Nihilism: A Philosophical Essay

Rosen, Stanley. Nihilism: A Philosophical Essay. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1969.

Editorial Reviews:

“The growing importance of reason in philosophy concerns Stanley Rosen in this essay. Rosen’s primary objective is to defend Plato and classical philosophy against Martin Heidegger’s radical existentialist criticism. . . . Many critics of Heidegger consider his dubious politics during the early days of Nazi rule irrelevant to the understanding of his work. Rosen argues, on the contrary, that Heidegger’s philosophy helps explain his initial enthusiasm for, and later submission to, the Nazi regime. The argument yields genuine insight into the connection between philosophical and political nihilism. Furthermore, exposing the evil consequences of nihilistic thought adds to his stout defense of the classical tradition.” — Elliot Feingold, Book Week

“There is no question of the importance and relevance of the problem of nihilism, and Rosen treats it with a combination of insight and thoroughness which makes Nihilism an impressive and important book. . . . Deserves to become a classic study.” — Kenneth Dorter, Dialogue

“This is an impressive book. . . . Part of the interest of this book resides in its structure, which analyses moments in the history of ideas to sketch a systematic critique of theoretical and practical reason.” — Times Literary Supplement

“Those who ignore his book do so at their peril. It vigorously poses issues which have been too long neglected by both political scientists and political theorists.” — R. L. Nichols, American Political Science Review

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