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Nihilism

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Kirsten Wingrove

on 27 February 2013

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Transcript of Nihilism

NIHILISM Hunter Shepherd, Tanyin Watson, Raven Loveday, Orin Duffin, Kirsten Wingrove
The philosophical doctrine that life is without meaning, purpose or intrinsic value; therefore morality doesn’t exist, everything is only the perception of man, subject to individual idealisms.

1. Philosophical theory that there may be no real existence, therefore nothing is against morals or laws

2. There is nothing intrinsically moral or immoral.
ie. A moral nihilist would say that killing someone is not inherently wrong.

3. Morality is considered to be constructed: a complex set of rules and recommendations that may give a psychological, social, or economic advantage to its adherents, but otherwise without universal or even relative truth.

4. "Nothing is morally wrong"

5. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.  What is Nihilism? The Basics of the Philosophy:

The term nihilism comes from the Latin word ‘nihil’ which literally means “nothing.”

There are different branches of Nihilism which follow different sets of ideology and application... One of the more extreme branches of nihilism and can be seen as an extreme form of skepticism in which all knowledge is denied (also called compositional nihilism) is the position that objects with proper parts do not exist and only basic building blocks without parts exist, and thus the world we see and experience full of objects with parts is a product of human misperception ( if we could see clearly, we would not perceive composite objects). The belief that life has no intrinsic meaning or value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism says that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence. The view that morality does not exist as something inherent to objective reality; therefore no action is necessarily preferable to any other. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is not inherently right or wrong. Other nihilists may argue not that there is no morality at all, but that if it does exist, it is a human construction and thus artificial, wherein any and all meaning is relative for different possible outcomes. A branch of nihilism, follows the characteristic nihilist's rejection of non-rationalized or non-proven assertions; in this case the necessity of the most fundamental social and political structures, such as government, family, and law.
•Friedrich Nietzsche is most often associated with nihilism. In his "Will to Power" he wrote, “Every belief, every considering something true, is necessarily false because there is simply no true world.”
•For Nietzsche, there was no objective order or structure in the world except what we gave it.
•Modern philosophers that are considered moral nihilists
• They believe that nothing is moral or immoral. Nihilists generally see morals as "man-made", and therefore they are flawed and cannot be taken seriously.
•In the 1800’s many Russians seemed to have nihilism viewpoints.
•Russian Nihilist Dmitri Pisarev: "Here is the ultimatum of our camp. What can be smashed must be smashed; whatever will stand the blow is sound, what flies into smithereens is rubbish; at any rate, hit out right and left, no harm will or can come of it."

Raskol, in Russian, means schism or to separate. The main character of crime and punishment is a young man named Raskolnikov. He has completely separated his physical self and his mental self from society.

Raskolnikov murders Aliona and her Sister for the sake of money; at least that's what he says. He did not kill for money, but to prove he can overcome the guilt, the punishment, and God himself. Nihilism itself is a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless. It goes against all religion and separates the being from the rational understanding of action and consequence. The action was the murder, the consequence was the deterioration of mind and the proof of this is that he could not overcome guilt, punishment, or God. The belief that existence is senseless and in a way "mispercieved" by the human mind is seen through the dream Raskolnikov had about his landlady being beaten on the staircase. He could not determine if it was real or simply his dream.


•The term Nihilism was first used by Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi.

•This term became most popular in Russia during the mid-19th century when the Napoleon's family was in rule.

•Nihilism began with the formation of secret societies (1861-1862) that used propaganda to get the Napoleon family out of rule.

•1860-1869 Nihilism was used as counter-cultural aspects.

•1870-1881 It was used in the pamphlet The Catechism of a Revolutionist Definition of Nihilism: When did it originate? Nihilism Metaphysical Nihilism
Epistemological Nihilism
Mereological Nihilism
Existential Nihilism
Moral Nihilism
Political Nihilism The theory that there are no real objects at all. It is impossible to distinguish existence from non-existence' as there are no objective qualities, and thus a reality, that one state could possess in order to discern between the two. Metaphysical nihilism- Epistemological nihilism- Mereological nihilism- Existential nihilism- Moral nihilism - Political nihilism- Friedrich Nietzsche: Richard Joyce and J.L. Mackie Dmitri Pisarev Who else believed? Raskolnikov is Nihilism: How Nihilism pertains to
Crime and Punishment Sources: http://www.iep.utm.edu/nihilism/ http://www.encyclopedia.com/article-1G2-3446801428/nihilism.html
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