Factpinions Quote #3: Will Durant on Pessimism

In The Story of Philosophy, Will Durant delivers his (otherwise respectful) criticism of the great pessimistic determinist, Arthur Schopenhauer:

“There is, of course, a large element of egotism in pessimism: the world is not good enough for us, and we turn up our philosophic noses at it. But this is to forget Spinoza’s lesson, that our terms of moral censure and approbation are merely human judgments, mostly irrelevant when applied to the cosmos as a whole. Perhaps our supercilious disgust with existence is a cover for a secret disgust with ourselves: we have botched and bungled our lives, and we cast the blame upon the “environment,” or the “world,” which have no tongues to utter a defense. The mature man accepts the natural limitations of life [..] In truth the world is neither with us or against us; it is but raw material in our hands, and can be heaven or hell according to what we are.”


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