Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / Rowman & Littlefield International
Trim: 6¼ x 9¼
978-1-78660-702-7 • Hardback • June 2018 • $94.00 • (£72.00)
978-1-78660-703-4 • Paperback • June 2018 • $39.00 • (£30.00)
978-1-78660-704-1 • eBook • June 2018 • $37.00 • (£28.00)
Nolen Gertz is Assistant Professor of Applied Philosophy at the University of Twente, and a Senior Researcher at the 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology. He is the author of The Philosophy of War and Exile. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Forbes, and on ABC Australia.
1. Nietzsche and Chill / 2. The Will to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ / 3. The Hammer of the Gods / 4. Ecce Hulu / 5. Amor Fitbit / 6. The Uber Mensch / 7. Thus Spake Zuckerberg / 8. The Trolling of the Idols / 9. Google is Dead
[Nolen Gertz] is remarkably adept at translating Nietzsche’s analysis of nihilistic living — which looks at how we develop strategies for coping with a way of life that undermines our very humanity — into instantly recognizable terms stretching from “Netflix and chill” to smugshrugs and emoji to the gamification of health and well beyond.— The New Atlantis, Winter 2019
[T]his book is an interesting application of Nietzsche to the digital world. ... While Gertz's attempt to break from the pack of contemporary philosophy of technology is too quick and unconvincing, his critique of key modern technologies that impact the daily lives of billions is much more interesting. It is this that recommends the book. — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
In this short but hugely engaging book, Nolen Gertz […] manages to both provide a compelling and rich introduction to Friedrich Nietzsche and nihilism as well as avoid the all-too common reductionism of popular discourse around technology. Rather than boil down the question of technology to the simple binary choice of ‘is this thing good or bad?’, Nihilism and Technology presents a far more intriguing and challenging set of questions. […] The book is a lively and convincing read, which thanks to its wide appeal and accessible and often dryly funny prose, deserves to find a wide audience far outside the often narrow confines of academic philosophical discourse. — LSE Review of Books
At times uncanny, yet thoroughly unsettling, Nolan Gertz’s Nihilism and Technology is an unquestionable synthesis of Nietzschean philosophy of nihilism brought to bear on our often overlooked uses and co-construction of technologies. Nihilism and Technology is, more often than not, a forceful analysis of how the human-technosocial world is becoming ever more nihilistic. Gertz eschews the overdone and clichéd positions of techno-optimism and techno-pessimism in favour of a reimagining of Nietzsche’s evaluation of nihilism with an analysis of human-technology relations. What results is a graceful marriage of traditionally convinced Nietzschean concepts and postphenomenology; something that has yet to be achieved with modern technology.
At its core, the book is less of a dry, academic text and more of a satire on technology and our relations with it. Gertz writes with a prose that is often tongue in cheek and at some points outright funny. It shifts the reader outside the consciousness of binary value judgements of technology. Good and bad become secondary as Gertz moves beyond the concepts to a meta-evaluation of how we live in the world with our technologies, or separated from them. Nihilism and Technology is a timely and original text that should be given exposure beyond the walls of the academy. Its philosophical rigour and treatment of human–technology relations makes it widely readable. It comes highly recommended. — Prometheus
[…] a provocative and unsettling philosophical inquiry into our increasingly compulsive technological practices, revealing how our nihilism and our technologies have been raveled in a twist. [...] Gertz asks us whose meaning is being conveyed by emojis, what is the true currency of the sharing economy, why do we troll or shame others online, who is obeying the Fitbit’s command to “Move!”— Hong Kong Review of Books
Nolen Gertz’s Nihilism and Technology is a provocative and unsettling call to reconceive the entire social media ecosystem—and our increasingly compulsive participation in it—as a seduction to nihilism: an open invitation to seek ever-new escapes from ourselves, from the burdens of our choices, and from our own missed opportunities to make meaning in our lives and our world.— Shannon Vallor, The University of Edinburgh
An extremely important and thought-provoking study that is refreshingly original. By examining current technologies through the eyes of nihilism, Gertz provides new insights and ways of looking at how humans interact with these technologies. It is highly readable and should become part of any course in the philosophy and ethics of technology.— John Weckert, Professor of Computer Ethics, Charles Sturt University
By discussing technology through the lens of the Nietzschean question regarding nihilism, Nolen Gertz offers an interesting palette of philosophical inquiries that is highly relevant for thinking about the roles technology plays in our lives and existence. It speaks to many normative and existential concerns we should have today: does technology help us to remain complacent with the status quo and to avoid making important decisions about our lives? Do we exercise power over others by using seemingly innocent technologies such as social media? Is our dependency on Google proof of our reliance on external sources of meaning? Joining a growing choir of critical voices, Gertz shows that as individuals and as societies we face serious challenges here and that technology is not just about gadgets or things; it is also always about how to lead one's life.— Mark Coeckelbergh, Professor of the Philosophy of Media and Technology at the University of Vienna