Nihlistic intellectualization

This page is unfinished. It may be a mere placeholder in the book outline. Or, the text below (if any) may be a summary, or a discussion of what the page will say, or a partial or rough draft.

This page will explain ways we use spurious pseudo-rational arguments to justify nihilism by explaining away meaningfulness. It will expand on a section in “Wavering nihilism: emotional dynamics”; you can read the summary there.

The following quote from a Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article is a somewhat extreme case. It illustrates the general theme nicely, although I am sure you would never think anything so silly!

In the past 10 years, some interesting new defences of nihilism have arisen that merit careful consideration. According to one rationale, for our lives to matter, we must in a position to add value to the world, which we are not since the value of the world is already infinite (Smith 2003). The key premises for this view are that every bit of space-time (or at least the stars in the physical universe) have some positive value, that these values can be added up, and that space is infinite. If the physical world at present contains an infinite degree of value, nothing we do can make a difference in terms of meaning, for infinity plus any amount of value must be infinity.

Navigation

This page is in the section The emotional dynamics of nihilism,
      which is in Nihilism: the denial of meaning,
      which is in Meaning and meaninglessness,
      which is in Doing meaning better.

The next page in this section is ⚒ Nihilistic depression.

The previous page is ⚒ Nihilistic rage.

This page’s topic is Nihilism.

General explanation: Meaningness is a hypertext book (in progress), plus a “metablog” that comments on it. The book begins with an appetizer. Alternatively, you might like to look at its table of contents, or some other starting points. Classification of pages by topics supplements the book and metablog structures. Terms with dotted underlining (example: meaningness) show a definition if you click on them. Pages marked with ⚒ are still under construction. Copyright ©2010–2017 David Chapman.