Massimo Pigliucci and Julia Galef on the Rationally Speaking podcast discuss the various epistemological, ontological, mereological and ethical strains of nihilism. The conversation is of an introductory nature but has value in the range that it covers, and in sections that deal with the vacillation between the mood of nihilism and the fact of nihilism. Interestingly, Pigliucci also goes onto discuss the Stoic Week experiment in the therapeutic function of philosophy as a practice of living- a shared concern of the curators of this blog, insofar as we entertain its possibility, and especially a concern of my own in relation to the Stoa.
The Stoics are many things, and it is often there cold rationalism that is emphasised against the acute awareness of an existence that they thought required such a rationalism in order to allow us to cope with it. The question of Stoicism in the context of nihilism might be the question of the distance between acceptance and resignation? What is the relation? Is resignation the first moment in the coming-to-wakefulness out of the dream of a lived nostalgia that constitutes acceptance of the catastrophic present? Between the flailing of the politics and imagination of the stimulatory petro-civilisation and that assembled from its wreckage- don’t the Ancients also offer modes of coping from which to salvage? As ever, more questions than answers. Contra to Marx, humanity always sets itself questions it cannot answer.