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Dreyfus and Kelly's Take on Nihilism - Essay Example

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Dreyfus and Kelly's Take on Nihilism

However, this is not the case. Ultimately, what a nihilist believes and understands is the fact that no truth, reality, morality, or levels of any measurable norms can be inferred. As such, the nihilist is led to the understanding that the negation of objective meaning, purpose, or some type of value, is part and parcel of the worldview that such a philosophy espouses. In effect, the reader should come to the understanding that an individual that believed in nihilism would quickly denote that no objective reason or rational exists for any action or consequence; rather, the nihilistic approach would conclude that no moral good or objectivity can be derived from any situation – creating a litany of possible scenarios and outcomes. This can of course be denoted with regards to the means through which well-known philosophers such as Frederick Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger, and a litany of others integrated with such an understanding of nihilism and the approach that it portends. Naturally, one of the most famous of all of these philosophers that have thus far been discussed is Frederick Nietzsche. Although it was not Nietzsche that came up with the construct and philosophical approach of nihilism, is perhaps most famous for championing it in the face of considerable opposition and a climate of incredulity during his own era. The ultimate view of Dreyfus and Kelly revolves around an understanding that although Nihilism represents a unique and fascinating chapter of the philosophical development of modern mankind, it is somehow no longer applicable to the current universalism and broadly accepted mores and norms of our time. As compared to Wallace and Gilbert’s suggestions for coping with nihilist worries, the authors take a similar tact and promote an understanding that even though certain aspects of nihilist philosophy can be accepted, the more stringent aspects of it must be denied out of hand. Ultimately, it is the view of this author that the dismissive nature through which the authors integrate with nihilism neither does it service nor seeks to address the underlying root core for why an individual might be attracted to such a philosophical integration. In short, the reason for why the authors approach falls short is due to the fact that nihilism in and of itself seeks to address the failures of traditional philosophy and philosophical thought; something that the authors of the text fare no better at explaining. The nihilistic problem, as defined by Sean Kelly, is with regards to whether or not nihilism is in fact an emotional state of being or a philosophical framework of understanding. The differential that was not understood during the time in which nihilism was most employed, written about, and argued, is essential in seeking to define what level of integration nihilism deserves within the current era. Ultimately, Sean Kelly denotes that nihilism is in fact an emotional state of being a philosophical framework (Dreyfus & Kelly 250). Although this point as well argued, it is the view of this author that it is ultimately incapable of describing the complexity of the dynamics of philosophy ...Show more


When seeking to define the philosophical interpretations, a danger is invariably engaged that the reviewer/analyst will lean too closely towards a particular theorist/philosopher in terms of defining such a philosophical interpretation. As such, in seeking to define nihilism, it is necessary to take into account the many different nihilistic interpretations that different philosophers have put forward; yet, at the same time, divorce oneself from two high a level of consideration and/or respect for a given philosophers take upon such a term…
Author : marksbernard
Dreyfus and Kellys Take on Nihilism essay example
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