"Nihilism" Essays and Research Papers

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Themes of Nihilism in Crime and Punishment Nihilism is one of the most difficult philosophies to accurately define because of its ambiguous nature. In its simplest form, one might consider it an extremely pessimistic form of skepticism in which the individual discounts even the idea of existence. Therefore, to a nihilist, all values, relationships, authority, beliefs, and emotions are baseless and empty. First popularized in Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons in 1862, nihilism is associated with...

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Nihilism: The Change Over Time

Malin Piermattei Nihilism: The Change Over Time Though most commonly related to the radical intellectual movement in the 1800s, the principles of nihilism date all the way back to Classical Greece where ancient skepticism was formed. It has been a part of society for thousands of years. The term nihilism is derived from the Latin nihil which means not anything. Simply put, “Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and nothing can be known or communicated.” (Pratt Internet Encyclopedia...

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Nihilism in Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons

Nihilism in Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons has several characters that hold strong views of the world. For example, Pavel believes that Russia needs structure from such things as institution, religion, and class hierarchy. On the other hand, Madame Odintzov views the world as simple so long as she keeps it systematic and free from interference. This commentary will focus on perhaps the most interesting and complex character in Fathers and Sons: Bazarov. Vladimir Nabakov writes that "Turgenev...

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Nihilism and Existentialism in Grendel

Sierra Adams Mrs. C. Murray Honors English IV Due: February 21, 2012 Nihilism and Existentialism in Grendel  Nihilism, as well as existentialism and a host of other philosophies are boldly explored in Grendel, a novel by John Gardner.  The antagonist Grendel travels on a journey of self-discovery, eventually becoming a nihilist, only to be gallantly disproved by the hero Beowulf.  In the end Gardner proves that the virtues of individuality and meaning triumph over meaningless violence and destruction...

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Fathers and Sons: Nihilism

will make this statement more clear to the reader. Using nihilism as a starting point we shall look at Bazarov's views and interpretations of science, government and institution. Next we will turn to the issue relationships. Finally we examine Bazarov's death and the stunning truths it reveals. These issues combined with the theme of nihilism will prove that chance, or fate is a strong force which cannot easily be negated.<br><br>Nihilism as a concept is used throughout Fathers and Sons. To gain...

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Cat's Cradle and Good Country People: Existentialism and Nihilism

Choose three or four characters from Cat's Cradle and Good Country People and discuss them in terms of existentialism and nihilism? &#9;In both Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonegut and Good Country People by Flannery O'Connor the authors show how a character is corrupted and changed from an existentialist to a nihilist. The existentialist ends up losing their faith in life, and is left believing in nothing. They then turn to being nihilist after having the only thing they believed destroyed. In both...

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Nihilism Nihilism is an offspring of naturalism; naturalists who felt that there was too much inconsistency got unhappy and eventually had enough, creating a worldview that applied more logic and was more heavily based in reason. Sire says that “nihilism is the negation of everything” meaning that nihilists don’t believe in philosophy and the possibility of knowledge or even reality (Sire 94). Nihilism believes in a closed universe; its focus is on atomic matter. Nihilism is a belief that...

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Aaron Feizet Metaphysics Paper 2 Why Mereological Universalism and Nihilism Are Not Mutually Exclusive In Function 1. Introduction In the following paper, I'll attempt to argue that the Mereological Universalism championed by James Van Cleve, and metaphysical nihilism, are more or less reconcilable. What’s more, I’ll argue that the functional understanding of the world occupied by universalists is more or less identical to that which is necessarily employed by all nihilists (or at least all...

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Nietzsche and Platonism

Nietzsche's writing was experiencing a general decline in vitality which was exemplified in Christianity (Platonism) and anarchy or nihilism. Nietzsche saw himself as a kind of philosophical doctor, capable of diagnosing the sickness of man. These two types of decline made it especially apparent what was wrong with mankind, and in this decadence Nietzsche detected symptoms of nihilism, one of his biggest worries for the culture as a whole. To Nietzsche, Christianity is objectionable because it is a symptom...

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Grendel, a Nihilist or Existentialist?

that his true way of life is through nihilism. Grendel starts out in life as a nihilist where everything is meaningless to him. However, he longs for meaning. His only dilemma is within himself because he cannot see how an animal like him has any true purpose. As Grendel matures and leaves his mother he becomes interested in looking for a meaning in the world and his purpose in it. Then as the novel progresses Grendel comes upon a familiar evil that is nihilism that becomes his provisional way of...

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