50 Eugene Thacker Quotes from the American Philosopher

Eugene Thacker is an American philosopher, author and professor at The New School, renowned for his work in nihilism, pessimism and speculative realism.

His philosophical works include “In the Dust of This Planet,” a part of his ‘Horror of Philosophy’ trilogy and “Infinite Resignation,” a text exploring the essence of pessimism.

In “After Life,” he debates the ontology of life, distinguishing between ‘Life’ and ‘the living.’


He discusses similar themes in his essay “Darklife: Negation, Nothingness and the Will-to-Life in Schopenhauer.”

Thacker’s discourse extends to the relation between science and science fiction and the role of bioinformatics, nanotechnology and network theory in our lives.

Further, his writings delve into horror and philosophy, exploring the idea of the “unthinkable world” in horror fiction.

His influence extends to the TV series “True Detective” and various music albums.

Thacker has also collaborated with artists and musicians, contributing to the fields of art and music.

Here are the quotes from Eugene Thacker.

Top 10 Eugene Thacker Quotes


You can only force a smile for so long until it becomes a grimace. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Afraid to be content. Content to be sad. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Happiness is the feeling you have just before something goes wrong. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Language falters where contempt flourishes. ~ Eugene Thacker.


A crying baby is the purest expression of the inanity of being human. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Inexhaustible indifference. ~ Eugene Thacker.


The indifference of the everyday gets the better of us all. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Bartleby’s paradox: acceptance through refusal. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Enthusiasm as a form of depression. ~ Eugene Thacker.


The more we learn about the planet, the stranger it becomes to us. ~ Eugene Thacker.

Best Eugene Thacker Quotes

I don’t believe in saying anything unless there’s something to say. As time goes on, the less I speak. Boredom, depression, equanimity. ~ Eugene Thacker.


For optimists, the most perplexing question is how one becomes a pessimist – if one is not born one. For the pessimist, the question is how each person, by virtue of being born, is not already a pessimist. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Happiness in other people makes me suspicious. ~ Eugene Thacker.

In short, when the non-human world manifests itself to us in these ambivalent ways, more often than not our response is to recuperate that non-human world into whatever the dominant, human-centric worldview is at the time. ~ Eugene Thacker.

We have to entertain the possibility that there is no reason for something existing; or that the split between subject and object is only our name for something equally accidental we call knowledge; or, an even more difficult thought, that while there may be some order to the self and the cosmos, to the microcosm and macrocosm, it is an order that is absolutely indifferent to our existence, and of which we can have only a negative awareness. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Around you this night a thousand million firefly anatomies breathe in and out in their slow-burning liturgical glow. ~ Eugene Thacker.

There will always be someone who will see the futility of your actions. There will always be someone who is irritated by what you do, whatever you do. In this way we participate in a kind of shared, communal pessimism. ~ Eugene Thacker.


The last word of philosophy is loneliness. ~ Eugene Thacker.

The most devastating thing about suffering is that it is relative. There is always someone who hurts more, someone who hurts less. ~ Eugene Thacker.

Famous Eugene Thacker Quotes


For every un-universe, then, an un-philosophy that must also negate itself. ~ Eugene Thacker.

It seems to have no motive, no vendetta, no program of action, other than simply that of being ooze. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Two kinds of pessimism: “The end is near” and “Will this never end”? ~ Eugene Thacker.

It is often said that the more spiritual a person becomes, the more unassuming they are. Eventually, they vanish entirely. ~ Eugene Thacker.


When solutions produce problems, when thought flounders in the absence of order, unity, and purpose, when healthy skepticism turns into pathological sarcasm – this is usually when pessimism enters the fray. ~ Eugene Thacker.

To live in constant apprehension of life. Exhaustion before one has made the effort. To attempt to laugh at it all, until the laughter becomes slightly sad, until tedium covers everything with its tenebrous haze. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Pessimism is the night-side of thought, a melodrama of the futility of the brain, a lyricism written in the graveyard of philosophy. ~ Eugene Thacker.

The question that runs through these disputatio is the following: What if horror has less to do with a fear of death, and more to do with the dread of life? ~ Eugene Thacker.

Whenever it occurs, however it occurs, pessimism has but one effect: it introduces humility into thought. It undermines the innumerable, self-aggrandizing postures that constitute the human being. Pessimism is the humility of the species that has named itself, thought furtively stumbling upon its own limitations on black wings of futility. ~ Eugene Thacker.

To the culture of the early Renaissance, the demon presents a limit to the empiricism of the unknown, something that can only be verified through contradictions – an absent manifestation, an unnatural creature, a demonic malady. ~ Eugene Thacker.

The ethereal nature of mists means that while they may appear solid and to have distinct forms, they are also immaterial, and can readily become formless. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Whether we can “save” the planet is one question – whether the planet needs saving is another. ~ Eugene Thacker.

What Kant refers to as depression is simply this stark realization: that thought is only incidentally human. It would take a later generation of philosophers to derive the conclusion of this: that thought thinks us, not the reverse. Legend. ~ Eugene Thacker.

A new ignorance is on the horizon, an ignorance borne not of a lack of knowledge but of too much knowledge, too much data, too many theories, too little time. ~ Eugene Thacker.

One who has ceased being irritated by others, but who remains a misanthrope. ~ Eugene Thacker.

What if depression – reason’s failure to achieve self-mastery – is not the failure of reason but instead the result of reason? What if human reason works too well, and brings us to conclusions that are anathema to the existence of human beings? What we would have is a cold rationalism, shoring up the anthropocentric conceits of the philosophical endeavor, showing us an anonymous, faceless world impervious to our hopes and desires. ~ Eugene Thacker.

Profound Eugene Thacker Quotes

But the truth is that I am a pessimist… except when writing about pessimism. I’ve managed to make pessimism a form of therapy. ~ Eugene Thacker.


Happiness in myself makes me apprehensive. ~ Eugene Thacker.

A bit of philosophizing leads to a wonderment of life. A lot of philosophizing leads to a contempt of it. ~ Eugene Thacker.

The longer we suffer, the more we dwell on suffering – eventually suffering and the thought of suffering eclipse each other entirely… ~ Eugene Thacker.

Everything does work out in the end, one way or another. ~ Eugene Thacker.

A saying from the Desert Fathers reads: “It is frightening to die, it is even more perilous to live a long life.” If only pessimism had the devotion of the ascetics. ~ Eugene Thacker.

Traditionally, the Socratic tradition in philosophy has a therapeutic function, which is to dispel the horrors of the unknown through reasoned argument. What cannot be tolerated in this tradition is the possibility of a world that cannot be known, or a world that is indifferent to our elaborate knowledge-producing schemes. ~ Eugene Thacker.


There is no surer sign of pessimism than an overly-optimistic person. ~ Eugene Thacker.

What is repulsive about children – all children – is not that they are not yet adults, but that they are already adults – whining, self-absorbed, demanding attention, unable to care for themselves, throwing tantrums when things don’t go their way. Far from what we tell ourselves, children are the most concise expressions of humanity. At least children are unaware of this. ~ Eugene Thacker.

Wise Eugene Thacker Quotes

An oft-mentioned example in this regard is the Medieval practice of catapulting corpses. The primal scene in this regard is the 14th century Italian trading post at Caffa, on the northern border of the Black Sea. Ongoing skirmishes between Italian merchants and Muslim locals led, in one instance, to the catapulting of plague-ridden corpses by the latter, over the fortress walls of the former. ~ Eugene Thacker.

Consciousness is nothing more, he writes, than “a flash of lightning between two eternities of darkness”. ~ Eugene Thacker.

In a culture that prizes the can-do, self-starter attitude, to be a pessimist is simply to be a complainer – if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem. To live in such a culture is to constantly live in the shadow of an obligatory optimism, a novel type of coercion that is pathologized early on in child education in the assessment: Does not like to play with others. ~ Eugene Thacker.

So these were the 50 top quotes about Eugene Thacker.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Courtney Peppernell quotes and H. P. Lovecraft quotes.