Thursday, May 10, 2012

Alain De Botton On Pessimism

This is well worth the watch!

11.30am, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London

Alain de Botton is a philosopher committed to the idea of making people happier. That's why - and there should be no paradox in this - he also believes that we should all learn to be extremely pessimistic.

Alain will challenge the great bourgeois promise that everyone can find happiness in love and work. He will argue that the chances of anyone succeeding in both areas (let alone in one) are extremely remote - and that it is therefore peculiar, and deeply cruel, to base our societies around these values. Indeed, in denying a place for misery and despair, the modern world denies us the possibility of collective consolation, condemning us instead to solitary feelings of shame and persecution. Come to celebrate the particular joys of pessimism. Handkerchiefs advised.