Otto Lehto: On Nothingness and Power Vacuums


Otto Lehto: The Power of Nothingness: A Journey into Western and Buddhist Nihilism(s).

“Can individuals make committed choices when faced with the infinity of existential freedom? How do artists deal with the empty canvas or pure silence?”

What are the differences between Western and Eastern conceptions of Nothingness? The dance of Being and Nothingness – humanity’s encounter with the Abyss – has many fatal variations. Some philosophers, from Schopenhauer to the Kyoto School, have sought out connections between Buddhist philosophy and European existentialism, while contemporary neuroscience is hinting at the non-existence of the Self, in line with classical Buddhist doctrine.

Can nihilism be used as a creative, positive power, or is it always necessarily destructive? Fundamentally, how does structure emerge out of Nothingness?”

Otto Lehto is a philosopher and political economist at King’s College London. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Philology (2009) and Master’s degree in Social and Moral Philosophy (2015) from the University of Helsinki. His current PhD research at King’s College London focuses on Universal Basic Income and Property Rights. He is the recipient of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) LAHP studentship (2017-2019)