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Lived Experiences of Non-Sense: the Shadow of Qohelet on Contemporary Nihilism

Stefano Bancalari


This paper aims to root the question of nihilism in a lived experience. By examining the (almost hidden) presence of Qoehlet in contemporary phenomenology it is possible to find in boredom the actual Erlebnis of meaninglessness and to bring out its fundamental methodological function. This implies a criticism of Heidegger’s privilege of Angst, which appears to be lacking in phenomenological concreteness. From this vantage point of view, it is possible to argue that the menace of non-sense does not at all coincide with that of nothing (and of death) and that it is by far more insidious and dramatic than the latter.


phenomenology; Qohelet; boredom; anxiety; meaninglessness

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