French philosophers of the 20th century… took the new insights of Friedrich Nietzsche to its extreme and developed a totally new and unheard of philosophy: postmodernism. Crucial in the development of this new philosophy is the work of Georges Bataille (1897-1962). This French philosopher combined his study of Nietzsche with his findings as an ethnologist (especially the work he had done in studying the sacred in different cultures) and developed a metaphysics and an epistemology, that were centered around mystical concepts as nihil, emptiness, darkness, the void. So it seems that with Bataille we see philosophy taking the leap to mysticism. But this leap was (and still is to this day) not unproblematic, both with other postmodern philosophers in the era after Nietzsche, as with Bataille himself, who also showed a philosophical uneasiness in having to take this leap and never fully came to terms with all of the implications of mysticism.
Category: Notes & Annotations