The Great Debate

  • Tracy Llanera


This chapter provides an overview of the contemporary debate on modern nihilism. Charles Taylor, Hubert Dreyfus, and Sean Dorrance Kelly—the main voices of this debate—adopt the “overcoming” strategy against the malaise of nihilism. They argue that human culture could be redeemed from nihilism with the help of the sacred or a non-human power. The use of this strategy has resulted in an impasse in the discussion. I introduce Richard Rorty as a participant in this conversation, despite initially appearing as an unlikely interlocutor. My claim is that a reconfiguration of Rorty’s pragmatist philosophy can help reframe and advance the debate.


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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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