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The Epistemology of Pessimism

The Epistemology of Pessimism R. RadhakRishnan e Th Epistemology of Pessimism The glass is half full; the glass is half empty. What is the big deal? Clearly, both statements are empirically valid descriptions of reality. Why is he the pessimist who sees the glass as half empty, and she the optimist who sees it half full? Why is it not intelligible to exclaim in consternation, “Oh No! The glass is full,” or “How wonderful! The glass is empty!” Why is plenitude an indicator of positivity and emptiness the sign of negativity? At what point is a neutral perception made to take on the interpretive bias of a certain worldview, a lean, a certain conative ori- entation? In other words, why should the description of reality have any bearing on the mood or psychological disposition of the perceiver? Why does the objective description of the state of fullness or emptiness of the glass take a subjective turn? The underlying issue here is that of phenomenological perspectivism that seeks a balance between a given objectivity and the embodied subjective and perspectival path towards objectivi1ty The g . iven and pre- personal objectivity of the world as real does not preempt the reality that this very http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

The Epistemology of Pessimism

The Comparatist , Volume 43 – Nov 15, 2019

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

R. RadhakRishnan e Th Epistemology of Pessimism The glass is half full; the glass is half empty. What is the big deal? Clearly, both statements are empirically valid descriptions of reality. Why is he the pessimist who sees the glass as half empty, and she the optimist who sees it half full? Why is it not intelligible to exclaim in consternation, “Oh No! The glass is full,” or “How wonderful! The glass is empty!” Why is plenitude an indicator of positivity and emptiness the sign of negativity? At what point is a neutral perception made to take on the interpretive bias of a certain worldview, a lean, a certain conative ori- entation? In other words, why should the description of reality have any bearing on the mood or psychological disposition of the perceiver? Why does the objective description of the state of fullness or emptiness of the glass take a subjective turn? The underlying issue here is that of phenomenological perspectivism that seeks a balance between a given objectivity and the embodied subjective and perspectival path towards objectivi1ty The g . iven and pre- personal objectivity of the world as real does not preempt the reality that this very

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 15, 2019

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