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Examined Lives – Optimism, Cynicism, and Realism

June 17, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Optimism, Cynicism, and Realism (Session 10)

Date and Time: Thursday, June 17th, 12-1pm ET (4-5pm UTC)
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84329570436

Is realism invariably corrosive of hope? Or can realists also be optimists? Do we need delusions to maintain psychological stability? If so, delusions about what? Ourselves? Human nature? Our fate? Dark portrayals of human nature are often hailed as starkly realistic, and rosier portrayals are often assumed to stem from “rose-colored glasses.” But is this right? Or is it the cynics and pessimists that suffer from “negativity bias”? What light can the science of evolution shed on the subject? What will happen when we pool our insights?

Care to explore a bit beforehand? Start here:

“Logicality in regard to practical matters is the most useful quality an animal can possess, and might, therefore result from the action of natural selection; but outside of these it is probably of more advantage to the animal to have his mind filled with pleasing and encouraging visions, independently of their truth; and thus, upon unpractical subjects, natural selection might occasion a fallacious tendency of thought.” —Charles Sanders Peirce

Costs and benefits of realism and optimism

Perspectives on depressive realism 

Mindfulness, Negativity Bias, & Optimism


June 17, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm