Specter of the Absurd: Sources and Criticisms of Modern by Donald A. Crosby

By Donald A. Crosby

This publication is our century’s so much entire and clever therapy of nihilism in all of its guises, evaluating favorably with Rosen, Cavell, and certainly with Spengler. Crosby argues that our tradition is really haunted through nihilism expressing itself within the fideism of fundamentalism in addition to within the debilitating alienation from all orientation. This effects from a one-sided improvement of Western tradition. in contrast to such a lot writers in this subject, Crosby recognizes many assets colluding to border the tradition of nihilism, together with “the dying of God,” the objectification of nature, the meaninglessness of agony in a mechanical universe, the ephemerality of time in an international the place worth doesn't collect, the arbitrariness of historicized cause, the aid of worth to will, and the alienation of the Cartesian ego. those assets are reviewed within the first elements of the ebook with the end result that the phenomenon of nihilism turns into comprehensible. In its 3rd and fourth components, Crosby presents a serious research of the non secular and philosophical forces resulting in nihilism through discussing authors from the early sleek interval via Dostoyevsky, Sartre, Russell, and Derrida. He exhibits that those forces are skewed and impoverished and shouldn't be allowed to figure out our state of affairs. the excellent consciousness to aspect and the multi-perspectival interpretation demonstrates in addition to asserts the richness of the tradition that places nihilism as an alternative. half 5, eventually, rephrases the feedback of the resources of nihilism in confident methods. half 4 particularly is a travel de strength of philosophical argument. Its richness of nuance, plurality of perspectives tested, and adroitness of serious interpretation offer cumulatively a robust, non-nihilistic studying of the philosophic culture. The strength of the argument derives from its finished, cumulative personality. Crosby distinguishes and relates 5 parts of nihilism: political, ethical, epistemological, cosmic, and existential. during the e-book, he illustrates and examines those as they're expressed in literature and paintings, in way of life and functional affairs, and in philosophy. The e-book is richly erudite in its marshalling of awareness from such a lot of domain names.

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ISBN 0-88706-719-0. ) 1. Nihilism. I. Title. II. Series. 8dc1987-20917 CIP 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 Page v TO CHARLOTTE In gratitude for the meaning she gives to my life. Page vii CONTENTS Acknowledgments ix Part One: Introduction 1. Experiencing the Absurd 1 2. Types of Nihilism 8 Part Two: Arguments for Nihilism 3. Arguments About God, Nature, Suffering, and Time 38 4. Arguments About Reason, Will, and Other Persons 76 Part Three: A Critical Look at Religious Sources of Nihilism 5. Anthropocentrism, Externality of Value, and Religion as Theism 122 6.

41). This statement suggests similarities between egoism, on the one hand, and amoralism and moral subjectivism, on the other, that need to be kept in mind along with the differences mentioned earlier between it and the other two views. , goodness, justice, and freedom), to say nothing of concern for the well being of others. We also saw that Wolf Larson's brand of amoralism has a similarity to egoism in that Larson is an egoist in practice, even though he denies having any moral obligation to be such.

Page 8 Chapter 2 Types of Nihilism What does nihilism mean? That the highest values devaluate themselves. The aim is lacking. " finds no answer. Friedrich Nietzsche (1968:9) Like so many words designating some kind of ism, the term nihilism is ambiguous and vague. This is not surprising, because it has been in use for some time by persons of different persuasions in a wide variety of contexts. Some have not bothered to define it, assuming perhaps that its meaning was already apparent or that it would become clear in contextnot always safe assumptions.

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