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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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How would a better nihilist respond to pity from another?

How would a good nihilist respond to pity from another, given that God is dead? Even if one approves of the motive and action, that's got to be quite the head-ache for any self respecting nihilist.
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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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Is Satisfaction Absolute?

I'm viewing this from a nihilistic standpoint, as in nothing in life has any inherent value, there is no meaning in life, and furthermore there's no reason to have one. So following this line of "...
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Can 'the they self' help us understand Nietzsche's response to nihilism?

Can 'das man' or 'the they self' help us understand Nietzsche's response to nihilism? I'm asking because these are concepts I think I can intuitively grasp from within my life, quite unlike Nietzsche'...
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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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Does the whole universe end when an individual dies? [closed]

Is it valid to think that from a "perspective" of a dead individue,universe has come to an end? I based this argument on my premise that from the start of the universe (~14 billion years ago) until ...
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Do we continue to live because "I can always die, but not always live"

In response to "Why do we continue living?" I've come across the idea that we hold nothingness to be uneventful, how we believe it to be consistent, to be "nothing" at all instances of time, or thus ...
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What reasons does Mackie argue for expressions of value being objective?

What reasons does Mackie argue for expressions of values being objective? I think that his book A World without Values argues that values are objective, but that values cannot be objective (they ...
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Was Nietzsche the first philosopher to really lay claim to 'transvaluation'?

Was Nietzsche the first philosopher to really lay claim to the concept of "transvaluation", by which I mean the re-evaluation of all values? Who if anyone before him made that such a deliberate and ...
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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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What types of arguments convert nihilists to existentialists?

I will not pretend this question does not have personal significance to me, but that need not to be overly elaborated. By studying cases in which existentialists attempt to give advice to nihilists (...
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Is "I don't care" a sound rebuttal in any ethical system?

Is "I don't care" a sound rebuttal in any ethical system, including virtue based or transvaluational ones? The answers to this question seem to say that the "motive of benevolence based on sentiment",...
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Is Nietzsche's goal to find an intrinsic good in what he does?

Is Nietzsche's goal to find an intrinsic good in what he does? So not "amorality" for its own sake, or rewilling what you've done because of the utility, for yourself, of its consequences. Those two ...
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What do Nietzsche's bogeymen say about the meaning of life?

What do Nietzsche's bogeymen say about the meaning of life? Specifically, is it characteristic of his "last men" to be unconcerned whether their happiness is meaningful, or even embrace the ...
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Correlation to Existential Nihlism and Life

First thing to state is my lack of formal education on philosophy. This may lead to many errors in interpretation or understanding. The general question I have is why do existential nihilists ...
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Difference betweeen atomism and mereological nihilism

Is mereological nihilism, the metaphysical doctrine that objects with proper parts do not exist, the same as atomism? If not, what are the differences? How can mereological nihilism work without ...
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How can free will be reconciled with materialism? [closed]

I know that my mind is a network of neurons, where some personality resides, with emotional responses, and motivation. I know that love and friendship and fear and many other phenomena stem from ...
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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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What is the most powerful argument against moral nihilism? [closed]

What is the most powerful (according to most philosophers) argument against moral nihilism in Western philosophy? SEP and googling are of no help.
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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is the eternal return of material violence etc.?

Does anyone claim that what Nietzsche's heroes (and antiheroes?) will the return of isn't every violent human (or natural?) mistake, but some particular aspect of history?
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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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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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Has any philosopher, ever, claimed that the life of some people is of no value whatsoever?

Has any philosopher, ever, claimed that the life of some people is of no value whatsoever? Not just that someone is e.g. dangerous, but some people can have no moral claim whatsoever to life? ...
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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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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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Has anyone made a good defence of Nietzsche's nihilism being available to Christians?

I've read, in the mainstream press, suggestions that Christians have a lot to learn from Nietzsche. Is there any reason to think that his corpus is dedicated to improving, rather than destroying, ...
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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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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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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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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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Does Heidegger suggest that authenticity is an alternative to a genealogy of morals?

I read Being and TIme by Heidegger but some 10 years ago now. I remember this section, because of its somewhat fascist overtones, and had another look at it (out of context) today. Page 386 of that ...
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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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The ending of Ray Brassier's Nihil Unbound

I gave up on this book, By the second chapter I had no idea how the argument was meant to be working. Frustrating, as usually I can reconstruct something or other: perhaps the issue here was my lack ...
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How do moral nihilists and realists define "morality"? [closed]

According to Wikipedia, Moral nihilism (also known as ethical nihilism) is the meta-ethical view that nothing is intrinsically moral or immoral. While Moral realism (also ethical realism) is ...
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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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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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Does any "nihilist" philosopher nevertheless place value on synthesizing nihility [closed]

Theodor Adorno opens his treatise on negative dialectics with the statement that "[it] is a phrase that flouts tradition. As early as Plato, dialectics meant to achieve something positive by means ...
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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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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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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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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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What, for Nietzsche, is a noble death?

This thread Why is Nietzsche so against Socrates? on Socrates and Jesus's death and the article that I linked to there, got me glibly wondering... In Human, All to Human, Nietzsche says that How ...
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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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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 ...