Nietzschean Pessimism for an Optimistic World
In this paper, I contrast pre- and post-Socratic Greek thought, particularly with respect to Apollonian optimism and Dionysian pessimism. I show how Socrates’ judgment of a “right” way of living undermined Greek pessimism and was the first step towards modern scientific optimism, the belief that the world can be understood. I then argue that new developments in quantum physics make this optimism untenable, and I finally assert that Nietzschean pessimism is a coherent and beneficial metaphysical perspective.
Copyright (c) 2011 Bailey
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