What is Nihilism? Nihilism

What is Nihilism? Nihilism

June 28, 2021 Off By Felso

Nihilism in philosophy is the view that nothing exists and that nothing can be known. Nihilists deny the existence of God, the freedom of the will, the possibility of knowledge, morality, and the happy ending of history.

Nihilism is a doctrine related to both the philosophy of knowledge, the philosophy of values ​​and the philosophy of being. The doctrine of nihilism, in the philosophy of knowledge, states that every kind of knowledge is a delusion, that there is no knowledge; that there are no values ​​that determine human actions in the philosophy of values; On the other hand, in the philosophy of being, he argues that nothing exists.

nihilism or nihilism or anihilation; It is a philosophical approach that rose in the middle of the 19th century by finding supporters in Russia, especially among the young intellectual segment, and therefore, took its place among the great philosophical movements.


Derived from the Latin word “nihil” meaning “nothing”, nihilism is today divided into many specific sub-branches, with its most popular definition, the philosophical view that argues that everything is devoid of meaning and value.

Nihilism; It is also the general name of the views that ignore metaphysical and moral forces, oppose existing values ​​and order, and do not submit to any will.

Nihilism emerged in the form of rejecting everything, every truth and values. It rejects any possibility of knowledge and argues that there can be no correct and generally accepted knowledge. It regards existence in all its forms with suspicion and even ignores it.

Nihilism basically advocates utilitarianism and scientific rationalism. It completely rejects the social sciences and classical systems of philosophy. It represents a rebellion against the established social order with a simple positivist and materialist attitude; opposes the authority of the state, religion or family.

Although it is thought to be based only on scientific truths, nihilism also admits that science cannot overcome its social problems.

Nihilist thought was influenced by thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach, Henry Thomas Buckle, Max Stirner, Albert Camus, Arthur Schopenhauer, Jean-Paul Sartre and Herbert Spencer.

It has led to the violent reaction of religions for denying that man has a dualistic structure consisting of body and soul.

Historical Development of Nihilism

Nihilism is also known as nihilism. Czar II in Russia in the 19th century. It is a philosophy based on skepticism that emerged in the early years of Alexander’s reign.

This term, which was attributed to some heretics in the Middle Ages, was first used in Russian literature for Pushkin in an article by Nedejin. Katkov, on the other hand, argued that nihilism threatens society because it denies all moral principles. The nihilist Bazarov made this term popular.

Czar II. Alexander

Over time, the nihilists of the 1860s and 1870s came to be seen as disorganized, disorganized, neglected, stubborn individuals who rebelled against tradition and social order. After that, the murder of Alexander and the political terrors resorted to by underground organizations against absolutism are mentioned together.

Different Definitions of Nihilism

1. In the theoretical domain

a. The view that denies any possibility of knowledge and asserts that there is nothing that is not problematic and unsuspected (= critical and skeptical nihilism).

2. In the field of ethics

a. Opinion that does not recognize moral rules and values.

3. In the field of politics

a. A view that completely rejects the old, established order with the desire to establish a new social order.

b. The view that denies all kinds of political order and does not accept any pressure of the society on the individual; this form combines with anarchism and pure individualism.


Friedrich Nietzsche, considered the greatest representative of nihilism, set out with Schopenhauer’s nihilist philosophy. But for him, nihilism was misunderstood and incomplete. Nietzsche gradually refounded nihilism.

For him, the most deficient aspect of nihilism was its negation of life. Nietzsche often described those who lived “false nihilism” as “pessimists” in his books. According to him, this pessimism must be overcome.

A truly life-affirming philosophy is required for a true philosophy of power. The value of life must be understood and this value must be glorified.


Nietzsche says that the traditional foundations of the values ​​adopted by modern man have collapsed. For this reason, old values ​​should be dropped and all values ​​should be re-established. The one who will do this is the superior human being with the will to power. Man is free as a superior human being to the extent that he can create value.

According to him, people are divided into strong and weak. What determines the dominant morality is whether the individual is strong or weak. Weak people created the current moral system, and this moral system is slave morality.

Slave morality is the morality that brings people’s weaknesses to the fore and causes a decrease in their life force. Slaves need an ideal or a fictitious God to forget their real-life powerlessness.

Opposite to this morality is the morality of the master created by strong people. Master morality is the superior human morality formed by the will to power.