The sense, the nonsense and the absurd

  • Peter King
  • Lecture

In the history of philosophy there have been numerous attempts to determine the essence of man. He was thought of as the laughing, the weeping, the reasonable, the unhappy, the deficient animal.

For Nietzsche, man was the interpretive animal that sought meaning in everything, even when there was no such meaning. Man cannot do without sense and meaning. That is why he produces so much nonsense: nonsense that promises meaning, as well as nonsense that rebels against meaning.
But what if man had the insight into the futility of his search for meaning? Could he live with this insight into the absurdity of his existence?

The philosopher Prof. Dr. Peter König works at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and teaches research at the Philosophical Seminar of the University of Heidelberg.

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