Pessimism and Pandeism: Philipp Mainländer on the Death of God

Philipp Mainländer (1841 – 1876) was a German poet and philosopher, born in Offenbach am Main. He was a disciple of Arthur Schopenhauer’s philosophy and one of the patron saints of 19th century German pessimism (other notable figures belonging to this curious philosophical trend include Eduard von Hartmann and Julius Bahnsen). Unlike these other pessimists,…View Post

A Pessimist’s Guide to the Pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, along with new government measures and vaccine developments shaping its trajectory, many people are still left confused about how best to respond. Should be pessimistic or optimistic about the current situation and the future? In terms of personal well-being, an optimistic attitude is ostensibly preferable. Adjusting to the ‘new normal’…View Post

Antinatalism and the Consent Argument

Antinatalism is the view that it is morally wrong to bring new people into existence (although a more universal sense of antinatalism includes all sentient beings, not just humans). The common arguments used to defend antinatalism include the position that existence is an overall harm, negative utilitarian arguments (which posit that minimising suffering takes priority…View Post

Existential Depression and Existential Anxiety: When the Human Condition Overwhelms You

The symptoms of depression and anxiety can have many causes, including genetics, personality, childhood experiences, environment, and circumstance. Moreover, multiple contributing factors may be present in an individual’s life, increasing the risk of a depressive episode or chronic depression much more than one factor alone. My interest in the link between philosophy and mental health,…View Post

Schopenhauer on Sex and Romantic Love

The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer is renowned for his uncompromising pessimism. His pessimistic worldview is based on his metaphysics, which he expounds in his seminal work The World as Will and Representation (1818). What he believes is true about the fundamental nature of reality has influenced his opinions on many disparate matters, including psychology, ethics,…View Post