The Truth of Negation


The principal contention of my book, and the point at which it diverges most fundamentally from Nietzsche, is that nihilism is not the negation of truth, but rather the truth of negation, and the truth of negation is transformative. This truth is encapsulated in the concept of “extinction”. It does not just refer to the termination of biological species or the annihilation of the physical universe (although it also refers to these things). It is deployed as a philosophical rather than scientific concept in order to address the following question: “How are we to reckon with the claim that the physical conditions upon which life and thought depend will eventually (if our best current science is to be believed) cease to exist?”

The concept of extinction constructed in response to this question is neither biological nor cosmological. It is supposed to designate the lapsing of a prevalent philosophical understanding of life as generative of thought. So it’s an attempt to radicalize and generalize biological accounts of the end of terrestrial life and cosmological accounts of the end of the universe and endow them with a universal scope in order to address the following quandary: “How are we to make sense of the end of sense as philosophers have hitherto understood it?” - Ray Brassier