Pessimists anticipate undesirable outcomes are you an optimist or a pessimist essay a given situation, which is generally referred to as situational pessimism, or believe that undesirable things are going to happen to them in life more than desirable ones. Pessimists also tend to focus on the negatives of life in general or a given situation.
Is the glass half empty or half full? In this situation a pessimist is said to see the glass as half empty while an optimist is said to see the glass as half full. Throughout history, the pessimistic disposition has had effects on all major areas of thinking. This form of pessimism is not an emotional disposition as the term commonly connotes. Instead, it is a philosophy or worldview that directly challenges the notion of progress and what may be considered the faith-based claims of optimism.
Their responses to this condition, however, are widely varied and often life-affirming. While many organisms live in the present, humans and certain species of animals can contemplate the past and future, and this is an important difference. Human beings have foreknowledge of their own eventual fate and this “terror” is present in every moment of our lives as a reminder of the impermanent nature of life and of our inability to control this change. The philosophical pessimistic view of the effect of historical progress tends to be more negative than positive. The philosophical pessimist does not deny that certain areas like science can “progress” but they deny that this has resulted in an overall improvement of the human condition. This is most clearly seen in Rousseau’s critique of enlightenment civil society and his preference for man in the primitive and natural state.
For Rousseau, “our souls have become corrupted to the extent that our sciences and our arts have advanced towards perfection”. The pessimistic view of the human condition is that it is in a sense “absurd”. Camus puts it: “a divorce between man and his life, the actor and his setting”. Pessimism turns the idea on its head, it faults the human freedom to reason as the feature that misaligned humanity from our world and sees it as the root of human unhappiness. The responses to this predicament of the human condition by pessimists are varied.
Some followers tend to believe that “expecting the worst leads to the best. Nietzsche called a “Dionysian pessimism”, an embrace of life as it is in all of its constant change and suffering, without appeal to progress or hedonistic calculus. Camus rejected all but the last option as unacceptable and inauthentic responses. Philosophical pessimism has often been tied to the arts and literature. Nietzsche saw Anaximander’s philosophy as the “enigmatic proclamation of a true pessimist”.