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

Towards a Theory of Nietzschean Antinatalism

It is fair to say that much of antinatalist thought is underpinned by a rejectionist philosophy, a nay-saying attitude towards life, a pessimism about the state of human life and the world at large. The line between such pessimism and antinatalism seems logical: if you believe existence is – overall – a bad deal, an…View Post

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

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