At 01:23 PM 9/12/98 -0700, Max More wrote:
> Practical Optimism
This comes down to personal reactions, so I'll offer a further comment in the knowledge that others (perhaps especially Americans) will have quite a different response. `Practical' as the front-end of a composite term strikes me as very 19th century, Victorian era can-do, and the kind of `dragging yourself up without formal education' route exemplified in magazines with titles such as `Practical Mechanics' or `Practical Experimenter'. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that; it was altogether admirable. But it makes the usage a tad... musty, neh?
I'm drifting back to Dan's `Critical Optimism'. Is there some neat synonym for `Open-eyed' or `Clear-sighted', which seems to catch part of it?
`Experimental' has the same old-hat Edisonian tang as `Practical'.
`Skeptical' appeals to me, but is often a turn-off.
`Functional optimism' is too dry.
`Considered' or `reflective' or `thoughtful' are quite wrong, but might also help triangulate it.