At Noon: (Post)Nihilistic Temporalities in The Age of Machine-Learning Algorithms That Speak




temporality, nihilism, machine learning algorithms, subjectivity, narrativity


This article recapitulates and develops the attempts in the Nietzschean traditions to address and overcome the proliferation of nihilism that Nietzsche predicted to unfold in the next 200 years (WP 2). Nietzsche approached nihilism not merely as a psychology but as a labyrinthic and pervasive historical process whereby the highest values of culture and founding assumptions of philosophical thought prevented the further flourishing of life. Therefore, he thought nihilism had to be encountered and experienced on many, often opposing, fronts to be fully consumed and left behind. Thus, just as Nietzsche captured the subtle reinventions of nihilism in new forms in his time, in the new doers assumed behind new deeds (WP 488), this article focuses on the contemporary tectonic shifts brought by digital technology and challenges subjectivation and narrativization of algorithmic will to power in human-like interfaces such as ChatGPT. Having identified philosophers and himself as the most advanced nihilists in their overvaluation of truth, in the 4th part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche grappled with the difficult, perhaps impossible, temporality of post-nihilistic historicity that oscillates between highest creativity and highest truths, especially in the sections entitled The Shadow and At Noon whereby he explored new temporal techniques to evade the relapses into temporal nihilisms of the notions of linear progress or eternity (TSZ, 4). By drawing on this juncture, this article offers ways to address transfigurations of nihilism behind new technological performances of subjectivity. The article points toward creative temporalities beyond narrativity and subjectivity insofar as the statistical operations and probabilistic estimations of language-models exceed grammatical construction of meaning. This multifaceted application of his thought on the contemporary ontic reality is necessary to perceive our comet's incalculable movement as a veritable ray of sunshine.


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How to Cite

İşsevenler, T. C. (2023). At Noon: (Post)Nihilistic Temporalities in The Age of Machine-Learning Algorithms That Speak. The Agonist, 17(2), 63–72.