Finding Meaning edited by Steven DeLay


Finding Meaning: Philosophy, Art, and Science in the Age of Nihilism

Finding Meaning: Philosophy, Art, and Science in the Age of Nihilism

In this series of articles, contributors from a variety of perspectives reflect on what the philosophical life means to them. In doing so, they do not attempt just to account for what personally led them to philosophy, but what philosophy itself has become today in the wake of “the death of God,” the age of nihilism. Phenomenologist Steven DeLay introduces a new occasional series of short essays about philosophy in the age of nihilism. The latest is by Neal DeRoo .

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Calibration

Calibration

When I’m meeting new people (or, at least, when I used to meet new people, back before COVID), it is inevitable that they will ask some version of “So, Neal, what do you do for a living?” And when I say that I teach philosophy, I tend to get one of two responses: a blank stare followed by them immediately moving on to talk with someone else; or a statement like “I took a class in that once—I HATED it. Is the chair really there or is it just in my mind? Who Cares!?!” This confirms two things to me: first, philosophers tend to have terrible imaginations, and almost always make examples out of things we can see in our immediate vicinity (tables, chairs, what’s outside the office window, etc.); and second, much of what we do in ‘academic’ philosophy fails to register as interesting to most people. Neal DeRoo continues Steven DeLay's series Finding Meaning in the age of Nihilism

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God On Trial: The Impious Philosopher as Would-be Detective

God On Trial: The Impious Philosopher as Would-be Detective

The world is a crime scene. Existence, the first and final crime. And like most atrocities, the deed was done in the dark, committed when no one was looking. There are two postures one can assume in response to this brute fact. One can either accept it as a fact—that is, as somethinggiven, that which merely is, a precondition of thought which is thus impervious to thought—or, one can begin to wonder. Matthew Clemente continues Steven DeLay's series Finding Meaning in the age of Nihilism

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Problems With Truth

Problems With Truth

Nietzsche was the first philosopher to seriously question the value of truth, a value that previous philosophers, and nearly all subsequent philosophers, have treated as absolutely sacrosanct, as something beyond question. There are in fact good arguments for the claims, one, that that we need at least a minimum of true belief; and two, that we need at least a minimum of speaking the truth. Ken Gemes continues Steven DeLay's series Finding Meaning in the age of Nihilism

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Living In The Shadow

Living In The Shadow

By the second half of the twentieth century it was clear to anyone who had their eyes open at all that the grand narratives of Europe’s modernity – narratives of progress, and the emancipation of man, had, in our time, become unbelievable, incredible. Simon Glendinning continues Steven DeLay's series Finding Meaning in the age of Nihilism

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Nihilism, God, and Philosophy

Nihilism, God, and Philosophy

Nihilism states that there is no sustainer, such as God, of lasting purpose, meaning, or hope for human life, even if humans create their own transitory purpose, meaning, or hope. What kind of evidence would it take to confirm the truth of nihilism? It would have to confirm that God does not exist, and that is a tall order. Perhaps God exists but is not promiscuous, casual, or easy in giving divine self-evidence to humans. That is a live option, even if widely neglected among inquirers.Paul K. Moser continues Steven DeLay's series Finding Meaning in the age of Nihilism

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Being or Becoming?

Being or Becoming?

Philosophy for me, almost from the start, manifested as something like an argument between Plato and Nietzsche incessantly enacted in my head. Being or Becoming? Substance or flux? Truth or falsification? And the argument played out in the context of another contentious issue, namely whether philosophy is, or should be, akin to science or to art. Though I’m at home in the Analytic tradition, and though science (including the philosophy and history thereof) influenced me deeply, I have always been moved to infuse my philosophy with my creativity. Mark Anderson kick starts Steven DeLay's series Finding Meaning in the age of Nihilism

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