The Nihilist

In Seth Vannatta (ed.), The Pragmatism and Prejudice of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. pp. 31-47 (2019)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Scattered skeptical remarks and a general austerity that infused his writings have given Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes a reputation as some type of nihilist. Noted commentators such as Richard Posner and Albert Alschuler have claimed as much. This article seeks to correct this misunderstanding. Holmes was not a nihilist in the sense of being melancholy due to a belief that the world has no absolute moral values or gods. Instead, Holmes was a pragmatist in the spirit of William James and John Dewey. While Holmes had doubts about moral truth and deities, he ultimately thought that their existence (or non-existence) should have no bearing on our behavior or the law. We must, through our collective efforts, find values that work for us.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
DONTN
Revision history
Archival date: 2019-09-09
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Nietzsche, Genealogy, History.Michel Foucault - 1978 - In John Richardson & Brian Leiter (eds.), Nietzsche. Oxford University Press. pp. (139-164).
Ethical Pragmatism.Donelson, Raff
How to Make Our Ideas Clear.Peirce, Charles Sanders

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2019-09-09

Total views
6 ( #43,015 of 42,302 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #41,169 of 42,302 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.