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Special Session of the Nietzsche Research Seminar with Ekaterina Poljakova

Friday 8 March 2024
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden

The Leiden Institute for Philosophy is proud to announce a special session of the Nietsche Research Seminar with Ekaterina Poljakova.

PD Dr. Ekaterina Poljakova

​​​​​​​“Great futility”: Nietzsche's warning against vicious circle of Kant’s criticism

The lecture argues that Nietzsche’s radicalization of Kant’s critical project is much more significant than either a pure contradiction with or a succession to Kant – opposed views which are both represented in Nietzsche studies. It outlines the main guidelines of Nietzsche’s argumentation against Kant, focusing on his interpretation of the logical circle, disguising the mutual justification of reason and the morals that appeals to the incomprehensible. Nietzsche’s critique of critical reason was, however, not always uttered directly but much more in a roundabout way, by means of metaphors such as the image of a Chinese retailer and the metaphoric picture of a sea travel, as well as that of a bird looking for more freedom but finding only its old cage. The suggested interpretation of these metaphors aims at disclosing the philosophical task of Nietzsche’s polemic with Kant, namely his warning against what he held to be the most dangerous intellectual peril of coming age. Accordingly, it implies the challenge he poses to the “philosophers of the future” – the assignment to endure the situation of the radical absence of any certainty and to resist all seductions of intellectual self deception.


Ekaterina Poljakova is a privatdozent at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Greifswald (Germany). She studied at Tartu University (Estonia), defended her PhD in Moscow at the Russian State University for the Humanities and habilitated in philosophy at the University of Greifswald. Her research interests involve continental philosophy (Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, Levinas, Jonas, Luhmann), ideology studies, philosophical concepts of power, the problem of contingency and the philosophy of religion. She is the author of the books: Realität als Macht: Epistemologische, ideologiekritische und theologische Aspekte einer Philosophie der Macht, Freiburg: Karl Alber, 2023; Ideology: Origins, Challenges, Alternatives. Round table presentations on the problems of totalitarianism and their discussions: 2020 – 2021, Moscow: SFI, 2022 (in Russian); Differente Plausibilitäten: Kant und Nietzsche, Tolstoi und Dostojewski über Vernunft, Moral und Kunst, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013.

All are welcome!

Those interested in participating should contact H. Siemens to receive the paper beforehand (hwsiemens@hotmail.com)

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