The speaker in John Donne’s poem “Love’s Diet” distances himself from his current relationship as his attitude towards love shifts from inconvenience to indifference with intermediary steps of defensive attacks.
The speaker Donne presents does not have complete control over his emotions, and even shows subtle signs of fear at emotions like rejection.
Because they denied the possibility of certainty, Skeptics could denounce traditional truths as unjustifiable opinions.
When Demosthenes (c.371-322 BC), for example, observes that "What he wished to believe, that is what each man believes" ( which denies the possibility of knowledge and truth; this form of nihilism is currently identified with postmodern antifoundationalism.
It only became popularized, however, after its appearance in Ivan Turgenev's novel (1862) where he used "nihilism" to describe the crude scientism espoused by his character Bazarov who preaches a creed of total negation.
In Russia, nihilism became identified with a loosely organized revolutionary movement (C.1860-1917) that rejected the authority of the state, church, and family.
The movement eventually deteriorated into an ethos of subversion, destruction, and anarchy, and by the late 1870s, a nihilist was anyone associated with clandestine political groups advocating terrorism and assassination.
The earliest philosophical positions associated with what could be characterized as a nihilistic outlook are those of the Skeptics.
Mid-century, for example, the existentialists helped popularize tenets of nihilism in their attempts to blunt its destructive potential.
By the end of the century, existential despair as a response to nihilism gave way to an attitude of indifference, often associated with antifoundationalism.