The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope

3.79 avg rating
( 354 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780199968978: The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Optimism is fundamental to the human spirit and has sparked innovation across the centuries, but does it have a dark side? Renowned philosopher and author Roger Scruton argues that unchecked optimism can be dangerous--and that real happiness hinges on a healthy pessimism that recognizes the limitations of human beings.

The Uses of Pessimism is a far-reaching yet concise assessment of how pessimism can compensate for the fallacies generic to the optimistic mind-set and enable us to live with our own imperfection. Spanning from ancient Greece to the current economic crisis, the book persuasively concludes that optimists and idealists have courted disaster by overlooking the hard truths of human nature and by adopting naïve expectations about what can be changed. Scruton demonstrates how many optimism-fueled advances, from the railway to the Internet, reflect a careless pursuit of mastery that is at odds with--and often undermines--the limited happiness that is the best we can obtain. He urges us to see pessimism not as dark and fatalistic, but as a hopeful point-of-view that favors a balanced appraisal of society and human nature as opposed to utopian wishful thinking. Ultimately, pessimism helps focus our energies on the one reform we can truly master: bettering ourselves.

In the rigorous but lively style that is his trademark, Scruton throws down the gauntlet to readers, challenging everyone to reevaluate their assumptions about the meaning of pessimism. The Uses of Pessimism breaks down the fallacies surrounding the optimist's perpetually sunny worldview, offering a voice of wisdom with which to rein in hopes that might otherwise ruin us.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:


"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


Praise for Roger Scruton

"Both left and right should be grateful to have such a man to sharpen and define the issues. And philosophers should be grateful that he has placed their subject at the very centre of current affairs. Perhaps Scruton's greatest contribution is his living demonstration of the truth that without philosophy we are nothing."--Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times


"Scruton . . . is a learned, witty, wide-ranging, prolific, and often dazzling writer."--The Weekly Standard


"A practiced and elegant writer."--The Independent


"Dr. Scruton writes with an unusual clarity and fluency, and is always a pleasure to read."--Times Education Supplement


Book Description:

In this provocative and passionately argued book, Roger Scruton proposes that the greatest harm and havoc has been wrought on the world by those who have presented themselves as optimists and idealists, whether of the left or of the right. Rejecting such ideals, we should instead seek to replace such irrational - and pernicious - exuberance with a humane pessimism.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780199747535: The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0199747539 ISBN 13: 9780199747535
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA, 2010
Hardcover

9781848872011: The Uses of Pessimism & the Danger of False Hope

Atlant..., 2012
Softcover

9781848872004: The Uses of Pessimism

Atlant..., 2010
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

Stock Image

1.

Scruton, Roger
Published by Oxford University Press (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
New Paperback Quantity available: 1
Seller:
Book Deals
(Lewiston, NY, U.S.A.)

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. Paperback. Condition: BRAND NEW. Seller Inventory # 0199968977_abe_bn

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
20.23
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

2.

Scruton, Roger
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
New Quantity available: 5
Seller:
GreatBookPrices
(Columbia, MD, U.S.A.)

Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 19150623-n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
19.72
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 1.94
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

3.

Scruton, Roger
Published by Oxford University Press, USA March 2013 (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
New Paper Back Quantity available: 2
Seller:
Eighth Day Books, LLC
(Wichita, KS, U.S.A.)

Book Description Oxford University Press, USA March 2013, 2013. Paper Back. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 173318

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
18.95
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.94
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

4.

Scruton, Roger
Published by Oxford University Press (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
New Softcover Quantity available: 1
Seller:
GlassFrogBooks
(Hawthorne, CA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. Condition: New. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in NEW condition. Seller Inventory # 0199968977-2-1

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
21.96
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Seller Image

5.

Scruton, Roger
Published by Oxford University Press, USA 3/1/2013 (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
New Paperback or Softback Quantity available: 10
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)

Book Description Oxford University Press, USA 3/1/2013, 2013. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New. The Uses of Pessimism: And the Danger of False Hope. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9780199968978

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
22.12
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

6.

Roger Scruton
Published by Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
New Paperback Quantity available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)

Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Optimism is fundamental to the human spirit and has sparked innovation across the centuries, but does it have a dark side? Renowned philosopher and author Roger Scruton argues that unchecked optimism can be dangerous--and that real happiness hinges on a healthy pessimism that recognizes the limitations of human beings. The Uses of Pessimism is a far-reaching yet concise assessment of how pessimism can compensate for the fallacies generic to the optimistic mind-set and enable us to live with our own imperfection. Spanning from ancient Greece to the current economic crisis, the book persuasively concludes that optimists and idealists have courted disaster by overlooking the hard truths of human nature and by adopting na ve expectations about what can be changed. Scruton demonstrates how many optimism-fueled advances, from the railway to the Internet, reflect a careless pursuit of mastery that is at odds with--and often undermines--the limited happiness that is the best we can obtain. He urges us to see pessimism not as dark and fatalistic, but as a hopeful point-of-view that favors a balanced appraisal of society and human nature as opposed to utopian wishful thinking. Ultimately, pessimism helps focus our energies on the one reform we can truly master: bettering ourselves. In the rigorous but lively style that is his trademark, Scruton throws down the gauntlet to readers, challenging everyone to reevaluate their assumptions about the meaning of pessimism. The Uses of Pessimism breaks down the fallacies surrounding the optimist's perpetually sunny worldview, offering a voice of wisdom with which to rein in hopes that might otherwise ruin us. Seller Inventory # APC9780199968978

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
22.30
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

7.

Scruton, Roger
Published by Oxford University Press (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
New Quantity available: 15
Print on Demand
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)

Book Description Oxford University Press, 2013. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9780199968978

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
23.08
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

8.

Scruton, Roger
Published by OXFORD UNIV PR (1900)
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
New Softcover Quantity available: > 20
Seller:
Russell Books
(Victoria, BC, Canada)

Book Description OXFORD UNIV PR, 1900. Softcover. Condition: New. Special order direct from the distributor. Seller Inventory # ING9780199968978

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
23.82
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.14
From Canada to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

9.

Scruton, Roger
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
New Quantity available: 5
Seller:
GreatBookPricesUK
(Castle Donington, DERBY, United Kingdom)

Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 19150623-n

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
19.87
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 15
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds
Stock Image

10.

Visiting Professor School of Philosophical Anthropological and Film Studies Roger Scruton
Published by Oxford University Press, USA 2013-03-01 (2013)
ISBN 10: 0199968977 ISBN 13: 9780199968978
New Paperback Quantity available: 20
Seller:
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)

Book Description Oxford University Press, USA 2013-03-01, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 6666-ING-9780199968978

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
20.98
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 14.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book