Yesterday I decided to trawl through some lectures located in my philosophy folder when I came across this gem. The course is called Modern Philosophy and it is taught by Dr Ronald H. Nash. He has taught many courses and you can find the course here. The course is free from the Reformed Theological Seminary group and is worth checking out, but there are some problems with the course.
I must admit the lectures are unlike any other that I have heard before from the countless philosophical courses I have picked up from other sources, e.g. The Teaching Company, Knowledge Products, Modern scholar and so on. I was really surprised that there are sermons out there that delve into philosophy, although to be fair a lot of philosophy had derived from spiritual teaching. I at first listened to a sermon on Friedrich Nietzsche, which is lecture 18 and it’s almost an hour long. Heck! There are two lectures on him.
The philosopher Ronald H. Nash does know his subject and he knows how to explain difficult philosophical ideas, especially GW Hegel’s idea on the philosophy of history and how that can lead to the idea of a perfect state. Many people out there know that if there was a difficult topic then Hegel’s would stand out as one of them.
Well going back to Friedrich Nietzsche, the reason I listened to this lecture was because I knew first-hand how Nietzsche despised religion to the point where he called religion a slave morality. This was because worshippers were told how to be moral without putting much thought into their own true nature as Friedrich would have mentioned this. Well Andrew explained Nietzsche’s ideas simply and gave me a new view on the problem of mortality.
|Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche|
Going away from lecture 18, I spent some time listening to lecture 2, which is called “Postmodernity and Deconstruction”. This time Ronald really dug his claws into the ideas of postmodernity. There are many problems with postmodernism and this relates to the view that there is no inherent absolute truth. Perhaps everything is relative, and we all know where this leads. It leads to the idea of what works for me is right and what works for you is right. This is a big problem for moral issues, because as the lecturer correctly points out, there are some things that just cannot be defended.
Playing devil’s advocate, I feel postmodernity’s attack on modernity wanted to break down structures. I would even go so far to say that postmodernity is at times not fully accepting of itself. So you will not easily find postmodernists agreeing on one principle. It just wants to break down rationality and build it back up with things alien to rationality. This leads to a paradox where there is no easy escape.
You can also find postmodernity in architecture, religion, art (difficult to express), media, literature and philosophy. It is quite a big culture movement and not just a theory or idea. So the ghost of postmodernity cannot be easily defeated.
|Art defining Art - Pollock's no 5|