Origins of Pessimism

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Maxcady10001
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Origins of Pessimism

Post by Maxcady10001 » August 10th, 2018, 9:03 am

Where does the origin of pessimism lie, with Socrates or somewhere else?

Maxcady10001
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Re: Origins of Pessimism

Post by Maxcady10001 » August 10th, 2018, 6:00 pm

I guess I should say more. It seems the outcome of Socrates' engagements in a few of Plato's books is very pessimistic. In Thaetetus knowledge is unattainable, in Meno virtue is unattainable (accept when gifted by the Gods, as it cannot be taught and it is not innate), in The Republic justice is only when everyone does their job, in Parmenides the ending line is that if one is not then nothing is, although it is not Socrates speaking the idea that nothing is seems a necessary conclusion in a world without knowledge and it is similar to Socrates saying "all that I know is that I know nothing." Socrates' last words can also have a pessimistic meaning of life as a disease cured by death.

I guess this may seem like a question that should be googled but why would pessimism have begun with Schopenhauer, or Leibniz and Voltaire (they come up when googling the first pessimists or the origins of pessimism), when Christianity which borrows heavily from Socrates had such an influence on them? Why wouldn't you look to Socrates as one of the first pessimist when so much of what he says can be taken that way? So can the origin of pessimism be found in the findings of Socrates or further back? Or, if you don't see Socrates as a pessimist why not?

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Origins of Pessimism

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 10th, 2018, 6:18 pm

Maxcady10001 wrote:
August 10th, 2018, 9:03 am
Where does the origin of pessimism lie, with Socrates or somewhere else?
Apes can be pessimistic. The origins are in our mammalian past.
It can even have selective advantage.
http://theconversation.com/the-surprisi ... mist-91851

However, the origin of the word is more recent than you might think, late 18thC.

So, Socrates is way out on both issues.

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Greta
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Re: Origins of Pessimism

Post by Greta » August 11th, 2018, 12:32 am

I believe the origin of pessimism is life itself or, rather, the fact that it always ends. There is almost always a sad ending.

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LuckyR
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Re: Origins of Pessimism

Post by LuckyR » August 11th, 2018, 12:37 am

Pessimism was invented the moment optimism showed up.
"As usual... it depends."

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Origins of Pessimism

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 11th, 2018, 5:40 am

Greta wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 12:32 am
I believe the origin of pessimism is life itself or, rather, the fact that it always ends. There is almost always a sad ending.
I've know people to welcome the release.
I hope to be in that frame of mind at the end.

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Greta
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Re: Origins of Pessimism

Post by Greta » August 11th, 2018, 4:57 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 5:40 am
Greta wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 12:32 am
I believe the origin of pessimism is life itself or, rather, the fact that it always ends. There is almost always a sad ending.
I've know people to welcome the release.
I hope to be in that frame of mind at the end.
One still needs to suffer sufficiently to reach that point, though.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Origins of Pessimism

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 11th, 2018, 6:33 pm

Greta wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 4:57 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 5:40 am


I've know people to welcome the release.
I hope to be in that frame of mind at the end.
One still needs to suffer sufficiently to reach that point, though.
But I was responding to your claim of a "sad ending". If death follows suffering, then the end is happy. A release from that suffering.

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Greta
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Re: Origins of Pessimism

Post by Greta » August 11th, 2018, 7:31 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 6:33 pm
Greta wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 4:57 pm

One still needs to suffer sufficiently to reach that point, though.
But I was responding to your claim of a "sad ending". If death follows suffering, then the end is happy. A release from that suffering.
That's the very end. I was thinking of life endings to include decline and sickness leading to the dying process, which most won't escape. I suspect most hope to go via a quick heart attack and most fear being kept alive in agony for extended periods for the sake of theistic superstition.

Karpel Tunnel
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Re: Origins of Pessimism

Post by Karpel Tunnel » August 12th, 2018, 2:46 am

I am assuming the OP is referring to philosophical pessimism and not tempermental pessimism and then asking for origins within philosophy. Not causes within humans for the emotional attitude.

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LuckyR
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Re: Origins of Pessimism

Post by LuckyR » August 13th, 2018, 11:46 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
August 12th, 2018, 2:46 am
I am assuming the OP is referring to philosophical pessimism and not tempermental pessimism and then asking for origins within philosophy. Not causes within humans for the emotional attitude.
I agree. Though the first philosopher who had clinical depression (statistically one of the first 30 philosophers) should have invented it.
"As usual... it depends."

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