On Pessimism

Pessimism (n.); from Latin pessimus “worst.”

Pessimism can refer either to a disposition or a philosophy.

As a disposition, pessimism is the feeling that all expectations, in the end, will come to naught. The pessimist hangs his hopes on nothing because he has forsaken all hope to begin with. It’s a comportment towards the world in which all that exists is negative possibility. Pessimism in this sense expresses the loneliness of being in the world.

Philosophical pessimism is the belief that not-being is preferable to being; that existence is in some way or another inextricably tied with suffering, disappointment, and boredom. The universe is utterly indifferent to human desires and ends, and thus our world is the worst possible.  What’s best? To have never been born in the first place. Philosophical pessimism expresses the loneliness of the world.


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