Post-modernism believes in nothing, not even unbelief. Hence it is a genial version of nihilism, and the flip side of despair. Like skepticism (from which it descends), it is healthy insofar as it rejects all dogmas; but unhealthy insofar as it substitutes its own, while eating its own essence. This book diagnoses this disease, and offers irony as its cure. What failure of nerve did to Hellenism, strength of character must do for the decline of the best. Humor, laughter, and (...) detachment are the gifts of historical art, and of Socratic science. As we take refuge in the myth of truth, we must realize that there is no truth in myth, and no comfort in illusion, except the lie of immortality. (shrink)
The major themes of this study are, first, that philosophy is not a technical enterprise or primarily a branch of knowledge, but a way of life; second, that philosophy cannot be understood apart from its history, and its history cannot be understood apart from the recognition that philosophy does designate a way of life.