Speaker to interpret philosopher’s theories


    In 1882, German existentialist and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “God is dead and we have killed him,” sparking outrage in Western society.

    That’s one of his many radical ideas that will be interpreted by internationally renowned philosophers on campus this week.

    The symposium “Nietzsche and the Philosophical Life” will take place today through Saturday in Ed Landreth Auditorium.

    Nietzsche was a philosopher in the late 1800s who confronted the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Web site. He is usually referred to as one of the first existentialists.

    Existentialism is a philosophical theory that emphasizes the existence of the individual as a free and responsible person capable of determining his or her own development through acts of the will. Nietzsche’s philosophy has inspired leading figures in all walks of cultural life from Adolf Hitler to Sigmund Freud, according to the Web site.

    Simon Blackburn, author and professor of philosophy at the University of Cambridge, will open the Honors Convocation today at 11 a.m. with a keynote address introducing the Nietzsche event, said Lisa Albert, communications specialist.

    Nietzsche considered a Christian’s way of thinking as a “slave morality,” an idea that may be discussed in greater detail, said Richard Galvin, a philosophy professor.

    “Blackburn does not suffer from a lack of courage in his convictions and should make this symposium interesting,” Galvin said.

    Galvin said the symposium should intrigue many people of all types, especially college students.

    For Your Info

    Where: Ed Landreth Auditorium
    When: April 17-19
    What: Internationally renowned philosophers to speak on the beliefs of Frederick Nietzsche

    Ruth Abbey, University of Notre Dame
    Christa Davis Acampora, Hunter College
    Jessica Berry, Georgia State University
    Maudemarie Clark, Colgate University
    Daniel Conway, Texas A&M University
    Kathleen Higgins, The University of Texas at Austin
    Clancy Martin, The University of Missouri-Kansas City
    Thomas Miles, Boston College
    David Sherman, The University of Montana
    Alan White, Williams College
    Simon Blackburn, Cambridge University