Home > Political Theory > Joshua Foa Dienstag on Pessimism

Joshua Foa Dienstag on Pessimism

“Instead, I argue that while many of the pessimists are well-known, the nature of their common project (indeed, the very idea that they have a common project) has been obscured. Since pessimism is perceived more as a disposition than as a theory, pessimists are seen primarily as dissenters from whatever the prevailing consensus of their time happens to be, rather than as constituting a continuous alternative. The result is that each seems disconnected from the mainstream of the history of political thought. They appear as voices in the wilderness, to put it politely – or to put it less politely, as cranks. while they are often admired for their style, or respected for the critiques they offer, their apparent lack of a “positive project” is made to appear as a badge of second-rank philosophical status. They interest us; but, it is believed, they cannot possibly orient us.”

-Joshua Foa Dienstag, Pessimism

I picked this gem up at Borders’ going out of business sale and am just now getting around to reading it. I am finding Dienstag readable and insightful, and will try and post a review when I’m through.

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Categories: Political Theory
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