Distinct from a disposition to believe that things will work out, there is a philosophical idea that, perhaps in ways that may not be fully comprehended, the present moment is in an optimum state. This view that all of nature - past, present and future - operates by laws of optimization along the lines of Hamilton's principle in the realm of physics is countered by views such as idealism , realism , and philosophical pessimism . Philosophers often link the concept of optimism with the name of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz , who held that we live in the best of all possible worlds , or that God created a physical universe that applies the laws of physics. This idea was famously mocked by Voltaire in his satirical novel Candide as baseless optimism of the sort exemplified by the beliefs of Pangloss , which are the opposite of his fellow traveller Martin 's pessimism and emphasis on free will . The optimistic position is also called Panglossianism , after the character. The phrase "panglossian pessimism" has been used [ by whom? ] [ year needed ] to describe the pessimistic position that, since this is the best of all possible worlds, it is impossible for anything to get any better. Conversely, philosophical pessimism might be [ by whom? ] [ year needed ] associated with an optimistic long-term view because it implies that no change for the worse is possible.