Fall 2024

Marx, Nietzsche, Freud

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-369


Jaeyoon Park (Section 01)


In this course, we will study the political thought of Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud. We will devote equal parts of the term to each thinker and carefully examine their efforts to theorize a variety of phenomena that still powerfully shape political life: capitalism, alienation, nihilism, the will to power, righteous moralism, rage against social constraint, the death drive, mass psychology, and more.

The course format is half-lecture, half-discussion (it is not seminar-style). It requires close reading of complex philosophical texts and precise analytic writing about the ideas in those texts. Readings will be drawn from, among others: “On the Jewish Question,” the “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts,” and “The Communist Manifesto” (Marx); On the Genealogy of Morals and the so-called Will to Power collection (Nietzsche); The Future of an Illusion, Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, and Civilization and Its Discontents (Freud).

Requisite: recommended, prior coursework in philosophy or political theory (in any department) may be helpful, especially for lower year students . Limited to 18 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Assistant Professor Park.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority given to Political Science majors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: An emphasis on close reading, written exams, in-class discussion.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2022, Fall 2024