Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-wq2xx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-24T20:26:06.844Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

9 - Nietzsche’s Vision of the Past and the Future of Nihilism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 March 2023

Jon Stewart
Affiliation:
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Get access

Summary

Chapter 9 gives a reading of Nietzsche’s account of nihilism based on his unfinished work known as The Will to Power. Given the death of God and the collapse of traditional values, people are debilitated by a sense of hopelessness and meaninglessness. Traditional values no longer seem meaningful. Nietzsche outlines three key cosmological values that one is obliged to abandon once one has reached the stage of nihilism: (1) the idea that there is any purpose or goal in the universe or in human existence; (2) the notion that the universe constitutes some kind of unity or coherent system; and (3) the very notion of truth itself. Nietzsche includes, among the group of metaphysical prejudices or false beliefs, the law of contradiction itself, which is often considered to be the very foundation of any kind of rational thought. These metaphysical prejudices constitute the preconditions for science itself. Nietzsche raises the question of the possibility of creating a new set of values on the strength of one’s own authority. But he believes that people in his age have not yet emancipated themselves from nihilism to the extent that they can do this.

Type
Chapter
Information
A History of Nihilism in the Nineteenth Century
Confrontations with Nothingness
, pp. 259 - 279
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×