The question of nihilism is always a question of truth. It is a crisis of truth that causes the experience of the nothingness of existence. What elevated truth to this existential position? The answer is: philosophy. The philosophical will to truth opens the door to nihilism, since it both makes identifying truth the utmost aim and yet continually calls it into question. Baker develops the central insight that the crises of truth and of existence, or 'loss of world', that occur within nihilistic thought are inseparable, in a wide-ranging study from antiquity to the present, from ancient Cynics, St Paul, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Agamben, and Badiou. Baker contends that since nihilism is always a question of the relation to the world occasioned by the philosophical will to truth, an answer to nihilism must be able to propose a new understanding of truth.
Baker (Griffith Univ., Australia) has written a historical tour de force, a meaty analysis of the development of nihilism as an approach to philosophical truth throughout the history of the great Western search for meaning ... [An] ideal resource for scholars. The book is certainly a must read for those interested in historical philosophy and nihilism and its relation to Christianity ... Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. * Choice * By situating entangled truths in time, methodically, brilliantly, Baker confronts the question of nihilism and charts the history of truth. * Nicholas Onuf, Professor Emeritus of International Relations, Florida International University, USA * This fluently written, erudite and elegantly argued book makes a major contribution to contemporary philosophical debates on the theme of nihilism and its overcoming. It demonstrates an impressive mastery of a remarkable range of primary figures and perspectives from across the Western philosophical tradition offering succinct, insightful expositions (of commendable clarity) and critical evaluations of (among others) the Cynics, Agamben, Badiou, Foucault, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Paul and Spinoza. This is an absorbing and significant book which stands out in a crowded field and merits a wide readership. It provides a stimulating alternative to other recent, similarly ambitious, critical overviews of the trajectory of philosophical nihilism. * Jim Urpeth, Former Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Greenwich, UK * Just as we thought that the topic of nihilism was exhausted, Gideon Baker succeeds in breathing new life to it. And what an exciting life it is! Approaching nihilism through the problem of the two worlds-the relation between the world of fallen being and inauthenticity and a world that aspires to genuine truth-Baker masterfully shows how nihilism is a concept still relevant to our world today. This is done by a succinct and insightful excavation of the sources of the problem of the two worlds, which presents nihilism in an entirely original historical lineage. * Dimitris Vardoulakis, author of Stasis Before the State *