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Title:  The Last Fumes: Nihilism and the nature of philosophical concepts Author:  Franca D’Agostini Series:  Contemporary European Cultural Studies Imprint:  The Davies Group, Publishers soft cover 294 pp. USD 27.00 ISBN 978-1934542132 October  2009 “The last fumes of the evaporating reality” are, for Nietzsche, philosophical concepts, such as truth, being, or good. Nietzsche thought that an “active nihilist” should get rid of these fumes. But concepts of this sort are the conditions of thought, so you cannot avoid using them, more or less knowingly. They are frail and typically inconsistent entities, but at the same time they are the unavoidable fundaments of all our personal and social life. The Last Fumes aims at reconsidering metaphysical and epistemological nihilism in this perspective. One cannot be substantively nihilist: one cannot deny truth, being and good (because you need them in order to deny anything). But, as Hegel held, nihilism is the first awareness of philosophy, as it reveals the nature of philosophical concepts, and guarantees the preliminary freedom which is needed in philosophical reasoning and arguing. The author explores contemporary debates on truth, paradoxes, contradiction, non-existent objects, in both continental and analytical philosophy, in the light of the fundamental concepts involved. A new philosophical position is presented, based on the fundamental convergence of analytic and continental philosophy on some topics of general interest, such as nihilism and scepticism, paradoxes, truth, existence. Contents Introduction Detailed Content Chapter 1. What is nihilism? Chapter 2. The epistemological Liar Chapter 3. Unnatural certainties Chapter 4. Trivialism, nihilism and philosophy Chapter 5. What is dogmatism? Chapter 6. There is no truth, there might be nothing Chapter 7. The thinkability of nothing Chapter 8. How many (true) contradictions are there? Chapter 9. The importance of being noneist Chapter 10. Was Hegel noneist? Chapter 11. Nihilism in Italy Chapter 12. Hegel’s interpretation of Megarian paradoxes Conclusion Notes References About the Author Franca D’Agostini teaches Philosophy at the University of Turin (Politecnico). She is author of Analitici e continentali (Milano: Cortina, 1997), Breve storia della filosofia nel Novecento (Torino: Einaudi, 1999), Logica del nichilismo (Bari-Roma: Laterza, 2000), Disavventure della verità (Torino: Einaudi, 2002), Paradoxes (Roma: Carocci, 2009) and of many essays and articles. She also writes for the newspapers “la Stampa” and “il Manifesto”.
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