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Is Nihilism merely an extension of logical bi-valence, and thus a form of Dialectic or Sophism?[edit]

This implies that Nihilism is a form of extreme rationalism, and not an extreme form of skepticism: “Political nihilism, a branch of nihilism, follows the characteristic nihilist's rejection of non-rationalized or non-proven assertions...”--Semeion (talk) 10:32, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Two sources worth considering[edit]

Needs a clearer definition[edit]

The first line:

"Nihilism (pronounced /ˈnaɪ.əˌlɪzəm/ or /ˈni.əˌlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more meaningful aspects of life."

I think we can tighten this up a bit, and avoid the confusion where we assert "meaningful" (implied: objective meaning) before making any proof for it:

"Nihilism (pronounced /ˈnaɪ.əˌlɪzəm/ or /ˈni.əˌlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical doctrine denying objective truths, meaning, value or in some cases, knowledge."

Obviously, nihilism does not deny subjective assessments/"truths" because it must be considered true in order to be held as a belief, or at least preferential. What are your thoughts on this? Conservationist666 (talk) 01:30, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Yeah there needs to be a {{nutshell}} definition. Andy_Howard (talk) 08:46, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
Nutshells are not for use on article pages. --Pfhorrest (talk) 19:51, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Objective Meaning?[edit]

2nd line in the article: "objective meaning". As far as I know all meaning is subjective. Things can only have meaning to an observer, in a context. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:02, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Well then, you're a nihilist. Some people insist that there is an objective meaning/purpose/goal/final cause for the universe itself, as a whole, and those people aren't nihilists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:54, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Nihilism as a position of denying reality[edit]

Buridan has twice removed my addition regarding the extreme form of nihilism that denies reality itself.



I just wanted to bring this up. I have not used language that implies that this is a necessary nor common form of nihilism. But, nevertheless, it is still a form of nihilism, and thus should be included. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


what you just said is 'dear sir, i just copied a definition from somewhere else without giving proper citation'. we don't allow that. please try to find a reputable philosophical dictionary also. You may want to introduce your cited 'common usage' in the article below. --Buridan (talk) 18:26, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


Well I apologise if I am not following the rules of Wikipedia, I edit extremely rarely. My point is simply that: - the denial of knowledge (epistemological nihilism) should be included in the opening of the article - the denial of existence/reality as a whole should also be included in the opening, as this is a valid (albeit the most extreme) form of nihlism. It is not a form of solipsism as it denies all existence, and thus the self, as well.

To be honest the article is biased towards existential and moral nihilism in its current form.

Please explain to me what you would want to see for my contribution to be valid. I am not trying to antagonise the community, but I am bringing forward true information and it should be included.

IEP defines epistemological nihilism, and also states it is associated with a 'radical skepticism that condemns existence' [IEP[3]]

I also apologise if naming you appeared hostile, it was not meant to be. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:50, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I edited the second paragraph of the metaphysical nihilism section because it is very clusmy. It quotes dubious sources and confuses radical skepticism and metaphysical nihilism. Radical skepticism will generally make no certain claims either way on such questions and this section unnecessarily adds a negative presumption. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:25, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Ok I made the changes and it meets the standards you set. Thanks for the advice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

ok, i gave it it's own section so it can be expanded. I'm afraid I still don't think it is a primary definition in my book, and we should keep that first paragraph as clear and true as we can. --Buridan (talk) 19:58, 25 February 2009 (UTC)


Cool. [[4]] lists all the different forms Nihilism can take. When people talk about Nihilism, they are usually referring to existential or moral nihilism, true. However, these other forms are also valid forms of nihilism, and a nihilist will usually have to reconcile one form of nihilism with another. The extreme nihilist position I have mentioned, the negation of existence, is more accurately described as a branch of metaphysical nihilism, and I have changed the title of the section accordingly. Glad we shifted the article away from the typical bias.

On a side note, I've always been taught all forms of nihilism, so I was a little surprised at the article's lack of mention of these additional forms. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:36, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

This diversity in types of nihilism still lacks in the opening line of the article, the referent of 'nihil' bere being only values. The focus on moral and/or existential nihilism is emphasised thereafter, but other negations though nihilism shouldn't be excluded in the introduction. Koffiemok (talk) 09:18, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I preferred it when it said 'values'. 'Meaningful aspects of life' sounds solely existential. 'Values' can refer to numbers as well as 'purpose'. I propose a switch back to 'values', but highlight the diversity of meaning behind that word. (talk) 17:52, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Funny, my motivation behind the switch was because the notion of 'values' has some pretty heavy moral connotations. The explicitation of 'meaning' was pretty much to highlight that nihilist negation is not merely applicable to morality.Koffiemok (talk) 13:02, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Revision of the Nietzsche-section[edit]

Due to the rather chaotic and otherwise lacking structure of the section on Nietzsche, I have started on some revisions. As the section in its current incarnation has precious few references (the third part of the section lacks any and all references; and a lot of the references are to the Will to Power, at that) and yet contains a lot of interpretations on Nietzsche, I would say that this is kind of overdue.

I'm starting out with adding some new paragraphs and get some structure going, and I'll start pruning the old bits of the article tomorrow. I hope you'll all chip in on sculpting this into something good!Koffiemok (talk) 00:25, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

It appears that the "danger of danger" quote from Nietzsche is fabricated. Nietzsche actually wrote that morality was the danger of danger, not nihilism. (talk) 02:49, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

My apologies, the quotation in the article is indeed faulty. However, the quote is not fabricated, but to be found elsewhere. Koffiemok (talk) 13:00, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Merge of Nihilist paradox[edit]

Is there interest in the content of nihilist paradox? If not, I'll AfD it for failing WP:N. Regards, Paradoctor (talk) 20:41, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

It's completely unsourced, and I don't think it's a very significant area of debate. I've only ever seen it used as a snarky retort on internet forums, when the subject of nihilism comes up. I'd say AfD. Zazaban (talk) 21:06, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Nihilist paradox Paradoctor (talk) 22:52, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Credible source to cite...[edit]

"The Matrix and Philosophy" by William Irwin...see chapter 13...(how appropriate)...

nemo senki


What is "F. Nietzsche, KSA"? (talk) 16:19, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

KSA refers to the Kritische Studienausgabe, a collected edition of the majority of Nietzsche's work, published and revised by Colli and Montinari. This edition contains both the published works and the majority of Nietzsche's notebooks (his Nachlass), ordered chronologically. Besides being pretty much the standard for any serious Nietzsche-scholar, this edition actually contains the fragments that are referred to here. The Nachlass, containing these fragments, has not been translated into English in its entirety (though fragments often pop up in many english books and articles; the Will to Power is a flawed, posthumous and heavily edited composite created by Nietzsche's sister). It might be hard to get hold of for English speakers (and harder to read), but the accuracy makes up for a lot. Besides, using references to the KSA of the KSW (Kritische Sammtliche Werken; the even more extensive version) is standard in academia, so cross-referencing will probably get you far. Koffiemok (talk) 13:38, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Center for Nihilist and Nihilism Studies[edit]

I added the link to the Center for Nihilist and Nihilism Studies ( and it was removed, so I inserted it again. Then it came to my attention a message from someone saying I should post here on Discussion before posting it, so I removed it an went here. is a site exclusively about nihilism, and I think, even better and more important than the other links. So here is the request. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:13, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Question concerning content=[edit]

I would like to know what the reason is to go so deeply into several opinions on the therm nihilism and several uses therof. I hardly think it is the object to name all examples. That would make for exactly the amount of people ever having lived on this planet. So, my question is if there should not be some form of linking to several other lemma's with more extended explanations on the individual thoughts. While I find Nietsche's Dionysian (for example) thoughts very interesting I don't think they are important on understanding the general concept of nihilism. This particular example might even be classified as deceptive for the understanding of the philosophies of Nietzsche. My thought is to summarize such short elaborations in a list, referring to the pages of the thinkers in question so that the elaborations on their personal views might be discussed there in a more complete way. What do the rest of you say? --Faust, formerly Arjen (talk) 21:21, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at. The goal of the article (and of Wikipedia in general) is hardly to mention the [| opinions] of [| editors]. The content of the article is centered about what prominent contributers in the academic fields of philosophy, sociology, etc. have had to say about the subject. Since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, this content is bound to be short and concise. As for the Nietzsche-section, the content is about what is relevant in the works of Nietzsche about the subject of nihilism (which would be why there is no mention of the Dionysian). How this is in any way deceptive, please clarify.Koffiemok (talk) 13:18, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

That is exactly my point Koffiemok. But what part of such contributors ideas should be placed here and what part should be placed elsewhere? --Faust, formerly Arjen (talk) 22:41, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

If by 'contributors' you mean 'we, the editors', then the answer would be 'none' and 'all', respectively. Wikipedia has a pretty clear 'no original research'-policy, at that. As for relevant academic (or similarly published) information, you'll just have to try and figure out where in the article it would fit. Rewriting a bit to make it fit is usually not that big of a problem, but it has to make some sense. Koffiemok (talk) 14:09, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
Hello Koffiemok, I think you used the term 'contributers' in regards to academic fields. I merely used your term. My question is what would be wise to place in an article such as this and what elaboration on such notes are more wise to place on the page of the academic in question? Or perhaps a better one: why did this page turn out the way it did?
--Faust, formerly Arjen (talk) 21:52, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

My question is: what has Cornell West contributed to this field of philosophy? I believe that in order to explore this subject, West must be included as a means of representing MODERN/CONTEMPORARY contributions. (talk) 16:24, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Why do you believe the opinions of this person to be necessary? As far as I can see, his opinions on the matter has no notability whatsoever. --Saddhiyama (talk) 20:09, 26 November 2010 (UTC)


I was thinking we may want to review/update the Music section. I know the Sex Pistols song is cited - but I don't necessarily think it is a proper example of Nihilism in music. I can't suggest better examples offhand, but will think. I think the Sex Pistols were generally commenting on their circumstances in the UK at that time. Nihilism is a loaded term that is sometimes associated with the punk movement, but I don't think the Sex Pistols were thinking that deeply. I believe it was social commentary instead and 'no future' is time and place specific. More research may be in order - I am sorry not to do it myself. There may be better examples to reference here. Please consider. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Phenylphree (talkcontribs) 07:30, 10 August 2010 (UTC)


The Dada subsection is well-referenced, but do any of the sources actually claim, or support a claim, that Dada is nihilistic? Did the Dadaists consider themselves Nihilists? I realize this is a difficult question, since Dada had no consistent philosophy, or rather, the philosophy changed depending upon time and place: New York Dada and Berlin Dada, for example, were considerably different philosophically. My point is, is this subsection even appropriate, inasmuch as it makes no strong claim for Dada being a "cultural manifestation of nihilism"? ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 17:23, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Ancient schools of Nihilism[edit]

Vedic societies have had Nihilistic teachers since ancient times. Ramayana has a debate on Nihilism in Ayodhya kanda, sarga 108 and 109 that establishes the existence of such schools during its time. [5][6] I request that these sources be considered and stated in history of the subject. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Delete or full rewrite of Metaphysical and Radical nihilism required[edit]

The sections titled "Metaphysical nihilism" and "Radical nihilism" in their current form damage the article. They are currently nonsense. They either need a rewrite with coherent language, or should be removed for the time being. Even a section header with absolutely no text would be superior. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


Has anyone considered putting forth significant criticisms of nihilism before? There's already 'criticism' sections in other philosophical articles such as existentialism.--Drdak (talk) 05:20, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Nihilism is a rejection of philosophy[edit]

Nihilism rejects "meaning" and "purpose" as false assumptions. "Meaning" and "purpose" come from metaphysics, which, of course, is rejected by nihilism.

Nihilism also rejects "meaninglessness" and "purposelessness," as they are based on the false assumptions "meaning" and "purpose." This, of course, is the same basis as nihilism's rejection of philosophy. Or at least philosophy in the western tradition (sense), going back to Socrates. +2000 years of western philosophy (civilization?) is nothing more than a house of cards standing on nothing, in the eyes of the nihilist. The western philosophy (civilization?) is held up entirely by faith. (If there are turtles all the way down, then I stand corrected.)

Western philosophy/civilization is the transvaluation of values. It sees the real (the earthly life) as the lowest and the imaginary (e.g. the afterlife, Plato's idealism) as the highest. The earthly life is a mistake that should be overcome. The nihilist only has here and now.

Which is the real nihilism? Western philosophy/civilization? Or that which rejects it? Or we could label one as positive nihilism and the other as negative nihilism. Either one would just be a matter of semantics.

Nihilism is ultimately the rejection of faith. Or of those things which require faith. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:41, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

This! "Nihilism rejects "meaning" and "purpose" as false assumptions. "Meaning" and "purpose" come from metaphysics, which, of course, is rejected by nihilism. Nihilism also rejects "meaninglessness" and "purposelessness," as they are based on the false assumptions "meaning" and "purpose." This, of course, is the same basis as nihilism's rejection of philosophy." I only wish you had a credible source to cite on this statement, as it truly captures the essence of nihilism. Although I suppose "credible" and "not credible" are equally unfounded... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:35, 29 April 2012 (UTC)
This introduction to nihilism video basically says what I said, and more: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:48, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Moral nihilism[edit]

Could someone expand on moral nihilism to explore the belief that although morality does not exist as something inherent to objective reality, it very much exists in society, and within that context is very important. In other words, just because it's relative, doesn't mean it's unimportant. (talk) 20:46, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Philosophy of denial, not negativity.[edit]

Much of the article aside from actual quotations seems to cast nihilism in general as negative philosophy versus a neutral point of view on the subject. I could be biased, and please, forgive my ignorance, but a philosophy of lack of something (or in this case, most everything), does not necessarily mean that philosophy is bad.

For an example, the small section preceding footnote 39 is definitely not without bias, whether that bias belongs to the author in the footnote or the editor/author that made that addition.

Are there no more examples on the subject that cast nihilism in a more neutral light? I came to this page looking for facts yet feel like I mostly got opinions. I understand that cited works will be biased by their nature, however this article made a nihilist feel strongly enough on the subject to make an account to address this. Valvetrain (talk) 01:57, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Denial assumes that a thing positively exists in actuality, but is not a topic of speech. Negativity assumes that a thing is being spoken of, but does not really exist.Lestrade (talk) 12:06, 19 March 2013 (UTC)Lestrade

Nihilism in culture[edit]

Some of the entries can help one to understand what nihilism is, and others are like this:

In the manga-graphic novel series Bleach The Espada Ullquiorra Cifer's aspect of death is Nihilism.

"Nihilism" is also the name of a song released by the band Rancid in their 1994 album Let's Go.

The mere fact that nihilism is mentioned isn't sufficient grounds for including things like these in an encyclopedia article. These sorts of things I see as just trivia, useless information that contributes nothing of value to the article. (talk) 01:05, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Nihilism in films[edit]

I think that in the movie "Melancholia" from Lars von Trier, the character Justine, played by Kirsten Dunst is also a nihilist type of person. Yes, depression is also one of her problems, but at the end she is kind of happy that the world is ending, for her there is no sense of existing. Not even for her nephew, a boy, worth to panic because of the end approaching.

'Nietzsche' Quotes from The Will to Power[edit]

You might want to use these with care. See: [7] -- (talk) 15:30, 12 June 2014 (UTC)