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In order to give you an idea of our essay writing services, we are sharing an argumentative essay sample below. The essay was part of a philosophy assignment and the topic chosen by the student was nihilism.
Type of essay: argumentative essay
Word count = 1000 wordsEssay format:
Introduction (100 words)
Body paragraphs (500 words) Argument:
Body paragraph: counter argument (150-200 words)
Body paragraph: response to counter argument (100-150 words)
Conclusion (100 words)
No references needed.
The essay solution provided by our experts is shown below.
The belief that all values are fundamentally inexistent and it is not possible to know or communicate anything is nihilism. The constructs of radical scepticism and extreme pessimism condemning existence as a whole is nihilism. A nihilist does not believe in anything, is devoid of loyalties and have no purpose other than the compulsion to destroy. Nihilism has been proposed by the renowned philosopher Friedrick Nietzsche who maintained that its adverse impacts will eventually lead to the destruction of metaphysical, religious and moral convictions. The current essay will discuss the philosophical arguments against nihilism. The end of the twentieth century has witnessed existential despair to be a retort to nihilism by giving rise to a temperament of indifference that is usually linked with anti-foundationalism.
Arguments for nihilism
The famous philosopher, Lowe proposed a simple argument against nihilism by opining that there is an existence of concrete things. He argued that some abstract things like natural numbers exist. These abstract entities are dependent on concrete things in order to exist. Hence, it is compulsory for concrete things to exist.
Hence, according to Lowe, the subtraction argument is defeated because of the existence of abstract entities in the world and there exists no probable world having the existence of only abstract and not concrete objects. According to me, Lowe’s argument against nihilism is valid. However, he has not offered any concrete reasons for others to accept his anti-nihilist argument premises.
Lowe supports his second premise by maintaining that the probable abstract entities contain sets and universals in which sets contain all the abstract specifications. He also defends the Aristotelian argument about universals by maintaining that un-instantiated existence of universals is not possible. Hence, Lowe maintains that the universals that could remain in a world devoid of concrete objects would be those having abstract particular instances or sets. However, it is not possible for sets to exist without their members. As an outcome of rejecting the empty set, Lowe permits only impure set having non-set numbers. So a world having the existence of abstract objects would comprise of non-sets being a part of universals having specific instances to be sets. But, according to Lowe, this is not possible as he argues for the dependency of sets on universals and the dependency of universals on sets, thereby developing a vicious circle depriving the probability of existence of both sets and universals.
Hence, Lowe infers that a world containing only universals and sets cannot exist and hence it is not possible to have a world having only abstract entities. Hence, abstract entities are dependent on the concrete objects for their existence. Without the existence of abstract objects, concrete entities would cease to exist.
Lowe, argues that mathematical truths exist and these truths and numbers act as truthmakers of these mathematical truths. Hence, Lowe infers that numbers have to exist in all worlds having truths to be true and because these truths are true, it is essential for numbers to exist in all worlds. Furthermore, he proposes that it is difficult to sense a thinking of mathematical truths being contingently true.
Arguments against nihilism
Lowe’s arguments for nihilism have been criticised to be not persuasive. The first premise of Lowe, may be interpreted differently. The premise one of mathematical truths to be necessary may be argued by not supporting the first premise or by questioning the first premise. The question is whether the assumption of mathematical truths to act as truthmakers, follows the surmise that there is necessary existence of numbers.
His argument favouring the second premise has been challenged by Rodriguez – Pereyra. One may question on the manner in which numbers and sets are mutually dependent. Lowe, mentions that they are mutually dependent as per the explanation of weak existential dependence. Hence, this mutual dependence may prevent the existence of a world having only sets and numbers. Surprisingly, Lowe admits examples of weak mutual existential dependence to be devoid of problems. He further maintains that sets and numbers may be mutually dependent due to generic dependence. The third form of mutual dependence or identity dependence is the creation of a vicious circle that deprives numbers and sets to exist.
Weak existential and generic dependence have mutually dependent numbers and sets but that does not negate the fact of a world to exist containing only abstract entities. The strong existential or identity dependence assumption makes it impossible for a world containing only abstract objects to exist in a mutually dependent world of sets and numbers. However, it is not possible for numbers and sets to be mutually dependent in this manner. Hence, it may be surmised that Lowe’s second premise does not support his argument against nihilism.
Hence, one may conclude that although Lowe has provided an interesting argument against nihilism, there is a lack of persuasive reasons on why his first premise on the argument on anti-nihilism should be believed.
Lowe’s argument against nihilism is based on the opinion of the existence of concrete entities. The philosopher maintains that it is not possible for abstract entities to exist without concrete entities, thereby refuting the subtraction argument. He rests his argument against nihilism based on the above premise. However, both his premises of abstract entities to exist and be dependent on the existence of concrete entities has been criticised on the basis of not being persuasive. However Rodriguez-Pereyra objected to the subtraction argument from Paseau’s stance and not Lowe’s stance and based on this deemed Lowe’s premises to not be persuasive. This rests the fact that Lowe’s argument against nihilism based on the existence of mutually dependent concrete and abstract entities rests as per his negation of the subtraction argument.
The above essay has summarized the argument for and against nihilism. It has presented the viewpoints of philosophers Lowe and Rodriguez-Pereyra on their views against and for nihilism. According to me, the identification of our fundamental values and ethics to be arbitrary is completely baseless. It is not possible to argue for a world without morals, values and preferences. Those favouring nihilism has inherent emotions of purposelessness and baselessness behind inaction and action. This construct of nihilism, cannot exist in a civil and societal world. In order to live in a civilized world, human beings need to display emotions and purpose in order to sustain and grow. Hence, I do not favour the construct of nihilism.
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