Pessimism: Philosophy, Ethic, Spirit

Joshua Foa Dienstag

A winner of the annual Association of American Publishers’ award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Philosophy, the author works to “reframe the history of political thought so that pessimism becomes one of its major strands.”  In “Pessimism,” Prof. Dienstag offers a rationale for rehabilitating readers’ most likely notions of the title subject — that pessimism is in all uses, a negative and debilitating philosophical bent. He traces the pedigree of authors and philosophers who have followed that less-traveled trail to often find a more truthful assessment of real-world situations and a better barometer of human progress, given that ” . . .the world keeps delivering bad news.”

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