Certainly Uncertain

Nietzschean Pessimism for an Optimistic World

  • Stephen Bailey
Keywords: philosophy, nietzsche, optimism, pessimism


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.

How to Cite
Bailey, S. (2019). Certainly Uncertain: Nietzschean Pessimism for an Optimistic World. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal, 4(1), 15-26. Retrieved from https://openjournals.bsu.edu/stance/article/view/1759