The attitude of a man who denies the doctrine of immortality and rejoices in the denial is not strictly pessimistic. A Christian again may be pessimistic about the present; he must logically be optimistic about the future - a teleological view of the universe implies optimism on the whole; the agnostic may be indifferent to, or pessimistic, regarding the future, while exceedingly satisfied with life as he finds it.
In Europe on the whole the so-called pessimistic attitude was commoner in the Teutonic north than in the Mediterranean basin.
Kant, though pessimistic as regards the actual man, is optimistic regarding his moral capacity.
At the time in history when our future has never looked brighter, it is baffling that some people are more pessimistic than ever.
It is not necessary to multiply authors, as is done, for example, by Siegfried, who supposes four principal writers (a pessimistic philosopher, an Epicurean glossator, a sage who upholds the value of wisdom, and an orthodox editor) besides a number of annotators; it is sufficient to assume that several conservative scribes have made short additions to the original work.
Schopenhauer emphasizes the pessimistic side of Hegel's thought.
This pessimistic attitude is far removed from the positive hedonism of Aristippus.
It is significant of the materialistic and pessimistic character of the system that, while the formation of the world is considered as a work of the good spirits, the creation of man is referred to the princes of darkness.
This complex view of life is exemplified by Plato, whose general theory of idealism is entirely optimistic. In analysing the world of phenomena he necessarily takes a pessimistic view because phenomena are merely imitations more or less removed from reality, i.e.