Friedrich Nietzsche, Anti-Education
(On the Future of Our Educational Institutions)
Five little-known lectures from 1872, shortly after The Birth of Tragedy
, in the form of a crazy sort-of-Platonic dialogue (two frat boys hike up into the mountains for shooting practice and meet a cranky philosopher and his dog...). Nietzsche's penetrating diagnosis of the sad state of humanities education is as relevant today as ever: he argues that society is putting too much emphasis on skills training so that people can go out and make money and devote themselves to the state; that professors are no longer capable of asking big questions, so they focus on ever-more-specialized minutiae; that democracy might not be compatible with humanistic inquiry; and he wonders what can become of education when its only end is economic utility.
The Paris Review: Back to School with the Übermensch
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