Paul Hazard Colloquium Series – “The Genesis of Truth: Nietzsche, Husserl, and the Limits of Phenomenology”

For the second colloquium in this academic year’s Paul Hazard Colloquium Series, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Nathan Phillips will give a presentation titled “The Genesis of Truth: Nietzsche, Husserl, and the Limits of Phenomenology” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tues., Nov. 13 in the Fourth Floor Board Room (E402). This event is free and open to the public.

Phillips is a Ph.D. candidate in Theology and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Chicago. His research is concerned with the historical and systematic relations between philosophical and theological thought in the modern period, with a particular focus on the origins and development of phenomenology in nineteenth and twentieth-century European philosophy.

The problems which emerge in bringing Nietzsche and Husserl together have implications for the development of twentieth-century philosophy from Heidegger to Derrida. While the name “Nietzsche” figures only rarely in Husserl’s corpus, it is precisely in relation to what Nietzsche intended to bring to fulfillment, the Umwerthung aller Werthe (revaluation of all values), that Husserl finds a new beginning with the phenomenological reduction. Phillips examines the concepts of origin [Ursprung] and genesis in Husserl’s 1936 text “Vom Ursprung der Geometrie,” counterpositioning these with related concepts in Nietzsche’s 1887 text “Zur Genealogie der Moral.” In so doing, this paper will analyze the diverging and converging understandings on the ”genesis of truth” in both thinkers, before concluding with a critical perspective on the interpretations of Foucault, Merleau-Ponty, and Derrida.

For PDF copies of “The Origin of Geometry” and selections from “The Genealogy of Morals,” email Phillips at