Laughing at Nothing: Humor as a Response to Nihilism

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SUNY Press, Aug 14, 2003 - Philosophy - 209 pages
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Disputing the common misconception that nihilism is wholly negative and necessarily damaging to the human spirit, John Marmysz offers a clear and complete definition to argue that it is compatible, and indeed preferably responded to, with an attitude of good humor. He carefully scrutinizes the phenomenon of nihilism as it appears in the works, lives, and actions of key figures in the history of philosophy, literature, politics, and theology, including Nietzsche, Heidegger, Camus, and Mishima. While suggesting that there ultimately is no solution to the problem of nihilism, Marmysz proposes a way of utilizing the anxiety and despair that is associated with the problem as a spur toward liveliness, activity, and the celebration of life.
 

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Contents

Chapter
15
Chapter
21
Chapter Three
43
NIHILISTIC INCONGRUITY
61
The Descriptive Normative and Fatalistic Premises of Nihilism
68
PART II
83
DECLINE DECAY AND FALLING AWAY
91
Chapter
105
Chapter Seven
123
Conclusion
154
Postscript
167
Notes
173
Bibliography
195
Index
203
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About the author (2003)

John Marmysz teaches Philosophy at Corning Community College.

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