Los peldaños de la extinción. Breviario del neopesimismo
|Naranjo Cobo, Pedro
|Ordóñez García, José
|Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Estética e Historia de la Filosofía
|This research was motivated by our acknowledgment of the lack of a cohesive structure in the so called ‘philosophical pessimism’. We observed that, though some ideas are generally considered pessimistic, there was not a ...
This research was motivated by our acknowledgment of the lack of a cohesive structure in the so called ‘philosophical pessimism’. We observed that, though some ideas are generally considered pessimistic, there was not a systematization of those ideas nor a theoretical corpus of pessimism that allows us to make such a statement. The same goes for the authors considered by most contemporary philosophers to be pessimists: what appears to be some dim darkness in their intellectual approaches to existence automatically qualified them as pessimists, but we lacked a historical categorization of the differences between those authors, their philosophical systems, and, most of all, the possible connections and influences among them. That is why we considered necessary to carry out a review of philosophical pessimism in order to identify what constitutes that school of thought (or even if it can be seen as such), to propose a binary system that separates what, as far as we are concerned, are different types of pessimism that have become mutual antagonists, and finally, to systematize these a ideas in a progressive philosophical theory which could eventually culminate in a development and correction of those steps that, from our point of view, were mistaken. Our hypothesis, then, was the following: it is possible, and it should be done, to track down the pessimistic ideas of, at least, the last two centuries, in order to connect them, define a theoretical corpus and develop their components until what we consider to be their last consequences with the objective of creating an intrinsically new system of thought. We considered this hypothesis to be highly fruitful due to the small amounts of investigations regarding this topic. It is easy to imagine, as we have deeply discussed in the present essay, that philosophical pessimism is not a very esteemed subject of study, and it tends to be underrated or simply considered to be uninteresting in the modern world, where affirmative philosophy rules. However, and contrary to popular belief, we found out that many authors, from the nineteenth century Germans to the French existentialists of the twentieth century, had the seed of the modern considerations of pessimism in their philosophical proposals, which was in concordance with our hypothesis, and many of them could be perfectly labeled as pessimists, even if these authors themselves fought to not be associated with such description. Likewise, the heterogeneous condition of the matters that we have dealt with allowed us to look into the core of many authors that investigated one topic from different, and often totally opposed views. The task of occasionally redeem that confrontation in order to establish a clear connection and progression between their ideas have been as stimulating as it has been productive; that is the case, for example, of suicide and antinatalism, both of them subjects where philosophers tend to strongly disagree. While philosopher David Benatar, for example, considers that there is no life worth-starting, but also that there can be a life worth-living for those who already exists, author Thomas Ligotti criticizes that posture, claiming that no existence can be redeemed from the harm that carries with it. When it comes to the method that we have used, it must be said that we have proceeded with the properly philosophical one, that is, research, reading, elaborating what we have read, and talk to experts in those matters about our conclusions. With all that and the guidance of our director, the project of this thesis drove us through very complex texts, where three main sources could be distinguished. The first one refers to the books written by the philosophers involved in our investigation. For example, when we had to develop a chapter about nihilism, it was necessary to dig deeply into the texts of Nietzsche and Sartre, among others. Also, it seemed impossible to talk about suicide without alluding to Mainländer´s Philosophy of Redemption or Améry´s Discourse on Voluntary Death. To become familiar with the terminology used by these authors in order to fully understand the nuances of their proposals required a careful examination of the structural ideas of their philosophical systems. To that purpose, the second source was priceless. It consisted on secondary bibliography, or in other words, articles and sometimes books about other authors, where some philosophers that we considered relevant for our purpose exposed their ideas about them, or even just a clear and useful interpretation. An example of that would be the long list of articles cited at the end of the present work, that allowed us to expand our comprehension about some particular points that we were investigating. Finally, our third source is the one that we consider the most innovative: we got in touch with four contemporary authors whose works are nowadays key for approaching the matters that we were interested in. In our conversations with these authors, we exposed to them our idea of neopessimism, and asked them their philosophical insights about the cornerstones of our proposal, some of which constituted the most famous subject of investigation of the aforesaid authors, such as David Benatar´s antinatalism or Julio Cabrera´s position on suicide. Lastly, we want to summarize our results by saying that we found out that neopessimism is, indeed, a feasible idea, and in view of that, we have done our best to implement it. We hope to have configured a philosophical system that exposes to the reader an ordered theoretical corpus of what constitutes the pessimistic core, understood from a purely analytical and methodological position. Of course, we are aware of how bleak our work can seem, and we do not have any intention of defending ourselves from that observation. It is, on the contrary, our main goal to challenge the position of affirmative philosophy when it comes to existential questions that, for many decades, have been neglected in favor of academic matters that are, from our point of view, of no interest at all to the average citizen that has to decide how to conduct himself in this chaotic and meaningless universe.
|Naranjo Cobo, P. (2022). Los peldaños de la extinción. Breviario del neopesimismo. (Tesis Doctoral Inédita). Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla.
|NARANJO COBO, Pedro tesis.pdf
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