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The Embodied MindCognitive Science and Human Experience$
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Francisco J. Varela, Evan Thompson, and Eleanor Rosch

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262529365

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262529365.001.0001

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Laying Down a Path in Walking

Laying Down a Path in Walking

(p.235) 11 Laying Down a Path in Walking
The Embodied Mind

Francisco J. Varela

Evan Thompson

Eleanor Rosch

The MIT Press

This concluding chapter examines some of the ethical dimensions of groundlessness in relation to the concern with nihilism that is typical of much post-Nietzschean thought. In the humanities—in art, literature, and philosophy—the growing awareness of groundlessness has taken form not through a confrontation with objectivism but rather with nihilism, skepticism, and extreme relativism. Indeed, this concern with nihilism is typical of late-twentieth-century life. Its visible manifestations are the increasing fragmentation of life, the revival of and continuing adherence to a variety of religious and political dogmatisms, and a pervasive yet intangible feeling of anxiety, which writers depict so vividly. It is for this reason—and because nihilism and objectivism are actually deeply connected—that the chapter turns to consider in more detail the nihilistic extreme.

Keywords:   groundlessness, nihilism, objectivism, skepticism, extreme relativism, nihilistic extreme, religious dogmatisms, political dogmatisms

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