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You are here: The Platypus Affiliated Society/Radical Bourgeois Philosophy

Radical Bourgeois Philosophy

"The Tennis Court Oath" by Jacques Louis David

The first meeting will take place on Wednesday, August 9th at 6 PM in Room 517 of SAIC's MacLean Center (112 S Michigan Ave).

All subsequent meetings will take place:
Thursdays 6-9 PM
MacLean Center
112 S Michigan Ave
Room 517


 required / + recommended reading


I. Rousseau: Crossroads of society | Aug. 9, 2017

Whoever dares undertake to establish a people’s institutions must feel himself capable of changing, as it were, human nature, of transforming each individual, who by himself is a complete and solitary whole, into a part of a larger whole, from which, in a sense, the individual receives his life and his being, of substituting a limited and mental existence for the physical and independent existence. He has to take from man his own powers, and give him in exchange alien powers which he cannot employ without the help of other men.

-- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract (1762)

• Max Horkheimer, "The little man and the philosophy of freedom" (1926–31)

• epigraphs on modern history and freedom by James Miller (on Jean-Jacques Rousseau), Louis Menand (on Edmund Wilson), Karl Marx, on "becoming" (from the Grundrisse, 1857–58), and Peter Preuss (on Nietzsche)

+ Rainer Maria Rilke, "Archaic Torso of Apollo" (1908)

+ Robert Pippin, "On Critical Theory" (2004)

• Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754) PDFs of preferred translation (5 parts): [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

 Rousseau, selection from On the Social Contract (1762)

II. Hegel: Freedom in history | Aug. 17, 2017

• G.W.F. Hegel, Introduction to the Philosophy of History (1831) [HTML] [PDF pp. 14-128] [Audiobook]

III. Nietzsche (1): Life in history | Aug. 24, 2017

• Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Use and Abuse of History for Life (1874) [translator's introduction by Peter Preuss]

+ Nietzsche on history chart of terms

IV. Nietzsche (2): Asceticism of moderns | Aug. 31, 2017

+ Human, All Too Human: Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil (1999)

 Nietzsche, selection from On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

 Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic (1887)