Tagged: nihilism

The Irony of Nihilism: Mortal Dread

One of the paradoxes of this age that has forfeited all belief in a reality beyond immediate sense perception, and all humanity beyond the material mechanism, is that people, though no longer believing they exist, have become hysterically obsessed with prolonging their “life” (i.e., their illusory appearance of self-moving unity) regardless of the cost. No price is too high to pay for a...

Observing Things

If there were no world, there would be only me — and therefore I would not exist. From this, it might also follow, contrary to the modern moan about man’s insignificance within the vastness of time and space, that my own existence is broadened, expanded, and deepened, precisely in proportion to the breadth, expanse, and depth of the world’s existence. The relevant question...

Notes from the End of the World

I am taking a short break from my boatload of work, as I try to design inescapable e-classes on the fly, all the while knowing that this form of education is inherently second-rate. And how better to enjoy a few peaceful moments away from the grind than to reflect on the accelerating descent of civilization in the grip of the most suicidal mass...

Philosophical Beginnings, Civilizational Endings

One of my most resonant childhood memories is from elementary school, perhaps third or fourth grade. I was walking home for lunch (my school was near my house) with a few friends. One of them, Jimmy, had gotten much lower scores than the rest of us on his recent tests. While we were talking about our scores, Jimmy said, with insouciant bravado, “I...

Nietzsche, Nihilism, and Us

Those of us who believe we are living through a moment of final civilizational decline — to be clear, that’s “final” as in “last stage,” not “the absolute end of everything” — often cite late modernity’s fall into nihilism as either a symptom of the decline, a cause of it, or both. Nihilism — broadly, the belief in nothing (nihil), i.e., the rejection...

Romantic Nihilism, Pop Culture, and Suicide (oh, and Merry Christmas)

A major star of Korean pop music (or K-pop) has committed suicide, seemingly due, in part, to a long-term bout with depression. The Korean and international media response is divided between pitying tributes to Kim Jonghyun the artist and pseudo-serious consternation over mental health issues. Meanwhile, almost everyone is evading the greatest concern at the center of this story: suicide. Kim, 27, was...