Honouring Nihilism â€”A Review of Ray Brassierâ€™s Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction
Keywords:Educational alternatives, progressive education, alternative education, difference, educational theory, educational philosophy, home education, education policy
Ray Brassierâ€™s Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction (2007) embraces nihilism as â€œa speculative opportunity.â€ In the first part of this review my focus is threefold: on the bookâ€™s opening chapter in which Brassier considers the claims for eliminative materialism, a radical position within the analytic philosophy of mind; his second chapter which examines Adorno and Horkheimerâ€™s Dialectic of Enlightenment as exemplary of the tendency in Continental philosophy to denounce â€œuntrammelled scientific rationalismâ€; and its final few pages in which Brassier gives shape to his notion of nihilism by means of â€œa cosmological re-inscriptionâ€ of Freudâ€™s speculations concerning the death-instinct. However, I refer to other sections of the book throughout. In the second part of the paper I discuss questions provoked by Brassierâ€™s argument and conclude with a brief suggestion of its implications for education.Â Â
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