Lecture Transcripts

Lectures arranged by Alexander Bazelow. These lectures were separated out from the other transcripts, bound, and given numbers in the order below. They seem to be an attempt to reconstruct, from lectures given both at the New School and at Bard, what the common course may have looked like. Some of them, such as the lectures on "Homer" from 1954, are drawn from the lecture series entitled "Sources of Creative Power." Though Blücher never delivered the course in the manner indicated here, and the arrangement of the lectures here may more accurately be an attempt to form a coherent thread out of the vast material at hand, this seems to give a reasonable idea of the look and feel of the Common Course as it was intended to be. The dates below are the dates the lectures were actually given.

In October, 2010 during a break in the Arendt Center conference, Human Being in an Inhuman Age, we heard from Mr. Julius Shultz about his wife Ruth's contribution to the early taping and transcription of Heinrich Blücher's New School lectures:

In 1949/50 Ruth and I were a young married couple in need of education and we started taking evening courses at the New School: Philosophy, Psychology, Literature ... Heinrich Bluecher's course came to our attention and after the first two lectures we were hooked. We soon became friends with Heinrich and dinner after the lectures became a routine. Before each lecture Heinrich would pace the floor in deep concentration; in his hands were small (2x3) cards on which he had scribbled notes. To the best of my knowledge those were the only notes he had. He never wrote anything except letters to Hannah.

In 1950 Hannah Arendt was expected to fly back from Europe and we offered to pick her up at Idlewild. After that Hannah joined us for dinner and the idea of taping the lectures came up. A friend had given them a tape recorder, a very heavy old model. We offered to tape the lectures; my sole involvement was carrying the recorder. Ruth set up the recorder and after that spent many hours over a period of years transcribing. Her efforts included rewriting into English sentence structure. Ruth had a philosophical mind and fully understood Heinrich's ideas. They greatly influenced both of us and our ethical thinking.

In 1969 Hannah asked us for the tapes and transcripts and we visited on Riverside Drive. Our 10 year old son came along and he vividly remembers the talk he had with Heinrich who seemed weak and far from his old self. That was the last time we saw Heinrich alive.

Heinrich's philosophy was an important part of Ruth's thinking. Without her dedication the New School lectures would not exist. She died in '99. It is only fitting that her efforts become part of the history of the Bluecher Archives.

Complete Transcript Inventory

I. Introduction to the Common Course (1952)

II. Talk on the Common Course (1952)

III. Homer (3 Lectures) (1954)

IV. Homer (1967)

V. Socrates (2 Lectures) (1954)

VI. Heraclitus (1967)

VII. Buddha (1967)

VIII. Jesus (2 Lectures) (1954)

IX. Zarathustra (1954)

X. India and the Mythopoetic Mind of Man (1967)

XI. Academic Freedom (1967)

XII. Politics, Man, and Freedom (1967)

XIII. A Dialogue with Students (1968)

XIV. A Fragment on Kierkegaard (1952)

Last Lecture

Additional Transcripts

Fundamentals Of A Philosophy Of Art - On The Understanding Of Artistic Experience (1951)

Why and How We Study Philosophy (Summer 1952)