The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope

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9780199968978: The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope

Optimism is fundamental to the human spirit and has sparked innovation across the centuries, but does it have a dark side? Renowned philosopher and author Roger Scruton argues that unchecked optimism can be dangerous--and that real happiness hinges on a healthy pessimism that recognizes the limitations of human beings.

The Uses of Pessimism is a far-reaching yet concise assessment of how pessimism can compensate for the fallacies generic to the optimistic mind-set and enable us to live with our own imperfection. Spanning from ancient Greece to the current economic crisis, the book persuasively concludes that optimists and idealists have courted disaster by overlooking the hard truths of human nature and by adopting naïve expectations about what can be changed. Scruton demonstrates how many optimism-fueled advances, from the railway to the Internet, reflect a careless pursuit of mastery that is at odds with--and often undermines--the limited happiness that is the best we can obtain. He urges us to see pessimism not as dark and fatalistic, but as a hopeful point-of-view that favors a balanced appraisal of society and human nature as opposed to utopian wishful thinking. Ultimately, pessimism helps focus our energies on the one reform we can truly master: bettering ourselves.

In the rigorous but lively style that is his trademark, Scruton throws down the gauntlet to readers, challenging everyone to reevaluate their assumptions about the meaning of pessimism. The Uses of Pessimism breaks down the fallacies surrounding the optimist's perpetually sunny worldview, offering a voice of wisdom with which to rein in hopes that might otherwise ruin us.

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About the Author:


Roger Scruton is Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University. He is the author of more than 30 books, including Beauty and Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde.

Review:


"While some of Scruton's conclusions may be controversial... he does present an intriguing case for using pessimism as a way to examine issues that affect current society. His clear and accessible writing will appeal to those familiar with the author's past works and also those with an interest in philosophy."--Scott Duimstra, Library Journal


"Scruton has approached his project with incisiveness, breadth of knowledge, and clarity of expression. The Uses of Pessimism is worth arguing over."-- Peter Lopatin, Commentary


"Score one for pessimism."--Peter Monaghan, The Chronicle of Higher Education


Praise for Roger Scruton

"Both left and right should be grateful to have such a man to sharpen and define the issues. And philosophers should be grateful that he has placed their subject at the very centre of current affairs. Perhaps Scruton's greatest contribution is his living demonstration of the truth that without philosophy we are nothing."--Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times


"Scruton . . . is a learned, witty, wide-ranging, prolific, and often dazzling writer."--The Weekly Standard


"A practiced and elegant writer."--The Independent


"Dr. Scruton writes with an unusual clarity and fluency, and is always a pleasure to read."--Times Education Supplement


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Scruton, Roger
Editorial: Oxford University Press, USA 3/1/2013 (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
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Descripción Oxford University Press, USA 3/1/2013, 2013. Paperback or Softback. Estado de conservación: New. The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería BBS-9780199968978

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Descripción Oxford University Press, USA, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Optimism is fundamental to the human spirit and has sparked innovation across the centuries, but does it have a dark side? Renowned philosopher and author Roger Scruton argues that unchecked optimism can be dangerous--and that real happiness hinges on a healthy pessimism that recognizes the limitations of human beings. The Uses of Pessimism is a far-reaching yet concise assessment of how pessimism can compensate for the fallacies generic to the optimistic mind-set and enable us to live with our own imperfection. Spanning from ancient Greece to the current economic crisis, the book persuasively concludes that optimists and idealists have courted disaster by overlooking the hard truths of human nature and by adopting naive expectations about what can be changed. Scruton demonstrates how many optimism-fueled advances, from the railway to the Internet, reflect a careless pursuit of mastery that is at odds with--and often undermines--the limited happiness that is the best we can obtain. He urges us to see pessimism not as dark and fatalistic, but as a hopeful point-of-view that favors a balanced appraisal of society and human nature as opposed to utopian wishful thinking. Ultimately, pessimism helps focus our energies on the one reform we can truly master: bettering ourselves. In the rigorous but lively style that is his trademark, Scruton throws down the gauntlet to readers, challenging everyone to reevaluate their assumptions about the meaning of pessimism. The Uses of Pessimism breaks down the fallacies surrounding the optimist s perpetually sunny worldview, offering a voice of wisdom with which to rein in hopes that might otherwise ruin us. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780199968978

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Roger Scruton
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Descripción Oxford University Press, USA, United States, 2013. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Optimism is fundamental to the human spirit and has sparked innovation across the centuries, but does it have a dark side? Renowned philosopher and author Roger Scruton argues that unchecked optimism can be dangerous--and that real happiness hinges on a healthy pessimism that recognizes the limitations of human beings. The Uses of Pessimism is a far-reaching yet concise assessment of how pessimism can compensate for the fallacies generic to the optimistic mind-set and enable us to live with our own imperfection. Spanning from ancient Greece to the current economic crisis, the book persuasively concludes that optimists and idealists have courted disaster by overlooking the hard truths of human nature and by adopting naive expectations about what can be changed. Scruton demonstrates how many optimism-fueled advances, from the railway to the Internet, reflect a careless pursuit of mastery that is at odds with--and often undermines--the limited happiness that is the best we can obtain. He urges us to see pessimism not as dark and fatalistic, but as a hopeful point-of-view that favors a balanced appraisal of society and human nature as opposed to utopian wishful thinking. Ultimately, pessimism helps focus our energies on the one reform we can truly master: bettering ourselves. In the rigorous but lively style that is his trademark, Scruton throws down the gauntlet to readers, challenging everyone to reevaluate their assumptions about the meaning of pessimism. The Uses of Pessimism breaks down the fallacies surrounding the optimist s perpetually sunny worldview, offering a voice of wisdom with which to rein in hopes that might otherwise ruin us. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780199968978

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Descripción Oxford University Press, 2017. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used! This item is printed on demand. Nº de ref. de la librería 0199968977

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Descripción Oxford University Press. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 240 pages. Dimensions: 7.9in. x 5.1in. x 0.8in.Optimism is fundamental to the human spirit and has sparked innovation across the centuries, but does it have a dark side Renowned philosopher and author Roger Scruton argues that unchecked optimism can be dangerous--and that real happiness hinges on a healthy pessimism that recognizes the limitations of human beings. The Uses of Pessimism is a far-reaching yet concise assessment of how pessimism can compensate for the fallacies generic to the optimistic mind-set and enable us to live with our own imperfection. Spanning from ancient Greece to the current economic crisis, the book persuasively concludes that optimists and idealists have courted disaster by overlooking the hard truths of human nature and by adopting nave expectations about what can be changed. Scruton demonstrates how many optimism-fueled advances, from the railway to the Internet, reflect a careless pursuit of mastery that is at odds with--and often undermines--the limited happiness that is the best we can obtain. He urges us to see pessimism not as dark and fatalistic, but as a hopeful point-of-view that favors a balanced appraisal of society and human nature as opposed to utopian wishful thinking. Ultimately, pessimism helps focus our energies on the one reform we can truly master: bettering ourselves. In the rigorous but lively style that is his trademark, Scruton throws down the gauntlet to readers, challenging everyone to reevaluate their assumptions about the meaning of pessimism. The Uses of Pessimism breaks down the fallacies surrounding the optimists perpetually sunny worldview, offering a voice of wisdom with which to rein in hopes that might otherwise ruin us. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780199968978

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Visiting Professor School of Philosophical Anthropological and Film Studies Roger Scruton
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