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Beschreibung des Verlags
The inertia of most people in the affluent Western nations in the face of the corruption of the core institutions of their democracies, including their universities, the disempowerment of people, the plundering of public wealth, growing economic injustice and economic insecurity, environmental degradation and the threat of global ecological collapse, has impelled more reflective people to search for explanations, and in doing so, to confront the nihilism of modern civilization. It appears that the devaluation of the highest values and of life and the consequent loss of meaning in people's lives is having practical consequences; nihilism threatens our liberty, the future of civilization and even terrestrial life itself. The papers collected in the present edition were not solicited; nevertheless they can all be seen as grappling with and attempting to overcome this nihilism, and as such form a coherent body of work. There was a second group of papers submitted this year united by their concern for the future of philosophy, which will be published shortly in another edition. However, even the problematic state of philosophy can only be understood in relation to nihilism. Nihilism is now so totally taken for granted by most people that the discourse through which the source of this nihilism could be identified and challenged is increasingly being ignored by the general population and undermined by those who now control the funding and management of education and research. Philosophy itself is becoming a victim of nihilism. The first paper in this edition by David Storey, 'Nihilism, Nature, and the Collapse of the Cosmos' is timely, providing a much needed history of the word 'nihilism' and of those who have recognized it and struggled against it. It shows that the term was coined and the problem was recognized long before Nietzsche, and the notion was explicitly formulated by F.H. Jacobi in 1799. While it has taken many forms and been understood in different ways, Storey sees the main source of nihilism in a scientific naturalism (essentially, what Alfred North Whitehead referred to as 'scientific materialism') that has drained meaning, value and purpose from nature. In conclusion Storey endorses the project of environmental philosophers to 're-enchant the world'.