Now available in paperback, this book provides an elegant analysis of the philosophical background to the post-modernity debate. Vattimo focuses on the work of Nietzsche and Heidegger and shows how their bitter criticisms of modern European thought prepared the way for more recent proclamations of the end of the modern era.
Vattimo pursues questions central to aesthetics and hermeneutic philosophy and sides with contemporary philosophers such as Gadamer and Rorty in rejecting the search for stable and transcendent foundations for knowledge. Going beyond their work he introduces the notions of 'weak thought' and 'weak ontology' which, he argues, offer a way of 'going beyond' metaphysics by curing philosophy of the modernist disease and by resituating questions of truth and being within the realm of human experience.
Introduction. Part I: Nihilism as Destiny. . 1. An Apology for Nihilism. 2. The Crisis of Humanism. Part II: The Truth of Art. 3. The Death or Decline of Art. 4. The Shattering of the Poetic Word. 5. Ornament/Monument. 6. The Structure of Artistic Revolutions. Part III: The End of Modernity. . 7. Hermeneutics and Nihilism. 8. Truth and Rhetoric in Hermeneutic Ontology. 9. Hermeneutics and Anthropology. 10. Nihilism and the Post-modern in Philosophy. Bibliographical Note. Index.