Wendy Brown: A Conversation on Our “Nihilistic” Age

Wendy Brown, UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science, spoke with The Nation about the multifront crisis of the post-Trump era, the moral and intellectual commitments of scholars and higher education, and her recent book Nihilistic Times: Thinking With Max Weber:

"We are living in nihilistic times, Brown argues, due to centuries of eroding religious authority over values, the inability of science and reason to provide successful alternatives, and the commercialization of contemporary life. The result is a crisis of human values, which are simultaneously personalized, politicized and instrumentalized."


"What, then, is to be done? In offering answers to these questions, Brown turns to two famous lectures delivered by Max Weber, the famous German sociologist, at the end of the First World War: 'Politics as a Vocation' and 'Science as a Vocation.' These lectures spell out Weber’s thinking on the effects of nihilism on both scholarly and political work and his attempt to stand up for basic values in both."

Read more at The Nation.