Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of Nihilism. The nineteenth-century philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, wrote, “There can be no doubt that morality will gradually perish: this is the great spectacle in a hundred acts reserved for the next two centuries in Europe”. And, with chilling predictions like these, ‘Nihilism’ was born. The hard view that morals are pointless, loyalty is a weakness and ‘truths’ are illusory, has excited, confused and appalled western thinkers ever since. But what happened to Nietzsche’s revolutionary ideas about truth, morality and a life without meaning? Existentialism can claim lineage to Nietzsche, as can Post Modernism, but then so can Nazism. With so many interpretations, and claims of ownership from the left and the right, has anything positive come out of the great philosopher of ‘nothing’?

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  • Rob Hopkins No other episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Birmingham
  • Professor Raymond Tallis No other episodes
    Doctor and Philosopher
  • Professor Catherine Belsey 4 episodes
    University of Cardiff

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Auto-category: 193 (Philosophy of nihilism and related topics)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, the 19th century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, there can be no doubt that morality will gradually perish.