Nihilism: The Philosophy of Nothingness


James Biser Whisker (Author)
John R. Coe (Author)

Series: World Philosophy

BISAC: PHI000000

Nihilism is a highly negative system of thought with roots in early Greek philosophy. It came into prominence as a major movement with Friedrich Nietzsche’s unparalleled assault on Christianity and Christian morality. It became a dominant theme in the dark philosophical system known as existentialism, and thus became an important force in nineteenth century literature and in twentieth century ideologies. It seeks destruction of one or more aspects of society without offering a viable alternative, frequently assuming that the better world will automatically appear after the old world is obliterated. Loathing the building blocks of the present system, nihilism asserts that the better world will be composed of new, but unspecified, components.

French philosophy during and after the French Revolution, and virtually all nineteenth century Russian literature, was dominated by nihilism. German Nazism had a nihilistic base which was carefully concealed by racist rantings. Marxism, with so many of its ideas stolen from Russian and French nihilists, proclaimed that faulty economics brought about misery and poverty which would be eradicated by the new but unspecified and undescribed socialist ethic.

Revolutionary systems in the twentieth century have delved heavily into the rich trove of nihilist literature to promote, describe, and espouse revolutions which have marked much of that century. Few contemporary nihilists have offered any new insights into reality, choosing only to manipulate the basic concepts heretofore advanced. But the earlier nihilistic ideas have become an all-inspiring training primer for nihilists of future polities. To understand the philosophy of nihilism is to understand the revolutions that have continued to challenge modern societies.





Chapter 1. Defining Nihilism

Chapter 2. Nietzsche: Godfather of Nihilism

Chapter 3. Revolution of Nihilism

Chapter 4. The Uprooted and Disinherited

Chapter 5. French Nihilism

Chapter 6. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

Chapter 7. Russian Nihilism

Chapter 8. Chernyshevskii: What is to Be Done?

Chapter 9. Nechayev and the Science of Destruction

Chapter 10. Tkachev

Chapter 11. Some Famous Nihilists

Chapter 12. Franz Fanon

Chapter 13. Regis Debray

Chapter 14. Nihilism in Black America


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