This chapter first analyses pessimism about the human condition, arguing that it has both an evaluative and a psychological component. As an evaluative thesis, the chapter proposes a standard by which human lives are to be assessed, and says that a human life is worth living if and only if it has certain features. Its psychological component asserts that something inheres in all or nearly all human beings that will always prevent their lives from having those valuable features. The discussion then turns to happiness, the best form of consciousness, eudaimonia, Schopenhauer's and Plato's complaints about the human situation, and life's brevity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|State||Published - 2013|