Related concepts and fundamentals:
Nihilism (/ˈnaɪ(h)ɪlɪzəm, ˈniː-/; from Latin nihil, meaning
'nothing') is the philosophical viewpoint that suggests the denial or
lack of belief towards the reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most
commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism,
which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or
intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent
morality, and that accepted moral values are abstractly contrived.
Nihilism may also take epistemological, ontological, or metaphysical
forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not
possible, or reality does not actually exist.
The term is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the
general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that
one may develop upon realising there are no necessary norms, rules, or
laws. Movements such as futurism and deconstruction, among
others, have been identified by commentators as "nihilistic".
Nihilism has also been described as conspicuous in or constitutive of
certain historical periods: for example,
Jean Baudrillard and others
have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch; and some religious
theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that
postmodernity and many aspects of modernity represent a
rejection of theism, and that such rejection of theistic doctrine
1.6.1 Russian movement
2.1 19th century
2.4 Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche
2.6 Transcendental nihilism / methodological naturalism
3 In culture
4 See also
7 External links
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Forms of nihilism
Nihilism has many definitions, and thus can describe multiple arguably
independent philosophical positions.
Main article: Metaphysical nihilism
Metaphysical nihilism is the philosophical theory that posits that
concrete objects and physical constructs might not exist in the
possible world, or that even if there exist possible worlds that
contain some concrete objects, there is at least one that contains
only abstract objects.
Extreme metaphysical nihilism is commonly defined as the belief that
nothing exists as a correspondent component of the self-efficient
world. The American Heritage Medical Dictionary defines one form of
nihilism as "an extreme form of skepticism that denies all
existence." A similar skepticism concerning the concrete world can
be found in solipsism. However, despite the fact that both deny the
certainty of objects' true existence, the nihilist would deny the
existence of self whereas the solipsist would affirm it. Both these
positions are considered forms of anti-realism. (see also:
Epistemological nihilism is a form of skepticism in which all
knowledge is accepted as being possibly untrue or as being unable to
be confirmed true.
Main article: Mereological nihilism
Mereological nihilism (also called compositional nihilism) is the
position that objects with proper parts do not exist (not only objects
in space, but also objects existing in time do not have any temporal
parts), and only basic building blocks without parts exist, and thus
the world we see and experience full of objects with parts is a
product of human misperception (i.e., if we could see clearly, we
would not perceive compositive objects).
This interpretation of existence must be based on resolution. The
resolution with which humans see and perceive the "improper parts" of
the world is not an objective fact of reality, but is rather an
implicit trait that can only be qualitatively explored and expressed.
Therefore, there is no arguable way to surmise or measure the validity
of mereological nihilism. Example: An ant can get lost on a large
cylindrical object because the circumference of the object is so large
with respect to the ant that the ant effectively feels as though the
object has no curvature. Thus, the resolution with which the ant views
the world it exists "within" is a very important determining factor in
how the ant experiences this "within the world" feeling.
Main article: Existential nihilism
The Nihilist by
Paul Merwart (1882)
Existential nihilism is the belief that life has no intrinsic meaning
or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits
that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant,
without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence.
The meaninglessness of life is largely explored in the philosophical
school of existentialism.
Main article: Moral nihilism
Moral nihilism, also known as ethical nihilism, is the meta-ethical
view that morality does not exist as something inherent to objective
reality; therefore no action is necessarily preferable to any other.
For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for
whatever reason, is not inherently right or wrong.
Other nihilists may argue not that there is no morality at all, but
that if it does exist, it is a human construction and thus artificial,
wherein any and all meaning is relative for different possible
outcomes. As an example, if someone kills someone else, such a
nihilist might argue that killing is not inherently a bad thing, or
bad independently from our moral beliefs, because of the way morality
is constructed as some rudimentary dichotomy. What is said to be a bad
thing is given a higher negative weighting than what is called good:
as a result, killing the individual was bad because it did not let the
individual live, which was arbitrarily given a positive weighting. In
this way a moral nihilist believes that all moral claims are void of
any truth value. An alternative scholarly perspective is that moral
nihilism is a morality in itself. Cooper writes, "In the widest sense
of the word 'morality', moral nihilism is a morality."
Political nihilism follows the characteristic nihilist's rejection of
non-rationalized or non-proven assertions; in this case the necessity
of the most fundamental social and political structures, such as
government, family, and law. An influential analysis of political
nihilism is presented by Leo Strauss.
Main article: Nihilist movement
Nihilist movement was a Russian trend in the 1860s that
rejected all authority. After the assassination of Tsar Alexander
II in 1881, the Nihilists gained a reputation throughout Europe as
proponents of the use of violence for political change.[citation
needed] The Nihilists expressed anger at what they described as the
abusive nature of the
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church and of the tsarist
monarchy, and at the domination of the Russian economy by the
aristocracy. Although the term
Nihilism was coined by the German
Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi
Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743–1818), its widespread
usage began with the 1862 novel Fathers and Sons by the Russian author
Ivan Turgenev. The main character of the novel, Eugene Bazarov, who
describes himself as a Nihilist, wants to educate the people. The "go
to the people – be the people" campaign reached its height in
the 1870s, during which underground groups such as the Circle of
Tchaikovsky, the People's Will, and Land and
Liberty formed. It became
known as the
Narodnik movement, whose members believed that the newly
freed serfs were merely being sold into wage slavery in the onset of
the Industrial Revolution, and that the middle and upper classes had
effectively replaced landowners. The Russian state attempted to
suppress the nihilist movement. In actions described by the Nihilists
as propaganda of the deed many government officials were assassinated.
In 1881 Alexander II was killed on the very day he had approved a
proposal to call a representative assembly to consider new reforms.
Ivan S. Turgenev
Ivan S. Turgenev made the term nihilism popular.
The term nihilism was first used by Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi
(1743–1819). Jacobi used the term to characterize rationalism
and in particular Immanuel Kant's "critical" philosophy to carry out a
reductio ad absurdum according to which all rationalism (philosophy as
criticism) reduces to nihilism—and thus it should be avoided and
replaced with a return to some type of faith and revelation. Bret W.
Davis writes, for example, "The first philosophical development of the
idea of nihilism is generally ascribed to Friedrich Jacobi, who in a
famous letter criticized Fichte's idealism as falling into nihilism.
According to Jacobi, Fichte’s absolutization of the ego (the
'absolute I' that posits the 'not-I') is an inflation of subjectivity
that denies the absolute transcendence of God." A related but
oppositional concept is fideism, which sees reason as hostile and
inferior to faith.
With the popularizing of the word nihilism by Ivan Turgenev, a new
Russian political movement called the
Nihilist movement adopted the
term. They supposedly called themselves nihilists because nothing
"that then existed found favor in their eyes".
Philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard
unfinished sketch c. 1840 of
Søren Kierkegaard by his cousin Niels
Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855) posited an early form of nihilism,
which he referred to as leveling. He saw levelling as the process
of suppressing individuality to a point where the individual's
uniqueness becomes non-existent and nothing meaningful in her
existence can be affirmed:
Levelling at its maximum is like the stillness of death, where one can
hear one's own heartbeat, a stillness like death, into which nothing
can penetrate, in which everything sinks, powerless. One person can
head a rebellion, but one person cannot head this levelling process,
for that would make him a leader and he would avoid being levelled.
Each individual can in his little circle participate in this
levelling, but it is an abstract process, and levelling is abstraction
— Søren Kierkegaard, The Present Age, translated by Alexander Dru
with Foreword by Walter Kaufmann, 1962, pp. 51–53
Kierkegaard, an advocate of a philosophy of life, generally was an
opponent and argued against levelling and its nihilist consequence,
although he believed it would be "genuinely educative to live in the
age of levelling [because] people will be forced to face the judgement
of [levelling] alone." George Cotkin asserts Kierkegaard was
against "the standardization and levelling of belief, both spiritual
and political, in the nineteenth century [and he] opposed tendencies
in mass culture to reduce the individual to a cipher of conformity and
deference to the dominant opinion." In his day, tabloids (like the
Danish magazine Corsaren) and apostate
Christianity were instruments
of levelling and contributed to the "reflective apathetic age" of 19th
century Europe. Kierkegaard argues that individuals who can
overcome the levelling process are stronger for it and that it
represents a step in the right direction towards "becoming a true
self." As we must overcome levelling,
Hubert Dreyfus and
Jane Rubin argue that Kierkegaard's interest, "in an increasingly
nihilistic age, is in how we can recover the sense that our lives are
Note however that Kierkegaard's meaning of "nihilism" differs from the
modern definition in the sense that, for Kierkegaard, levelling led to
a life lacking meaning, purpose or value, whereas the modern
interpretation of nihilism posits that there was never any meaning,
purpose or value to begin with.
Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Nihilism is often associated with the German philosopher Friedrich
Nietzsche, who provided a detailed diagnosis of nihilism as a
widespread phenomenon of Western culture. Though the notion appears
frequently throughout Nietzsche's work, he uses the term in a variety
of ways, with different meanings and connotations. Karen Carr
describes Nietzsche's characterization of nihilism "as a condition of
tension, as a disproportion between what we want to value (or need)
and how the world appears to operate." When we find out that the
world does not possess the objective value or meaning that we want it
to have or have long since believed it to have, we find ourselves in a
crisis. Nietzsche asserts that with the decline of Christianity
and the rise of physiological decadence,[clarification needed]
nihilism is in fact characteristic of the modern age, though he
implies that the rise of nihilism is still incomplete and that it has
yet to be overcome. Though the problem of nihilism becomes
especially explicit in Nietzsche's notebooks (published posthumously),
it is mentioned repeatedly in his published works and is closely
connected to many of the problems mentioned there.
Nietzsche characterized nihilism as emptying the world and especially
human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or
essential value. This observation stems in part from Nietzsche's
perspectivism, or his notion that "knowledge" is always by someone of
some thing: it is always bound by perspective, and it is never mere
fact. Rather, there are interpretations through which we
understand the world and give it meaning. Interpreting is something we
can not go without; in fact, it is something we need. One way of
interpreting the world is through morality, as one of the fundamental
ways that people make sense of the world, especially in regard to
their own thoughts and actions. Nietzsche distinguishes a morality
that is strong or healthy, meaning that the person in question is
aware that he constructs it himself, from weak morality, where the
interpretation is projected on to something external. Regardless of
its strength, morality presents us with meaning, whether this is
created or 'implanted,' which helps us get through life.
Nietzsche discusses Christianity, one of the major topics in his work,
at length in the context of the problem of nihilism in his notebooks,
in a chapter entitled "European Nihilism". Here he states that the
Christian moral doctrine provides people with intrinsic value, belief
in God (which justifies the evil in the world) and a basis for
objective knowledge. In this sense, in constructing a world where
objective knowledge is possible,
Christianity is an antidote against a
primal form of nihilism, against the despair of meaninglessness.
However, it is exactly the element of truthfulness in Christian
doctrine that is its undoing: in its drive towards truth, Christianity
eventually finds itself to be a construct, which leads to its own
dissolution. It is therefore that Nietzsche states that we have
Christianity "not because we lived too far from it, rather
because we lived too close". As such, the self-dissolution of
Christianity constitutes yet another form of nihilism. Because
Christianity was an interpretation that posited itself as the
interpretation, Nietzsche states that this dissolution leads beyond
skepticism to a distrust of all meaning.
Stanley Rosen identifies Nietzsche's concept of nihilism with a
situation of meaninglessness, in which "everything is permitted."
According to him, the loss of higher metaphysical values that exist in
contrast to the base reality of the world, or merely human ideas,
gives rise to the idea that all human ideas are therefore valueless.
Rejecting idealism thus results in nihilism, because only similarly
transcendent ideals live up to the previous standards that the
nihilist still implicitly holds. The inability for
serve as a source of valuating the world is reflected in Nietzsche's
famous aphorism of the madman in The Gay Science. The death of
God, in particular the statement that "we killed him", is similar to
the self-dissolution of Christian doctrine: due to the advances of the
sciences, which for Nietzsche show that man is the product of
evolution, that Earth has no special place among the stars and that
history is not progressive, the Christian notion of God can no longer
serve as a basis for a morality.
One such reaction to the loss of meaning is what Nietzsche calls
passive nihilism, which he recognises in the pessimistic philosophy of
Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer's doctrine, which Nietzsche also refers to
as Western Buddhism, advocates a separating of oneself from will and
desires in order to reduce suffering. Nietzsche characterises this
ascetic attitude as a "will to nothingness", whereby life turns away
from itself, as there is nothing of value to be found in the world.
This mowing away of all value in the world is characteristic of the
nihilist, although in this, the nihilist appears inconsistent:
A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not
to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist.
According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing,
feeling) has no meaning: the pathos of 'in vain' is the nihilists'
pathos — at the same time, as pathos, an inconsistency on the part
of the nihilists.
— Friedrich Nietzsche, KSA 12:9 , taken from The Will to
Power, section 585, translated by Walter Kaufmann
Nietzsche's relation to the problem of nihilism is a complex one. He
approaches the problem of nihilism as deeply personal, stating that
this predicament of the modern world is a problem that has "become
conscious" in him. Furthermore, he emphasises both the danger of
nihilism and the possibilities it offers, as seen in his statement
that "I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism's] arrival. I believe it
is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection
of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master
of this crisis, is a question of his strength!" According to
Nietzsche, it is only when nihilism is overcome that a culture can
have a true foundation upon which to thrive. He wished to hasten its
coming only so that he could also hasten its ultimate departure.
He states that there is at least the possibility of another type of
nihilist in the wake of Christianity's self-dissolution, one that does
not stop after the destruction of all value and meaning and succumb to
the following nothingness. This alternate, 'active' nihilism on the
other hand destroys to level the field for constructing something new.
This form of nihilism is characterized by Nietzsche as "a sign of
strength," a willful destruction of the old values to wipe the
slate clean and lay down one's own beliefs and interpretations,
contrary to the passive nihilism that resigns itself with the
decomposition of the old values. This willful destruction of values
and the overcoming of the condition of nihilism by the constructing of
new meaning, this active nihilism, could be related to what Nietzsche
elsewhere calls a 'free spirit' or the
Übermensch from Thus Spoke
Zarathustra and The Antichrist, the model of the strong individual who
posits his own values and lives his life as if it were his own work of
art. It may be questioned, though, whether "active nihilism" is indeed
the correct term for this stance, and some question whether Nietzsche
takes the problems nihilism poses seriously enough.
Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche
Martin Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche influenced many
postmodern thinkers who investigated the problem of nihilism as put
forward by Nietzsche. Only recently has Heidegger's influence on
Nietzschean nihilism research faded. As early as the 1930s,
Heidegger was giving lectures on Nietzsche’s thought. Given the
importance of Nietzsche’s contribution to the topic of nihilism,
Heidegger's influential interpretation of Nietzsche is important for
the historical development of the term nihilism.
Heidegger's method of researching and teaching Nietzsche is explicitly
his own. He does not specifically try to present Nietzsche as
Nietzsche. He rather tries to incorporate Nietzsche's thoughts into
his own philosophical system of Being,
Time and Dasein. In his
Nihilism as Determined by the
Heidegger tries to understand Nietzsche’s nihilism as trying to
achieve a victory through the devaluation of the, until then, highest
values. The principle of this devaluation is, according to Heidegger,
the Will to Power. The
Will to Power is also the principle of every
earlier valuation of values. How does this devaluation occur and
why is this nihilistic? One of Heidegger's main critiques on
philosophy is that philosophy, and more specifically metaphysics, has
forgotten to discriminate between investigating the notion of a being
Being (Sein). According to Heidegger, the history of
Western thought can be seen as the history of metaphysics. And because
metaphysics has forgotten to ask about the notion of
Heidegger calls Seinsvergessenheit), it is a history about the
destruction of Being. That is why Heidegger calls metaphysics
nihilistic. This makes Nietzsche’s metaphysics not a victory
over nihilism, but a perfection of it.
Heidegger, in his interpretation of Nietzsche, has been inspired by
Ernst Jünger. Many references to Jünger can be found in Heidegger's
lectures on Nietzsche. For example, in a letter to the rector of
Freiburg University of November 4, 1945, Heidegger, inspired by
Jünger, tries to explain the notion of “God is dead” as the
“reality of the Will to Power.” Heidegger also praises Jünger for
defending Nietzsche against a too biological or anthropological
reading during the Third Reich.
Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche influenced a number of
important postmodernist thinkers.
Gianni Vattimo points at a
back-and-forth movement in European thought, between Nietzsche and
Heidegger. During the 1960s, a Nietzschean 'renaissance' began,
culminating in the work of
Mazzino Montinari and Giorgio Colli. They
began work on a new and complete edition of Nietzsche's collected
works, making Nietzsche more accessible for scholarly research.
Vattimo explains that with this new edition of Colli and Montinari, a
critical reception of Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzsche began to
take shape. Like other contemporary French and Italian philosophers,
Vattimo does not want, or only partially wants, to rely on Heidegger
for understanding Nietzsche. On the other hand, Vattimo judges
Heidegger's intentions authentic enough to keep pursuing them.
Philosophers who Vattimo exemplifies as a part of this back and forth
movement are French philosophers Deleuze, Foucault and Derrida.
Italian philosophers of this same movement are Cacciari, Severino and
himself. Jürgen Habermas,
Jean-François Lyotard and Richard
Rorty are also philosophers who are influenced by Heidegger's
interpretation of Nietzsche.
Postmodern and poststructuralist thought question the very grounds on
which Western cultures have based their 'truths': absolute knowledge
and meaning, a 'decentralization' of authorship, the accumulation of
positive knowledge, historical progress, and certain ideals and
practices of humanism and the Enlightenment.
Jacques Derrida, whose deconstruction is perhaps most commonly labeled
nihilistic, did not himself make the nihilistic move that others have
claimed. Derridean deconstructionists argue that this approach rather
frees texts, individuals or organizations from a restrictive truth,
and that deconstruction opens up the possibility of other ways of
being. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, for example, uses
deconstruction to create an ethics of opening up Western scholarship
to the voice of the subaltern and to philosophies outside of the canon
of western texts.
Derrida himself built a philosophy based upon a
'responsibility to the other'.
Deconstruction can thus be seen not
as a denial of truth, but as a denial of our ability to know truth (it
makes an epistemological claim compared to nihilism's ontological
Lyotard argues that, rather than relying on an objective truth or
method to prove their claims, philosophers legitimize their truths by
reference to a story about the world that can't be separated from the
age and system the stories belong to—referred to by
meta-narratives. He then goes on to define the postmodern condition as
characterized by a rejection both of these meta-narratives and of the
process of legitimation by meta-narratives. "In lieu of
meta-narratives we have created new language-games in order to
legitimize our claims which rely on changing relationships and mutable
truths, none of which is privileged over the other to speak to
ultimate truth." This concept of the instability of
truth and meaning leads in the direction of nihilism, though Lyotard
stops short of embracing the latter.
Jean Baudrillard wrote briefly of nihilism from
the postmodern viewpoint in Simulacra and Simulation. He stuck mainly
to topics of interpretations of the real world over the simulations of
which the real world is composed. The uses of meaning were an
important subject in Baudrillard's discussion of nihilism:
The apocalypse is finished, today it is the precession of the neutral,
of forms of the neutral and of indifference…all that remains, is the
fascination for desertlike and indifferent forms, for the very
operation of the system that annihilates us. Now, fascination (in
contrast to seduction, which was attached to appearances, and to
dialectical reason, which was attached to meaning) is a nihilistic
passion par excellence, it is the passion proper to the mode of
disappearance. We are fascinated by all forms of disappearance, of our
disappearance. Melancholic and fascinated, such is our general
situation in an era of involuntary transparency.
— Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulation, "On Nihilism",
trans. 1995[page needed]
Transcendental nihilism / methodological naturalism
In Nihil Unbound:
Extinction and Enlightenment,
Ray Brassier maintains
that philosophy has avoided the traumatic idea of extinction, instead
attempting to find meaning in a world conditioned by the very idea of
its own annihilation. Thus Brassier critiques both the
phenomenological and hermeneutic strands of
Continental philosophy as
well as the vitality of thinkers like Gilles Deleuze, who work to
ingrain meaning in the world and stave off the “threat” of
nihilism. Instead, drawing on thinkers such as Alain Badiou, François
Laruelle, Paul Churchland, and Thomas Metzinger, Brassier defends a
view of the world as inherently devoid of meaning. That is, rather
than avoiding nihilism, Brassier embraces it as the truth of reality.
Brassier concludes from his readings of Badiou and Laruelle that the
universe is founded on the nothing, but also that philosophy is
the "organon of extinction," that it is only because life is
conditioned by its own extinction that there is thought at all.
Brassier then defends a radically anti-correlationist philosophy
Thought is conjoined not with Being, but with
The term Dada was first used by
Richard Huelsenbeck and Tristan Tzara
in 1916. The movement, which lasted from approximately 1916 to
1922, arose during World War I, an event that influenced the
artists. The Dada Movement began in the old town of Zürich,
Switzerland – known as the "Niederdorf" or "Niederdörfli" – in
the Café Voltaire. The Dadaists claimed that Dada was not an art
movement, but an anti-art movement, sometimes using found objects in a
manner similar to found poetry. The "anti-art" drive is thought to
have stemmed from a post-war emptiness. This tendency toward
devaluation of art has led many to claim that Dada was an essentially
nihilistic movement. Given that Dada created its own means for
interpreting its products, it is difficult to classify alongside most
other contemporary art expressions. Hence, due to its ambiguity, it is
sometimes classified as a nihilistic modus vivendi.
The term "nihilism" was actually popularized by
Ivan Turgenev in his
novel Fathers and Sons, whose hero, Bazarov, was a nihilist and
recruited several followers to the philosophy. He found his nihilistic
ways challenged upon falling in love.
Anton Chekhov portrayed nihilism when writing Three Sisters. The
phrase "what does it matter" or such variants is often spoken by
several characters in response to events; the significance of some of
these events suggests a subscription to nihilism by said characters as
a type of coping strategy.
The philosophical ideas of the French author, the Marquis de Sade, are
often noted as early examples of nihilistic principles.
Anti-art and Anti-anti-art
Dao De Jing
U. G. Krishnamurti
Paradox of nihilism
Alan Pratt defines existential nihilism as "the notion that life has
no intrinsic meaning or value, and it is, no doubt, the most commonly
used and understood sense of the word today." Internet Encyclopaedia
^ Bazarov, the protagonist in the classic work Fathers and Sons
written in the early 1860s by Ivan Turgenev, is quoted as saying
nihilism is "just cursing", cited in Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
(Macmillan, 1967) Vol. 5, "Nihilism", 514 ff. This source states as
follows: "On the one hand, the term is widely used to denote the
doctrine that moral norms or standards cannot be justified by rational
argument. On the other hand, it is widely used to denote a mood of
despair over the emptiness or triviality of human existence. This
double meaning appears to derive from the fact that the term was often
employed in the nineteenth century by the religiously oriented as a
club against atheists, atheists being regarded as ipso facto nihilists
in both senses. The atheist, it was held [by the religiously
oriented], would not feel bound by moral norms; consequently, he would
tend to be callous or selfish, even criminal" (at p. 515).
^ a b Phillips, Robert (1999). "Deconstructing the Mass". Latin Mass
Magazine (Winter). Archived from the original on 2004-04-17. For
deconstructionists, not only is there no truth to know, there is no
self to know it and so there is no soul to save or lose." and "In
following the Enlightenment to its logical end, deconstruction reaches
nihilism. The meaning of human life is reduced to whatever happens to
interest us at the moment…
^ Capaldi, Nicholas (1995-11-01). "Scientism, deconstruction, and
nihilism". Argumentation. 9 (4): 563–575. doi:10.1007/BF00737778.
^ For some examples of the view that postmodernity is a nihilistic
epoch see Toynbee, Arnold (1963) A Study of
History vols. VIII and IX;
Mills, C. Wright (1959) The Sociological Imagination; Bell, Daniel
(1976) The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism; and Baudrillard,
Jean (1993) "Game with Vestiges" in Baudrillard Live, ed. Mike Gane
and (1994) "On Nihilism" in Simulacra and Simulation, trans. Sheila
Faria Glasser. For examples of the view that postmodernism is a
nihilistic mode of thought, see Rose, Gillian (1984) Dialectic of
Nihilism; Carr, Karen L. (1988) The Banalization of Nihilism; and Pope
John-Paul II (1995), Evangelium vitae: Il valore e l’inviolabilita
delta vita umana. Milan: Paoline Editoriale Libri.", all cited in
Nihilism and the Postmodern in Vattimo's Nietzsche,
ISSN 1393-614X Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy, Vol.
6, 2002, fn 1.
^ For example, Leffel, Jim; Dennis McCallum. "The Postmodern
Challenge: Facing the Spirit of the Age". Christian Research
Institute. Archived from the original on 2006-08-19. …the nihilism
and loneliness of postmodern culture...
^ www.askoxford.com. "AskOxford: nihilism". Archived from the original
on 2005-11-22. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
^ "nihilism". The American Heritage Medical Dictionary. Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt. 2008. p. 363. ISBN 0-618-94725-6.
Solipsism and the Problem of Other Minds - Internet Encyclopedia of
^ "Challenges to Metaphysical Realism".
^ Cooper, Neil. "Moral Nihilism". Proceedings of the Aristotelian
Society. 74 (1973-1974): 75–90. JSTOR 4544850.
^ L. Strauss, “German Nihilism”, Interpretation 26 (3) (1999): pp.
^ Online Etymology Dictionary s.v. "nihilism"
^ George di Giovanni, Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, The Stanford
Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta
^ Davis, Bret W. - "
Zen After Zarathustra: The Problem of the Will in
the Confrontation Between Nietzsche and Buddhism" Journal of Nietzsche
Studies Issue 28 (2004):89-138 (here 107).
^ Douglas Harper, "Nihilism", in: Online Etymology Dictionary,
retrieved at December 2, 2009.
^ Dreyfus, Hubert. Kierkegaard on the Internet: Anonymity vs.
Commitment in the Present Age. Berkeley.edu
^ a b Hannay, Alastair. Kierkegaard, p. 289.
^ Cotkin, George. Existential America, p. 59.
^ a b Kierkegaard, Søren. The Present Age, translated by Alexander
Dru with Foreword by Walter Kaufmann
^ Kierkegaard, Søren. The Sickness Unto Death
^ Barnett, Christopher. Kierkegaard, pietism and holiness, p. 156.
^ Wrathall, Mark et al. Heidegger, Authenticity, and Modernity, p.
^ Carr, K., The Banalisation of Nihilism, State University of New York
Press, 1992, p. 25.
^ F. Nietzsche, KSA 12:6 
^ a b Steven Michels, "Nietzsche, Nihilism, and the Virtue of Nature",
Dogma, 2004, Free.fr
^ F. Nietzsche, KSA 12:10 
^ F. Nietzsche, KSA 13:14 
^ Carr, K., The Banalisation of Nihilism, State University of New York
University Press, 1992 p. 38.
^ F. Nietzsche, KSA 12:5 
^ F. Nietzsche, KSA 12:2 
^ F. Nietzsche, KSA 12:2 
^ Carr, K., The Banalisation of
Nihilism (1992), pp. 41–42.
^ Rosen, Stanley. Nihilism: A Philosophical Essay. New Haven: Yale
University Press. 1969. p. xiii.
^ F. Nietzsche, The Gay Science: 125.
^ This "will to nothingness" is still a willing of some sort, because
it is exactly as a pessimist that Schopenhauer clings to life. See F.
Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, III:7.
^ F. Nietzsche, KSA 12:7 
^ Friedrich Nietzsche, Complete Works Vol. 13.
^ F. Nietzsche, KSA 12:9 
^ K. Carr, The Banalisation of Nihilism, State University of New York
Press, 1992, pp. 43–50.
^ J. Doomen, "Consistent Nihilism",
Journal of Mind and Behavior 33
(1/2) (2012): pp. 103–117.
^ “Heideggers, Aus-einander-setzung’ mit Nietzsches hat
mannigfache Resonanz gefunden. Das Verhältnis der beiden Philosophen
zueinander ist dabei von unterschiedlichen Positionen aus diskutiert
worden. Inzwischen ist es nicht mehr ungewöhnlich, daß Heidegger,
entgegen seinem Anspruch auf, Verwindung’ der Metaphysik und des ihr
zugehörigen Nihilismus, in jenen Nihilismus zurückgestellt wird, als
dessen Vollender er Nietzsche angesehen hat.” Wolfgang
Müller-Lauter, Heidegger und Nietzsche. Nietzsche-Interpretationen
III, Berlin-New York 2000, p. 303.
^ Cf. both by Heidegger: Vol. I, Nietzsche I (1936-39). Translated as
Nietzsche I: The
Will to Power as Art by David F. Krell (New York:
Harper & Row, 1979); Vol. II, Nietzsche II (1939-46). Translated
as “The Eternal Recurrence of the Same” by David F. Krell in
Nietzsche II: The Eternal Recurrence of the Same (New York, Harper
& Row, 1984).
^ “Indem Heidegger das von Nietzsche Ungesagte im Hinblick auf die
Seinsfrage zur Sprache zu bringen sucht, wird das von Nietzsche
Gesagte in ein diesem selber fremdes Licht gerückt.”,
Müller-Lauter, Heidegger und Nietzsche, p. 267.
^ Original German: Die seinsgeschichtliche Bestimmung des Nihilismus.
Found in the second volume of his lectures: Vol. II, Nietzsche II
(1939-46). Translated as “The Eternal Recurrence of the Same” by
David F. Krell in Nietzsche II: The Eternal Recurrence of the Same
(New York, Harper & Row, 1984).
^ “Heidegger geht davon aus, daß Nietzsche den Nihilismus als
Entwertung der bisherigen obersten Werte versteht; seine Überwindung
soll durch die Umwertung der Werte erfolgen. Das Prinzip der Umwertung
wie auch jeder früheren Wertsetzung ist der Wille zur Macht.”,
Müller-Lauter, Heidegger und Nietzsche, p. 268.
^ “What remains unquestioned and forgotten in metaphysics is being;
and hence, it is nihilistic.”, UTM.edu, visited on November 24,
^ Müller-Lauter, Heidegger und Nietzsche, p. 268.
^ Müller-Lauter, Heidegger und Nietzsche, pp. 272-275.
^ Müller-Lauter, Heidegger und Nietzsche, pp. 301-303.
^ “Er (Vattimo) konstatiert, in vielen europäischen Philosophien
eine Hin- und Herbewegung zwischen Heidegger und Nietzsche”. Dabei
denkt er, wie seine späteren Ausführungen zeigen, z.B. an Deleuze,
Derrida auf französischer Seite, an Cacciari, Severino
und an sich selbst auf italienischer Seite.”, Müller-Lauter,
Heidegger und Nietzsche, p. 302.
^ Müller-Lauter, Heidegger und Nietzsche, pp. 303–304.
^ Borginho, Jose 1999;
Nihilism and Affirmation. Retrieved 05-12-07.
^ Spivak, Chakravorty Gayatri; 1988; Can The Subaltern Speak?; in
Nelson, Cary and Grossberg, Lawrence (eds); 1988; Marxism and the
Interpretation of Culture; Macmillan Education, Basingstoke.
^ Reynolds, Jack; 2001; The Other of Derridean Deconstruction:
Levinas, Phenomenology and the Question of Responsibility; Minerva -
An Internet Journal of
Philosophy 5: 31–62. Retrieved 05-12-07.
^ Ray Brassier, Nihil Unbound, 148–149.
^ Ray Brassier, Nihil Unbound, 223–226, 234–238.
^ de Micheli, Mario (2006). Las vanguardias artísticas del siglo XX.
Alianza Forma. pp. 135-137.
^ a b Tzara, Tristan (December 2005). Trans/ed. Mary Ann Caws
"Approximate Man" & Other Writings. Black Widow Press, p. 3.
^ de Micheli, Mario (2006). Las vanguardias artísticas del siglo XX.
Alianza Forma, p. 137.
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Look up nihilism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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