Also Sprachen Die Propheten: A Faithful Nietzsche

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time… But I say unto you..”

“Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment… For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name.”

Passages like those above seriously call into question the idea that “eternal laws” are ahistorical, self-existent or totally independent of God’s creative will. Indeed, scriptural support for such a claim becomes nigh impossible once we acknowledge that

  1. the council of the gods might be the source of any allegedly external laws, or
  2. the Lord, as a flawless self-legislator, is subject to the laws that He gives Himself, or
  3. calling a law “endless” or “eternal” does not necessarily entail their timeless ahistoricity.

It is within such a perspective – that rejects any timeless, self-existent laws before which each and every god must bow – that revelation becomes a process of – to borrow Joseph Schumpeter’s term – creative destruction. Nietzsche’s term for the person who embodies creative destruction is the “overman” – a man who is able to overcome the moral commands of those around and before him/her. In this post I will defend the idea that the church is itself (or ought to be) a collective overman of sorts.

First, I must briefly sideline a reading which Nietzsche himself seems to endorse with regard to the transgression of moral imperatives. He calls for us to disobey all moral authorities, even those that he teaches.  Thus, if I follow his advice to the letter, I will simply begin by disobeying his call to disobedience, the same way that Descartes’ method of universal doubt should begin by doubting that I should doubt everything. In other words, anything more than a selective transgression of moral imperatives simply implodes upon itself since “there is no space in the which there is no (moral) kingdom.”

The gospel, I suggest, is not only compatible with, but actively prescribes the selective transgression of various moral imperatives.  The question, then, becomes “Whose moral imperatives should we so transgress?” Nietzsche calls for us to transgress the morals of: (1) enlightened moral reason and (2) dead prophets. (He would also have us reject the commands of living prophets, but this – as I just argued – implodes upon itself. We all follow some living prophet or another.) I will thus address these two sets of people independently.

(All quotes are from Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Hence, the title of the post.)

Enlightened Moral Reason

The moral reason which Nietzsche (and Kierkegaard) attacks goes by many names: public opinion, moral society, peer review, the public sphere, the Enlightenment, etc. Historically situating this enlightened moral reason helps to understand what, exactly, Nietzsche objects to. In a recent series of post, I provided a somewhat Schmittian history of the Enlightenment wherein

  1. the Nobles and Clergy of feudal society descended into civil/religious wars, at which point
  2. the absolutist state came into existence which demoted all religious and moral demands to the status of “private opinion” for the sake of ending bloodshed, after which
  3. a society structured around mutual criticism emerged within a newly created “Republic of Letters” in which every person’s life and deeds were subject to the judgment of “enlightened” reason, thus creating
  4. an Enlightenment coalition that sought to subject the state, religion and society in general to their “dictates of reason.”

By the mid to late 19th century, this public sphere of reason had achieved substantial influence within the state, religion and public society in general and Nietzsche (and Kierkegaard) hated it. Nietzsche’s disdain for equality, philosophy, democracy, the French Revolution, utilitarianism and every other Enlightenment value shines through in the following passages:

In the market place nobody believes in higher men. And if you want to speak there, very well! But the mob blinks: ‘We are all equal.’ … ‘You higher men’ – thus blinks the mob – ‘there are no higher men, we are all equal, man is man; before God we are all equal. (On the Higher Man, 1)

O nausea! Nausea! Nausea! That asks and asks and never grows weary: ‘How is man to be preserved best, longest, most agreeably?’ With that – they are the masters today.
Overcome these masters of today, O my brothers – these small people, they are the overman’s greatest danger… [O]vercome the small virtues, the small prudences, the grain-of-sand consideration, the ants’ riff-raff, the wretched contentment, the ‘happiness of the greatest number’! (On The Higher Man, 3)

Beware the scholars! They hate you, for they are sterile… Such men boast that they do not lie: but the inability to lie is far from the love of truth. Beware! (On the Higher Man, 9)

You preachers of equality, the tyrannomania of impotence clamors thus out of you for equality: your most secret ambitions to be tyrants thus shroud themselves in words of virtue. Aggrieved conceit, repressed envy … erupt from you as a flame and as the frenzy of revenge… When they call themselves the good and the just, do not forget that they would be Pharisees, if only they had – power. (On Tarantulas)

One day the rabble might become master and drown all time in shallow waters. Therefore, my brothers, a new nobility is needed to be the adversary of all rabble and of all that is despotic and to write anew upon new tablets the word ‘noble.’ (On Old and New Tablets, 11)

While Nietzsche despised the ways in which enlightenment thinkers and critics were attempting to legislate their own values within his own community, Mormons can similarly object to the ways in which these same values attempt to stand in judgement of and morally legislate the church and its leaders. (The very idea of “micro-aggressions” would have made Nietzsche feel sick to his stomach.) There are two ways in which this happens. First, we drag our feet and resist when our priesthood shepherds try to steer us down “unenlightened” roads.  Second, we cry out “Oppression! Inequality! Irrationality! Hurtful!” when our priesthood shepherds steer us away from the paths toward which enlightened society beckons us. In more Nietzschean terms, we too often allow an all too trite conception of happiness, reason and justice to stand in the way of the greatness of the kingdom, a greatness that can only come through struggle, pain and leadership.

Nietzsche, then, has just as much contempt for attempts at disguising authoritative leadership in the moral language of the popular masses as Zion does for Babylon’s pretensions to moral authority.

Dead Prophets

Nietzsche has just as much disdain for any sort of static universalism by which the living might be burdened with the dead weight of the past under the guise of timeless rules and formulae. It is at this point that my introductory rejection of ahistorical or “natural” laws becomes relevant:

Evil I call it, and misanthropic – all this teaching of the One and the Plenum and the Unmoved and the Sated and the Permanent. All the permanent – that is only a parable. (Upon the Blessed Isles)

‘At bottom everything stands still’ – that is truly a winter doctrine, a good thing for sterile times, a fine comfort for hibernators and hearth-squatters. (On the Spirit of Gravity, 8)

The good must be Pharisees – they have no choice. The good must crucify him who invents his own virtue… ‘Whom do they hate the most?’ The creator they hate most: he breaks tablets and old values. He is a breaker, the call him lawbreaker. (On Old and New Tablets, 26)

It is worth pointing out at this point that while Nietzsche (and Kierkegaard) hated the Christians he saw around him for his entire life, he would, towards the end of it, develop a sort of respect for Jesus as a smasher of old tablets (the law of Moses) and a creator of new. Nietzsche thus takes Jesus’ words very seriously when the latter contrasted the heavy burden that the Pharisees and scribes had placed upon his audience with the light and easy-to-carry burden which he had to offer. It was this – by very definition – immoral rejection by Jesus of the written laws that led to his crucifixion.

The same could be said for Joseph Smith’s rejection of the creeds and traditions of ethical monotheism and Christendom in particular. A telling illustration of how Joseph subordinated the doctrines of the dead to his own, living teachings lies in his utterly immoral, “new” translation of the Bible. The most offensive of his teachings, however, were those which very closely paralleled Nietzsche’s own rejection of ethical monotheism:  By bridging the metaphysical gap between earthly beings and heavenly beings, between earthly existence and heavenly existence, Joseph Smith clearly distanced himself from the other-worldly asceticism and the “No!-to-this-life” that Nietzsche had also detected and detested in most religious doctrines.

God, indeed, was dead, but Joseph Smith had resurrected Him!


Some things are morally mandatory, while others are morally prohibited. It is our duly ordained priesthood leaders that define these limits within their proper stewardship. Between the limits of the prescribed and the prohibited, however, lies a vast territory in which the false gods and modern Pharisees of moral reason would seek to bind us. The faithful Nietzsche within us thus cries, “Let us transgress all such false boundaries and smash these false gods as Jesus himself once did!”

Jesus came to smash the old tablets – the old laws of dead prophets who lay lifelessly upon our tired shoulders. The load of the living, however, is light and easy to carry. We claim to want new life, new light, new movement, new revelation, but at the same time we drag our feet through the swamp of moral reason and burden our priesthood leaders under the weight of the dead. We want new prophets, but will not allow our priesthood leaders to act as such.

We act as if we will only be given more when we live by the old, but this is not what the scriptures say! Rather, we will only be given more revelation when we live by that which we have been given today. The living prophets will lead us once we free them from the weight by which we ceaselessly shackle them.  Away with the orthodoxies of the dead that would over-determine our lives with fine-grained and legalistic trivia! Let’s smash the rails of “moral reason” by which enlightened society attempts to lead and regulate us.

Priesthood authority is the power of God, the living authority to create new values within the righteous limits of our appointed stewardship.  It is an honor that is not to be trifled with! Thus, when we are told that “[a]ll truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also,” the faithful Nietzsche would ask:

Can you compel the very stars to revolve around you? … Can you give yourself your own evil and your own good and hang your own will over yourself as a law? (On the Way of the Creator)



  1. So much to say, but it may be a while before I say it. (Want to double check my Nietzsche before opening my mouth – it’s been a while)

    Comment by Clark — April 13, 2016 @ 5:37 pm

  2. That’s fair. For the record, I pretty much stuck to Zarathustra. I’ll address his other works in coming posts.

    I just have to decide whether my next post will be about Nietzsche or my objections to apologetics.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 13, 2016 @ 5:42 pm

  3. Nietzsche on decay. “If you see something falling: Push”

    Comment by Martin James — April 13, 2016 @ 7:11 pm

  4. “I am no man. I am dynamite.”

    Comment by Clark — April 14, 2016 @ 8:35 am

  5. BTW – funny aside. I first read Thus Spake Zarathustra for my Pearl of Great Price class with Stephen Ricks.

    Comment by Clark — April 14, 2016 @ 8:36 am

  6. No way! I hope it wasn’t assigned reading for the whole class.

    Outside of my very idiosyncratic reading of Mormonism, I can’t see Nietzsche as anything but hostile to the entire religious studies program at BYU.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 14, 2016 @ 9:19 am

  7. Nietzsche was pretty popular at BYU when I was there. There was a weird article in Dialogue around that time with a fairly superficial treatment of Nietzschean parallels to Mormonism. (i.e. quest for the superman and exaltation etc.)

    I still think Nietzsche is sort of what a Mormon would think if they stopped thinking there really was a god but wanted to maintain as much of the Mormon ethos as possible. I also think there’s a case to be made that Mormons agree with much of his criticisms of Christianity – especially the more political conservative view of Mormonism that distrusts too much adherence to things like charity.

    Comment by Clark — April 14, 2016 @ 10:17 am

  8. How funny. I think it’s a little too easy to Mormons to perceive a stronger overlap than there actually is between themselves and many thinkers. But merely sharing a common enemy (traditional Christendom) doesn’t necessarily make us the best of allies.

    I see Nietzsche as very strongly siding with the opposite side of the Euthyphro dilemma than Plato does. And since most Mormons take Plato’s side – by placing moral law outside of God(s) – I don’t see how they could ever find anything but the most superficial parallels with Nietzsche.

    Recently I’ve been interpreting my disagreement with modern academia and apologetics along similar lines. Consider the following rules:

    1) Truth-claims are universal and unbounded by authoritative stewardship.
    2) Appeals to authority/social-status are irrelevant to the truth-value of a claim.

    I reject (1) and (2)
    Nietzsche rejects (1)
    Modern academia doesn’t reject either
    Classical theology rejects (2)
    Apologetics gives a token rejection to (2), but then largely carries on as if it were true anyways

    Comment by Jeff G — April 14, 2016 @ 10:39 am

  9. Niezsche’s view on morals is complex. I think he’s more rejecting four major pillars of morality in the post-renaissance western tradition. The idea morality isn’t context sensitive. The idea that morality applies to everyone in the same way. The idea that there is a unified will transparent to the agent that is simply causal and determines moral deserts. The idea that intentions are clear and determinable such that agents can be judged good or evil.

    I’m not sure the Euthyphro Dilemma really applies although I also think it’s more complex in Plato than I suspect you do as well. (grin)

    Where I think Mormons would find common ground with Nietzsche is in rejecting the god of the philosophers. This has two implications. First our ontology (including of morals) seems to be basically what atheists suppose rather than what one typically finds theists proposing. (Some Mormons disagree of course) Second, if God is a part of creation then I think some of Nietzsches conceptions of progress may apply.

    Now I think Nietzsche presupposes a too selfish conception of development. That is while he rejects the traditional concept of will whether by Kant or by the Romantics, he still ends up with a notion I think Mormons might disagree with in terms of power and striving. His notion of evolution was pretty fragmentary. I don’t think he could conceive how cooperation and altruism could be selected for in a strong way. That we today not only take such things seriously within evolution but also see their worth as quite high forms more of a break with Nietzsche.

    But where Niezsche is most interesting to me is interestingly with his critique of ontology.

    Comment by Clark — April 14, 2016 @ 2:22 pm

  10. BTW I think you get at least a significant portion of apologetics and those so minded wrong. Again I think this get at the difference between how you conceive of authority and how I do. That is the difference between an absolute trump card and a burden of proof.

    Comment by Clark — April 14, 2016 @ 2:24 pm

  11. Lot’s to disagree about! :)

    -While I really like and mostly agree with your summary of N, I don’t think it is entirely applicable at Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

    -I thinks N claim that the overman needs to will his own values by way or creativity rather than discovery is taking a pretty clear position on the Euthyphro dilemma.

    -I see N as rejecting the god of the natural philosophers (we now call it “science”) at least as much as the god of the non-natural philosophers. I could be reading too much Dewey into him, but my primary aim in this post is the distance Mormon from the modern, naturalistic mentality that N attacks. In other words, I’m one of those Mormon that disagree. I do agree that logic of progress might apply though – I think we all agree on that.

    -I think you’re pretty on point with his views of evolution.

    -Burden of proof is simply one mechanism among many for assigning legitimacy and authority. As such, it could never be brought against “authority” as such, only certain attempts at claiming it. Ordination is another such mechanism.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 14, 2016 @ 3:45 pm

  12. I am interested in which of the two rules you think they accept or reject:

    1) Truth is limited in to some scope/stewardship.
    2) Argument from authority is a fallacy.

    Yet another way that I frame the difference is in terms of the following question:

    “Does it matter how good the scholarship is that critics bring against the church?”

    Apologetics is pretty much based in the idea that it does matter. I, by contrast, think it is a totally irrelevant distraction when it comes to salvaging a waning testimony. (As far as maintaining an air of plausibility for those who do not even pretend to have a testimony, apologists do great work.)

    Comment by Jeff G — April 14, 2016 @ 3:58 pm

  13. Sorry, but I am not with you on this. I think your interpretation of the first scriptures you site is quite a stretch. I am with Plato on this.

    On another note, are you pushing Kierkegaard to far in this direction? Sure he says something like faith being a teleological suspension of the ethical, but I think that this is more going beyond our understanding of ethical, than a rebellion.

    One last thought I had, might this post suggest that our call to read the scriptures may be counterproductive in allowing our current prophets to lead the way they may need to?

    Interesting post again, but I think I superficially disagree with it from the start. Which is about all I am capable of.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — April 14, 2016 @ 5:41 pm

  14. No surprise here, Eric. My own views are basically those advocated here, but with a whole lot of details that I did not have time to fill in.

    Not everything in this post is something Kierkegaard would agree with, only those parts where I explicitly mention him. That said, I am not taking him too far. He absolutely hated the moral reason in which the right-Hegelians attempted to blend Christendom, Philosophy and Art. It is not a coincidence that his “ethical” mode of life quite explicitly include reason.

    As for the scriptures, I think their (the living leaders) urging us to read the passages they want us to read in the way they want us to read them is a very effective way by which they lead us forward. This is one of the points that I thought might lend itself to misinterpretation.

    I would fully expect the more conservative members to hesitate to some of the rather stark claims that I make here.

    Disregarding moral reasoning?
    Disregarding moral laws hat are ahistorical and external even to God?
    Disregarding dead prophets who never had stewardship over us who live now?

    This certainly opens up some elbow-space for the living prophets to operate, but the amount of risk and responsibility involved can be positively terrifying!

    The problem is that while we almost all recoil at this interpretation, it is very difficult to give a knock-down reason why. A failure to be convinced is not the same as a successful refutation.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 14, 2016 @ 6:02 pm

  15. The problem with Thus Spake Zarathustra is it’s so literary that effectively one is doing literary analysis. I’ll admit I tend to prefer the early Nietzsche other than Ecce Homo (one of his later works) The other big debate is where to place his notebooks. There’s a traditional that tends to distrust them due either to the perception of manipulation by his sister or simply because they represent working things out rather than final positions. There’s also a divide, especially between Nietzsche on the continent (not necessarily Continental philosophy) and anglo philosophy over the literary aspect of Nietzsche and how that affects his meaning.

    I’ll confess up front I don’t get into those issues too much. Nietzsche to me always seems a great guy to read to get you thinking – especially in college. At a certain point though you kind of want to go to the issues themselves and the debates there. As great as Nietzsche is for that kind of freshman/sophomore eye opening he’s really not great for dealing with all the arguments.

    To your other points.

    The natural philosophers and other philosophers seem to be a pretty blurry line in the 19th century when Nietzsche is writing. I do think Nietzsche is significant in paying attention the discoveries of science more than many. But of course there were lots doing that in late 19th century German philosophy. (Lots of neo-Kantianism including what became positivism) It’s probably better to see him as a kind of a break with certain traditions in German idealism both Hegel and the romantics like Schopenhauer.

    I think Nietzsche is actually much more in the naturalist and scientific tradition than you seem to be taking him. In a certain sense he really is attempting to push the implications of science farther than most German idealism was. That’s why many of his basic stances (epiphenomenalism or at least second order causal theories of will/mind not to mention the moral implications of them) are so similar to what one finds in the typical atheistic science groups. So in some ways he fits right in today.

    Burden of proof is much more about what one should believe although it can have implications in action. Authority is what people are permitted to do, but then there’s always the question of when authority is lost that I don’t think you’ve addressed well. So to take a not religious example when does a police officer lose authority? If they are stealing drugs for instance do they still have authority? This idea of limits to authority ends up tied into questions of truth.

    Comment by Clark — April 14, 2016 @ 8:23 pm

  16. -Yeah, most of my stuff will be his later stuff.

    -Weber – the most influential social theorist of them all – was enormously influenced by Nietzsche. That’s basically the direction I am heading.

    -Exactly. I think Nietzsche would object to the New Atheists almost as much as he does to the Christians.

    “Burden of proof is much more about what one should believe although it can have implications in action.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever disagreed with you more. Burden of proof is a social regulation governing what we will allow people to do and say without contestation. Thus, the implications that it has for action are all that matter and nothing else.

    “So to take a not religious example when does a police officer lose authority?”

    When those who have the authority to withdraw his authority do so.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 15, 2016 @ 10:12 am

  17. Eric,

    I might point out that the interpretation of the gospel put forward in the OP is essentially that of an illiterate community or Adam’s family who did not have independent access to the teachings of the dead. Assuming no written transmission, Noah could have taught very different “eternal laws” than Adam had taught and nobody would have been the wiser. This, I am arguing, is a good thing.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 15, 2016 @ 10:15 am

  18. Yup we simply disagree with both. If an officer of the court demands something even though they have the authority and don’t have to follow. Thus legal battles that go up in authority. The authority, whether it be a local law officer or judge, never has their authority removed. Rather we’ve codified a way to contest the exercise of their authority.

    The argument (which I recognize you disagree with) is that reason provides this as well.

    Comment by Clark — April 15, 2016 @ 10:18 am

  19. I’m not sure I follow your example.

    If an officer asks for something which they do not have the authority to ask for, then this doesn’t make a very useful example.

    I also don’t see how a codification of authority is a counter-example to my claim that it is a mechanism for distributing authority.

    By my lights “reason” doesn’t do anything at all. Actual people do things, and some of these things include organizing their actions through a particular process of praise and punishment (legitimation and delegitimation) that we call “reason”.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 15, 2016 @ 10:33 am

  20. That’s sort of the point I’m getting at. There’s a blurry line over what is or isn’t authorized. But I think we both know we disagree on this point. (Grin)

    BTW – related to your comment at BCC on self-knowledge it’s interesting that both Niezsche and Haidt largely agree on this point. Nietzsche thinks philosophy largely depends upon a kind of transparency that is wrong. Most of his criticisms, especially in the early works, rest on that.

    Comment by Clark — April 15, 2016 @ 12:27 pm

  21. I agree.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 15, 2016 @ 1:21 pm

  22. A big part of what this post is about is the “will to forget”.

    Imagine a world in which every scripture evaporated into thin air the moment that its author died. Yes, this would be bad. I think we all agree on this. The argument that I’m advancing is that it wouldn’t be ALL bad: There are benefits associated with – and outweighed by – such costs.

    The other part has to do with a significant disregard for “morality” was we have come to call it. It is worth pointing out that the scriptures only use the word “moral” (or any of its forms) only once (section 101) and it seems to do more with political and social engagement than actual righteousness as such.

    We have just been trained over the last 200 years to think that morality is always and only righteousness. I’m calling this supposition into question. Indeed, morality was largely aimed at replacing righteousness.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 16, 2016 @ 9:37 am

  23. I’m not sure I agree depending upon what one means by replacing. My sense is that what tended to get replaced was medieval conceptions and that people slowly started reforming that. Since I tend to think the medieval conceptions were largely a-scriptural and wrong this still seemed a step up.

    With regards to the rest it’s hard to say given how little the scriptures describe the details. How things were viewed seems to change over time with the Old Testament and aren’t described in any detail in the Book of Mormon. It seems more a kind of devotion to God rather than morality though. But the change in that regard again happened in the medieval era and perhaps even late antiquity around the time of Augustine.

    Comment by Clark — April 18, 2016 @ 9:33 am

  24. “depending upon what one means by replacing”

    I think the much bigger question is what one means by “morality”. My definition of the word is VERY different that what we mean by it now in which “morality” has been ideologically conflated with all and only those things that we ought to do. This is not what morality originally meant. (I don’t think you’ve necessarily contradicted this claim, but the clarification might be useful for lurkers.)

    Morality was what evolved as private individuals began to form associations free from governmental and religious supervision, originally within the context of absolute monarchism. (This “private” associations are largely what Habermas would call the “public” sphere. How public or private such assocations proclaim themselves to be is very related to the interests at stake in doing so.) John Locke was one of the first to theorize the virtues of this kind of association – such associations being one of the primary differences between him and Hobbes.

    It is with this understanding in mind that we should read the following claim which should sound familiar to Mormons:

    Where there is no free agency, there can be no morality. Where there is no temptation, there can be little claim to virtue. Where the routine is rigorously proscribed by law, the law, and not the man, must have the credit of the conduct. [William H. Prescott, “History of the Conquest of Peru,” 1847]

    In this understanding, free agency is quite nearly defined as a sphere of free association in which the rule of law (religious or absolutist) does not hold sway. It is only when the such a freedom of association is protected, that moral praise and blame exist.

    It was the Enlightenment coalition (especially the French philosophes) who would conflate their own particular morality which they had relatively recently cultivated with the universal, timeless and “natural” laws to which all men should submit. (The British attempt – which Marx would rightly attack – to give the illusion of “naturalness” to their own preferred Laissez Faire political economy was very much an expression of this tendency.) The Enlightenment coalition thus branded their own particular morality as the universal and natural one as a socio-political strategy whereby they could gain and wield legislative control over the recently formed state, in the exact same way that the clergy had previous wielded such a control (or at least pretended to) over the ruling nobility.

    While Nietzsche does not explicitly articulate this particular genealogy of moral (very sad!) one can still find traces of it lingering in there. Kierkegaard’s earlier attack on morality definitely presupposes this stark contrast between morality and religion. Indeed, his was a willful rejection of the post-Hegelian attempt at conflating the two by treating moral reason as a higher, more developed expression of religious faith. Sadly, I think us modern have pretty much all fallen for this conflation – which is unsurprising given the enormous influence that these same, post-Hegelian Germans played in the creation of the Humboltian model of academia and its corresponding curriculum.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 18, 2016 @ 11:33 am

  25. I’ve always found it more than a little amusing how much Nietzsche tried to emulate the style of the French moralistes while at the same time attacking their moral influence over society.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 18, 2016 @ 11:37 am

  26. I definitely think the question of norms, oughts and responsibilities differed between the public and private spheres. This was a big deal in Greek thought and that then continued on through Roman and medieval eras in various ways and to varying degrees.

    I think your point about “free agency” in the 19th century is completely apt. I also think this has a lot to do with the Book of Mormon use too. (I sense a post coming on)

    It’s interesting as I’ve been listening to Bourdieu on The Partially Examined Life podcast. So his views on some related issues are kind of interesting.

    Comment by Clark — April 18, 2016 @ 3:05 pm

  27. I figured you’d listen to it. At times a couple of the guys seemed to really resist a socially conditioned approach to their own tastes though.

    Either way,i thought the podcast and our discussions complemented each other quite nicely.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 18, 2016 @ 3:51 pm

  28. With two weeks material,i expected them to go into as little more detail though. It seemed like they only read the first and last 40 pages of the book.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 18, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

  29. I didn’t think it one of their better shows although it still was vastly superior to that horrible Adorno episode the week before.

    Comment by Clark — April 19, 2016 @ 8:47 am

  30. I didn’t listen to the Adorno episode. Reading his own writings on artistic production is brutal enough. I vastly prefer Horkeheimer.

    Comment by Jeff G — April 19, 2016 @ 8:56 am

  31. Yeah I can’t really blame them. It was kind of like their reading of Ayn Rand or the New Atheists. You could tell that very quickly their heart wasn’t in it but were trying as best they could.

    Comment by Clark — April 19, 2016 @ 11:57 am