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Averting Nihilism

  • Tracy Llanera
Chapter
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Abstract

This chapter articulates Rorty’s main contribution to the nihilism debate. After a summary of this debate, it examines why Rorty anoints egotism as a modern problem. My critical reconstruction of Rorty’s work shows that his redemptive antidote to egotism is self-enlargement, a process that involves cultivating the values of self-creation and solidarity. I then reveal the connection between egotism and nihilism: that prior to becoming nihilists, human beings begin as egotists. By addressing the egotism that precedes modern nihilism via self-enlargement, Rorty’s pragmatism articulates a novel way of being existentially redeemed from nihilism—a perspective that the overcoming accounts of Taylor, Dreyfus, and Kelly have failed to consider.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tracy Llanera
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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