Questions tagged [nihilism]

Nihilism is a type of philosophical view that variously considers life as without objective meaning or without intrinsic value.

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38
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14answers
10k views

Is faith necessary for man to survive / why is existentialism valued if it is unsubstantiated?

I'd like to point out that I have basically no knowledgeable background in philosophy, but this question has been troubling me as of late, and I need an informed take on this. I was watching a video ...
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14answers
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How come nihilism is so popular today?

I've been trying to attack this question (or more precisely, come up with an answer to that fact) for some time now, but after a while of research I'm suddenly not so sure of the reason the situation ...
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10answers
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Why do people who subscribe to self-refuting skeptical philosophies still argue with others?

The belief that everything is relative is obviously self-refuting, because it holds to an absolute. However, in my experience, people who believe this (or some form of it) such as some Buddhists and ...
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7answers
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Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist?

Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist? That nothing exists, not even you or me? And by not existing, I mean totally not existing, as in not even existing as a computer simulation, or a ...
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Arguments for moral realism?

I would like to hear some good arguments for moral realism. Most that I find online is based on "If you don't believe in objective values, then murder is okay". While this might seem frightening, I ...
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6answers
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Doesn't nihilism contradict itself?

Doesn't nihilism contradict itself? I mean, and correct me if I am wrong, nihilism say there is no meaning and no value to it all. But saying so it is making an affirmation which has value and ...
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3answers
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Why and how is Camus "against nihilism"?

I see in several sources that Camus is "against nihilism"(though there are also a few which state he utilizes elements of nihilism), however, (Sorry for referring to Wikipedia. Didn't have enough ...
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3answers
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Does human progress ultimately reduce individuals to Nietzsche's last men?

Human progress – technological, scientific, social, etc. – seeks to reduce, and ultimately totally eliminate, the aspects of life we perceive as unpleasant – loss, tragedy, suffering ... However, an ...
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6answers
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Does extreme nihilism endorse suicidal behavior?

Nihilism lacks any belief in moral values. Then, if taken to its extreme form, does nihilism prescribe to a belief in no purpose for existence at all? If nihilism has no objective value system, does ...
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1answer
828 views

Moral nihilism?

I have two main worries, which are drawn from Nagel and Mackay for their expression, though I think I agree with neither of these philosophers. First I will sketch my idea about right and wrong, ...
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12answers
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What's the best way to deal with nihilism?

I philosophically align with nihilism, but I find it incredibly disheartening. What's the best way to still feel hopeful and to enjoy life while being nihilistic? Or at least a rebuttal to it?
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Does postmodernism entail nihilism?

Postmodernism characterizes mainly as the view that there's no objective truth, no objective moral values, and that logic and reason are socially constructed concepts. These seem to me to be ...
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4answers
641 views

Nietzsche a Reluctant or Triumphant Atheist?

I remember once reading some literature in which Nietzsche was classified as a reluctant atheist. The piece made the point that in Thus Spoke Zarathustra Nietzsche seems to be bemoaning the perceived ...
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3answers
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What are some good books about existential philosophy?

I recently have gained a lot of interest in philosophy and have especially taken to Nietzsche's work and ideas. I am reading philosophy to understand on a more personal level to lead a more fulfilled ...
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2answers
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What did Camus mean when he wrote "All thoughts are anthropomorphic"?

I am currently reading the Myth of Sisyphus and I came across the following: All thoughts are anthropomorphic My Interpretation Prior to reading this, I had no idea what "anthropomorphic" meant....
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What is the difference between existentialism, nihilism and absurdism?

I do not have any formal training in these subjects or any of philosophy, for that matter. So, forgive me for my naive question. As I understand it, all of these take the view that "existence ...
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1answer
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Was Nietzsche against hedonism?

At first, I think there is a difference between utilitarianism and hedonism in that first assumes some kind of utility which can be calculated and last simply puts that it's natural (we are not here ...
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2answers
645 views

Refuting nihilism - why pursue happiness if it can be stripped from us by accidental events at any time?

I was encouraged to start a new question thread pertaining to a question that sprung out from this one. According to one of the users's answers: The delusion of the joys of life that had ...
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How would you explain the is-ought dichotomy to an "Objectivist"?

I've recently met someone who identifies as an "Objectivist." I'm a moral nihilist, so naturally I asked about the is-ought problem. His response was frustrating. He claims that Rand avoids the is-...
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2answers
282 views

Can nihilists reject Kantian necessitation without also rejecting free will?

To me, the rejection of free will seems so useless that it is not even worth seriously considering. However, the existence of free will does seem to necessitate a normative standard by which certain ...
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1answer
265 views

Moral nihilism & teleology

Can one be a moral nihilist and hold teleological beliefs at the same time? More specifically, can I be a moral nihilist, whilst also being a utilitarian? And further, is teleology a branch of moral ...
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2answers
684 views

How does Nietzsche's last man refuse life?

The way Nietzsche talks about the last man suggests that they are concerned with making life more bearable, and not much else. A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much ...
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1answer
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Existentialism in relation to Roberto Unger's Beyond Nihilism

Roberto Mangabeira Unger's series of talks Beyond Nihilism sorts historical religions and other -isms (democracy, liberalism, socialism, romantizism etc.) eloquently into three orientations, namely ...
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1answer
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What is a Nihilist and a Buddhist point of view on music and other forms of entertainment?

From what I know, Buddhism seeks to detach from every form of pleasure and craving, listening to music could be seen as a way of not being present in the moment, but I'm sure they too can enjoy music. ...
3
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1answer
562 views

Does Nietzsche say, and mean, that all life is unavoidably tragic?

Does Nietzsche say, and mean, that all life is unavoidably tragic? All I know, right now, is that he had a book The Birth of Tragedy, about theater I think. And, I think, that all life is a struggle ...
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4answers
628 views

Absurdists/Nihilists/Existentialists take on as to why there is no intrinsic meaning to life

So, I just got into absurdism (formally-as a "branch" in philosophy, though I had been thinking in similar terms for a longer period now), and currently am reading "The Myth of Sysiphus" by Albert ...
3
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1answer
376 views

What is Nietzsche's madman to his Overman?

The parable of the madman, says: At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous ...
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4answers
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How does master morality damage the herd?

Does Nietzsche ever suggest that "master morality" is irrevocably damaging to the herd, that it can seduce them? And in what sense would that matter, either for the herd, the individual beast, or ...
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1answer
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Which contemporary philosophers explicitly engage with Nietzsche's statement that "God is dead"?

Which contemporary theorists, especially of art or poetry, explicitly and deliberately engage with Nietzsche's statement that "God is dead"? Obviously Nietzsche has had a huge influence on post / ...
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0answers
191 views

Instrumentalist value theory. Is it morally nihilistic? Is it science?

I could not give a better name for this theory, so I call it "Instrumentalist value theory". According to this theory nothing is intrinsically valuable. Nothing and no one can be treated as ends, but ...
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3answers
286 views

Joy accompanies, joy does not move

In Will to Power, Nietzsche wrote that joy accompanies, joy does not move This claim strikes me as false. Behind this seems to be the idea that power rather happiness motivates us. But I think ...
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5answers
408 views

How to avoid nihilism as an agnostic?

As an agnostic I end up as a nihilist on morality. Philosophers say we need a framework for morality but if that framework is religious, which itself is not empirical and sometimes is contradictory, ...
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1answer
535 views

Introduction to Nihilism

What are some good basic texts to study on Nihilism on your own. I am interested in knowing philosophy of Nihilism.
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3answers
192 views

How does the superman have value, if morality and humanity don't?

What does 'beyond good and evil' mean really? A lot of commentators seem -- to me -- to write as if talking about someone so perfect that they are beyond moral vices, and with that, judgments of ...
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1answer
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Objections to moral nihilism based on argument from evolution?

One can argue for moral nihilism by claiming that all of our fundamental moral beliefs are explained by the theory of evolution (e.g. early human tribe of liars more likely to fight amongst each other ...
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2answers
538 views

Has any philosopher ever gone a step beyond solipsism and argued that nothing exists?

I've heard that an example of an absolute certainty, is that there is a reality. i.e. that something exists. I cannot imagine how one could argue that nothing exists. I know that even solipsists ...
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2answers
456 views

What is the goal of the Übermensch?

I have been reading Thus spoke Zarathustra, and i understand that Man should attempt to act to be like an Overman, or a bridge to one. But i have a dilemma: Is the Übermensch the final goal of ...
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2answers
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Why does Nietzsche "love those that know not how to live"?

It is rather sad, but I read this section in Thus Spoke Zarathustra so many times. Both because I like the concept "arrows of longing" (for the overman), and find the phrase therein about also going ...
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5answers
495 views

Recommendations for philosophical texts for a skeptic/determinist/existential nihilist?

I've always toyed with philosophy but never really got into it. I know the basic ideas of the basic schools but never got past the freshman intro course level. However, lately I've been doing some ...
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2answers
172 views

Is there a philosophy of not-knowism?

I believe that we humans are forever trapped in our (conditional, limited, and flawed) perception which separates us from the reality. In simple words, I don't and will never know anything and never ...
2
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2answers
141 views

Does existential nihilism draw the false conclusion that humanity is insignificant?

This question is based on the assumption that the information on Wikipedia on existential nihilism is correct. I mean to question the validity the following text, quote: Existential nihilism is the ...
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3answers
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Nihilist paradox

As Nietzsche is an obvious example, I am focusing on him. I think that there are no nihilist philosophers, because if someone is a nihilist, why would the nihilist even bother telling us? As a ...
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1answer
151 views

Is Nietzsche's "new infinite" a value?

Our new "infinite." - How far the perspective character of existence extends or indeed whether existence has any other character than this; whether existence without interpretation, without "sense,...
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1answer
183 views

Is it human nature to feel existential anguish?

It seems as if when one looks into the sky and realizes the vastness of the world around them that it's natural to feel empty and alone. Is that all humans can feel? Or is there more to life than ...
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1answer
6k views

Am I a nihilist?

I am trying to find the name of the philosophy which matches my beliefs, so that I can research further without having similar but different results getting in the way. The key features I'm looking ...
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1answer
860 views

What were Camus' views on nihilism and existentialism?

I have recently become fairly interested in Camus. I'm not really that familiar with philosophy, but I do know the difference between nihilism and existentialism. I've been wondering what Camus ...
2
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1answer
374 views

Is the death penalty a nihilistic solution to a crime?

The death penalty serves as an orthogonal solution to limiting the occurrence of an offence within society. It neither gives the perpetrator the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, nor does it ...
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3answers
826 views

Death and Nietzsche's eternal return

Does Nietzsche's eternal return mean that everything, including the person that you are, repeats itself after death. Assuming this is physically improbable, is it possible to make sense of it as a ...
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0answers
103 views

How to deal with nihilist approaches to live a productive life? [closed]

Right off the bat, I'm a high school science student with no academic background in philosophy, other than mere personal interest. I've read meditations (like everyone else), general articles and have ...
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0answers
148 views

Nietzsche’s views on human curiosity

I chanced upon Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘On truth and lies in a non moral sense’. Although I’m not technically a ‘philosopher’ (but aren’t we all philosophers), I’m not sure I agree with his views on ...