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gwern comments on Recommended reading for new rationalists - Less Wrong

27 Post author: XFrequentist 09 July 2009 07:47PM

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Comment author: gwern 07 October 2009 02:44:01AM 0 points [-]

The reasonable interpretation; he could've said instead 'non-solipsistic materialism' or something.

But then, I'm not sure whether denying that existing, well, exists, is nihilism or solipsism (in European philosophy, nihilism is usually with regard to ethics, but in Buddhist philosophy, nihilism is often the word used to translate positions claiming that nothing whatsoever exists, not even perceptions or the atoms/'karmas' of the Hinayanists).

Comment author: Jack 07 October 2009 05:55:43AM *  1 point [-]

The word nihilism can be attached to different adjectives to explain what is being denied. Thus there is ethical nihilism, existential nihilism, epistemological nihilism, metaphysical nihilism etc. By itself it is usually taken to refer to ethical or existential nihilism (that there is no purpose to life).