Critics and Critiques of Scientific Pollyannaism

  • Oksana Yakushko


Throughout the history of the Western sciences, critiques of empiricism and the ideological values that underlie scientific Pollyannaism have been offered. This chapter reviews historical evidence for bias-questioning practices central to Hellenistic and, later, Enlightenment philosophies, as well as the systematic discrediting of eugenic sciences. Contemporary scholarship related to the political and social use of emotions, especially optimism and self control, is noted. The neoliberal values that underlie the scientific and academic “happiness industry” are systematically evaluated.


Scientific attacks on emotions Critique of eugenics Anger as a feminist issue Political use of emotions Neo-liberalism “Happiness industry” 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oksana Yakushko
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical PsychologyPacifica Graduate InstituteCarpinteriaUSA

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