nietzsche on nihilism
nietzsche on nihilism
0000003691 00000 n 0000154615 00000 n It is here that he announced the "death of God," arguing that the traditional source of ultimate and transcendental value, God, no longer mattered in modern culture and was effectively dead to us. The demands of moral character -- taking personal responsibility for the conduct of one’s life, living according to one’s own values, striving for excellence, setting a good example to others, and independence of thought and opinion in defense of one’s own value-system -- all these have almost disappeared from public view as the collectivist ideology of radical progressivism has come to dominate in the West. For example, perception itself is valuation: the human colour spectrum is … It really does not matter what any philosopher whether old (Plato/Aristotle), relatively new as in the case of Nietzsche or now living, says or does because it is now overwhelmed (cancelled) by the most influential philosopher, or more correctly anti-philosopher in America. Active nihilism – Nietzsche’s own contribution to the philosophy of nihilism – consists of seeking the destruction of what is viewed as being worthless. 0000072236 00000 n 0000136051 00000 n The issue for Nietzsche is that―if some political organization is necessary―how should it function so as to promote and perpetuate a culture of the best kind of people, the “noble souls” and “free spirits”? His answer is rather unsatisfactory because it is left in the abstract. 0000017810 00000 n Man is the product of 3.5 billion years of organic evolution. 0000003412 00000 n We have reached the final lecture in this series on nihilism. 0000005907 00000 n Nietzsche was clear that no one would ever fully achieve this status. Nihilism is now a pervasive feature of Western society. Describing nihilism isn't the same as advocating nihilism, so is there any sense in which Nietzsche did the latter? As mentioned above, Nietzsche believed that traditional moral values, and in particular those stemming from traditional Christianity, were ultimately harmful to humanity. 0000016514 00000 n For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model). But the question is: would he have taken them seriously? 0000017617 00000 n He denied that those values had any objective validity or that they imposed any binding obligations upon us. “If all these incompatible uses and abuses of Nietzsche’s ideas are correct, the only possible inference is that his work is so malleable as to be useless as an aid to understanding the fundamental motivations underlying political orientations.”. “I was only following orders” is not an excuse in Nietzsche’s moral universe. The idea that Nietzsche viewed himself as offering a philosophy of politics is misconceived. Search for other works by this author on: © The Author(s), 2019. Ideas which were formed in the childhood of man (both male and female). – For Nietzsche the word ‘nihilism’ had a number of meanings, which I shall in this lecture seek to clarify. Matt McManus’ recent article “On Left and Right Nietzscheanism” is a worthwhile survey of this overcrowded field. It is always difficult to draw a line between Nietzsche as a describer of what is and must necessarily be the case―such as the tragedy of life, with its ceaseless competition, violence, destruction and creation―and as offering a view of what might be the case if certain conditions prevailed (as with the Übermensch). A better characterization would be “super-ethical-self,” or “perfect moral being.” The terminology is clumsy but is far closer to the explanation he gives. Friedrich Nietzsche gave us the formulation of nihilism that is now commonly accepted: a sentiment that nothing really matters, and … 0000002214 00000 n But there is a startling corollary to this, because if we are each, individually, personally responsible for selecting and even creating our own ethical values, then moral virtue does not even attach to following instructions that lead to good conduct. But now the Enlightenment too has failed (which Nietzsche also predicted) and been replaced by the pathological irrationality of radical progressivism and its anti-Western post-modernist philosophy.
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