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True Detective: Pessimism, Buddhism or Philosophy?
Journal of Philosophy of Life Vol.4, No.4 (December 2014):121-141
The aim of this paper is to raise two questions. The first question is: How is pessimism related to Buddhism (and vice versa)? The second question is: What relation does an immanent philosophy have to pessimism and Buddhism, if any? Using True Detective, an American television crime drama, as my point of departure, first I will outline some of the likenesses between Buddhism and pessimism. At the same time, I will show how the conduct of one of the main characters in True Detective resembles the paths of Buddhism and pessimism, even though he is ethical in a strictly non-pessimistic and non-Buddhist fashion. Last, I will try to place these findings in perspective through the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze’s thoughts. Hereby, I hope to illustrate that joy, not suffering, is basic to human existence, and how human beings may overcome a spiritual pessimism.
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