Saturday, September 27, 2008

Optimism and Pessimism

Why believe in “optimism” rather than “pessimism”?

What if optimism is naively leading you to absurd conclusions? Or perhaps there’s a better way of doing something and if only you could stop what you are doing now and become pessimistic about it would you realize this. Realize what exactly? An instinctual urge to view negative possibilities as more realistic than positive ones? Wait, don't confuse “pessimism” with “resignationism”, like Schopenhauer did, and don't confuse “laughing” with “optimism”.

There are pessimistic laughers too, my favorite kind.

Suggested reading:

Nietzsche. The Birth of Tragedy, Attempt at a Self-Criticism. §6 (click here.)


Muser said...

A nice, pithy optimistically pessimistic post. Well done. You might recommend Robinson Jeffers' Selected Poems, too. He was an unyielding pessimist but had rather a good time there on the California coast.

Acumensch said...

pessimists seem to have a really good time, we probably tend to think optimists are self-delusional. I saw one of your posts about Jeffers - he sounds really interesting :)

Thanks Muser!