Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will?

While reflecting on and re-reading parts of Candide this weekend I've also been thinking a bit about optimism. I'm a naturally optimistic person (though in a general and not in a philosophical sense) but I do have a tendency, as do many optimists, to fall into cynicism at times when optimism seems to no longer work.
So do you tend to pessimism or optimism and what do you think of Gramsci's maxim?


angela said...

I know I'm a bit like you--after a situation is unresolved for so long I accept it and move on. I'm not sure it's pessimism, but it's definitely not cock-eyed optimism.

I read the Wikipedia on Gramsci, but you'll have to clue me in on what his maxim he is. When I read political anything this loud buzzing makes it hard to get anything out of it. :-) It always sounds simple in idealogical terms but the more I read the more I'm confused. Maybe I haven't slept enough. I'll try later.

Jane said...

Thanks for your comment Angela . the Gramsci maxim is "pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will" - in any case it's attributed to him.