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Leibniz himself used the term optimum in a technical sense that applied to the unique maximal or minimal instance of an infinite class of possibilities, and he held that this principle of the optimum was applied by God in the creation of the world.
Optimisme was admitted by the French Academy to its dictionary in 1762.
Yet in all religion there is also a joyous world-affirming element that expresses itself in community life and mystical or prophetic exaltation.
Eschatological religions combine pessimism about a temporal world that is destined to end with joyous optimism about the new life that will follow.
If hedonistic criteria of good and evil are a common source of pessimism, those systems of thought that hold to an ultimate identity of existence and value are the mainstay of optimism.
Two philosophical convictions in particular have supported optimistic convictions in Western thought.
One rests upon the Platonic and Aristotelian ideal of the perfectibility of man.