Date: Tuesday 26 March 2019
Speaker: Vasti Roodt (Philosophy, University of Stellenbosch)
Topic: How to be a Good Nihilist
Dr Roodt has provided the following description of her talk:
When we think about our values – what has worth for us and what does not; what matters and what ought to matter – we tend to accept certain values as axiomatic. At the very least, we assume that it is worth reflecting on our values; that ‘mattering’ matters. However, all values are susceptible to further questioning. When this questioning is pursued to the end, we are forced to conclude that there is no ultimate reason for us to value anything. This is the problem of nihilism.
In this talk, I first present the argument for nihilism as developed by Friedrich Nietzsche. I show that, if Nietzsche is right, overcoming nihilism is beyond the scope of human achievement. There is only living with nihilism, or not living at all. In the second part of the talk, I give a positive account of how we might live with nihilism – both personally and politically – without succumbing to either indifference or despair.
Time and venue: 8pm in Lecture Theatre 1A, Neville Alexander Building.