John Dewey was an American philosopher and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey is one of the primary figures associated with the philosophy of pragmatism and is considered one of the fathers of functional psychology. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Dewey as the 93rd most cited psychologist of the 20th century. A well-known public intellectual, he was a major voice of progressive education and liberalism. Although Dewey is known best for his publications about education, he wrote about many other topics, including epistemology, aesthetics, logic, social theory, ethics, he was a major educational reformer for the 20th century. The overriding theme of Dewey's works was his profound belief in democracy, be it in politics, education, or communication and journalism; as Dewey himself stated in 1888, while still at the University of Michigan, "Democracy and the one, ethical ideal of humanity are to my mind synonymous."Known for his advocacy of democracy, Dewey considered two fundamental elements—schools and civil society—to be major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality.
Dewey asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but by ensuring that there exists a formed public opinion, accomplished by communication among citizens and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt. John Dewey was born in Vermont to a family of modest means, he was one of four boys born to Lucina Artemisia Rich Dewey. Their second son was named John, but he died in an accident on January 17, 1859; the second John Dewey was born October 20, 1859, forty weeks after the death of his older brother. Like his older, surviving brother, Davis Rich Dewey, he attended the University of Vermont, where he was initiated into Delta Psi, graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1879. A significant professor of Dewey's at the University of Vermont was Henry Augustus Pearson Torrey, the son-in-law and nephew of former University of Vermont president Joseph Torrey. Dewey studied with Torrey between his graduation from Vermont and his enrollment at Johns Hopkins University.
After two years as a high-school teacher in Oil City and one teaching elementary school in the small town of Charlotte, Dewey decided that he was unsuited as a primary or secondary school teacher. After studying with George Sylvester Morris, Charles Sanders Peirce, Herbert Baxter Adams, G. Stanley Hall, Dewey received his Ph. D. from the School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. In 1884, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Michigan with the help of George Sylvester Morris, his unpublished and now lost dissertation was titled "The Psychology of Kant." In 1894 Dewey joined the newly founded University of Chicago where he developed his belief in Rational Empiricism, becoming associated with the newly emerging Pragmatic philosophy. His time at the University of Chicago resulted in four essays collectively entitled Thought and its Subject-Matter, published with collected works from his colleagues at Chicago under the collective title Studies in Logical Theory. During that time Dewey initiated the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where he was able to actualize the pedagogical beliefs that provided material for his first major work on education, The School and Society.
Disagreements with the administration caused his resignation from the university, soon thereafter he relocated near the East Coast. In 1899, Dewey was elected president of the American Psychological Association. From 1904 until his retirement in 1930 he was professor of philosophy at Columbia University. In 1905 he became president of the American Philosophical Association, he was a longtime member of the American Federation of Teachers. Along with the historians Charles A. Beard and James Harvey Robinson, the economist Thorstein Veblen, Dewey is one of the founders of The New School. Dewey's most significant writings were "The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology", a critique of a standard psychological concept and the basis of all his further work. While each of these works focuses on one particular philosophical theme, Dewey included his major themes in most of what he published, he published more than 700 articles in 140 journals, 40 books. Reflecting his immense influence on 20th-century thought, Hilda Neatby wrote "Dewey has been to our age what Aristotle was to the Middle Ages, not a philosopher, but the philosopher."Dewey married Alice Chipma
Hans Albert is a German philosopher. Born in Cologne, he lives in Heidelberg, his fields of research are Social Sciences and General Studies of Methods. He is a critical rationalist, he is a strong critic of the continental hermeneutic tradition coming from Gadamer. Albert held the chair of Social Sciences and General Studies of Methods at the University of Mannheim, he is a much-cited philosopher. Most he developed Popper's critical rationalism into a concise, broad-ranging maxim, thereby extending it from a method to progress in science to one applicable in day-to-day heuristics. To substantiate his approach, he provided evidence for his thesis that there is no field of human activities where one should not be critical, he advocated applying critical rationalism to the social sciences to economics, politics and religion. In his view the attitude of criticism is one of the oldest European traditions in comparison with other less critical traditions. Before his many books were published, Hans Albert was known to a broader audience for his contributions to the positivism dispute arguing against his opponents of the so-called Frankfurt School.
His contributions included differentiating between critical positivism. Albert observed that new insights are difficult to spread or proliferate, he ascribed this phenomenon's cause to ideological obstacles, for which Albert coined the phrase'immunity against criticism'. Albert's well known Münchhausen trilemma is named after Baron Munchausen, who pulled himself out of a swamp seizing himself by his shock of hair; this trilemma rounds off the classical problem of justification in the theory of knowledge. It concludes that all attempts to rationally justify or rather verify a thesis must inherently fail; this verdict concerns not only deductive justifications, as many of his critics believe, but inductive, causal and all otherwise structured justifications. As Albert reasons, they all will be in vain, since a justification faces one of three flaws: All justification in pursuit of certain knowledge has to justify the means of justification or rather the validity of its premises - an effort which leads to an infinite regress.
One can cut the chain of reasons short, for instance, by pointing to self-evidence or common sense or fundamental principles or another basic premise that shall not be further questioned. But in doing so the intention to arrive at a universally valid justification is abandoned, because the reasoning cannot be accepted, unless one accepts the validity of one premise for its own sake; the third horn of the trilemma is the unsatisfying application of a circular argument. Albert stressed that there is no limitation of the Münchhausen trilemma to deductive conclusions. Hence, Albert points out, justification is rendered impossible regardless of the specific content of a thesis, justification is impossible at all. From this notion, Albert draws the conclusion that progress in science can only be achieved by means of falsification rather than inductive verification. To observe and criticize the endeavors made to escape from the quagmire of certain justification became an instructive part of Hans Albert's philosophy.
A prominent example of these efforts his discussion of the ideas of Karl-Otto Apel, one of Germany's leading philosophers. Still, Albert argues that critical rationalists have to accept that those attempts of rigorous justification are not futile, since only as long as alternative methods are without success can critical rationalism be called successful. Albert's plea is for critical rationalism, he avoids solemn preaching in favor of serious, serene discussion with people of different faith and thinking. While Popper always warned not to follow one's opponent into the mire, Albert follows them into their favored field of thinking on their own terms. So he criticized Heidegger's "being in the abyss", Gadamer's "horizons melting together", Habermas's "consensual theoretical truth in the ideal discourse", Karl-Otto Apel's transcendental arguments, the theologian Hans Küng's "absolute-relative, this-life-and-hereafter, transcendental-immanent, allconcerning-allcontrolling most real reality in the heart of things".
Hans Albert meticulously follows their arguments to uncover: undiscovered premises new and fatal consequences new and better alternatives. Underlying suppositions and injunctions of Albert's method are: Only if all proposed alternatives to critical rationalism are untenable may one live with critical rationalism. There is value in learning from discussion. Other people may be right. One should keep away from solemn gravity. One should avoid the moralising know-it-all but not conceal one's preferred way of life. In 1950 Hans Albert earned his first degree as a'Diplom-Kaufmann', followed by an Academic degree of a Dr. rer.pol
Charles Sanders Peirce
Charles Sanders Peirce was an American philosopher, logician and scientist, sometimes known as "the father of pragmatism". He was employed as a scientist for thirty years. Today he is appreciated for his contributions to logic, philosophy, scientific methodology and for his founding of pragmatism. An innovator in mathematics, philosophy, research methodology, various sciences, Peirce considered himself and foremost, a logician, he made major contributions to logic, but logic for him encompassed much of that, now called epistemology and philosophy of science. He saw logic as the formal branch of semiotics, of which he is a founder, which foreshadowed the debate among logical positivists and proponents of philosophy of language that dominated 20th century Western philosophy. Additionally, he defined the concept of abductive reasoning, as well as rigorously formulated mathematical induction and deductive reasoning; as early as 1886 he saw that logical operations could be carried out by electrical switching circuits.
The same idea was used decades to produce digital computers. In 1934, the philosopher Paul Weiss called Peirce "the most original and versatile of American philosophers and America's greatest logician". Webster's Biographical Dictionary said in 1943 that Peirce was "now regarded as the most original thinker and greatest logician of his time." Keith Devlin referred to Peirce as one of the greatest philosophers ever. Peirce was born at 3 Phillips Place in Massachusetts, he was the son of Sarah Hunt Mills and Benjamin Peirce, himself a professor of astronomy and mathematics at Harvard University and the first serious research mathematician in America. At age 12, Charles read his older brother's copy of Richard Whately's Elements of Logic the leading English-language text on the subject. So began his lifelong fascination with logic and reasoning, he went on to earn a A. B. and a A. M. from Harvard. In 1863 the Lawrence Scientific School awarded him a B. Sc. Harvard's first summa cum laude chemistry degree.
His academic record was otherwise undistinguished. At Harvard, he began lifelong friendships with Francis Ellingwood Abbot, Chauncey Wright, William James. One of his Harvard instructors, Charles William Eliot, formed an unfavorable opinion of Peirce; this proved fateful, because Eliot, while President of Harvard (1869–1909—a period encompassing nearly all of Peirce's working life—repeatedly vetoed Peirce'e employment at the university. Peirce suffered from his late-teens onward from a nervous condition known as "facial neuralgia", which would today be diagnosed as trigeminal neuralgia, his biographer, Joseph Brent, says that when in the throes of its pain "he was, at first stupefied, aloof, depressed suspicious, impatient of the slightest crossing, subject to violent outbursts of temper". Its consequences may have led to the social isolation which made his life's years so tragic. Between 1859 and 1891, Peirce was intermittently employed in various scientific capacities by the United States Coast Survey and its successor, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, where he enjoyed his influential father's protection until the latter's death in 1880.
That employment exempted Peirce from having to take part in the American Civil War. At the Survey, he worked in geodesy and gravimetry, refining the use of pendulums to determine small local variations in the Earth's gravity, he was elected a resident fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in January 1867. The Survey sent him to Europe five times, first in 1871 as part of a group sent to observe a solar eclipse. There, he sought out Augustus De Morgan, William Stanley Jevons, William Kingdon Clifford, British mathematicians and logicians whose turn of mind resembled his own. From 1869 to 1872, he was employed as an Assistant in Harvard's astronomical observatory, doing important work on determining the brightness of stars and the shape of the Milky Way. On April 20, 1877 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 1877, he proposed measuring the meter as so many wavelengths of light of a certain frequency, the kind of definition employed from 1960 to 1983. During the 1880s, Peirce's indifference to bureaucratic detail waxed while his Survey work's quality and timeliness waned.
Peirce took years to write reports. Meanwhile, he wrote entries thousands during 1883–1909, on philosophy, logic and other subjects for the encyclopedic Century Dictionary. In 1885, an investigation by the Allison Commission exonerated Peirce, but led to the dismissal of Superintendent Julius Hilgard and several other Coast Survey employees for misuse of public funds. In 1891, Peirce resigned from the Coast Survey at Superintendent Thomas Corwin Mendenhall's request, he never again held regular employment. In 1879, Peirce was appointed Lecturer in logic at Johns Hopkins University, which had strong departments in a number of areas that interested him, such as philosophy and mathematics, his Studies in Logic by Members of the Johns Hopkins University contained works by himself and Allan Marquand, Christine Ladd, Benjamin Ives Gilman, Oscar Howard Mitchell, several of whom were his graduate students. Peirce's nonte
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that began in the United States around 1870. Its origins are attributed to the philosophers William James, John Dewey, Charles Sanders Peirce. Peirce described it in his pragmatic maxim: "Consider the practical effects of the objects of your conception. Your conception of those effects is the whole of your conception of the object."Pragmatism considers words and thought as tools and instruments for prediction, problem solving and action, rejects the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality. Pragmatists contend that most philosophical topics—such as the nature of knowledge, concepts, meaning and science—are all best viewed in terms of their practical uses and successes; the philosophy of pragmatism "emphasizes the practical application of ideas by acting on them to test them in human experiences". Pragmatism focuses on a "changing universe rather than an unchanging one as the Idealists and Thomists had claimed". Pragmatism as a philosophical movement began in the United States in the 1870s.
Charles Sanders Peirce is given credit for its development, along with twentieth century contributors, William James and John Dewey. Its direction was determined by The Metaphysical Club members Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, Chauncey Wright, as well as John Dewey and George Herbert Mead; the first use in print of the name pragmatism was in 1898 by James, who credited Peirce with coining the term during the early 1870s. James regarded Peirce's "Illustrations of the Logic of Science" series as the foundation of pragmatism. Peirce in turn wrote in 1906 that Nicholas St. John Green had been instrumental by emphasizing the importance of applying Alexander Bain's definition of belief, "that upon which a man is prepared to act". Peirce wrote. John Shook has said, "Chauncey Wright deserves considerable credit, for as both Peirce and James recall, it was Wright who demanded a phenomenalist and fallibilist empiricism as an alternative to rationalistic speculation."Peirce developed the idea that inquiry depends on real doubt, not mere verbal or hyperbolic doubt, said, in order to understand a conception in a fruitful way, "Consider the practical effects of the objects of your conception.
Your conception of those effects is the whole of your conception of the object", which he called the pragmatic maxim. It equates any conception of an object to the general extent of the conceivable implications for informed practice of that object's effects; this is the heart of his pragmatism as a method of experimentational mental reflection arriving at conceptions in terms of conceivable confirmatory and disconfirmatory circumstances—a method hospitable to the generation of explanatory hypotheses, conducive to the employment and improvement of verification. Typical of Peirce is his concern with inference to explanatory hypotheses as outside the usual foundational alternative between deductivist rationalism and inductivist empiricism, although he was a mathematical logician and a founder of statistics. Peirce further wrote on pragmatism to make clear his own interpretation. While framing a conception's meaning in terms of conceivable tests, Peirce emphasized that, since a conception is general, its meaning, its intellectual purport, equates to its acceptance's implications for general practice, rather than to any definite set of real effects.
Peirce in 1905 coined the new name pragmaticism "for the precise purpose of expressing the original definition", saying that "all went happily" with James's and Schiller's variant uses of the old name "pragmatism" and that he nonetheless coined the new name because of the old name's growing use in "literary journals, where it gets abused". Yet in a 1906 manuscript he cited as causes his differences with Schiller. And, in a 1908 publication, his differences with James as well as literary author Giovanni Papini. Peirce in any case regarded his views that truth is immutable and infinity is real, as being opposed by the other pragmatists, but he remained allied with them on other issues. Pragmatism enjoyed renewed attention after Willard Van Orman Quine and Wilfrid Sellars used a revised pragmatism to criticize logical positivism in the 1960s. Inspired by the work of Quine and Sellars, a brand of pragmatism known sometimes as neopragmatism gained influence through Richard Rorty, the most influential of the late twentieth century pragmatists along with Hilary Putnam and Robert Brandom.
Contemporary pragmatism may be broadly divided into a strict analytic tradition and a "neo-classical" pragmatism that adheres to the work of Peirce and Dewey. Inspiration for various pragmatists included: Francis Bacon who coined the saying ipsa scientia potestas est David Hume for his naturalistic account of knowledge and action Thomas Reid, for his direct realism Immanuel Kant, for his idealism and from whom Peirce derives the name "pragmatism" G. W. F. Hegel who introduced temporality into philosophy J. S. Mill for his nominalism and empiricism George Berkeley for his project to eliminate all unclear concepts from philosophy Henri Bergson who influenced William James to renounce intellectualism and logical methods A few of the various but interrelated positions characteristic
Susan Haack is a British philosopher. She is Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Cooper Senior Scholar in Arts and Sciences, Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Law at the University of Miami, she has written on logic, the philosophy of language and metaphysics. Her pragmatism follows that of Charles Sanders Peirce. Haack is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, she was elected into Phi Beta Kappa as an honorary member. At Oxford, she studied at St. Hilda's College, where her first philosophy teacher was Jean Austin, the widow of J. L. Austin; as an undergraduate, she took Politics and Economics and said of her taste for philosophy: "initially, the'politics' part that most appealed to me. But somewhere down the line, despite encouragement from my politics tutor to pursue that subject, philosophy took over."She studied Plato with Gilbert Ryle and logic with Michael Dummett. David Pears supervised her B. Phil. Dissertation on ambiguity. At Cambridge, she wrote her PhD under the supervision of Timothy Smiley.
She held the positions of Fellow of New Hall and professor of philosophy at the University of Warwick before taking her current position at the University of Miami. Haack has said of her career that she is "very independent": rather than follow philosophical fads and fashions, I pursue questions I believe are important, tackle them in the ways that seem most to yield results; this independence comes at a price. She illustrates this idea with the metaphor of the crossword puzzle. A simplified version of this proceeds as follows: Finding an answer using a clue is analogous to a foundational source. Making sure that the interlocking words are mutually sensible is analogous to justification through coherence. Both are necessary components in the justification of knowledge. At least one scholar has claimed that Haack's foundherentism collapses into foundationalism upon further inspection. Haack has been a fierce critic of Richard Rorty, she wrote a play, We Pragmatists...: Peirce and Rorty in Conversation, consisting of quotes from both philosophers.
She performed the role of Peirce. Haack published a vigorous essay in the New Criterion, taking strong exception to many of Rorty's views his claim to be a sort of pragmatist. In Manifesto of a Passionate Moderate, Haack is critical of the view that there is a female perspective on logic and scientific truth and is critical of feminist epistemology, she holds that many feminist critiques of science and philosophy are excessively concerned with political correctness. Haack describes her 2003 book Defending Science – Within Reason: Between Scientism and Cynicism, as a defence of scientific inquiry from the moderate viewpoint. During an interview with D. J. Grothe of the Center for Inquiry, Haack put forward the proposition that those on the far left consider science to be rhetoric motivated by power or politics proceeds to show how science can, does provide real benefits and gains, regardless of what the left may claim. Conversely, Haack argues the book is an attempt to make a sounder and solider defence of inquiry in light of some philosophers of science narrow logical models of rationality.
Haack's opinion on the topic of inquiry, whoever may be undertaking it, is that good evidence, sound methods, transparent review and fitting new discovery into the collective sphere of human knowledge are signs of robust inquiry. Haack claims that quality inquiry can be done by many, however the scientific community has numerous tools or helps that have brought many benefits to mankind, which help foster science's credibility; these tools and helps may not be available to those engaged in individual inquiry. When asked about how she responds to paranormal or supernatural claims, Haack indicates supporters of such claims have a heavy burden of proof. Rather than labelling such claims as pseudo-science, she admits these things can be "pretty bad stuff" and if they are to be considered they would need extraordinary evidence, that such evidence should fit with the best warranted scientific theory about how things are. In this interview Haack responds to the question of religion's compatibility with science.
She agrees. While stating her disagreement with British philosopher of religion Richard G. Swinburne and Stephen Jay Gould, she referred to the pertinent chapter of her book for a comprehensive understanding of her views on this matter. In the related chapter ten of Defending Science, Haack disagrees with Gould's claim that science and religion have their own distinct domains that do not overlap.. Haack disagrees with Swinburne. Haack believes that while scientists and detectives play a useful role in scientific inquiry, theologians do not. Haack shows how science make claims about how the world is, she shows how science and reli
Determinism is the philosophical idea that all events, including moral choices, are determined by existing causes. Determinism is at times understood to preclude free will because it entails that humans cannot act otherwise than they do, it can be called hard determinism from this point of view. Hard determinism is a position on the relationship of determinism to free will; the theory holds that the universe is utterly rational because complete knowledge of any given situation assures that unerring knowledge of its future is possible. Some philosophers suggest variants around this basic definition. Deterministic theories throughout the history of philosophy have sprung from diverse and sometimes overlapping motives and considerations; the opposite of determinism is some kind of indeterminism. Determinism is contrasted with free will. Determinism is taken to mean causal determinism, which in physics is known as cause-and-effect, it is the concept that events within a given paradigm are bound by causality in such a way that any state is determined by prior states.
This meaning can be distinguished from other varieties of determinism mentioned below. Other debates concern the scope of determined systems, with some maintaining that the entire universe is a single determinate system and others identifying other more limited determinate systems. Numerous historical debates involve many philosophical varieties of determinism, they include debates concerning determinism and free will, technically denoted as compatibilistic and incompatibilistic. Determinism should not be confused with self-determination of human actions by reasons and desires. Determinism requires that perfect prediction be possible. "Determinism" may refer to any of the following viewpoints: Causal determinism is "the idea that every event is necessitated by antecedent events and conditions together with the laws of nature". However, causal determinism is a broad enough term to consider that "one's deliberations and actions will be necessary links in the causal chain that brings something about.
In other words though our deliberations and actions are themselves determined like everything else, it is still the case, according to causal determinism, that the occurrence or existence of yet other things depends upon our deliberating and acting in a certain way". Causal determinism proposes that there is an unbroken chain of prior occurrences stretching back to the origin of the universe; the relation between events may not be the origin of that universe. Causal determinists believe that there is nothing in the universe, uncaused or self-caused. Historical determinism can be synonymous with causal determinism. Causal determinism has been considered more as the idea that everything that happens or exists is caused by antecedent conditions. In the case of nomological determinism, these conditions are considered events implying that the future is determined by preceding events—a combination of prior states of the universe and the laws of nature, yet they can be considered metaphysical of origin.
Nomological determinism is the most common form of causal determinism. It is the notion that the past and the present dictate the future and by rigid natural laws, that every occurrence results from prior events. Nomological determinism is sometimes illustrated by the thought experiment of Laplace's demon. Nomological determinism is sometimes called'scientific' determinism, although, a misnomer. Physical determinism is used synonymously with nomological determinism. Necessitarianism is related to the causal determinism described above, it is a metaphysical principle. Leucippus claimed there were no uncaused events, that everything occurs for a reason and by necessity. Predeterminism is the idea; the concept of predeterminism is argued by invoking causal determinism, implying that there is an unbroken chain of prior occurrences stretching back to the origin of the universe. In the case of predeterminism, this chain of events has been pre-established, human actions cannot interfere with the outcomes of this pre-established chain.
Predeterminism can be used to mean such pre-established causal determinism, in which case it is categorised as a specific type of determinism. It can be used interchangeably with causal determinism—in the context of its capacity to determine future events. Despite this, predeterminism is considered as independent of causal determinism; the term predeterminism is frequently used in the context of biology and hereditary, in which case it represents a form of biological determinism. Fatalism is distinguished from "determinism", as a form of teleological determinism. Fatalism is the idea that everything is fated to happen, so that humans have no control over their future. Fate has arbitrary power, need not follow any causal or otherwise deterministic laws. Types of fatalism include hard theological determinism and the idea of predestination, where there is a God who determines all that humans will do; this may be accomplished either by knowing their actions in advance, via some form of omniscience or by decreeing their actions in advance.
Theological determinism is a form of determinism that holds that all events that happen are
Nihilism is the philosophical viewpoint that suggests the denial or lack of belief toward the reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent morality, that accepted moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism may take epistemological, ontological, or metaphysical forms, meaning that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or reality does not exist; the term is sometimes used in association with anomie to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence that one may develop upon realising there are no necessary norms, rules, or laws. Nihilism has been described as conspicuous in or constitutive of certain historical periods. For example, Jean Baudrillard and others have called postmodernity a nihilistic epoch and some religious theologians and figures of religious authority have asserted that postmodernity and many aspects of modernity represent a rejection of theism, that such rejection of theistic doctrine entails nihilism.
Nihilism has many definitions, thus can describe multiple arguably independent philosophical positions. Metaphysical nihilism is the philosophical theory that posits that concrete objects and physical constructs might not exist in the possible world, or that if there exist possible worlds that contain some concrete objects, there is at least one that contains only abstract objects. Extreme metaphysical nihilism is defined as the belief that nothing exists as a correspondent component of the self-efficient world; the American Heritage Medical Dictionary defines one form of nihilism as "an extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence." A similar skepticism concerning the concrete world can be found in solipsism. However, despite the fact that both deny the certainty of objects' true existence, the nihilist would deny the existence of self whereas the solipsist would affirm it. Both these positions are considered forms of anti-realism. Epistemological nihilism is a form of skepticism in which all knowledge is accepted as being untrue or as being impossible to confirm as true.
Mereological nihilism is the position that objects with proper parts do not exist, only basic building blocks without parts exist, thus the world we see and experience full of objects with parts is a product of human misperception. This interpretation of existence must be based on resolution; the resolution with which humans see and perceive the "improper parts" of the world is not an objective fact of reality, but is rather an implicit trait that can only be qualitatively explored and expressed. Therefore, there is no arguable way to measure the validity of mereological nihilism. Example: An ant can get lost on a large cylindrical object because the circumference of the object is so large with respect to the ant that the ant feels as though the object has no curvature. Thus, the resolution with which the ant views the world it exists "within" is a important determining factor in how the ant experiences this "within the world" feeling. Existential nihilism is the belief that life has value. With respect to the universe, existential nihilism posits that a single human or the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to change in the totality of existence.
The meaninglessness of life is explored in the philosophical school of existentialism. Moral nihilism known as ethical nihilism, is the meta-ethical view that morality does not exist as something inherent to objective reality. For example, a moral nihilist would say that killing someone, for whatever reason, is not inherently right or wrong. Other nihilists may argue not that there is no morality at all, but that if it does exist, it is a human construction and thus artificial, wherein any and all meaning is relative for different possible outcomes; as an example, if someone kills someone else, such a nihilist might argue that killing is not inherently a bad thing, or bad independently from our moral beliefs, because of the way morality is constructed as some rudimentary dichotomy. What is said to be a bad thing is given a higher negative weighting than what is called good: as a result, killing the individual was bad because it did not let the individual live, arbitrarily given a positive weighting.
In this way a moral nihilist believes. An alternative scholarly perspective is. Cooper writes, "In the widest sense of the word'morality', moral nihilism is a morality." Political nihilism follows the characteristic nihilist's rejection of non-rationalized or non-proven assertions. An influential analysis of political nihilism is presented by Leo Strauss; the Russian Nihilist movement was a Russian trend in the 1860s. After the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, the Nihilists gained a reputation throughout Europe as proponents of the use of violence for political change; the Nihilists expressed anger at what they described as the abusive nature of the Eastern Orthodox Church and of the tsarist monarchy, at the domination of the Russian economy by the aristocracy. Although the term Nihil