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The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume ICulture, Philosophy, and Religion$
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John J. McDermott

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780823224838

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823224838.001.0001

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Pessimism and Modern Thought

Pessimism and Modern Thought

Chapter:
(p.249) 8 Pessimism and Modern Thought
Source:
The Basic Writings of Josiah Royce, Volume I
Author(s):
John J. McDermott
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823224838.003.0008

The problem of the worth of life is often regarded as one that the healthy have no wish to discuss, and the unhealthy no right to decide. However, reflective beings must sooner or later to consider the worth of conscious life; for self-criticism is an essential part of all mental growth. But as every new step in critical thought is made by means of a negative criticism of old positions, the question of the worth of life must distinctly appear for the first time in the form of what is inexactly called pessimistic doubt about human life. This chapter considers the doctrine popularly named pessimism, which believes that evil is on the whole triumphant. The ultimate aim of the discussion is to present some thoughts on the method of estimating the worth of human life.

Keywords:   pessimism, evil, human life, Josiah Royce, worth of life

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