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The Flame of EternityAn Interpretation of Nietzsche's Thought$
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Krzysztof Michalski

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691143460

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691143460.001.0001

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(p.1) I Nihilism
The Flame of Eternity

Krzysztof Michalski

, Benjamin Paloff
Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that Nietzsche's philosophy arises from rejection, from outrage at the world, from the pain that the world causes. It is only when we learn to deal with this pain, when we discover its power, that we will understand the world as it is. This demands that we confront nihilism. For our lives are nihilistic through and through: the negation of life is one of its inherent features, hidden within the project of values that arrange the world into a rational whole. We cannot blame life for this, nor are history and its (ostensibly) ironclad laws to blame; life and history do not go on independently of our participation. History is real only as our history: it is only in what we do that history happens. As such, nihilism itself is the sickness of our actions, a pathology of the force expressed in them.

Keywords:   nihilism, rejection, negation of life, history, human life, philosophy

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