Nihilism


 

Section Editor's Thoughts:

Like any concept worth its salt, Nihilism cannot be understood after simply reading Nietzsche for some time. When we examine all the facets of any abstract idea the idea begins to take shape. You might say if any concept is to have a deep and long resonance, then one must spend a long time wrestling with the concept that is so perplexing. There is never any final solution that arises with philosophical concepts. If a solution suddenly manifests itself in some ones work, you would be wise to be skeptical of such proposals.

Some naive notions that have been put forth by philosophers of nihilism state that to be nihilistic is to believe in nothing. Even if you were to accept such a proposal then you would fall into the trap of believing in at least the tenant of nihilism. All semantics aside, nihilism as a philosophical movement is quite curious in that by all accounts nihilism appears endemic to our own current state of affairs. In Aristotle one reads the Physics as an antiquated view of natural science. Indeed Aristotle is no figure to be taken lightly, but we certainly don't view the world through the same vision as Aristotle's.

Nihilism speaks to the way in which we have come to understand the world.

Perhaps Heidegger and Nietzsche have given us the framework to discuss nihilism in our modern discourse. Perhaps their views have unjustly prejudiced our sense of the world. Either way the philosophy of nihilism is rather intriguing in that we find strands of nihilism in a variety of different areas.

The papers within this section all attempt to describe different facets of nihilism and in so doing give weight to the argument that nihilism indeed is complex and worthy of further study. Hopefully one will not conclude after reading these papers that nihilism SHOULD be about nothing. Kayin Aaron, Fall 2002

Submitted Papers:

 

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