best of all possible worlds, the

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best of all possible worlds, the

Everything is for the best. This expression of blind optimism occurs in Voltaire’s Candide (1758), where through Dr. Pangloss the author pokes fun at the German philosopher Leibnitz. The full saying is “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.” It has been identified with overoptimism ever since. On the other hand, all is for the best was already considered a profound if fatalistic truth by the Roman orator Cicero (50 b.c.), was repeated a number of times by Chaucer, and was echoed by modern sages, among them Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richard’s Almanack). Not everyone agrees. “I hate the Pollyanna pest who says that All Is for the Best,” wrote Franklin P. Adams (1924).
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References in periodicals archive ?
(41) We seem very close to Arthur Schopenhauer's assessment of Leibniz's position: "Even though Leibniz's contention, that this is the best of all possible worlds, were correct, that would not justify God in having created it." On the other hand, unlike Moore, who attempts to respect wider Leibnizian doctrine, Schopenhauer's rationale is decidedly im-Leibnizian.
NEW YORK-In this best of all possible worlds, the major-appliance business continues to run at 10 percent annual compounded growth, setting records every month.
God embodies monads because this contributes to the best of all possible worlds. Organisms are hierarchically structured collections of monads in which some are active and dominant while others are passive and subordinate.
Using a hydrolysate with carbohydrate ensures the best of all possible worlds. The addition of carbohydrate ensures that the athlete's energy needs are met, which allows the ingested amino acids to be available for protein synthesis.
The best of all possible worlds for competition is for both parties to lower trade barriers.
And this, so capitalism's massed apologists advise us, is exactly as it should be in the best of all possible worlds. Sometimes, though, you do have to wonder about the ways in which this interesting law works.
We had long presumed that German "guest workers" in the German-speaking cantons enjoy the best of all possible worlds. For what other group among Switzerland's multi-culti nationalities could feel more "at home" here than the Germans, the masters of written and verbal rhetoric in their language?
Voltaire's Candide is a riposte to the absolute logical determinism inherent in the philosophy of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, which asserts that the divine will is inexorably determined and must necessarily create the best of all possible worlds. Never mind that such a will would not be one at all.
It seems that everybody has the best of all possible worlds, as it appears to cost both sides very little.
In the best of all possible worlds, assassination would have no defensible place as counterterrorism.
Gary Wills, the prophet, calmly surveys the ruin of our society, its broken marriages, its murderous assault on the unborn, its confusion, its grief, and pronounces it the best of all possible worlds. (Father Daniel Callam, C.S.B., "The Demands of Office" in The Chesterton Review, August, 2001).
"When researchers and teachers work collaboratively, it's the best of all possible worlds," says University of Minnesota researcher Barbara Taylor, CIERA reading expert and one of the authors of Teaching Every Child to Read: Frequently Asked Questions.
In the best of all possible worlds, a merger could result in a bigger, stronger news organization providing broader coverage and better-quality journalism both on the air and on cable.
In our best of all possible worlds, that is as it should be" (28).
The voice of its defenders is not that of the responsible bookkeeper, but that of the propagandist or salesman, who says that the net gain is more than 100 percent--that the thing we have bought has perfectly replaced everything it has cost, and added a great deal more: "You just can't lose!" We thus have got rich by spending, jus t as the advertisers have told us we would, and the best of all possible worlds is getting better every day.