Turgenev and nihilism essay

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche Nihilism is often associated with the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzschewho provided a detailed diagnosis of nihilism as a widespread phenomenon of Western culture. Though the notion appears frequently throughout Nietzsche's work, he uses the term in a variety of ways, with different meanings and connotations. Karen Carr describes Nietzsche's characterization of nihilism "as a condition of tension, as a disproportion between what we want to value or need and how the world appears to operate. Nietzsche characterized nihilism as emptying the world and especially human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value.

Turgenev and nihilism essay

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche Nihilism is often associated with the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzschewho provided a detailed diagnosis of nihilism as a widespread phenomenon of Western culture. Nietzsche characterized nihilism as emptying the world and especially human existence of meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value.

Interpreting is something we can not go without; in fact, it is something we need. One way of interpreting the world is through morality, as one of the fundamental ways that people make sense of the world, especially in regard to their own thoughts and actions.

Nietzsche distinguishes a morality that is strong or healthy, meaning that the person in question is aware that he constructs it himself, from weak morality, where the interpretation is projected on to something external. Nietzsche discusses Christianity, one of the major topics in his work, at length in the context of the problem of nihilism in his notebooks, in a chapter entitled "European Nihilism".

In this sense, in constructing a world where objective knowledge is possible, Christianity is an antidote against a primal form of nihilism, against the despair of meaninglessness. However, it is exactly the element of truthfulness in Christian doctrine that is its undoing: It is therefore that Nietzsche states that we have outgrown Christianity "not because we lived too far from it, rather because we lived too close".

Because Christianity was an interpretation that posited itself as the interpretation, Nietzsche states that this dissolution leads beyond skepticism to a distrust of all meaning.

Rejecting idealism thus results in nihilism, because only similarly transcendent ideals live up to the previous standards that the nihilist still implicitly holds. One such reaction to the loss of meaning is what Nietzsche calls passive nihilism, which he recognises in the pessimistic philosophy of Schopenhauer.

Nietzsche characterises this ascetic attitude as a "will to nothingness ", whereby life turns away from itself, as there is nothing of value to be found in the world. This mowing away of all value in the world is characteristic of the nihilist, although in this, the nihilist appears inconsistent: According to this view, our existence action, suffering, willing, feeling has no meaning: He approaches the problem of nihilism as deeply personal, stating that this predicament of the modern world is a problem that has "become conscious" in him.

I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength! He wished to hasten its coming only so that he could also hasten its ultimate departure.

It may be questioned, though, whether "active nihilism" is indeed the correct term for this stance, and some question whether Nietzsche takes the problems nihilism poses seriously enough. He does not specifically try to present Nietzsche as Nietzsche.

The principle of this devaluation is, according to Heidegger, the Will to Power.

Early life and works

The Will to Power is also the principle of every earlier valuation of values. According to Heidegger, the history of Western thought can be seen as the history of metaphysics.

And because metaphysics has forgotten to ask about the notion of Being what Heidegger calls Seinsvergessenheitit is a history about the destruction of Being. That is why Heidegger calls metaphysics nihilistic. Gianni Vattimo points at a back-and-forth movement in European thought, between Nietzsche and Heidegger.

Like other contemporary French and Italian philosophers, Vattimo does not want, or only partially wants, to rely on Heidegger for understanding Nietzsche. Italian philosophers of this same movement are CacciariSeverino and himself.

Derrida[ edit ] Jacques Derridawhose deconstruction is perhaps most commonly labeled nihilistic, did not himself make the nihilistic move that others have claimed. Derridean deconstructionists argue that this approach rather frees texts, individuals or organizations from a restrictive truth, and that deconstruction opens up the possibility of other ways of being.

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He then goes on to define the postmodern condition as characterized by a rejection both of these meta-narratives and of the process of legitimation by meta-narratives. In lieu of meta-narratives we have created new language-games in order to legitimize our claims which rely on changing relationships and mutable truths, none of which is privileged over the other to speak to ultimate truth.

He stuck mainly to topics of interpretations of the real world over the simulations of which the real world is composed. The apocalypse is finished, today it is the precession of the neutral, of forms of the neutral and of indifference Now, fascination in contrast to seduction, which was attached to appearances, and to dialectical reason, which was attached to meaning is a nihilistic passion par excellence, it is the passion proper to the mode of disappearance.Turgenev's Fathers and Sons is held as a beacon of defining nihilism in 19th Century Russia.

However, despite the novel's political and social backdrop, the primary focus of the text is on the subtlety of an unhappy love story. Existential nihilism is the belief that life has no intrinsic meaning or value.

With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence.

Nihilism (/ ˈ n aɪ (h) ɪ l ɪ z əm, ˈ n iː-/; from Latin nihil, meaning 'nothing') is the philosophical viewpoint that suggests the denial or lack of belief towards the reputedly meaningful aspects of life.

Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.

Geoffrey Clive, in his essay “Romanticism and Anti­Romanticism in the Nihilism of Bazarov”, analyzes the relation Turgenev’s character with Romanticism to arrive at a similar conclusion. Nihilism.

Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence.

Turgenev and nihilism essay

A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons takes place in midnineteenth century Russia. Throughout the text Turgenev explores the pros and cons of the nihilist philosophy and how nihilism, coupled with the presence of generational and class based animosities, affects the greater Russian identity.

Nihilism - Wikipedia