The problem of Nihilism in the political philosophy: A Nietzschean debate


Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Uludağ Üniversitesi, Turkey

Approval Date: 2005

Thesis Language: Turkish

Student: DERDA KÜÇÜKALP

Supervisor: ALİ YAŞAR SARIBAY

Abstract:

Nihilism is the most important problem of contemporary political philosophy.Generally, nihilism means to repudiate life. That repudiation includes three essential problemin repect to political philosophy. These are the dissolution of individual, the repudiation ofplurality of life style and the obstruction of the new.According to Nietzsche, nihilism belongs to Western metaphysics. Since Westernthought depends on dichotomy of appearence-reality, it has nihilistic logic. In the westernthought, life is denied to the favor of unhistorical ?real world?. Because of that refutation,Nietzsche sees nihilism as the fate of Western thought and culture. This fate appears in themodern period. The values that characterizes the real world had been devaluated. Nietzsche sword of God is dead expresses this situation.In Nietzschean perspective, because of modern thought is the secular form of theWestern metaphysics, it is nihilistic. Similarly, modern political thought is the secular form ofChristian morality. While modern state supersedes God; the democratic ideologies such asliberalism, socialism and anarchism supersede Christian worldview. Nietzsche criticizesmodern state and modern political ideologies. Because they are worldviews that repudiate thelife.Nietzsche sees nihilism not only a problem but also chance. According to Nietzsche,the death of God is a chance for creating new values. This determination is the foundation ofNietzsche?s positive ethics and political thought. Nietzsche suggests an affirmative ethics toovercoming the problem of nihilism. Nietzsche's ethics is also important in respect to non-nihilistic political thought and practice. In addition, Nietzsche's philosophy of power includes some possibilities in the favor of contemporary democratic tehory. Nietzsche sphilosophy supports the politics of identity and difference.