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Anti-Education: On the Future of Our Educational Institutions

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In 1869, at the age of twenty-five, the precociously brilliant Friedrich Nietzsche was appointed to a professorship of classical philology at the University of Basel. He seemed marked for a successful and conventional academic career. Then the philosophy of Schopenhauer and the music of Wagner transformed his sense of purpose. The genius of such thinkers and makers—like th In 1869, at the age of twenty-five, the precociously brilliant Friedrich Nietzsche was appointed to a professorship of classical philology at the University of Basel. He seemed marked for a successful and conventional academic career. Then the philosophy of Schopenhauer and the music of Wagner transformed his sense of purpose. The genius of such thinkers and makers—like the genius of the ancient Greeks—was the only touchstone for true understanding. How then was education to answer to such genius? Something more than sturdy scholarship was called for. A new way of teaching and questioning, a new philosophy...   What that new way might be was the question Nietzsche broached in five vivid, popular public lectures in Basel in 1872. Composed in emulation (and to some degree as a satire) of a Platonic dialogue, Anti-Education presents a provocative and timely reckoning with what remains one of the great problems of modern societies.


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In 1869, at the age of twenty-five, the precociously brilliant Friedrich Nietzsche was appointed to a professorship of classical philology at the University of Basel. He seemed marked for a successful and conventional academic career. Then the philosophy of Schopenhauer and the music of Wagner transformed his sense of purpose. The genius of such thinkers and makers—like th In 1869, at the age of twenty-five, the precociously brilliant Friedrich Nietzsche was appointed to a professorship of classical philology at the University of Basel. He seemed marked for a successful and conventional academic career. Then the philosophy of Schopenhauer and the music of Wagner transformed his sense of purpose. The genius of such thinkers and makers—like the genius of the ancient Greeks—was the only touchstone for true understanding. How then was education to answer to such genius? Something more than sturdy scholarship was called for. A new way of teaching and questioning, a new philosophy...   What that new way might be was the question Nietzsche broached in five vivid, popular public lectures in Basel in 1872. Composed in emulation (and to some degree as a satire) of a Platonic dialogue, Anti-Education presents a provocative and timely reckoning with what remains one of the great problems of modern societies.

30 review for Anti-Education: On the Future of Our Educational Institutions

  1. 4 out of 5

    Fadi

    * Unthinkable: Is ‘higher education for all’ based on a lie? Nietzsche believed expanding college access peddled the lie that all students were equally capable. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/un... * While Anti-Education is lighter in tone than the shrill later books, there is evidence that Nietzsche’s violently anti-egalitarian attitude is fully formed. “Education for the masses cannot be our goal,” one of his mouthpieces declares: there is, after all, “a natural hierarchy of the intellect.” ht * Unthinkable: Is ‘higher education for all’ based on a lie? Nietzsche believed expanding college access peddled the lie that all students were equally capable. https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/un... * While Anti-Education is lighter in tone than the shrill later books, there is evidence that Nietzsche’s violently anti-egalitarian attitude is fully formed. “Education for the masses cannot be our goal,” one of his mouthpieces declares: there is, after all, “a natural hierarchy of the intellect.” https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/bo... * The fundamental problem, according to the philosopher, is that German secondary schools have expanded too quickly in an attempt to keep pace with the growing demand for state functionaries. They’re trying to educate too many people, rather than the intellectual elite, and this has inevitably led to the emergence of ridiculous, progressive ideas about the intellectual abilities of ordinary students. https://www.spectator.com.au/2016/03/... * Nietzsche Lays Out His Philosophy of Education and a Still-Timely Critique of the Modern University (1872). http://www.openculture.com/2016/01/ni... * Nietzsche’s achievement was as a genealogist of morality, and his observations on the origins of liberal values are peculiarly resonant today. As a pioneering classical scholar, he knew there was nothing liberal about ancient Greek culture. Emerging in a long and difficult process that included Europe’s wars of religion, a liberal way of life was an offspring from Jewish and Christian monotheism – a fact our “new atheists” prefer to ignore. One can value this way of life without being religious, but that doesn’t mean all human beings want to live it. If people lose interest in free expression – as seems to have happened in some sections of higher education – there is no argument that can persuade them of its importance. What they want may be freedom from the dangerous business of thinking. https://www.theguardian.com/books/201...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    If Nietzsche thought things were bad with education in 19th century Germany, he would have loved 21st century America. This piece was not what I thought it would be and the reading was difficult (and monotonous) at times. Nevertheless, I completed the read and gained some insight. Nietzsche constantly praises culture and classical arts and I could not ignore the constant 'old school' versus 'new school' educational theme that was argued (in Nietzsche's probable fictional characters). I am all ab If Nietzsche thought things were bad with education in 19th century Germany, he would have loved 21st century America. This piece was not what I thought it would be and the reading was difficult (and monotonous) at times. Nevertheless, I completed the read and gained some insight. Nietzsche constantly praises culture and classical arts and I could not ignore the constant 'old school' versus 'new school' educational theme that was argued (in Nietzsche's probable fictional characters). I am all about education of the masses, and therefore disagree with several of Nietzsche's basic arguments and views. Overall, Nietzsche has a very leftist feel to his views on education and what really irritates me about him is his high views on the philosopher and his disdain toward the common man and worker. People have to work in order to subsist in society. People can not just roam the world writing poetry, philosophizing on matters and seeking Hellenistic culture. Areas of the book that stuck in my mind: 1) Nietzsche illustrates a gross indifference towards education quite similar to the indifference that exists in the modern U.S. I found that this view is easily comparable to the modern United States. "We knew this, that, thanks to our little society, no thought of embracing any particular career had ever entered our minds in those days." "Our little society had sown the seeds of this happy indifference in our souls." "We wished to attach no importance to anything, to have strong views about nothing, to aim for nothing; we wanted to take no thought for the morrow..." "Institutions for teaching culture and institutions for teaching how to succeed in life. All our present institutions belong to the second class...." These quotes remind me very much of our modern United States. 2) Nietzsche had an interesting look on education as a tool for the state. In today's era of capitalism, we not only see system higher education aimed toward the State....but more so toward the private sector. "The purpose of education, according to this scheme, would be to rear the most 'current' men possible,-'current' being used here in the sense in which it is applied to the coins of the realm." "According to the morality reigning here, the demands are quite different; what is required above all is 'rapid education' so that a money earning creature may be produced with all speed;" "...of which they may again recognize the State as the highest goal, as the reward of all their strivings after education." "And again, that this freedom may be broadened still more, the one may speak what he likes and the other may hear what he likes; except that, behind them both, at a modest distance, stands the State, with all the intentions of a supervisor, to remind the professors and students from time to time that it is the aim, the goal, the be-all and end-all." 3) Nietzsche had a very nationalistic view on things. He is very passionate about the German language and composition. While I can not share this view toward 19th century Germany, I do share it toward the 21st century United States. The only difference is that the U.S. has little rich history of culture compared to the ugliness of slavery and genocide. I believe American education should be aimed heavily on this subjects in order that our youth should be able to understand the economic, social, and political ramifications of those historical atrocities. "What we should hope for the future is that schools may draw the real school of culture into this struggle, and kindle the flame of enthusiasm in the younger generation, more particularly in public schools, for that which is truly German." 4) A very strong point that Nietzsche makes, which can really be seen in the U.S. today, is the expansion of schools and the number of required teachers. This point is evident in education today just as it was apparently the case in Nietzsche's time and State. This is more than likely true in all areas of skilled occupation. "Such a large number of higher educational establishments are now to be found everywhere that far more teachers will continue to be required for them than the nature of even a highly-gifted people can produce." "....surplus of teachers who have really nothing at all to do with education, and who are called into existence and pursue this path solely because there is a demand for them." "...large body of teachers who have not been endowed with a true gift for culture, and who set up as teachers merely to gain a livelihood from the profession, because there is a demand for them, because a superfluity of schools brings with it a superfluity of teachers?" 5) Nietzsche view on hierarchy and the masses needing a select few leaders and minds to follow was somewhat disturbing to me. The man was obviously disdainful toward the common people and was very arrogant. He also seems to not acknowledge corruption, oppression, and dishonesty in leadership and power. We know these things exist simply by looking at history and at modern political leadership today. "They were born to serve and to obey...." "The Education of the masses cannot, therefore, be our aim; but rather the education of a few picked men for great and lasting works." "For what, after all, do we know about the difficult task of governing man, i.e, to keep law, order, quietness, and peace among millions of boundlessly, envious, malignant, and hence very narrow-minded and perverse human beings; and thus to protect the few things that the State has conquered for itself against covetous neighbors and jealous robbers?" "I now see more clearly than ever the necessity for an institution which will enable us to live and mix freely with the few men of true culture, so that we may have them as our leaders and guiding stars." "...that great leaders are necessary, and that all culture begins with obedience." "...with obedience, with subordination, with discipline, with subjection. And as leaders must have followers so also must followers have a leader-here a certain reciprocal predisposition prevails in the hierarchy of spirits: yea, a kind of pre-established harmony." "...then you too will feel what a pre-established harmony there is between leader and followers, and how in the hierarchy of spirits everything impels us toward the establishment of a like organization." 6) Nietzsche seems to never tire of complaining about the pursuit of culture, but what he failed to understand was that people had to work to live. Life is not free. People must work to survive. Bread is not free now and it was not free it Nietzsche's time. Regardless, here are some of his ramblings against pursuing an education through the institution which he obviously views as conditioning. "If you take this one, your age will receive you with open arms, you will not find it wanting in honors and decorations: you will form units of an enormous rank and file; and there will be as many people like-minded standing behind you as in front of you. And when the leader gives the word it will be re-echoed from rank to rank." "There you are servants, retainers, tools, eclipsed by higher natures; your own peculiar characteristics never have free play; you are tied down, chained down, like slaves; yea, like automata...." Overall, the reading was dry and tedious. Nietzsche makes a few valid points that I have listed, but I find that I hold different and conflicting opinions with him in many areas.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christopher (Donut)

    "... Here lies the whole secret of culture—namely, that an innumerable host of men struggle to achieve it and work hard to that end, ostensibly in their own interests, whereas at bottom it is only in order that it may be possible for the few to attain to it." "That is the principle," said the philosopher,—"and yet you could so far forget yourself as to believe that you are one of the few? This thought has occurred to you—I can see. " Another early work- recently issued in the NYRB classics with "... Here lies the whole secret of culture—namely, that an innumerable host of men struggle to achieve it and work hard to that end, ostensibly in their own interests, whereas at bottom it is only in order that it may be possible for the few to attain to it." "That is the principle," said the philosopher,—"and yet you could so far forget yourself as to believe that you are one of the few? This thought has occurred to you—I can see. " Another early work- recently issued in the NYRB classics with a chic title: Anti-Education: On the Future of Our Educational Institutions (and a new translation, I guess, although this one was very good). To be honest, I did not know of this book's existence until last year. In form, this seemed more like a work of, say, Herman Hesse's than of Nietzsche's later aphoristic style. The whole imaginary encounter- Nietzsche (the narrator) and a friend go to a wooded bank of the Rhine and there encounter an old philosopher and his disciple- just seemed over-elaborate (but not without charm). The discussion of Prussian education did not seem outdated at all, but that may be because of a willingness to read these remarks with an eye to the current situation. Here is an example: "For centuries it has been an understood thing that one alluded to scholars alone when one spoke of cultured men; but experience tells us that it would be difficult to find any necessary relation between the two classes to-day. For at present the exploitation of a man for the purpose of science is accepted everywhere without the slightest scruple. Who still ventures to ask, What may be the value of a science which consumes its minions in this vampire fashion? The division of labour in science is practically struggling towards the same goal which religions in certain parts of the world are consciously striving after,—that is to say, towards the decrease and even the destruction of learning. That, however, which, in the case of certain religions, is a perfectly justifiable aim, both in regard to their origin and their history, can only amount to self-immolation when transferred to the realm of science.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brett Stevens

    Ever notice that meritocracy and education produce obedient people who are good at memorizing things for tests, but utterly fail at dealing with situations with unknown variables? Through a series of essays and recollections, Fred "Wild Man" Nietzsche shows us the utter failure of the Prussian model of education i.e. seminars, tests, and grades, and points to where humanity can find a better method of giving its youth the knowledge they need to parse the world around them, analyze it, and make c Ever notice that meritocracy and education produce obedient people who are good at memorizing things for tests, but utterly fail at dealing with situations with unknown variables? Through a series of essays and recollections, Fred "Wild Man" Nietzsche shows us the utter failure of the Prussian model of education i.e. seminars, tests, and grades, and points to where humanity can find a better method of giving its youth the knowledge they need to parse the world around them, analyze it, and make choices that are both realistic and creative.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zahra'a Bin Shaibah

    A primeval form of Nietzsche’s last book “ Thus Spoke Zarathustra”. Its as if Nietzsche has always carried this philosopher with him, added layers of his own philosophy formed over the years, as a raw material. Later, sculpting the character of Zarathustra. The book is a discourse in a debate form, ornamented with poetic depiction carried by an anonymous philosopher. . It reflected a lot of Nietzsche’s love and infatuation for poetry, literature and philosophy, and humanities. . Nietzsche describe A primeval form of Nietzsche’s last book “ Thus Spoke Zarathustra”. Its as if Nietzsche has always carried this philosopher with him, added layers of his own philosophy formed over the years, as a raw material. Later, sculpting the character of Zarathustra. The book is a discourse in a debate form, ornamented with poetic depiction carried by an anonymous philosopher. . It reflected a lot of Nietzsche’s love and infatuation for poetry, literature and philosophy, and humanities. . Nietzsche described the sky of pseudoscience and fake culture, that was created by the process of fragmentation, through professionalism and fake freedom, which limits the contemplative instinct through insularity and immature ego. . Several pillars hold this fake sky; . Philology and history, the two archeologists that treat language as a dead body, being dissected under their scalpel. . Nietzsche acted as prosecutor against them, and defender of language; “Take your language seriously” and he continues: “if you cannot feel a sacred duty here, then you have not even the seed of the higher culture within you. How you handle your mother tongue reveals how much you respect art, or how little; how close and affinity you have for it”. . The fragmentation process of narrowly specialized subfield, where one is separated from everything else that helps in forming answers for deep philosophical problems. Eventually, leading them to take the answers from; JOURNALISM, the third pillar, and the “gluey mass that worked its way into and between all the sciences” that emphasizes the two traits of the modern pedagogical system: expansion and dissemination while weakening the educational system. . As for the students they are lost for they are lacking a lodestar, an ideal hand for guidance, through the problems which Nietzsche described as “every personal incidents shimmers in a double reflection: as an instance for every day triviality, and at the same time as exemplifying and internal, mysterious problem that cries out for an answer”. The lack of guidance could be depicted in the fall of Icarus; those student carried with wings of immature ego, right into the demising sun. . Note: If tutoring is your profession, this book will be “ a shinning moment of insight “.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Azzam To'meh

    I so much agree with what is said in this book I found it scary. As I read through, I would be nodding, underlining every few lines, and screaming internally: "Yes! Yes! YES!!". Nietzsche argues that when education is given to everyone, it has to be watered down, and with those having watered down education becoming professors later on, the general level of education goes down. He also argues of the importance of respecting one's heritage, and the centrality of the mother tongue in the creation I so much agree with what is said in this book I found it scary. As I read through, I would be nodding, underlining every few lines, and screaming internally: "Yes! Yes! YES!!". Nietzsche argues that when education is given to everyone, it has to be watered down, and with those having watered down education becoming professors later on, the general level of education goes down. He also argues of the importance of respecting one's heritage, and the centrality of the mother tongue in the creation of the educated individual. A book much needed for many third-world countries today...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sharla

    Read for class "What Is Education For?" Love the narrative story Nietzsche weaves in here, find his points on education compelling. Reminds me of Clement Greenberg's essay on kitsch and avant-garde. Read for class "What Is Education For?" Love the narrative story Nietzsche weaves in here, find his points on education compelling. Reminds me of Clement Greenberg's essay on kitsch and avant-garde.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Vytautas

    It is only fitting that these five untimely meditations didn't reach conclusions - it took 17 years of other books and a mental breakdown. The first skirmish between this untimely man and his times is an interesting reading exactly because it starts the circle that comes to its closure with "The Will to Power". The passion for the problems of the times, the revolt against mediocrity and the desire for salvation from the moment are shining through. It is only fitting that these five untimely meditations didn't reach conclusions - it took 17 years of other books and a mental breakdown. The first skirmish between this untimely man and his times is an interesting reading exactly because it starts the circle that comes to its closure with "The Will to Power". The passion for the problems of the times, the revolt against mediocrity and the desire for salvation from the moment are shining through.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Avery

    Interesting companion to A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government Interesting companion to A Discourse by Three Drunkards on Government

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Lovell

    Nietzsche's early lectures on education are definitely worth reading; however, like everything Nietzsche would eventually write, they're better digested when one withholds immediate judgment. Taking on the mid-19th-century trend in Germany to make education a public (and, therefore, political) enterprise, Nietzsche points out the contradictions and ironies in the mediocritization of the gymnasium, the German pre-college preparatory school. While he agrees that society benefits from everyone reac Nietzsche's early lectures on education are definitely worth reading; however, like everything Nietzsche would eventually write, they're better digested when one withholds immediate judgment. Taking on the mid-19th-century trend in Germany to make education a public (and, therefore, political) enterprise, Nietzsche points out the contradictions and ironies in the mediocritization of the gymnasium, the German pre-college preparatory school. While he agrees that society benefits from everyone reaching a certain standard of learning, Nietzsche ultimately argues that higher education has inherent limits, both in the standards it should maintain and in the individuals able to meet them. Signs of Nietzsche's later philosophical ideas can be seen in these lectures (namely, his warnings about the threats of blanket egalitarianism, the need to focus resources to foster rare geniuses, the danger to culture of state collectivism and journalistic politicking, and the preference for the ridicule of one's enemies over their praise), though the man who presented these is very different from the man who only a few years later would write Zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil. Nonetheless, one can easily read "Anti-Education" as the foothills just before the disillusionment that led Nietzsche up the mountain. Nonetheless, Nietzsche's broad allegory of overhearing a conversation between philosopher and student (an uncommon throwback to Plato in Nietzsche's work) lacks the gleeful freedom of his later work, and thus it drags on in spots. However, this is a minor complaint—which would have no doubt been mitigated by listening to the lectures on audiobook. Nietzsche's argument—that education can either maintain its high standards and have few faculty and students or lower its standards for egalitarian or political reasons—is not limited to 19th century Germany. One can see what politicized higher education did in Germany a generation after Nietzsche's warnings went unheeded—see Kantorek in Erich Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. The editors of this book present the footnotes for a modern audience, relating the context of Nietzsche's lectures to modern American college norms. For more modern perspectives on the topic (at least regarding contemporary American colleges), one can read Brian Caplan's The Case Against Education (wherein Caplan, an economics professor, examines when college is worth the investment and when not, and whether education is improved or devalued by making it cheaper and more accessible) and Heather MacDonald's The Diversity Delusion (wherein an investigative journalist examines the effects of diversity and gender-parity programs on both the economics and the quality of education). Even without these, Nietzsche's lectures are worth considering, especially when considered in the context of Nietzsche's later works.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Scott Holstad

    Well, this was certainly different from all of the other Nietzsche books I've read over the years! And I have to be honest - this book probably deserves an extra star -- 4 in stead of 3. It's just that I A) think it's one of his weaker books and B) find it so trivial compared to his better known and more influential works that I'm largely unimpressed and can't find it in myself to give it more than 3 stars. For those who find this fascinating or incredibly original, I'd encourage them to recall, Well, this was certainly different from all of the other Nietzsche books I've read over the years! And I have to be honest - this book probably deserves an extra star -- 4 in stead of 3. It's just that I A) think it's one of his weaker books and B) find it so trivial compared to his better known and more influential works that I'm largely unimpressed and can't find it in myself to give it more than 3 stars. For those who find this fascinating or incredibly original, I'd encourage them to recall, and if research is necessary then do it, that there were several "schools" of thought, theory and philosophical treatise going on through Germany especially during the century in which this was written and there was a particular school of philosophical thought, which I believe was based in Bavaria, that according to many conspiracy theorists, was believed to have been linked to the then recently banned Illuminati, and moreover the assertions included that later some prominent Americans went over there to study, bringing back belief systems, world views, educational philosophies, psychological agendas, etc., and began to implement such in various points around the country, including some very prominent universities. Some of these were alleged to have included William Russell (of the later Russell Trust), Daniel Gilman (future president of Johns Hopkins University), Alphonzo Taft (a partner to Russell and alleged to have been strongly influenced by Russell's education and networking in Germany, as well as father to a president), and others who went on to become prominent in the country's history as well as those that followed in their steps. If you don't know who I'm referring to, a hint would be "Deer Island." In any event, while allegedly those educators in the Bavarian part of Germany are thought to have had the most influence on a large scale, others around the country were either discussing, debating and publishing on the topic, or were considered more to be philosophers (in addition to Nietzsche, Hegel is an obvious choice) and Germany was simply the hotbed and world leader in educational theory, pedagogy, and so on. Thus, while this text has its merits, I believe it to be simply one of many texts on such topics which came out at the time, some of lesser merit, some of much greater. Which would point to a "C" grade, or in my case a 3 rating. If you are a fan of the author or interested in this type of topic, I'd recommend it, but for the general lay reader, I'd have to say avoid it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    This book is the text of five public lectures Nietzsche gave at the University of Basel very early in his teaching career. Although definitely not a major Nietzsche work, it offers illuminating insight into Nietzsche's early thinking on the topics of culture and education, similar to what he argues in On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life. These lectures are also particularly noteworthy in that they portray in an original light Nietzsche's own struggle to articulate his early per This book is the text of five public lectures Nietzsche gave at the University of Basel very early in his teaching career. Although definitely not a major Nietzsche work, it offers illuminating insight into Nietzsche's early thinking on the topics of culture and education, similar to what he argues in On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life. These lectures are also particularly noteworthy in that they portray in an original light Nietzsche's own struggle to articulate his early perspectives on culture and education in the midst of trying to be incisive and strident, but also while attempting not to back himself into a corner politically or professionally. The form of presentation of these lectures is also very remarkable - Nietzsche's presentation is in the form of a narration of a past conversation, something like Plato's Republic or Symposium. I also recommend this book for the quality of its prose - here you will find that Nietzsche writes in a beautiful and elegant poetic style perhaps unmatched anywhere else in his early works. This aspect of the work seems to indicate the young Nietzsche had a thorough appreciation of German romanticism.

  13. 5 out of 5

    David Markwell

    This early Nietzschean text is an engagement with the problem of education; who is it for and what is it that education should 'be' for those who seek it. Nietzsche's 'lectures' presented here take the form of a report of a conversation overheard by Nietzsche and a companion. Stylistically this makes the book difficult to engage with as it is often problematic to discern who is speaking, what the ultimately hold is 'proper' for education, and if they are meant to be an authority on the situation This early Nietzschean text is an engagement with the problem of education; who is it for and what is it that education should 'be' for those who seek it. Nietzsche's 'lectures' presented here take the form of a report of a conversation overheard by Nietzsche and a companion. Stylistically this makes the book difficult to engage with as it is often problematic to discern who is speaking, what the ultimately hold is 'proper' for education, and if they are meant to be an authority on the situation or not. Overall I disagree with the premise put forth by the 'philosopher' in Nietzsche's text; that education should be for the elect and should serve to uphold 'culture' narrowly defined. However I am not certain if this is actually Nietzsche's view, or if he is offering up the 'philosopher' as a negative example.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    Nietzsche was an earnest nerd. Hard working, antic, and intelligent, yet so prone to flights of nuttiness that break off from what often seems to be a solid, promising set of premises. The issues he raises, and his models of education, are issues and models that seem to always being debated, and he stopped short of offering an actual solution. Yeah, proposals for reforming education was beyond Nietzsche's abilities. Nietzsche was an earnest nerd. Hard working, antic, and intelligent, yet so prone to flights of nuttiness that break off from what often seems to be a solid, promising set of premises. The issues he raises, and his models of education, are issues and models that seem to always being debated, and he stopped short of offering an actual solution. Yeah, proposals for reforming education was beyond Nietzsche's abilities.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Houx

    Remarkable. Not what I expected at all, but brilliant. And, anyway, it's Nietzsche on education: what more do you want? The only problem is that it is an unfinished work, so it doesn't finish properly, but just suddenly ends. Remarkable. Not what I expected at all, but brilliant. And, anyway, it's Nietzsche on education: what more do you want? The only problem is that it is an unfinished work, so it doesn't finish properly, but just suddenly ends.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tarun Gidwani

    Brilliant!! How suprisingly fits contemporary state of education philosophy! Must read for education change enthusiasts.

  17. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Once again we have even more Nietzsche nonsense as he attempts to imitate Plato and fails miserably, while impugning public education with a healthy dose of racist German nationalism.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Although Nietzsche states in the preface that he does not write this book for readers who wish to write a review, I think this helps me clarify my thoughts, to be the inefficient reader he hopes for. So much of his argument I cannot agree with, in particular on the supposedly natural hierarchy between "leaders" of genius, an intellectual elite, and the others, the serving masses, those who attend educational institutions in preparation for a career. I also can't support his belief that culture b Although Nietzsche states in the preface that he does not write this book for readers who wish to write a review, I think this helps me clarify my thoughts, to be the inefficient reader he hopes for. So much of his argument I cannot agree with, in particular on the supposedly natural hierarchy between "leaders" of genius, an intellectual elite, and the others, the serving masses, those who attend educational institutions in preparation for a career. I also can't support his belief that culture begins far above the world of necessity, scarcity, and struggle. Not to mention the other things typical of Nietzsche, like his faith in Greek antiquity as the foundation of "true education" and his vehement, masculine German nationalism. These things aside, if you can put them aside, I can deeply appreciate other thoughts, such as his trust in the contemplative instincts of childhood, the naive intuition towards metaphysical oneness with all things. Expanded on thus: "Especially in tempestuous youth, almost every personal incident shimmers in a double reflection: as an instance of everyday triviality, and at the same time as exemplifying an eternal, mysterious problem that cries out for an answer. At that age, when one sees one's experiences ringed round with metaphysical rainbows ... one's need for a guiding hand is at its most urgent." This belief in the earnest curiosity about life which arises in the mundane inspires me to argue precisely for the free public education that he abhors. Everyone's curiosities deserve trust, enrichment, guidance. I am thinking through what this guiding hand must look like beyond current institutions. Living between survival and curiosity is still difficult today, but the fight to live on must not be taken for granted as an automatic obstruction to creativity or intellectual rigor. So who is the guide? Must the guide transcend my day job (not the institution that I work for, but the work itself)? Why can't what I have, what exhausts me, provide provocation similar to that in my youth? How is there still so much space to think within the mundane? I shouldn't get carried away--even in my job I must not "seek consolation in frantic, incessant busyness--anything behind which [I] can hide from [myself]." Why should I pretend that I'm not bored, tired, kinda done with it all but glad I'm making some money? The ennui is exactly what induces my dreams--and when we are distracted by institutions, we can use them for what we need and want, while knowing full well that they are not where hope is to be found. Like Nietzsche says in the preface, as we enter the battlefield (which one really?), we may consign to destruction and oblivion that which summons us in the first place. He refers to the book, and I see also the larger realm of institutions, the struggles of daily life, whatever stokes us to think. Thinking can be the dream, without the attempts to contain everything in memory. This becomes: how am I already fighting a battle? How do I already refuse to look back? I will drop off this book at the library and forget about it within days. And then I will continue to try enjoying what I can, which includes dumb thoughts that explode into metaphysical rainbows, while I do paperwork, staring at a screen, wondering if the same things will occur tomorrow.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robert Risher

    Nietzsche had a lot to say about the state of German education in the 19th century that is entirely applicable to the educational system of 21st century America, and I found myself reveling in agreement with many of his descriptions of teaching failures, which I worked hard to combat during my own time as a teacher. In particular, Nietzsche's description of the common educators within the system he knew was a disgustingly accurate interpretation of the same position today. It is disturbing to ob Nietzsche had a lot to say about the state of German education in the 19th century that is entirely applicable to the educational system of 21st century America, and I found myself reveling in agreement with many of his descriptions of teaching failures, which I worked hard to combat during my own time as a teacher. In particular, Nietzsche's description of the common educators within the system he knew was a disgustingly accurate interpretation of the same position today. It is disturbing to observe the stagnation of educational attitudes from that time to this, and many new teachers would do well to consult his views before undertaking their new career. Whether educators find themselves in agreement or not, Nietzsche offers a stout contrast to modern practices, and it is enough to broaden one's views.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Buster

    Although it was pretty short, I very much enjoyed Nietzsche's views on the subject of public education. Despite its age, this collection of lectures from the philosopher still seem to ring true even today. His primary complaint with the educational system of his time was that it does not introduce students to what he considers true culture. Instead, it introduces them to what he calls a pseudo-culture that promises some type of independence and equality for every single student. For people who a Although it was pretty short, I very much enjoyed Nietzsche's views on the subject of public education. Despite its age, this collection of lectures from the philosopher still seem to ring true even today. His primary complaint with the educational system of his time was that it does not introduce students to what he considers true culture. Instead, it introduces them to what he calls a pseudo-culture that promises some type of independence and equality for every single student. For people who are fans of Nietzsche's more famous works, this is a worthwhile read. For those who are not a fan of his works, you may find yourself in partial agreement or complete and total repulsion. Either way, it is well worth the read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kyle van Oosterum

    An interesting look into Nietzsche's views on education. Like most of his interests, he is critical and uses his wit as a philosophical hammer (so to speak) in analysing the primary defect of the educational institution: "Here we have Utility as the goal and purpose of education, or more precisely Gain: the highest possible income … Culture is tolerated only insofar as it serves the cause of earning money." It is shocking that he wrote these thoughts down in the late 1800's where it seems quite An interesting look into Nietzsche's views on education. Like most of his interests, he is critical and uses his wit as a philosophical hammer (so to speak) in analysing the primary defect of the educational institution: "Here we have Utility as the goal and purpose of education, or more precisely Gain: the highest possible income … Culture is tolerated only insofar as it serves the cause of earning money." It is shocking that he wrote these thoughts down in the late 1800's where it seems quite applicable now. It's brief, a little anachronistic, but the gist of the text as summarized by the quote is the running theme and makes it a poignant and timeless statement on educational institutions.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sagar

    Though quite incomprehensible in the beginning (to be cruelly honest), the thoughts caught a certain pace after 50% of the *book*. The method of communication is fascinating and the content gets little more concrete as the ideas progress. The linguistics used at some instances made me appreciate the use of language more, making me highlight the phrases (to be used for later, in my own life). The short 90 or so pages book made me wanting for more as what education needs to be was still missing (c Though quite incomprehensible in the beginning (to be cruelly honest), the thoughts caught a certain pace after 50% of the *book*. The method of communication is fascinating and the content gets little more concrete as the ideas progress. The linguistics used at some instances made me appreciate the use of language more, making me highlight the phrases (to be used for later, in my own life). The short 90 or so pages book made me wanting for more as what education needs to be was still missing (could have been intentional) with only a slight hint of the concrete concepts visualized. Was a quick read. Will only recommend to few selected people.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alden

    Interesting premise if you keep in mind that Germany back when Nietzsche was writing this is a very different educational system than today’s US. I really enjoyed the flow of the lecture as a conversation. It made the message behind the story more compelling and easier to read. Nietzsche unintentionally contradicts his arguments often and does hold a very classist viewpoint of the geniuses in society being those that can afford to pursue education solely for the joy of getting cultured. He also Interesting premise if you keep in mind that Germany back when Nietzsche was writing this is a very different educational system than today’s US. I really enjoyed the flow of the lecture as a conversation. It made the message behind the story more compelling and easier to read. Nietzsche unintentionally contradicts his arguments often and does hold a very classist viewpoint of the geniuses in society being those that can afford to pursue education solely for the joy of getting cultured. He also has an unhealthy fixation of Classical Greek and Latin antiquity and seems angry at those who do not place the same emphasis on his beloved Classics.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Grim

    Didn't get much out of this. Maybe I missed the forests for the trees? Lots of rambling about 19th century German educational system, the difference between culture and education. I wasn't able to draw many life lessons from it, nor did I take much away from it's overall point. Until next time Nietzsche. Didn't get much out of this. Maybe I missed the forests for the trees? Lots of rambling about 19th century German educational system, the difference between culture and education. I wasn't able to draw many life lessons from it, nor did I take much away from it's overall point. Until next time Nietzsche.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    (This is a stub. More to come.) While I am against his recommendations, his criticisms are fascinating and still apply. It's worth walking through his argument if you are in any way involved in education. (This is a stub. More to come.) While I am against his recommendations, his criticisms are fascinating and still apply. It's worth walking through his argument if you are in any way involved in education.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jack Robinson

    Although written for his lectures in the early 1870s with reference to Germany's universities at the time, I found several parallels and hence insight into the problems with our own higher education systems today. Although written for his lectures in the early 1870s with reference to Germany's universities at the time, I found several parallels and hence insight into the problems with our own higher education systems today.

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Wise

    Nietzsche's critique of the German public school system. Nietzsche's critique of the German public school system.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Loki

    It's well-written, which is probably the best thing about this book. Nietzsche makes some good points and some unjustified conclusions. It's well-written, which is probably the best thing about this book. Nietzsche makes some good points and some unjustified conclusions.

  29. 5 out of 5

    C

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. He's anti-education He's anti-education

  30. 5 out of 5

    Youssouf

    Hummm, It starts with a great premise but....Anyway, no wonder Nietzsche ended up in a mental institution.

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