Der Optimismus und seine Kritiker im Zeitalter de Aufklärung

Studia Leibnitiana 26 (2):131-162 (1994)
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This paper examines the terminological history and the conceptual ambiguity of 'optimism' in the philosophical discussion of the European Enlightenment. 'Optimism' is in fact a neologism of the XIIIth century which arises in the discussion on the concept of the best possible world and spreads rapidly from France to all the European countries. The concept of 'Optimism' has not a unique meaning. Several forms of optimism can be isolated in connection with the crisis of the philosophical theodicy, i.e. with the discussion about the sense of the universe, the value of human life, the ethical disposition of human nature



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Luca Fonnesu
University Of Pavia

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