Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer

Overview

Arthur Schopenhauer was a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 philosopher known for his pessimism
Pessimism
Pessimism, from the Latin word pessimus , is a state of mind in which one perceives life negatively. Value judgments may vary dramatically between individuals, even when judgments of fact are undisputed. The most common example of this phenomenon is the "Is the glass half empty or half full?"...

 and philosophical clarity. At age 25, he published his doctoral dissertation, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason was originally published as a doctoral dissertation in 1813. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer revised this important work and re-published it in 1847....

, which examined the four separate manifestations of reason in the phenomenal world.

Schopenhauer's most influential work, The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation is the central work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. The first edition was published in December 1818, and the second expanded edition in 1844. In 1948, an abridged version was edited by Thomas Mann....

, claimed that the world is fundamentally what humans recognize in themselves as their will
Will (philosophy)
Will, in philosophical discussions, consonant with a common English usage, refers to a property of the mind, and an attribute of acts intentionally performed. Actions made according to a person's will are called "willing" or "voluntary" and sometimes pejoratively "willful"...

. His analysis of will led him to the conclusion that emotional, physical, and sexual desires can never be fulfilled.
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Unanswered Questions
Quotations

Der Mensch kann tun was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will.

Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.

Obit anus, abit onus.

The old woman dies, the burden is lifted.

We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.

As quoted in Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern English and Foreign Sources (1899) by James Wood, p. 624

Compassion is the basis of all morality.

As quoted in Thesaurus of Epigrams : A New Classified Collection of Witty Remarks, Bon Mots and Toasts (1948)

Life is short and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth.

Vol. I, Introduction
Encyclopedia

Arthur Schopenhauer was a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 philosopher known for his pessimism
Pessimism
Pessimism, from the Latin word pessimus , is a state of mind in which one perceives life negatively. Value judgments may vary dramatically between individuals, even when judgments of fact are undisputed. The most common example of this phenomenon is the "Is the glass half empty or half full?"...

 and philosophical clarity. At age 25, he published his doctoral dissertation, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason was originally published as a doctoral dissertation in 1813. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer revised this important work and re-published it in 1847....

, which examined the four separate manifestations of reason in the phenomenal world.

Schopenhauer's most influential work, The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation is the central work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. The first edition was published in December 1818, and the second expanded edition in 1844. In 1948, an abridged version was edited by Thomas Mann....

, claimed that the world is fundamentally what humans recognize in themselves as their will
Will (philosophy)
Will, in philosophical discussions, consonant with a common English usage, refers to a property of the mind, and an attribute of acts intentionally performed. Actions made according to a person's will are called "willing" or "voluntary" and sometimes pejoratively "willful"...

. His analysis of will led him to the conclusion that emotional, physical, and sexual desires can never be fulfilled. Consequently, he considered that a lifestyle of negating desires, similar to the ascetic
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

 teachings of Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 and the Church Fathers
Church Fathers
The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were early and influential theologians, eminent Christian teachers and great bishops. Their scholarly works were used as a precedent for centuries to come...

 of early Christianity
Early Christianity
Early Christianity is generally considered as Christianity before 325. The New Testament's Book of Acts and Epistle to the Galatians records that the first Christian community was centered in Jerusalem and its leaders included James, Peter and John....

, was the only way to attain liberation.

Schopenhauer's metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 analysis of will, his views on human motivation
Motivation
Motivation is the driving force by which humans achieve their goals. Motivation is said to be intrinsic or extrinsic. The term is generally used for humans but it can also be used to describe the causes for animal behavior as well. This article refers to human motivation...

 and desire, and his aphoristic
Aphorism
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates...

 writing style influenced many well-known thinkers, including Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

, Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

, Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947...

, Erwin Schrödinger
Erwin Schrödinger
Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger was an Austrian physicist and theoretical biologist who was one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, and is famed for a number of important contributions to physics, especially the Schrödinger equation, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933...

, Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

, Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

, Otto Rank
Otto Rank
Otto Rank was an Austrian psychoanalyst, writer, teacher and therapist. Born in Vienna as Otto Rosenfeld, he was one of Sigmund Freud's closest colleagues for 20 years, a prolific writer on psychoanalytic themes, an editor of the two most important analytic journals, managing director of Freud's...

, Carl Gustav Jung, Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

, Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann
Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

, and Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo , known as Jorge Luis Borges , was an Argentine writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school, receiving his baccalauréat from the Collège de Genève in 1918. The family...

.

Life


Arthur Schopenhauer was born in the city of Danzig (Gdańsk), as the son of Heinrich Floris Schopenhauer and Johanna Schopenhauer
Johanna Schopenhauer
Johanna Schopenhauer, née Trosiener , was a German author. She is today known primarily for being the mother of Arthur Schopenhauer.- Biography :...

, both descendants of wealthy German Patrician families. When the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 acquired the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

 city of Danzig in 1793, Schopenhauer's family moved to Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

. In 1805, Schopenhauer's father may have committed suicide. Shortly thereafter, Schopenhauer's mother Johanna moved to Weimar
Weimar
Weimar is a city in Germany famous for its cultural heritage. It is located in the federal state of Thuringia , north of the Thüringer Wald, east of Erfurt, and southwest of Halle and Leipzig. Its current population is approximately 65,000. The oldest record of the city dates from the year 899...

, then the centre of German literature
German literature
German literature comprises those literary texts written in the German language. This includes literature written in Germany, Austria, the German part of Switzerland, and to a lesser extent works of the German diaspora. German literature of the modern period is mostly in Standard German, but there...

, to pursue her writing career. After one year, Schopenhauer left the family business in Hamburg to join her.

Schopenhauer became a student at the University of Göttingen in 1809. There he studied metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 and psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 under Gottlob Ernst Schulze
Gottlob Ernst Schulze
Gottlob Ernst Schulze was born in Heldrungen . Schulze was a professor at Wittenberg, Helmstedt, and Göttingen...

, the author of Aenesidemus
Aenesidemus (book)
Aenesidemus was a German book published anonymously by Professor Gottlob Ernst Schulze of Helmstedt in 1792. It attempted to refute the principles that Karl Leonhard Reinhold established in support of Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The title's reference is to Aenesidemus, who was an...

, who advised him to concentrate on Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 and Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

. In Berlin, from 1811 to 1812, he had attended lectures by the prominent post-Kantian philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Johann Gottlieb Fichte
Johann Gottlieb Fichte was a German philosopher. He was one of the founding figures of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, a movement that developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kant...

 and the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher.
In 1814, Schopenhauer began his seminal work The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation is the central work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. The first edition was published in December 1818, and the second expanded edition in 1844. In 1948, an abridged version was edited by Thomas Mann....

 (Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung). He would finish it in 1818 and publish it the following year. In Dresden
Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

 in 1819, Schopenhauer fathered an illegitimate child who was born and died the same year. In 1820, Schopenhauer became a lecturer at the University of Berlin. He scheduled his lectures to coincide with those of the famous philosopher G. W. F. Hegel, whom Schopenhauer described as a "clumsy charlatan". However, only five students turned up to Schopenhauer's lectures, and he dropped out of academia. A late essay, "On University Philosophy", expressed his resentment towards the work conducted in academies.

While in Berlin, Schopenhauer was named as a defendant in an action at law initiated by a woman named Caroline Marquet.
She asked for damages, alleging that Schopenhauer had pushed her. According to Schopenhauer's court testimony, she deliberately annoyed him by raising her voice while standing right outside his door. Marquet alleged that the philosopher had assaulted and battered her after she refused to leave his doorway. Her companion testified that she saw Marquet prostrate outside his apartment. Because Marquet won the lawsuit, Schopenhauer made payments to her for the next twenty years. When she died, he wrote on a copy of her death certificate, Obit anus, abit onus ("The old woman dies, the burden is lifted").

In 1821, he fell in love with nineteen-year old opera singer, Caroline Richter (called Medon), and had a relationship with her for several years. He discarded marriage plans, however, writing, "Marrying means to halve one's rights and double one's duties", and "Marrying means, to grasp blindfolded into a sack hoping to find out an eel out of an assembly of snakes." When he was forty-three years old, seventeen-year old Flora Weiss recorded rejecting him in her diary.

Schopenhauer had a notably strained relationship with his mother Johanna Schopenhauer. After his father's death, Arthur Schopenhauer endured two long years of drudgery as a merchant, in honor of his dead father. Afterward, his mother retired to Weimar, and Arthur Schopenhauer dedicated himself wholly to studies in the gymnasium of Gotha. After he left it in disgust after seeing one of the masters lampooned, he went to live with his mother. But by that time she had already opened her infamous salon, and Arthur was not compatible with the vain, ceremonious ways of the salon. He was also disgusted by the ease with which Johanna Schopenhauer had forgotten his father's memory. Therefore, he gave university life a shot. There, he wrote his first book, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason was originally published as a doctoral dissertation in 1813. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer revised this important work and re-published it in 1847....

. His mother informed him that the book was incomprehensible and it was unlikely that anyone would ever buy a copy. In a fit of temper Arthur Schopenhauer told her that his work would be read long after the rubbish she wrote would have been totally forgotten.

In 1831, a cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 epidemic broke out in Berlin and Schopenhauer left the city. Schopenhauer settled permanently in Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 in 1833, where he remained for the next twenty-seven years, living alone except for a succession of pet poodles named Atman
Ātman (Hinduism)
Ātman is a Sanskrit word that means 'self'. In Hindu philosophy, especially in the Vedanta school of Hinduism it refers to one's true self beyond identification with phenomena...

 and Butz. The numerous notes that he made during these years, amongst others on aging, were published posthumously under the title Senilia.

Schopenhauer had a robust constitution, but in 1860 his health began to deteriorate. He died of heart failure on 21 September 1860, while sitting on his couch at home. He was 72.

Philosophy of the "Will"


A key focus of Schopenhauer was his investigation of individual motivation. Before Schopenhauer, Hegel had popularized the concept of Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist
Zeitgeist is "the spirit of the times" or "the spirit of the age."Zeitgeist is the general cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual or political climate within a nation or even specific groups, along with the general ambiance, morals, sociocultural direction, and mood associated with an era.The...

, the idea that society consisted of a collective consciousness
Collective consciousness
Collective consciousness was a term coined by the French sociologist Émile Durkheim to refer to the shared beliefs and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society...

 which moved in a distinct direction, dictating the actions of its members. Schopenhauer, a reader of both Kant and Hegel, criticized their logical optimism and the belief that individual morality could be determined by society and reason. Schopenhauer believed that humans were motivated by only their own basic desires, or Wille zum Leben (Will to Live), which directed all of mankind. For Schopenhauer, human desire was futile, illogical, directionless, and, by extension, so was all human action in the world. To Schopenhauer, the Will is a metaphysical existence which controls not only the actions of individual, intelligent agents, but ultimately all observable phenomena. Will, for Schopenhauer, is what Kant called the "thing-in-itself
Noumenon
The noumenon is a posited object or event that is known without the use of the senses.The term is generally used in contrast with, or in relation to "phenomenon", which refers to anything that appears to, or is an object of, the senses...

."

Art and aesthetics



For Schopenhauer, human desiring, "willing," and craving cause suffering or pain
Suffering
Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, is an individual's basic affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. Suffering may be qualified as physical or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and...

. A temporary way to escape this pain is through aesthetic contemplation (a method comparable to Zapffe's "Sublimation"). Aesthetic contemplation allows one to escape, albeit temporarily, this pain because it stops one perceiving the world as mere presentation. Instead one no longer perceives the world as an object of perception (therefore as subject to the Principle of Sufficient Grounds; time, space and causality) from which one is separated; rather one becomes one with that perception:"one can thus no longer separate the perceiver from the perception" (The World as Will and Presentation, section 34). From this immersion with the world one no longer views oneself as an individual who suffers in the world due to their individual will but one becomes a "subject of cognition" to a perception that is, "Pure, will-less, timeless" (section 34) where the essence, "ideas", of the world are shown. Art is the practical consequence of this brief aesthetic contemplation as it attempts to depict one's immersion with the world, thus tries to depict the essence/pure ideas of the world. Music, for Schopenhauer, was the purest form of art because it was the one that depicted the will itself without it appearing as subject to the Principle of Sufficient Grounds, therefore as an individual object. According to Daniel Albright, "Schopenhauer thought that music
Philosophy of music
Philosophy of music is the study of fundamental questions regarding music. The philosophical study of music has many connections with philosophical questions in metaphysics and aesthetics.Some basic questions in the philosophy of music are:...

 was the only art that did not merely copy ideas, but actually embodied the will itself."

Ethics


Schopenhauer's moral theory proposed that of three primary moral incentives, compassion
Compassion
Compassion is a virtue — one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism — foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.There is an aspect of...

, malice and egoism
Ethical egoism
Ethical egoism is the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest. It differs from psychological egoism, which claims that people can only act in their self-interest. Ethical egoism also differs from rational egoism, which holds merely that it is...

, compassion is the major motivator to moral expression. Malice and egoism are corrupt alternatives.

Punishment


According to Schopenhauer, whenever we make a choice, "we assume as necessary that that decision was preceded by something from which it ensued, and which we call the ground or reason, or more accurately the motive, of the resultant action." Choices are not made freely. Our actions are necessary and determined because "every human being, even every animal, after the motive has appeared, must carry out the action which alone is in accordance with his inborn and immutable character." A definite action inevitably results when a particular motive influences a person's given, unchangeable character. If there is no free will, should crimes be punished?

The State, Schopenhauer claimed, punishes criminals in order to prevent future crimes. It does so by placing "beside every possible motive for committing a wrong a more powerful motive for leaving it undone, in the inescapable punishment. Accordingly, the criminal code is as complete a register as possible of counter–motives to all criminal actions that can possibly be imagined…."
Should capital punishment be legal? "For safeguarding the lives of citizens," he asserted, "capital punishment is therefore absolutely necessary." "The murderer," wrote Schopenhauer, "who is condemned to death according to the law must, it is true, be now used as a mere means, and with complete right. For public security, which is the principal object of the State, is disturbed by him; indeed it is abolished if the law remains unfulfilled. The murderer, his life, his person, must be the means of fulfilling the law, and thus of re–establishing public security." Schopenhauer disagreed with those who would abolish capital punishment. "Those who would like to abolish it should be given the answer: 'First remove murder from the world, and then capital punishment ought to follow.' "

People, according to Schopenhauer, cannot be improved. They can only be influenced by strong motives that overpower criminal motives. Schopenhauer declared that "real moral reform is not at all possible, but only determent from the deed…."

He claimed that this doctrine was not original with him. Previously, it appeared in the writings of Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

, Seneca
Seneca the Younger
Lucius Annaeus Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero...

, Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

, Pufendorf
Samuel von Pufendorf
Baron Samuel von Pufendorf was a German jurist, political philosopher, economist, statesman, and historian. His name was just Samuel Pufendorf until he was ennobled in 1684; he was made a Freiherr a few months before his death in 1694...

, and Anselm Feuerbach
Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach
Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach was a German legal scholar. His major work was a reform of the Bavarian penal code which became a model for several other countries.-Biography:...

. Schopenhauer declared that their teaching was corrupted by subsequent errors and therefore was in need of clarification.

Psychology


Schopenhauer was perhaps even more influential in his treatment of man's psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 than he was in the realm of philosophy.

Philosophers have not traditionally been impressed by the tribulations of sex, but Schopenhauer addressed it and related concepts forthrightly:

...one ought rather to be surprised that a thing [sex] which plays throughout so important a part in human life has hitherto practically been disregarded by philosophers altogether, and lies before us as raw and untreated material.



He gave a name to a force within man which he felt had invariably precedence over reason: the Will to Live or Will to Life (Wille zum Leben), defined as an inherent drive within human beings, and indeed all creatures, to stay alive and to reproduce.

Schopenhauer refused to conceive of love as either trifling or accidental, but rather understood it to be an immensely powerful force lying unseen within man's psyche
Psyche (psychology)
The word psyche has a long history of use in psychology and philosophy, dating back to ancient times, and has been one of the fundamental concepts for understanding human nature from a scientific point of view. The English word soul is sometimes used synonymously, especially in older...

 and dramatically shaping the world:

The ultimate aim of all love affairs ... is more important than all other aims in man's life; and therefore it is quite worthy of the profound seriousness with which everyone pursues it.


What is decided by it is nothing less than the composition of the next generation ...



These ideas foreshadowed the discovery of evolution, Freud's
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 concepts of the libido
Libido
Libido refers to a person's sex drive or desire for sexual activity. The desire for sex is an aspect of a person's sexuality, but varies enormously from one person to another, and it also varies depending on circumstances at a particular time. A person who has extremely frequent or a suddenly...

 and the unconscious mind
Unconscious mind
The unconscious mind is a term coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge...

, and evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional...

 in general.

Politics



Schopenhauer's politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 were, for the most part, an echo of his system of ethics (the latter being expressed in Die beiden Grundprobleme der Ethik, available in English as two separate books, On the Basis of Morality and On the Freedom of the Will
On the Freedom of the Will
On the Freedom of the Will was an essay presented to the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences in 1839 by Arthur Schopenhauer as a response to the academic question that they had posed: "Is it possible to demonstrate human free will from self-consciousness?" It is one of the constituent essays of his...

). Ethics also occupies about one quarter of his central work, The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation is the central work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. The first edition was published in December 1818, and the second expanded edition in 1844. In 1948, an abridged version was edited by Thomas Mann....

.

In occasional political comments in his Parerga and Paralipomena
Parerga and Paralipomena
Parerga and Paralipomena is a collection of philosophical reflections by Arthur Schopenhauer published in 1851...

 and Manuscript Remains, Schopenhauer described himself as a proponent of limited government
Limited government
Limited government is a government which anything more than minimal governmental intervention in personal liberties and the economy is generally disallowed by law, usually in a written constitution. It is written in the United States Constitution in Article 1, Section 8...

. What was essential, he thought, was that the state should "leave each man free to work out his own salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

", and so long as government was thus limited, he would "prefer to be ruled by a lion than one of [his] fellow rats" — i.e., by a monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

, rather than a democrat
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

. Schopenhauer shared the view of Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

 on the necessity of the state, and of state action, to check the destructive tendencies innate to our species. He also defended the independence of the legislative, judicial and executive branches of power, and a monarch as an impartial element able to practice justice (in a practical and everyday sense, not a cosmological one). He declared monarchy as "that which is natural to man" for "intelligence has always under a monarchical government a much better chance against its irreconcilable and ever-present foe, stupidity" and disparaged republicanism as "unnatural as it is unfavourable to the higher intellectual life and the arts and sciences."

Schopenhauer, by his own admission, did not give much thought to politics, and several times he writes proudly of how little attention he had paid "to political affairs of [his] day". In a life that spanned several revolutions in French and German government, and a few continent-shaking wars, he did indeed maintain his aloof position of "minding not the times but the eternities". He wrote many disparaging remarks about Germany and the Germans. A typical example is, "For a German it is even good to have somewhat lengthy words in his mouth, for he thinks slowly, and they give him time to reflect."

Schopenhauer attributed civilizational primacy to the northern "white races" due to their sensitivity and creativity (except for the Egyptians and Hindus whom he saw as equal):

The highest civilization and culture, apart from the ancient Hindus and Egyptians, are found exclusively among the white races; and even with many dark peoples, the ruling caste or race is fairer in colour than the rest and has, therefore, evidently immigrated, for example, the Brahmans, the Incas, and the rulers of the South Sea Islands. All this is due to the fact that necessity is the mother of invention because those tribes that emigrated early to the north, and there gradually became white, had to develop all their intellectual powers and invent and perfect all the arts in their struggle with need, want and misery, which in their many forms were brought about by the climate. This they had to do in order to make up for the parsimony of nature and out of it all came their high civilization.


Despite this, he was adamantly against differing treatment of races, was fervently anti-slavery, and supported the abolitionist movement in the United States. He describes the treatment of "[our] innocent black brothers whom force and injustice have delivered into [the slave-master's] devilish clutches" as "belonging to the blackest pages of mankind's criminal record".

Schopenhauer additionally maintained a marked metaphysical and political anti-Judaism
Anti-Judaism
Religious antisemitism is a form of antisemitism, which is the prejudice against, or hostility toward, the Jewish people based on hostility to Judaism and to Jews as a religious group...

. Schopenhauer argued that Christianity constituted a revolt against the materialistic basis of Judaism, exhibiting an Indian-influenced ethics reflecting the Aryan
Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

-Vedic
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

 theme of spiritual "self-conquest." This he saw as opposed to what he held to be the ignorant drive toward earthly utopianism and superficiality of a worldly Jewish spirit:

While all other religions endeavor to explain to the people by symbols the metaphysical significance of life, the religion of the Jews is entirely immanent and furnishes nothing but a mere war-cry in the struggle with other nations.

Views on women


In Schopenhauer's 1851 essay "Of Women" ("Über die Weiber", full text), he expressed his opposition to what he called "Teutonico-Christian stupidity" on female affairs. He claimed that "woman is by nature meant to obey", and opposed Schiller's
Friedrich Schiller
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life , Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...

 poem in honor of women, "" ("Dignity of Women"). The essay does give two compliments, however: that "women are decidedly more sober in their judgment than [men] are" and are more sympathetic to the suffering of others. However, the latter was discounted as weakness rather than humanitarian virtue.

Schopenhauer's controversial writings have influenced many, from Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

 to nineteenth-century feminists. Schopenhauer's biological
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 analysis of the difference between the sexes, and their separate roles in the struggle for survival and reproduction, anticipates some of the claims that were later ventured by sociobiologists
Sociobiology
Sociobiology is a field of scientific study which is based on the assumption that social behavior has resulted from evolution and attempts to explain and examine social behavior within that context. Often considered a branch of biology and sociology, it also draws from ethology, anthropology,...

 and evolutionary psychologists
Evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional...

 in the twentieth century.

After the elderly Schopenhauer sat for a sculpture portrait by Elisabet Ney
Elisabet Ney
Franzisca Bernadina Wilhelmina Elisabeth Ney was a celebrated German-born sculptor who spent the first half of her life and career in Europe, producing sculpted works of famous leaders such as Otto von Bismarck, Giuseppe Garibaldi and King George V of Hanover...

, he told Richard Wagner's friend Malwida von Meysenbug
Malwida von Meysenbug
Malwida von Meysenbug was a German writer, who was a friend of Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Wagner. She also met the French writer Romain Rolland in Rome in 1890, and is the author of Memories of an Idealist. She published the first volume anonymously in 1869.Von Meysenbug was born at Kassel,...

, "I have not yet spoken my last word about women. I believe that if a woman succeeds in withdrawing from the mass, or rather raising herself above the mass, she grows ceaselessly and more than a man."

Heredity and eugenics


Schopenhauer believed that a person inherits one's level of intellect through one's mother, and personal character through one's father. Schopenhauer quotes Horace's saying, "From the brave and good are the brave descended" (Odes, iv, 4, 29) and Shakespeare's line from Cymbeline, "Cowards father cowards, and base things sire base" (IV, 2) to reinforce his hereditarian argument. On the question of eugenics, Schopenhauer wrote:

With our knowledge of the complete unalterability both of character and of mental faculties, we are led to the view that a real and thorough improvement of the human race might be reached not so much from outside as from within, not so much by theory and instruction as rather by the path of generation. Plato had something of the kind in mind when, in the fifth book of his Republic, he explained his plan for increasing and improving his warrior caste. If we could castrate all scoundrels and stick all stupid geese in a convent, and give men of noble character a whole harem
Harem
Harem refers to the sphere of women in what is usually a polygynous household and their enclosed quarters which are forbidden to men...

, and procure men, and indeed thorough men, for all girls of intellect and understanding, then a generation would soon arise which would produce a better age than that of Pericles
Pericles
Pericles was a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens during the city's Golden Age—specifically, the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars...

.


Or more kindly - “The final aim of all love intrigues, be they comic or tragic, is really of more importance than all other ends in human life. What it all turns upon is nothing less than the composition of the next generation.… It is not the weal or woe of any one individual, but that of the human race to come, which is here at stake.”

In another context, Schopenhauer reiterated his antidemocratic-eugenic thesis: "If you want Utopian plans, I would say: the only solution to the problem is the despotism
Despotism
Despotism is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power. That entity may be an individual, as in an autocracy, or it may be a group, as in an oligarchy...

 of the wise and noble members of a genuine aristocracy, a genuine nobility, achieved by mating
Mating
In biology, mating is the pairing of opposite-sex or hermaphroditic organisms for copulation. In social animals, it also includes the raising of their offspring. Copulation is the union of the sex organs of two sexually reproducing animals for insemination and subsequent internal fertilization...

 the most magnanimous men with the cleverest and most gifted women. This proposal constitutes my Utopia and my Platonic Republic". Analysts (e.g., Keith Ansell-Pearson) have suggested that Schopenhauer's advocacy of anti-egalitarianism
Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

 and eugenics influenced the neo-aristocratic philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, who initially considered Schopenhauer his mentor.

Animal welfare


As a consequence of his philosophy, Schopenhauer was very concerned about the welfare of animals. For him, all animals, including humans, are phenomenal manifestations of Will. The word "will" designated, for him, force, power, impulse, energy, and desire; it is the closest word we have that can signify both the real essence of all external things and also our own direct, inner experience. Since everything is basically Will, then humans and animals are fundamentally the same and can recognize themselves in each other. For this reason, he claimed that a good person would have sympathy for animals, who are our fellow sufferers.

Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he, who is cruel to living creatures, cannot be a good man.

Nothing leads more definitely to a recognition of the identity of the essential nature in animal and human phenomena than a study of zoology and anatomy.


The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.


In 1841, he praised the establishment, in London, of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and also the Animals' Friends Society in Philadelphia. Schopenhauer even went so far as to protest against the use of the pronoun "it" in reference to animals because it led to the treatment of them as though they were inanimate things. To reinforce his points, Schopenhauer referred to anecdotal reports of the look in the eyes of a monkey who had been shot and also the grief of a baby elephant whose mother had been killed by a hunter.

He was very attached to his succession of pet poodles. Schopenhauer criticized Spinoza's
Baruch Spinoza
Baruch de Spinoza and later Benedict de Spinoza was a Dutch Jewish philosopher. Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death...

 belief that animals are to be used as a mere means for the satisfaction of humans.

Views on homosexuality and pederasty


Schopenhauer was also one of the first philosophers since the days of Greek philosophy
Greek philosophy
Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BCE and continued through the Hellenistic period, at which point Ancient Greece was incorporated in the Roman Empire...

 to address the subject of male homosexuality. In the third, expanded edition of The World as Will and Representation (1856), Schopenhauer added an appendix to his chapter on the "Metaphysics of Sexual Love". He also wrote that homosexuality did have the benefit of preventing ill-begotten children. Concerning this, he stated, "... the vice we are considering appears to work directly against the aims and ends of nature, and that in a matter that is all important and of the greatest concern to her, it must in fact serve these very aims, although only indirectly, as a means for preventing greater evils." Shrewdly anticipating the interpretive distortion on the part of the popular mind of his attempted scientific explanation of pederasty as a personal advocacy of a phenomenon Schopenhauer otherwise describes, in terms of spiritual ethics, as an "objectionable aberration", Schopenhauer sarcastically concludes the appendix with the statement that "by expounding these paradoxical ideas, I wanted to grant to the professors of philosophy a small favour, for they are very disconcerted by the ever-increasing publicization of my philosophy which they so carefully concealed. I have done so by giving them the opportunity of slandering me by saying that I defend and commend pederasty
Pederasty
Pederasty or paederasty is an intimate relationship between an adult and an adolescent boy outside his immediate family. The word pederasty derives from Greek "love of boys", a compound derived from "child, boy" and "lover".Historically, pederasty has existed as a variety of customs and...

."

Indology


Schopenhauer read the Latin translation of the Upanishads which had been translated by French writer Anquetil du Perron
Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron
Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron was the first professional French scholar of Indian culture. He conceived the institutional framework for the new profession. He inspired the founding of the Ecole francaise d'extreme orient a century after his death and, later still, the founding of the...

 from the Persian translation of Prince Dara Shikoh
Dara Shikoh
His Highness, The Imperial Prince Dara Shikoh was the eldest son and the heir apparent of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. His name دارا شكوه in Persian means "Darius the Magnificent"...

 entitled Sirre-Akbar ("The Great Secret"). He was so impressed by their philosophy that he called them "the production of the highest human wisdom", and considered them to contain superhuman conceptions. The Upanishads was a great source of inspiration to Schopenhauer, and writing about them he said:

It is the most satisfying and elevating reading (with the exception of the original text) which is possible in the world; it has been the solace of my life and will be the solace of my death.


It is well known that the book Oupnekhat (Upanishad) always lay open on his table, and he invariably studied it before sleeping at night. He called the opening up of Sanskrit literature "the greatest gift of our century", and predicted that the philosophy and knowledge of the Upanishads would become the cherished faith of the West.

Schopenhauer was first introduced to the 1802 Latin Upanishad
Upanishad
The Upanishads are philosophical texts considered to be an early source of Hindu religion. More than 200 are known, of which the first dozen or so, the oldest and most important, are variously referred to as the principal, main or old Upanishads...

 translation through Friedrich Majer. They met during the winter of 1813-1814 in Weimar
Weimar
Weimar is a city in Germany famous for its cultural heritage. It is located in the federal state of Thuringia , north of the Thüringer Wald, east of Erfurt, and southwest of Halle and Leipzig. Its current population is approximately 65,000. The oldest record of the city dates from the year 899...

 at the home of Schopenhauer’s mother according to the biographer Sanfranski. Majer was a follower of Herder
Herder
A herder is a worker who lives a possibly semi-nomadic life, caring for various domestic animals, in places where these animals wander pasture lands....

, and an early Indologist. Schopenhauer did not begin a serious study of the Indic texts, however, until the summer of 1814. Sansfranski maintains that between 1815 and 1817, Schopenhauer had another important cross-pollination with Indian Thought in Dresden
Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

. This was through his neighbor of two years, Karl Christian Friedrich Krause
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause was a German philosopher, born at Eisenberg, Thuringia.-Education and Life:...

. Krause was then a minor and rather unorthodox philosopher who attempted to mix his own ideas with that of ancient Indian wisdom. Krause had also mastered Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, unlike Schopenhauer, and the two developed a professional relationship. It was from Krause that Schopenhauer learned meditation
Meditation
Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit....

 and received the closest thing to expert advice concerning Indian thought.

Most noticeable, in the case of Schopenhauer’s work, was the significance of the Chandogya Upanishad
Chandogya Upanishad
The Chandogya Upanishad is one of the "primary" Upanishads. Together with the Jaiminiya Upanishad Brahmana and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad it ranks among the oldest Upanishads, dating to the Vedic Brahmana period....

, whose Mahavakya, Tat Tvam Asi
Tat Tvam Asi
Tat Tvam Asi , a Sanskrit sentence, translated variously as "That thou are," "Thou are that," "You are that," or "That you are," is one of the Mahāvākyas in Vedantic Sanatana Dharma...

 is mentioned throughout The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation is the central work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. The first edition was published in December 1818, and the second expanded edition in 1844. In 1948, an abridged version was edited by Thomas Mann....

.

Buddhism


Schopenhauer noted a correspondence between his doctrines and the Four Noble Truths
Four Noble Truths
The Four Noble Truths are an important principle in Buddhism, classically taught by the Buddha in the Dharmacakra Pravartana Sūtra....

 of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

. Similarities centered on the principles that life involves suffering, that suffering is caused by desire (tanha
Tanha
' or ' literally means "thirst," and is a synonym for "desire" or "craving," traditionally juxtaposed with upekkha .Synonyms:*愛 Cn: ài; Vi: ái...

), and that the extinction of desire leads to liberation. Thus three of the four "truths of the Buddha" correspond to Schopenhauer's doctrine of the will. In Buddhism, however, while greed and lust are always unskillful, desire is ethically variable - it can be skillful, unskillful, or neutral.

For Schopenhauer, Will had ontological
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

 primacy over the intellect
Intellect
Intellect is a term used in studies of the human mind, and refers to the ability of the mind to come to correct conclusions about what is true or real, and about how to solve problems...

; in other words, desire is understood to be prior to thought. Schopenhauer felt this was similar to notions of purushartha or goals of life in Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

 Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

.

In Schopenhauer's philosophy, denial of the will is attained by either:
  • personal experience of an extremely great suffering that leads to loss of the will to live; or
  • knowledge of the essential nature of life in the world through observation of the suffering of other people.


However, Buddhist nirvana
Nirvana
Nirvāṇa ; ) is a central concept in Indian religions. In sramanic thought, it is the state of being free from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is the union with the Supreme being through moksha...

 is not equivalent to the condition that Schopenhauer described as denial of the will. Nirvana is not the extinguishing of the person as some Western scholars have thought, but only the "extinguishing" (the literal meaning of nirvana) of the flames of greed, hatred, and delusion that assail a person's character. Occult historian Joscelyn Godwin
Joscelyn Godwin
Joscelyn Godwin is a composer, musicologist and translator, known for his work on ancient music, paganism and music in the occult....

 (1945- ) stated, "It was Buddhism that inspired the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, and, through him, attracted Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

. This Orientalism
Orientalism
Orientalism is a term used for the imitation or depiction of aspects of Eastern cultures in the West by writers, designers and artists, as well as having other meanings...

 reflected the struggle of the German Romantics, in the words of Leon Poliakov
Leon Poliakov
Léon Poliakov was a French historian who wrote extensively on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.Born into a Russian Jewish family, Poliakov lived in Italy and Germany until he settled in France....

, to free themselves from Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian
Judeo-Christian is a term used in the United States since the 1940s to refer to standards of ethics said to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, for example the Ten Commandments...

 fetters". In contradistinction to Godwin's claim that Buddhism inspired Schopenhauer, the philosopher himself made the following statement in his discussion of religions:


If I wished to take the results of my philosophy as the standard of truth, I should have to concede to Buddhism pre-eminence over the others. In any case, it must be a pleasure to me to see my doctrine in such close agreement with a religion that the majority of men on earth hold as their own, for this numbers far more followers than any other. And this agreement must be yet the more pleasing to me, inasmuch as in my philosophizing I have certainly not been under its influence [emphasis added]. For up till 1818, when my work appeared, there was to be found in Europe only a very few accounts of Buddhism.


Buddhist philosopher Nishitani Keiji
Nishitani Keiji
was a Japanese philosopher of the Kyoto School and a disciple of Kitaro Nishida. In 1924 Nishitani put forward his dissertation Das Ideale und das Reale bei Schelling und Bergson and studied under Martin Heidegger in Freiburg during 1937-9....

, however, sought to distance Buddhism from Schopenhauer.
While Schopenhauer's philosophy may sound rather mystical in such a summary, his methodology
Methodology
Methodology is generally a guideline for solving a problem, with specificcomponents such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools . It can be defined also as follows:...

 was resolutely empirical
Empirical
The word empirical denotes information gained by means of observation or experimentation. Empirical data are data produced by an experiment or observation....

, rather than speculative or transcendental:


Philosophy ... is a science, and as such has no articles of faith; accordingly, in it nothing can be assumed as existing except what is either positively given empirically, or demonstrated through indubitable conclusions.


Also note:


This actual world of what is knowable, in which we are and which is in us, remains both the material and the limit of our consideration.


The argument that Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 affected Schopenhauer’s philosophy more than any other Dharmic faith loses more credence when viewed in light of the fact that Schopenhauer did not begin a serious study of Buddhism until after the publication of The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation is the central work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. The first edition was published in December 1818, and the second expanded edition in 1844. In 1948, an abridged version was edited by Thomas Mann....

 in 1818. Scholars have started to revise earlier views about Schopenhauer's discovery of Buddhism. Proof of early interest and influence appears in Schopenhauer's 1815/16 notes (transcribed and translated by Urs App) about Buddhism. They are included in a recent case study that traces Schopenhauer's interest in Buddhism and documents its influence.

Influences


Schopenhauer said he was influenced by the Upanishads, Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

 and Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

. References to Eastern philosophy and religion
Eastern philosophy
Eastern philosophy includes the various philosophies of Asia, including Chinese philosophy, Iranian philosophy, Japanese philosophy, Indian philosophy and Korean philosophy...

 appear frequently in Schopenhauer's writing. As noted above, he appreciated the teachings of the Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

 and even called himself a "Buddhist". He said that his philosophy could not have been conceived before these teachings were available.

Concerning the Upanishads and Vedas
Vedas
The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

, he writes in The World as Will and Representation:
If the reader has also received the benefit of the Vedas, the access to which by means of the Upanishads is in my eyes the greatest privilege which this still young century (1818) may claim before all previous centuries, if then the reader, I say, has received his initiation in primeval Indian wisdom, and received it with an open heart, he will be prepared in the very best way for hearing what I have to tell him. It will not sound to him strange, as to many others, much less disagreeable; for I might, if it did not sound conceited, contend that every one of the detached statements which constitute the Upanishads, may be deduced as a necessary result from the fundamental thoughts which I have to enunciate, though those deductions themselves are by no means to be found there.


He summarised the influence of the Upanishads thus: "It has been the solace of my life, it will be the solace of my death!"

Among Schopenhauer's other influences were: Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.His novel Émile: or, On Education is a treatise...

, John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

, Baruch Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza
Baruch de Spinoza and later Benedict de Spinoza was a Dutch Jewish philosopher. Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death...

, Matthias Claudius
Matthias Claudius
Matthias Claudius was a German poet, otherwise known by the penname of “Asmus”.-Life:Claudius was born at Reinfeld, near Lübeck, and studied at Jena...

, George Berkeley
George Berkeley
George Berkeley , also known as Bishop Berkeley , was an Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory he called "immaterialism"...

, David Hume
David Hume
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment...

, and René Descartes
René Descartes
René Descartes ; was a French philosopher and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the 'Father of Modern Philosophy', and much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day...

.

Criticism of Kant


Schopenhauer accepted Kant's double-aspect of the universe — the phenomenal (world of experience) and the noumenal
Noumenon
The noumenon is a posited object or event that is known without the use of the senses.The term is generally used in contrast with, or in relation to "phenomenon", which refers to anything that appears to, or is an object of, the senses...

 (the true world, independent of experience). Some commentators suggest that Schopenhauer claimed that the noumenon, or thing-in-itself, was the basis for Schopenhauer's concept of the will
Will (philosophy)
Will, in philosophical discussions, consonant with a common English usage, refers to a property of the mind, and an attribute of acts intentionally performed. Actions made according to a person's will are called "willing" or "voluntary" and sometimes pejoratively "willful"...

. Other commentators suggest that Schopenhauer considered will
Will (philosophy)
Will, in philosophical discussions, consonant with a common English usage, refers to a property of the mind, and an attribute of acts intentionally performed. Actions made according to a person's will are called "willing" or "voluntary" and sometimes pejoratively "willful"...

 to be only a subset of the "thing-in-itself" class, namely that which we can most directly experience.

Schopenhauer's identification of the Kantian noumenon (i.e., the actually existing entity) with what he termed "will" deserves some explanation. The noumenon was what Kant called the Ding an Sich, the "Thing in Itself", the reality that is the foundation of our sensory
Sense
Senses are physiological capacities of organisms that provide inputs for perception. The senses and their operation, classification, and theory are overlapping topics studied by a variety of fields, most notably neuroscience, cognitive psychology , and philosophy of perception...

 and mental
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

 representations of an external world. In Kantian terms, those sensory and mental representations are mere phenomena. Schopenhauer departed from Kant in his description of the relationship between the phenomenon and the noumenon. According to Kant, things-in-themselves ground the phenomenal representations in our minds; Schopenhauer, on the other hand, believed phenomena and noumena to be two different sides of the same coin. Noumena do not cause phenomena, but rather phenomena are simply the way by which our minds perceive the noumena, according to the Principle of Sufficient Reason
Principle of sufficient reason
The principle of sufficient reason states that anything that happens does so for a reason: no state of affairs can obtain, and no statement can be true unless there is sufficient reason why it should not be otherwise...

. This is explained more fully in Schopenhauer's doctoral thesis, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason was originally published as a doctoral dissertation in 1813. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer revised this important work and re-published it in 1847....

.

Schopenhauer's second major departure from Kant's epistemology concerns the body. Kant's philosophy was formulated as a response to the radical philosophical skepticism
Philosophical skepticism
Philosophical skepticism is both a philosophical school of thought and a method that crosses disciplines and cultures. Many skeptics critically examine the meaning systems of their times, and this examination often results in a position of ambiguity or doubt...

 of David Hume, who claimed that causality could not be observed empirically. Schopenhauer begins by arguing that Kant's demarcation between external objects, knowable only as phenomena, and the Thing in Itself of noumenon, contains a significant omission. There is, in fact, one physical object we know more intimately than we know any object of sense perception: our own body.

We know our human bodies
Human anatomy
Human anatomy is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye...

 have boundaries and occupy space, the same way other objects known only through our named senses do. Though we seldom think of our body as a physical object, we know even before reflection that it shares some of an object's properties. We understand that a watermelon cannot successfully occupy the same space as an oncoming truck; we know that if we tried to repeat the experiment with our own body, we would obtain similar results – we know this even if we do not understand the physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 involved.

We know that our consciousness inhabits a physical body, similar to other physical objects only known as phenomena. Yet our consciousness is not commensurate with our body. Most of us possess the power of voluntary motion. We usually are not aware of the breathing of our lung
Human lung
The human lungs are the organs of respiration in humans. Humans have two lungs, with the left being divided into two lobes and the right into three lobes. Together, the lungs contain approximately of airways and 300 to 500 million alveoli, having a total surface area of about in...

s or the beating of our heart
Human heart
The human heart is a muscular organ that provides a continuous blood circulation through the cardiac cycle and is one of the most vital organs in the human body...

 unless somehow our attention is called to them. Our ability to control either is limited. Our kidney
Kidney
The kidneys, organs with several functions, serve essential regulatory roles in most animals, including vertebrates and some invertebrates. They are essential in the urinary system and also serve homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid–base balance, and...

s command our attention on their schedule rather than one we choose. Few of us have any idea what our liver
Liver
The liver is a vital organ present in vertebrates and some other animals. It has a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and production of biochemicals necessary for digestion...

 is doing right now, though this organ is as needful as lungs, heart, or kidneys. The conscious mind is the servant, not the master, of these and other organs; these organs have an agenda which the conscious mind did not choose, and over which it has limited power.

When Schopenhauer identifies the noumenon with the desires, needs, and impulses in us that we name "will," what he is saying is that we participate in the reality of an otherwise unachievable world outside the mind through will. We cannot prove that our mental picture of an outside world corresponds with a reality by reasoning; through will, we know – without thinking – that the world can stimulate us. We suffer fear, or desire: these states arise involuntarily; they arise prior to reflection; they arise even when the conscious mind would prefer to hold them at bay. The rational mind is, for Schopenhauer, a leaf borne along in a stream of pre-reflective and largely unconscious emotion. That stream is will, and through will, if not through logic, we can participate in the underlying reality beyond mere phenomena. It is for this reason that Schopenhauer identifies the noumenon with what we call our will.

In his criticism of Kant, Schopenhauer claimed that sensation and understanding are separate and distinct abilities. Yet, for Kant, an object is known through each of them. Kant wrote: "… [T]here are two stems of human knowledge ... namely, sensibility and understanding, objects being given by the former [sensibility] and thought by the latter [understanding]." Schopenhauer disagreed. He asserted that mere sense impressions, not objects, are given by sensibility. According to Schopenhauer, objects are intuitively perceived by understanding and are discursively thought by reason (Kant had claimed that (1) the understanding thinks objects through concepts and that (2) reason seeks the unconditioned or ultimate answer to "why?"). Schopenhauer said that Kant's mistake regarding perception resulted in all of the obscurity and difficult confusion that is exhibited in the Transcendental Analytic section of his critique.

Lastly, Schopenhauer departed from Kant in how he interpreted the Platonic ideas. In The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation
The World as Will and Representation is the central work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. The first edition was published in December 1818, and the second expanded edition in 1844. In 1948, an abridged version was edited by Thomas Mann....

 Schopenhauer explicitly stated:

...Kant used the word [Idea] wrongly as well as illegitimately, although Plato had already taken possession of it, and used it most appropriately.

Instead Schopenhauer relied upon the Neoplatonist interpretation of the biographer Diogenes Laërtius
Diogenes Laertius
Diogenes Laertius was a biographer of the Greek philosophers. Nothing is known about his life, but his surviving Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers is one of the principal surviving sources for the history of Greek philosophy.-Life:Nothing is definitively known about his life...

 from Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers
Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers
Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers is a biography of the Greek philosophers by Diogenes Laërtius, written in Greek, perhaps in the first half of the third century AD.-Overview:...

.
In reference to Plato’s Ideas, Schopenhauer quotes Laërtius verbatim in an explanatory footnote.

Diogenes Laërtius (III, 12) Plato ideas in natura velut exemplaria dixit subsistere; cetera his esse similia, ad istarum similitudinem consistencia.
(Plato teaches that the Ideas exist in nature, so to speak, as patterns or prototypes, and that the remainder of things only resemble them, and exist as their copies.)

Criticism of Hegel


Schopenhauer expressed his dislike for the philosophy of his contemporary Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...

 many times in his published works. The following quotations are typical:

If I were to say that the so-called philosophy of this fellow Hegel is a colossal piece of mystification which will yet provide posterity with an inexhaustible theme for laughter at our times, that it is a pseudo-philosophy

Pseudophilosophy
Pseudophilosophy is a term applied to philosophical ideas or systems which are claimed not to meet mainstream academic standards. The term is almost always used pejoratively and is often contentious...

 paralyzing all mental powers, stifling all real thinking, and, by the most outrageous misuse of language, putting in its place the hollowest, most senseless, thoughtless, and, as is confirmed by its success, most stupefying verbiage, I should be quite right.


Further, if I were to say that this summus philosophus [...] scribbled nonsense quite unlike any mortal before him, so that whoever could read his most eulogized work, the so-called Phenomenology of the Mind, without feeling as if he were in a madhouse, would qualify as an inmate for Bedlam

Bethlem Royal Hospital
The Bethlem Royal Hospital is a psychiatric hospital located in London, United Kingdom and part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Although no longer based at its original location, it is recognised as the world's first and oldest institution to specialise in mental illnesses....

, I should be no less right.



At first Fichte and Schelling shine as the heroes of this epoch; to be followed by the man who is quite unworthy even of them, and greatly their inferior in point of talent --- I mean the stupid and clumsy charlatan Hegel.



In his Foreword to the first edition of his work Die beiden Grundprobleme der Ethik, Schopenhauer suggested that he had shown Hegel to have fallen prey to the Post hoc ergo propter hoc
Post hoc ergo propter hoc
Post hoc ergo propter hoc, Latin for "after this, therefore because of this," is a logical fallacy that states, "Since that event followed this one, that event must have been caused by this one." It is often shortened to simply post hoc and is also sometimes referred to as false cause,...

 fallacy.

Schopenhauer thought that Hegel used deliberately impressive but ultimately vacuous verbiage. He suggested his works were filled with "castles of abstraction" that sounded impressive but ultimately had no content. He also thought that his glorification of church and state were designed for personal advantage and had little to do with the search for philosophical truth
Truth
Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with fact or reality. It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common usage, it also means constancy or sincerity in action or character...

. For instance, the Right Hegelians
Right Hegelians
The Right Hegelians, Old Hegelians, or the Hegelian Right, were those followers of German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in the early 19th century who took his philosophy in a politically and religiously conservative direction...

 interpreted Hegel as viewing the Prussian state of his day as perfect and the goal of all history up until then.

Influence


Schopenhauer has had a massive influence upon later thinkers, though more so in the arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

 (especially literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 and music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

) and psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 than in philosophy. His popularity peaked in the early twentieth century, especially during the Modernist era, and waned somewhat thereafter. Nevertheless, a number of recent publications have reinterpreted and modernised the study of Schopenhauer. His theory is also being explored by some modern philosophers as a precursor to evolutionary theory and modern evolutionary psychology.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

 owed the awakening of his philosophical interest to reading The World as Will and Representation and admitted that he was one of the few philosophers that he respected, dedicating to him his essay Schopenhauer als Erzieher one of his Untimely Meditations
Untimely Meditations
Untimely Meditations consists of four works by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, started in 1873 and completed in 1876....

.

Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo , known as Jorge Luis Borges , was an Argentine writer, essayist, poet and translator born in Buenos Aires. In 1914 his family moved to Switzerland where he attended school, receiving his baccalauréat from the Collège de Genève in 1918. The family...

 remarked that the reason he had never attempted to write a systematic account of his world view, despite his penchant for philosophy and metaphysics in particular, was because Schopenhauer had already written it for him.

As a teenager, Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was an Austrian philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947...

 had been strongly influenced by Schopenhauer's epistemological idealism. However, after his study of the philosophy of mathematics, he abandoned epistemological idealism for Gottlob Frege
Gottlob Frege
Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege was a German mathematician, logician and philosopher. He is considered to be one of the founders of modern logic, and made major contributions to the foundations of mathematics. He is generally considered to be the father of analytic philosophy, for his writings on...

's conceptual realism.

Selected bibliography

  • On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
    On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason
    On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason was originally published as a doctoral dissertation in 1813. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer revised this important work and re-published it in 1847....

     (Über die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde), 1813
  • On Vision and Colors
    On Vision and Colors
    On Vision and Colors is a treatise by Arthur Schopenhauer that was published in May 1816 when the author was 28 years old. Schopenhauer had extensively discussed with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe about the poet's Theory of Colours of 1810, in the months around the turn of the years 1813 and 1814,...

     (Über das Sehn und die Farben), 1816 ISBN 978-0-85496-988-3
  • The World as Will and Representation
    The World as Will and Representation
    The World as Will and Representation is the central work of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. The first edition was published in December 1818, and the second expanded edition in 1844. In 1948, an abridged version was edited by Thomas Mann....

     (alternatively translated in English as The World as Will and Idea; original German is Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung), 1818/1819, vol 2 1844
    • Vol. 1 Dover edition 1966, ISBN 978-0-486-21761-1
    • Vol. 2 Dover edition 1966, ISBN 978-0-486-21762-8
    • Peter Smith Publisher hardcover set 1969, ISBN 978-0-8446-2885-1
    • Everyman Paperback combined abridged edition (290 p.) ISBN 978-0-460-87505-9
  • On the Will in Nature (Über den Willen in der Natur), 1836 ISBN 978-0-85496-999-9
  • On the Freedom of the Will
    On the Freedom of the Will
    On the Freedom of the Will was an essay presented to the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences in 1839 by Arthur Schopenhauer as a response to the academic question that they had posed: "Is it possible to demonstrate human free will from self-consciousness?" It is one of the constituent essays of his...

     (Über die Freiheit des menschlichen Willens), 1839 ISBN 978-0-631-14552-3
  • On the Basis of Morality (Über die Grundlage der Moral), 1840
  • Parerga und Paralipomena, 1851; English Translation by E. F. J. Payne, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1974, 2 Volumes:
    • Printings:
      • 1974 Hardcover, by ISBN:
        • Vol 1 and 2, ISBN 978-0-19-519813-3,
        • Vol 1, ISBN [TBD],
        • Vol 2, ISBN 978-0-19-824527-8,
      • 1974/1980 Paperback, Vol 1, ISBN 978-0-19-824634-3, Vol 2, ISBN 978-0-19-824635-0,
      • 2001 Paperback, Vol 1, ISBN 978-0-19-924220-7, Vol 2, ISBN 978-0-19-924221-4
    • Essays and Aphorisms, being excerpts from Volume 2 of Parerga und Paralipomena, selected and translated by R J Hollingdale, with Introduction by R J Hollingdale, Penguin Classics, 1970, Paperback 1973: ISBN 978-0-14-044227-4 (9780140442274)
  • Arthur Schopenhauer, Manuscript Remains, Volume II, Berg Publishers Ltd., ISBN 978-0-85496-539-7

Online


See also

  • Antinatalism
    Antinatalism
    Antinatalism is a philosophical position that assigns a negative value to birth, standing in opposition to natalism. It has been advanced by figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Peter Wessel Zapffe, Heinrich Heine, Emil Cioran, Philipp Mainländer, Philip Larkin, Chris Korda, Matti Häyry, Thomas...

    , a position advocated by Schopenhauer that one would be better off not having been born
  • Asceticism
    Asceticism
    Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

  • God in Buddhism
    God in Buddhism
    The refutation of the notion of a supreme God or a prime mover is seen by many as a key distinction between Buddhism and other religions. In Buddhism the sole aim of spiritual practice is the complete alleviation of stress in samsara, called nirvana...

  • Mortal coil
    Mortal coil
    Mortal coil is a poetic term that means the troubles of daily life and the strife and suffering of the world. It is used in the sense of a burden to be carried or abandoned, most famously in the phrase "shuffle[d] off this mortal coil" from Shakespeare's Hamlet...

  • Nihilism
    Nihilism
    Nihilism is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value...

  • Sir William Jones
  • To be, or not to be
    To be, or not to be
    "To be, or not to be" is the opening phrase of a soliloquy from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet , Act III, Scene 1. It is the best-known quotation from the play and probably the most famous in world literature but there is disagreement on its meaning, as there is of the whole speech.- Text :This...

  • Wooden iron
    Wooden iron
    Wooden iron is a polemical term often used in philosophical rhetoric to describe the impossibility of an opposing argument. The term is a German proverbial oxymoron, which synthesizes the concept of the "wooden", which is organic, with the concept of "iron" which is inorganic...


Biographies

  • Eduard Grisebach, Schopenhauer - Geschichte seines Lebens (Berlin: Hofmann, 1876).
  • Helen Zimmern, Arthur Schopenhauer - His Life and His Philosophy (London: Longmans, Green, 1876; rev. ed., London: Allen & Unwin, 1932).
  • William Wallace, Life of Arthur Schopenhauer (London: Scott, 1890; repr., St. Clair Shores, Mich.: Scholarly Press, 1970).
  • Kuno Fischer, Arthur Schopenhauer (Heidelberg: Winter, 1893); revised as Schopenhauers Leben, Werke und Lehre (Heidelberg: Winter, 1898).
  • O.F.Damm, Arthur Schopenhauer - eine Biographie, (Reclam, 1912)
  • Heinrich Hasse, Schopenhauer. (Reinhardt, 1926)
  • Walther Schneider, Schopenhauer - Eine Biographie (Vienna: Bermann-Fischer, 1937).
  • Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

    , Schopenhauer (Bermann-Fischer, 1938)
  • Arthur Hübscher, Arthur Schopenhauer - Ein Lebensbild (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1938).
  • Frederick Copleston
    Frederick Copleston
    Frederick Charles Copleston, SJ, CBE was a Jesuit priest and historian of philosophy.-Biography:...

    , Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher of pessimism (Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1946)
  • D.W. Hamlyn, Schopenhauer, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul (1980, 1985)
  • Rüdiger Safranski, Schopenhauer und die wilden Jahre der Philosophie - Eine Biographie, hard cover Carl Hanser Verlag, München 1987, ISBN 978-3-446-14490-3, pocket edition Fischer: ISBN 978-3-596-14299-6.
  • Rüdiger Safranski, Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy, trans. Ewald Osers (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1989)

Other books

  • App, Urs. Arthur Schopenhauer and China. Sino-Platonic Papers Nr. 200 (April 2010) (PDF, 8.7 Mb PDF, 164 p.). Contains extensive appendixes which include transcriptions and English translations of Schopenhauer's early notes about Buddhism and Indian philosophy.
  • Atwell, John. Schopenhauer on the Character of the World, The Metaphysics of Will.
  • --------, Schopenhauer, The Human Character.
  • Cartwright, David, Schopenhauer: A Biography, Cambridge University Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-521-82598-6
  • Copleston, Frederick
    Frederick Copleston
    Frederick Charles Copleston, SJ, CBE was a Jesuit priest and historian of philosophy.-Biography:...

    , Schopenhauer: Philosopher of Pessimism, 1946 (reprinted London: Search Press, 1975.)
  • --------, Schopenhauer: A Very Short introduction.
  • Janaway, Christopher, 2003. Self and World in Schopenhauer's Philosophy. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-825003-6
  • Magee, Bryan
    Bryan Magee
    Bryan Edgar Magee is a noted British broadcasting personality, politician, poet, and author, best known as a popularizer of philosophy.-Early life:...

    , The Philosophy of Schopenhauer, Oxford University Press (1988, reprint 1997), ISBN 978-0-19-823722-8
  • Mannion, Gerard, "Schopenhauer, Religion and Morality - The Humble Path to Ethics", Ashgate Press, New Critical Thinking in Philosophy Series, 2003, 314pp
  • Zimmern, Helen
    Helen Zimmern
    Helen Zimmern was a German-British writer and translator.-Biography:Zimmern and her parents emigrated in 1850 to Britain, where her father became a Nottingham lace merchant. She was naturalized upon coming of age. She was the sister of the suffragist Alice Zimmern and a cousin of the political...

    , Arthur Schopenhauer, his Life and Philosophy, London, Longman, and Co.
    Longman
    Longman was a publishing company founded in London, England in 1724. It is now an imprint of Pearson Education.-Beginnings:The Longman company was founded by Thomas Longman , the son of Ezekiel Longman , a gentleman of Bristol. Thomas was apprenticed in 1716 to John Osborn, a London bookseller, and...

     - 1876

Articles


External links