nihilism

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See also: Nihilism

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From German Nihilismus, itself from Latin nihil (nil, nothing) + German -ismus '-ism', coined in 1817 by German philosopher Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, but repeatedly 'reinvented'.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈnaɪ(h)ɨ̞lɪz(ə)m/, /ˈnɪhɨ̞lɪz(ə)m/, /ˈniː(h)ɨ̞lɪz(ə)m/
  • (U.S.) IPA(key): /ˈnaɪəˌlɪz(ə)m/, /ˈniəˌlɪz(ə)m/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

nihilism (uncountable)

  1. (philosophy) Extreme skepticism, maintaining that nothing has a real existence.
  2. (ethics) The rejection of all moral principles.
  3. (politics) (capitalized by protagonist Turgenev) A Russian anarchistic revolutionary doctrine (1860-1917) holding that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake, independent of any constructive program or possibility.
  4. The belief that all endeavors are ultimately futile and devoid of meaning.
    "...the band members sweat hard enough to earn their pretensions, and maybe even their nihilism" (rock critic Dave Marsh, reviewing the band XTC's album Go)
  5. Contradiction (not always deliberate) between behavior and espoused principle, to such a degree that all possible espoused principle is voided.
  6. The deliberate refusal of belief, to the point that belief itself is rejected as untenable.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

  • (belief all endeavours are void) fatalism

Translations[edit]

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External links[edit]