Nietzche on Our Passions

Jin S. Lee : Philosophy

Mentor: Professor Emeritus Wallace Matson, Philosophy

Why do we live? What is so profound about life that drives us to live? Western philosophy overwhelmingly suggests the answer to be reason. Like Nietzsche, I rather believe the answer has to do with our passions (i.e. emotions). I wish to substantiate this intuition by critically assessing Nietzsche’s main texts, as well as pertinent secondary texts. Based on these investigations, I propose to write an expanded honors thesis in Philosophy that will examine Nietzsche’s insights on the passions, the role the passions have in his overall philosophy, and the relationship between the passions and other important notions (e.g. will to power). The second phase of my project is geared toward moving beyond Nietzsche to examine other thinkers (e.g., Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, Wollheim, etc.) who have made significant contributions in this subject matter, and juxtaposing their thoughts to Nietzsche’s.