Pessimism

Author: Joshua Foa Dienstag
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400827485
Size: 38.42 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
View: 6692
Download
Pessimism claims an impressive following--from Rousseau, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, to Freud, Camus, and Foucault. Yet "pessimist" remains a term of abuse--an accusation of a bad attitude--or the diagnosis of an unhappy psychological state. Pessimism is thought of as an exclusively negative stance that inevitably leads to resignation or despair. Even when pessimism looks like utter truth, we are told that it makes the worst of a bad situation. Bad for the individual, worse for the species--who would actually counsel pessimism? Joshua Foa Dienstag does. In Pessimism, he challenges the received wisdom about pessimism, arguing that there is an unrecognized yet coherent and vibrant pessimistic philosophical tradition. More than that, he argues that pessimistic thought may provide a critically needed alternative to the increasingly untenable progressivist ideas that have dominated thinking about politics throughout the modern period. Laying out powerful grounds for pessimism's claim that progress is not an enduring feature of human history, Dienstag argues that political theory must begin from this predicament. He persuasively shows that pessimism has been--and can again be--an energizing and even liberating philosophy, an ethic of radical possibility and not just a criticism of faith. The goal--of both the pessimistic spirit and of this fascinating account of pessimism--is not to depress us, but to edify us about our condition and to fortify us for life in a disordered and disenchanted universe.

Pessimism

Author: Joshua Foa Dienstag
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691125527
Size: 16.54 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
View: 4919
Download
Pessimism claims an impressive following--from Rousseau, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, to Freud, Camus, and Foucault. Yet "pessimist" remains a term of abuse--an accusation of a bad attitude--or the diagnosis of an unhappy psychological state. Pessimism is thought of as an exclusively negative stance that inevitably leads to resignation or despair. Even when pessimism looks like utter truth, we are told that it makes the worst of a bad situation. Bad for the individual, worse for the species--who would actually counsel pessimism? Joshua Foa Dienstag does. In Pessimism, he challenges the received wisdom about pessimism, arguing that there is an unrecognized yet coherent and vibrant pessimistic philosophical tradition. More than that, he argues that pessimistic thought may provide a critically needed alternative to the increasingly untenable progressivist ideas that have dominated thinking about politics throughout the modern period. Laying out powerful grounds for pessimism's claim that progress is not an enduring feature of human history, Dienstag argues that political theory must begin from this predicament. He persuasively shows that pessimism has been--and can again be--an energizing and even liberating philosophy, an ethic of radical possibility and not just a criticism of faith. The goal--of both the pessimistic spirit and of this fascinating account of pessimism--is not to depress us, but to edify us about our condition and to fortify us for life in a disordered and disenchanted universe.

Pessimism

Author: Joshua Foa Dienstag
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691141121
Size: 45.98 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 5928
Download
Pessimism claims an impressive following--from Rousseau, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, to Freud, Camus, and Foucault. Yet "pessimist" remains a term of abuse--an accusation of a bad attitude--or the diagnosis of an unhappy psychological state. Pessimism is thought of as an exclusively negative stance that inevitably leads to resignation or despair. Even when pessimism looks like utter truth, we are told that it makes the worst of a bad situation. Bad for the individual, worse for the species--who would actually counsel pessimism? Joshua Foa Dienstag does. In Pessimism, he challenges the received wisdom about pessimism, arguing that there is an unrecognized yet coherent and vibrant pessimistic philosophical tradition. More than that, he argues that pessimistic thought may provide a critically needed alternative to the increasingly untenable progressivist ideas that have dominated thinking about politics throughout the modern period. Laying out powerful grounds for pessimism's claim that progress is not an enduring feature of human history, Dienstag argues that political theory must begin from this predicament. He persuasively shows that pessimism has been--and can again be--an energizing and even liberating philosophy, an ethic of radical possibility and not just a criticism of faith. The goal--of both the pessimistic spirit and of this fascinating account of pessimism--is not to depress us, but to edify us about our condition and to fortify us for life in a disordered and disenchanted universe.

Dancing In Chains

Author: Joshua Foa Dienstag
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804729246
Size: 26.12 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
View: 6715
Download
Rejecting traditional distinctions between philosophy, history, and literature, this book traces a broad connection between political identity and narrative in the field of political theory.

A Philosophy Of Pessimism

Author: Stuart Sim
Publisher: Reaktion Books
ISBN: 178023550X
Size: 51.34 MB
Format: PDF
View: 641
Download
There are many reasons to despair over the state of the world today: climate change, war, terrorism, social injustice, and an utter failure by our political systems to fix them. Yet there will always be those frustrating optimists who counter such an outlook by citing developments such as modern medicine, democracy, and the global internet as signs that things are, and always have been, on the up and up. This book locks those people in a separate room, shattering their rose-colored glasses to show the tremendous value in keeping the dark side of human affairs at the forefront of our consciousness. Stuart Sim starts with the proposition that pessimists simply have a more realistic world view. Tracing how pessimism has developed over time and exploring its multifaceted nature, he shows that many thinkers throughout history—including philosophers, theologians, authors, artists, and even scientists—have been pessimists at heart, challenging us to face up to the desperations that define human existence. Spanning cultures and moving across eras, he assembles a grand discourse of pessimism. Ultimately he offers the provocative argument that pessimism should be cultivated and vigorously defended as one of our most useful and ever-relevant dispositions.

The Poisoned Embrace

Author: Lawrence Osborne
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679754145
Size: 13.40 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
View: 6515
Download
Since the days of the Early Fathers, sex and death have formed a theological equation known as sexual pessimism--an aversion to the carnal which consequently elevates the virginal and the chaste. Here, Osborne gives a bracing account of how we imagine one of the most intimate aspects of our lives.

Cinema Democracy And Perfectionism

Author: Joshua Foa Dienstag
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 178499779X
Size: 58.37 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
View: 4457
Download
In the lead essay for this volume, Joshua Foa Dienstag engages in a critical encounter with the work of Stanley Cavell on cinema, focusing skeptical attention on the claims made for the contribution of cinema to the ethical character of democratic life. In this debate, Dienstag mirrors the celebrated dialogue between Rousseau and Jean D'Alembert on theatre, casting Cavell as D'Alembert in his view that we can learn to become better citizens and better people by observing a staged representation of human life, with Dienstag arguing, with Rousseau, that this misunderstands the relationship between original and copy, even more so in the medium of film than in the medium of theatre. Dienstag's provocative and stylish essay is debated by an exceptional group of interlocutors including Davide Panagia, Tracy Strong, Tom Dumm and Elizabeth Wingrove. The volume closes with a robust response from Dienstag to his critics. Cinema, Democracy and Perfectionismbuilds on Dienstag's well known work on narrative and political theory, but takes it in a new direction by turning to a topic that is increasingly prominent in political theory on the place of cinema in democratic life. It will appeal both to readers in political theory and film studies.

Better Than Both

Author: Peter Heinegg
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 9780761833123
Size: 49.76 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
View: 5781
Download
Better Than Both: The Case for Pessimism is an experiment in "popular philosophy." It presents and discusses (literally) life-and-death issues in non-technical, everyday language. This new work sees pessimism not as a kind of depressed moodiness or self-indulgent negativity, but as the inevitable result of any fair-minded survey of the world we actually live in. It reaches this conclusion by looking into basic human psychology, the record of history, the experience of aging and death, the failure of religion, and many features of both ancient and modern culture. Acknowledging the truth of pessimism, as opposed to optimistic self-deception, serves both to inoculate us against the suffering that is either bound or liable to come our way, and to help us enjoy the pleasures that life can afford. Realistic pessimism unlike "silly pessimism," also described here never denies the deep, intense joys of life, without whose seductive appeal the human race would long ago have vanished from the planet. It simply cautions, since probability is the best guide to decision-making, against basing any belief-system or choosing any course of action on delusively long odds. The book refers to a broad spectrum of writers and thinkers, such as Nietzsche, Mark Twain, and King Solomon for insight."

Nietzsche

Author: Gianni Vattimo
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 9780485114850
Size: 68.26 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
View: 282
Download
This renowned introduction - already a standard text in Europe - is translated here for the first time. Vattimo uses Heideggerean and cultural-critical perspectives to reassess the work and thought of Nietzsche.