Book Review: Cosmic Pessimism by Eugene Thacker

Cosmic Pessimism (2015) is a collection of aphorisms, fragments, and prose poems by the philosopher Eugene Thacker. Thacker, who is also Professor of Media Studies at The New School in New York City, offers many unique thoughts on pessimism and the human condition in this very short book. He explores various themes of pessimism: futility,…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

The Path of the Happy Pessimist

Being a happy pessimist may sound like a contradiction in terms, but really, there is nothing inherently incompatible about being both happy and a pessimist. Here I should make a distinction between philosophical pessimism and what can be called dispositional pessimism. The former is a philosophical worldview, which proponents believe is an accurate perception of…View Post

On Antinatalism and Depression

Antinatalism is the view that procreation is morally wrong. Its most well-known current defender is David Benatar, a professor of philosophy at the University of Capetown, who explicated this moral position on procreation in his 2006 book Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence. However, antinatalism long predates Benatar’s work. Antinatalism has…View Post

What Does It Mean to Be Down-to-Earth?

Being down-to-earth is an admirable and valuable personal trait. Down-to-earth people are realistic – they avoid illusions and pretensions when evaluating themselves and the world. The opposite of this reasonableness could entail a number of negative characteristics: self-aggrandizement, self-importance, delusional ambition, utopianism, and being over-idealistic. But down-to-earthness is a difficult balancing act. How do you…View Post