Brentano's Case for Optimism

Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica 111 (4):835-847 (2019)
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Abstract

Call metaphysical optimism the view that this world is the best of all possible worlds. This article addresses Franz Brentano’s case for metaphysical optimism. I argue that, although Brentano does not offer any conclusive argument in favour of the latter, he disentangles many related issues which are interesting in their own right. The article has five sections corresponding to five claims, which I argue are central to Brentano’s view, namely: metaphysical optimism is best spelled out as the view that this world is the only good among all possible worlds; the notion of “correct”—or “fitting”—love offers a criterion of the good and the test of inverted love offers a means to identify that which is good; pessimism has to be distinguished from pejorism, viz. the view that the non-existence of this world is preferable to its existence; there is something good involved in every “bad” thing, to the effect that pejorism is false; it is wrong to consider the value of something in isolation.

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Arnaud Dewalque
University of Liège

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