45 votes

How come nihilism is so popular today?

While I'm not entirely convinced of the premises of the question, in general people seek out philosophies that address conditions of life as they experience it. In the marketplace of ideas, a ...
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39 votes

How come nihilism is so popular today?

I can think of 2 reasons: Naturalism is the philosophy most promoted in public schools. With some exceptions, people tend to stick with what they're taught in school. Believing in a supernatural ...
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  • 491
28 votes

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

The short answer is No. A slightly longer one is this; I know many atheists who lead highly moral lives, not because they believe they'll go to hell if they don't, but because they want to. On the ...
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  • 1,457
17 votes

How come nihilism is so popular today?

Jacob Ross, Rejecting Ethical Deflationism,' Ethics 116, 2006: 742–68 defines nihilism as : ▻ NIHILISM - DEFINITION '...the view that the notions of good and bad and of right and wrong are ...
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  • 34.6k
13 votes

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

I would say the answer is yes, but with the addendum that the faith need not be in god or a higher power. As we go through life we have faith that certain things will happen. The sun will rise, the ...
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  • 231
13 votes
Accepted

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

I will focus on answering these questions in your addendum Is no view of the world any more legitimate than the other? Are Tolstoy’s beliefs any more valid than my own, even if I have less of a ...
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10 votes

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

Do I need faith not to slump into nihilistic despair? Is life as tragic as it's being painted out to be by these people? Tolstoy argues yes. Below is my attempt to explain his argument, since I think ...
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  • 101
9 votes

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

Is it really true that life is this bleak? By way of answering your question - no, this is not true. Life is neither bleak nor non-bleak, because neither life nor anything else (except for abstract ...
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9 votes

How can a non-religious person justify or rationalize hope or optimism in an absurd world?

My first comment provides the starting point for my answer. This is something that's far easier to discuss in person than it is over the limiting format of Stack Exchange. What gives people hope is ...
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  • 17.2k
9 votes

How can a non-religious person justify or rationalize hope or optimism in an absurd world?

How can a non-religious person justify or rationalize hope or optimism in an absurd world? Can you acknowledge the absurd and still be hopeful and optimistic? I feel like you either can acknowledge ...
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  • 210
8 votes

How come nihilism is so popular today?

If nihilism is more popular these days, I would argue this is because the ideas which guided people through life with certainty and optimism no longer enjoy a consensus. Nietzsche discussed the ...
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6 votes

How to deal with the absurd life?

How to live a meaningful life in a world where the received wisdom of religion and culture is no longer taken for granted is one of the defining problems of the modern age, and the central question of ...
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6 votes

Theory that we do everything for our own benefit

The closest match is probably the Utilitarian ethical theory called "Enlightened Self Interest". The basic idea is that we act ethically once we learn it is in our own self-interest to promote the ...
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5 votes

Why does Sartre say one cannot be anything unless others recognize one as such?

Per my understanding, he means that we only come to know our own existence in contact with others, when others send back to us our own image (how we appear to them). It follows that "I" is an ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Who are some anti-existentialist philosophers and what were there arguments against it?

One simple example of a philosopher who would have disagreed with the "existence precedes essence bit" is Plato: Plato's theory of Forms or theory of Ideas asserts that non-material abstract (but ...
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5 votes

why "life" bother to exist when its literally just a bunch of atoms and particles?

I find it amazing that you are just 14 years old; you sound a little like Marvin the Paranoid Android, and even if you only have a brain half the size of his, I am getting high on just contemplating ...
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  • 4,467
5 votes

According to Existentialism, is the statement "I don't have a choice" a choice?

Yes, Sartre explicitly says as much. Consider his lecture: Existentialism is a Humanism In one sense choice is possible, but what is not possible is not to choose. I can always choose, but I must ...
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5 votes
Accepted

What are some good books about existential philosophy?

Unfortunately, I haven't found too many existentialist works with a nuts-and-bolts focus, so my recommended reading list is really short -- two books in fact. Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor ...
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  • 1,810
5 votes
Accepted

For Kierkegaard, how does being "animal" and "rational" compel us to invent meaning?

I haven't read Richard Schmitt which makes me hesitant to answer the question as to what he means, but I can address the quote and what Kierkegaard means. First, the idea is not singular to ...
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  • 24.3k
5 votes
Accepted

Theory that we do everything for our own benefit

The theories you are looking for, my friend, are able to be found to some extent in at least two thinkers. The first is David Hume. The second is Ludwig von Mises. David Hume held that all activity ...
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5 votes
Accepted

What does Albert Camus mean by two methods of thought, "of La Palisse and Don Quixote"?

La Palisse was a French nobleman who liked jokes based on truisms. When he died his comrades famously made a song about it, saying "if he wasn't dead he would still be alive". To Camus he ...
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  • 2,891
4 votes

Sartrian Freedom Compatible with Determinism?

Sartre's claim that we are condemned to be free can be understood on a phenomenological level without reference to whether or not we would actually prove free on a final analysis. The important thing ...
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  • 24.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Truth is subjectivity

The definition you're getting from your dictionary reflects one contemporary usage of the word subjectivity. But the word has had many meanings. The most basic meaning is "that which inheres in a ...
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  • 24.3k
4 votes

The man who wants to die

The Last man is Nietzsche's antithesis of the Übermensch in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The Last Man sought eternal life at all costs, including costs Nietzsche despised, such as sacrificing love and ...
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  • 17.2k
4 votes

Why do some philosophers write literature?

Nietzsche's "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" is a fairly significant example. "The book embodies a number of innovative poetical and rhetorical methods of expression. It serves as a parallel and ...
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  • 3,574
4 votes
Accepted

What does Nietzsche mean by the intellectual costs that "For" and "Against" incur?

The original German reads: "Du solltest Gewalt über dein Für und Wider bekommen". The capitalization in German is required, so in English it is an interpretation of the translator. 'das Für und Wider ...
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  • 1,100
4 votes
Accepted

Is existentialism philosophy?

This question largely boils down to a question of definitions -- but these are politically contentious definitions. As such, I want to divide my answer into three parts: (a) difficulties with your ...
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  • 24.3k
4 votes

Is existentialism philosophy?

Philosophy is a rare field where self-definition is a major topic within the field itself. The definition you proposed and the one you cited have been promoted by those who practice some prominent ...
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4 votes

Movies on philosophy similar to "Waking Life"?

Waking Life is somewhat sui generis, but I would highly recommend "The Possibility of Hope," a documentary by Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron, included as a DVD extra with his incredible Children of ...
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