Examples Of Pessimism By Arthur Schopenhauer

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Pessimism is conceptualised as a lens under which the values of life are viewed with a sombre temperament that distorts one’s appreciation for life itself, by ignoring its good aspects, thus lowering one’s expectations. Arthur Schopenhauer is often understood as the greatest pessimist in Western philosophy despite never formally characterising himself as such. He does however use the concepts “optimism” and “pessimism” to classify certain conceits of suffering in his philosophy on human existence in order to classify the ‘good’ and ‘evil’ that pervade the human condition. Schopenhauer articulates what he perceives as the cruel realities of the pain that comes with life, by asserting that human existence is burdened by the twin poles of human suffering; want and boredom, stressing that ‘will’ dictates the cursor towards these ends, 1850, p: 45. In the matter of good and evil, can pessimistic judgments about life, such as the one expressed in the quotation by Schopenhauer, be an objective philosophical analysis of human existence?

“For evil is precisely that which is positive, that which makes itself palpable; and good, on the other hand, i.e. all happiness and all gratification, is that which is negative”, (Schopenhauer, A, 1850, p:41). First and foremost, the philosopher’s thought on the values behind ‘good’ and ‘evil’ reflects what he believes is the most honest depiction life. Schopenhauer considers happiness to be 'lack of suffering ' and goodness to be 'lack of evil
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