[From Latin pessimus: worst.]

  1. (metaphysics) Specifically, the view of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) that reality and human nature are essentially malevolent. More generally, the view (opposed to optimism) that knowledge and happiness are ultimately unattainable; degrees of pessimism range from mild (e.g., Stoicism and, on some interpretations, Buddhism) to severe (e.g., fatalism).

The Ism Book by Peter Saint-Andre

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