Optimism defined

Speaking of optimism…

The Guardian quotes John Stuart Mill as a quintessential optimist, with his declaration that “All the grand sources… of human suffering are in a great degree, many of them almost entirely, conquerable by human care and effort”.

That does seem a key part of an Enlightenment-influenced worldview. The question is how many people still subscribe to this notion?

(The context of the quote, incidentally, is Nick Clegg’s assumption of the leadership of the Liberal Democrats, and the optimism of the idea that he might one day be prime minister. Yes, well… )

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