Word of the Day

Friday, April 08, 2005

Panglossian

\pan-GLOSS-ee-uhn\ , adjective;
1.
Excessively or naively optimistic.
Quotes:
He is not peddling a Panglossian view of the world, or denying that there are problems that merit action.
-- Jon Jewett, "Enviro-skepticism", Policy Review, December 2001/January 2002
But only the most Panglossian among us can doubt that in this fevered political climate more silencings will come.
-- Gloria Cooper, "The Censors", Columbia Journalism Review, July/August 2004
What we are witnessing in large part is the debris of the collapsed illusions of the 80s, when the Panglossian president's natural optimism made it impossible for him to admit that America had any problems.
-- Mortimer B. Zuckerman, "The politics of trivial pursuit", US News & World Report, April 13, 1992
Despite its excesses, the French critique of the modern world -- of our varieties of bad faith, our idolatrous consumerism, and our Panglossian faith in progress and other Enlightenment values -- has helped make it possible for men and women to live examined lives.
-- Jay Tolson, "The Passion of Michel Foucault", National Review, February 15, 1993
I wonder, though, if her argument does not commit her to a deep optimism about human nature which, despite its emotional pull, may strike some readers as slightly Panglossian.
-- David McCabe, "Democracy on Trial", Commonweal, February 10, 1995
Origin:
Panglossian derives from Pangloss, the optimistic tutor in Voltaire's Candide.
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