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What Is Nihilism | Philosophy Definition

Modern Nihilism

Modern nihilism goes against western culture and values, saying that it has no roots and is meaningless.

Modern nihilism tries to take on tackling poverty, discrimination and the value of increasing happiness, as a way to increase meaning.

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How we perceive philosophy
How we perceive philosophy

When most people think of philosophy, they believe philosophers simply argue about arguing. Philosophy is viewed as impractical and irrelevant to current issues.

In...

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell

"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know."

Defining philosophy

Philosophy is examining our understanding of reality and knowledge. Philosophy consists of three major branches:

  1. Metaphysics - What is true about existence.
  2. Epistemology - How we can know that it is true. Epistemology has given us science, logic/reason, economics, psychology, and other theories of knowledge.
  3. Ethics - What actions we should take as a result of this knowledge. Ethics contains concepts such as democracy, human rights, the treatment of animals, and the environment.

When you order your thoughts into a coherent belief system, you are engaging in philosophy. To criticize philosophy, you must rely on philosophy.

Nihilism

Nihilism means "nothing." It is the lack of belief in meaning or substance in an area of philosophy.

  • Moral nihilism argues that moral facts cannot exist.
  • Metaphysical nihilism ar...
Existentialism

Existentialism originates from Soren Kierkegaard and Nietzche. It focuses on the problems produced by existential nihilism. For instance:

  • What is the point of living if life has no inherent purpose? 
  • How do we face the knowledge of our inevitable demise?

Existentialism emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice.

Stoicism

Stoicism was popular in ancient Greece and Rome and is practiced by many in high-stress environments.

Stoicism focuses on how to live in a world where things don't go as planned. The idea is to accept all the things beyond your control and to focus on what you can control.

The Meaning Of Meaning
The Meaning Of Meaning

The meaning of life generally means the relevance, significance or value of the same.

The quest for meaning is not a simple one, but a rabbit’s hole of further queries, ma...

Terrestrial Vs Cosmic Meaning

The question of meaning can be applied both to the individual (Terrestrial) and the world (Cosmic).

  • Terrestrial meaning tries to offer an answer to the question of the meaning of one’s own life.
  • Cosmic meaning delves into life in general, with religious and spiritual dimensions, looking at the macro-view.
"A Meaning" Vs "The Meaning"
  • ‘A’ Meaning is the fluid, ever-present and ongoing mechanisms of cognition, behaviour and life-cycles.
  • ‘The’ Meaning, on the other hand, is concerned with the integrated reference point inside the individual, helping him or her navigate life.