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10 - The Importance of Nihilism in the Nineteenth Century

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 March 2023

Jon Stewart
Affiliation:
Slovak Academy of Sciences
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Summary

This concluding chapter offers some reflections on the nature of nihilism in the works explored. An overview is given of the different versions of the problem of nihilism that the thinkers and writers examined here have sketched. This is followed by another comparative overview of their different proposals for solutions to nihilism. A section is also dedicated to showing the many ways in which the thinkers of the nineteenth century anticipated key elements of twentieth-century existentialism. Among the elements discussed are the realization of the nothingness, authenticity, existential freedom, rebellion, the existentialist hero, and the absurd. The chapter concludes with some reflections on the relevance of nihilism in the twenty-first century.

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Chapter
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A History of Nihilism in the Nineteenth Century
Confrontations with Nothingness
, pp. 280 - 307
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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