Is Schopenhauerian pessimism truly passive nihilism?


Nietzsche referred to Schopenhauerian pessimism as passive nihilism. Does the categorization happen to be true or is Nietzsche's analysis somehow flawed?

Satyajit Sen

Posted 2019-03-31T09:33:02.863

Reputation: 139

There is no "true" or "false" with such labels, given their vagueness. That is how Nietzsche felt, and keep in mind that to him "nihilism" is something more specific, as he professed to be a nihilist. In a way, this means that he sees Schopenhauer as his "passive" precursor. The precursor part is true enough. – Conifold – 2019-04-01T03:47:58.010

@Conifold, Nietzsche never professed to be a nihilist. He did indeed understand nihilism and the dynamics thereof very well but that doesn't necessarily equate to him professing to be a nihilist. Nihilism and existentialism do share a starting point in terms of external, objective meaning not existing, so anything that can be deemed to be 'passive nihilism' would obviously be precursory to any work that can be bracketed within existentialism, thematically speaking. [1/2] – Satyajit Sen – 2019-09-23T23:09:32.330

More specifically, however, Nietzsche dubbing the championing of philosophical pessimism in general and of the Western Buddhist ascetic attitude as a will to nothingness is actually what's precursory and contrastive to his work on the will to power. The objective of the question I asked was to seek more clarity about the nuances in Schopenhauer's work but then again, this might not be the best platform for such a discussion. [2/2] – Satyajit Sen – 2019-09-23T23:19:37.170

No answers