Uses of Pessimism And the Danger of False Hope

ISBN-10: 0199968977
ISBN-13: 9780199968978
Edition: N/A
Authors: Roger Scruton
List price: $17.95 Buy it from $6.99
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Description: Ranging widely over human history and culture, from ancient Greece to the current global economic downturn, Scruton makes a counterintuitive yet persuasive case that optimists and idealists -- with their ignorance about the truths of human nature  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.95
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/1/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

Ranging widely over human history and culture, from ancient Greece to the current global economic downturn, Scruton makes a counterintuitive yet persuasive case that optimists and idealists -- with their ignorance about the truths of human nature and human society, and their naive hopes about what can be changed -- have wrought havoc for centuries. Scruton's argument is nuanced, however, and his preference for pessimism is not a dark view of human nature; rather his is a 'hopeful pessimism' which urges that instead of utopian efforts to reform human society or human nature, we focus on the only reform that we can truly master -- the improvement of ourselves through the cultivation of our better instincts.Written in Scruton's trademark style-- erudite, sweeping in scope across centuries and cultures, and unafraid to offend-- this book is sure to intrigue and provoke readers concerned with the state of Western culture, the nature of human beings, and the question of whether social progress is truly possible."While some of Scruton's conclusions may be controversial... he does present an intriguing case for using pessimism as a way to examine issues that affect current society. His clear and accessible writing will appeal to those familiar with the author's past works and also those with an interest in philosophy." --Scott Duimstra,Library Journal"Scruton has approached his project with incisiveness, breadth of knowledge, and clarity of expression. The Uses of Pessimism is worth arguing over."-- Peter Lopatin,Commentary"Score one for pessimism." --Peter Monaghan,The Chronicle of Higher Education

Preface
The First-Person Future
The Best Case Fallacy
The Born Free Fallacy
The Utopian Fallacy
The Zero Sum Fallacy
The Planning Fallacy
The Moving Spirit Fallacy
The Aggregation Fallacy
Defences Against the Truth
Our Tribal Past
Our Civil Present
Our Human Future

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