nietzsche and the descriptive one by Werner Stegmaier.

Both Nietzsche and Stegmaier show that our own moralities always already limit our view of reality and that they are nevertheless usually invisible for us. Morals bind not only our actions, but already our thinking; they are blind spots of our orientation. While Nietzsche provides, through his genealogical method, a polemic and provocative criticism against dominant morality, which still seems valid today, Stegmaier offers a descriptive analysis of how moralities function in and influence our everyday orientation.

In this seminar, we explore Nietzsche’s and Stegmaier’s philosophical critiques of morality and compare the two approaches. We will closely read and discuss Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality as well as chapters 14 and 15 from Werner Stegmaier’s What is Orientation? A Philosophical Investigation.

The seminar is discussion-based, so participants are expected to read the respective text passages before the meetings. The seminar is free. Please apply by June 06, 2023, via the application form below by briefly explaining 1.) your professional and/or academic background, 2.) your philosophical interests, and 3.) your motivation for joining the seminar. 


Application Form

    To apply, please send a short text briefly describing: