Arthur Schopenhauer 1788-1860
Believing himself to be the only worthy successor to Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer was one of the leading German metaphysicians of the nineteenth century. Schopenhauer conceived of Kant's ding an sich as an absolute Will that causes and impels all appearances in the phenomenal (and unreal) world. Schopenhauer incorporated Hindu and Buddhist thought into his philosophy and crystallized the pessimism of the late nineteenth century in his rejection of the apparent world and his endorsement of asceticism.
Schopenhauer was born in Danzig (now Gdansk). His father, a businessman, and his mother, a popular novelist, moved the family to Hamburg when Danzig was annexed to Prussia in 1793. The elder Schopenhauer died in 1805, probably by suicide. To honor a promise to his father, Schopenhauer began a business career, but after a year, he convinced his mother to let him continue his education at the gymnasium in Gotha, where he studied Greek and Latin. After being expelled for improper conduct, Schopenhauer moved to Weimar, where his mother had established a literary salon frequented by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and other literary figures. In 1809, Schopenhauer enrolled in the University of Göttingen, where he studied medicine and, later, philosophy. While there, the skeptic Gottlob Ernst Schulze encouraged him to read Plato and Kant. The orientalist Friedrich Mayer also introduced him to the Upanishads and various Buddhist texts. Continuing his studies at the University of Berlin in 1811, Schopenhauer attended lectures by professed Kantians Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Schleiermacher. Schopenhauer resented what he considered to be their misinterpretation of Kant; thus he began a lifelong antagonism toward academic philosophy. Schopenhauer left Berlin when the Prussians rose against the French in 1813. He submitted his dissertation, Über die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde (On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason), to the University of Jena, where he graduated in 1813. The work was praised by Goethe, and Schopenhauer returned to Weimar to collaborate with him on a study of anti-Newtonian color theory. Goethe disapproved of Schopenhauer's manuscript, however, so Schopenhauer independently published Über das Sehn und die Farben in 1816. After quarreling with his mother, Schopenhauer left Weimar in 1814 and never saw her again. From 1814 to 1818 Schopenhauer lived in Dresden and wrote his most acclaimed work, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (The World as Will and Representation). The book garnered little critical interest when it was published in 1818, but with three of his works already published, Schopenhauer was awarded a lectureship in philosophy at the University of Berlin in 1820. Scheduling his lectures to coincide with those of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, whom he despised, Schopenhauer tried to discredit him and proselytize his admirers. Hegel was then at his most popular, however, and with no audience for Schopenhauer, he was soon dismissed. Schopenhauer lived in Italy for ten years before returning to Berlin to answer a charge of battery against a woman. He moved to Frankfiirt-am-Main in 1831 to escape a cholera epidemic—from which Hegel died—and rarely left Frankfurt after 1833. Schopenhauer continued to write and became fairly popular when he published Parerga und Paralipomena in 1851. Critical recognition followed, and by the time of his death in 1860, Schopenhauer was one of the best known philosophers in Europe.
Schopenhauer considered his first published work—Über die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde—to be the proper introduction to his thought. In it, Schopenhauer contended that human knowledge presupposes the unprovable assumption that everything must have a ground or reason. Schopenhauer's greatest achievement, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, published in 1818, outlines his contention that the world is but a phenomenal expression of the irrational and all-encompassing Will. The Will enslaves the human intellect to such impulses as the emotions, the sex drive, and the subconscious. According to Schopenhauer, people ought to transcend appearances through artistic contemplation and negate the Will through asceticism. Later works generally bolster his central metaphysical arguments. For example, his Über den Willen in der Natur (The Will in Nature) insists that his philosophy is supported by the empirical sciences, and Die beiden Grundprobleme der Ethik (On the Basis of Morality) addresses the problem of freedom and determinism. In 1844 he published a revised edition of Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, with fifty supplementary chapters, almost doubling the size of the 1818 edition.
Critics largely ignored Schopenhauer's writings until late in his life. The essays of Parerga und Paralipomena were more approachable than the intimidating Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung and appealed to popular pessimistic sentiment. Positive reviews, especially a Westminster Review article from 1853, popularized Schopenhauer's philosophy and evinced favorable reactions throughout Europe. Schopenhauer's main influence thus was posthumous, but appealed to such artists, cultural critics, and philosophers as Thomas Mann, Friedrich Nietzsche, Leo Tolstoy, Richard Wagner, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Although twentieth-century analytic philosophers have shown little interest, Schopenhauer infused modern thought with a pessimism and irrationalism that helped shape nineteenth- and twentieth-century letters.
Über die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde: Eine philosophische Abhandlung [On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason] (philosophy) 1813
Über das Sehn und die Farben: Eine Abhandlung (philosophy) 1816
Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung: Vier Bücher, nebst einem Anhange, der die Kritik der Kantischen Philosophie enthält [The World as Will and Idea; also published as The World as Will and Representation] (philosophy) 1818; revised edition, 1844
Über den Willen in der Natur: Eine Erörterung der Bestätigungen, welch die Philosophie des Verfassers, seit ihrem Auftreten, durch die empirischen Wissenschaften erhalten hat [The Will in Nature: An Account of the Corroborations Received by the Author's Philosophy from the Empirical Sciences; also published as "On the Will in Nature"] (philosophy) 1836
Die beiden Grundprobleme der Ethik, behandelt in zwei akademischen Preisschriften [On the Freedom of the Will and On the Basis of Morality] (philosophy) 1841
Parerga und Paralipomena: Kleine philosophische Schriften [Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays] (philosophy) 1851
Arthur Schopenhauers sämmtliche Werke (philosophy) 1873-74
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SOURCE: "Iconoclasm in German Philosophy," in The Westminster Review, Vol. III, No. 2, January 1, 1853, pp. 388-407.
[An English critic and playwright, Oxenford was a well-known translator of Goethe when the following article appeared in The Westminster Review in 1853. One of the first writings to have introduced Schopenhauer to the English-speaking world, "Iconoclasm in German Philosophy" was also translated into German; it was widely read in Germany, sparked reactions in France and Italy, and garnered Schopenhauer a number of admirers. In the article, Oxenford outlines Schopenhauer's metaphysics, contextualizing Schopenhauer in relation to Kant and his academic contemporaries.]
Few, indeed, we venture to assert, will be those of our English readers who are familiar with the name of Arthur Schopenhauer. Fewer still will there be who are aware that the mysterious being owning that name has been working for something like forty years to subvert that whole system of German philosophy which has been raised by the university professors since the decease of Immanuel Kant, and that, after his long labour, he has just succeeded in making himself heard—wonderfully illustrating that doctrine in acoustics which shows how long an interval may elapse between the discharge of the cannon and the hearing of the report. And even still fewer will there be who are aware that Arthur Schopenhauer is one of the most...
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SOURCE: "Schopenhauer as Educator," translated by William Arrowsmith, in Unmodern Observations, edited by William Arrowsmith, Yale University Press, 1990, pp. 147-226.
[One of the most important figures of the nineteenth century, Nietzsche was, among other things, a forerunner of existentialism, the first philosopher to recognize nihilism as a historical phenomenon, and an influential psychological theorist. In the following excerpt, which was originally published in 1874, Nietzsche criticizes his academic contemporaries and insists that the true philosopher is one who, like Schopenhauer, explores "the suffering of truthfulness. "]
A traveler who had visited many countries and peoples and several continents, was asked what trait he had discovered to be common to all men, and replied: a tendency to laziness. Some will think that he might have answered more accurately and truthfully: they are all afraid. They hide behind customs and opinions. Basically every man knows quite well that he is on this earth only once, a unicum, and that no accident, however unusual, could ever again combine this wonderful diversity into the unity he is. He knows this, but hides it like a bad conscience. Why? From fear of his neighbor who demands convention and wraps himself inside it. But what compels an individual to fear his neighbor, to think and act as part of a herd, rather than joyously being himself? Modesty...
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SOURCE: "What Do Ascetic Ideals Mean?" in The Birth of Tragedy and The Genealogy of Morals, translated by Francis Golffing, Anchor Books, 1956, pp. 231-99.
[In the following excerpt from The Genealogy of Morals, which was originally published in 1887, Nietzsche contends that although Schopenhauer's aesthetic theory seemingly stresses disinterestedness, Schopenhauer instead considered art as a means to intellectual empowerment.]
Schopenhauer made use of the Kantian version of the esthetic problem, though he certainly did not look upon it with the eyes of Kant. Kant had thought he was doing an honor to art when, among the predicates of beauty, he gave prominence to those which flatter the intellect, i.e., impersonality and universality. This is not the place to inquire whether Kant did not attack the whole problem in the wrong way; all I wish to point out here is that Kant, like all philosophers, instead of viewing the esthetic issue from the side of the artist, envisaged art and beauty solely from the "spectator's" point of view, and so, without himself realizing it, smuggled the "spectator" into the concept of beauty. This would not have mattered too much had that "spectator" been sufficiently familiar to the philosophers of beauty, as a strong personal experience, a wealth of powerful impressions, aspirations, surprises, and transports in the esthetic realm. But I am afraid the opposite has...
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SOURCE: "Schopenhauer as a Critic of Religion," in The Andover Review, Vol. X, No. LV, July, 1888, pp. 1-23.
[In the following essay, Gardiner outlines and evaluates Schopenhauer's objections to religion and explores his life to suggest some factors that may have sparked his anti-religious fervor.]
[In James Martineau's A Study of Religion (1888),] the story is told of an eminent English Positivist, that, listening to an account of the argument in Mr. Fiske's Destiny of Man, he gave silent attention until the inference was being drawn of personal immortality, when he brake in with the exclamation: "What! John Fiske say that? Well; it only proves what I have always maintained, that you cannot make the slightest concession to metaphysics without ending in a theology!"
Whatever truth there may be in the opinion thus expressed that metaphysics culminates, by a logical necessity, in theology, it is certain that every system of metaphysics is bound, by the very nature of its pretensions, to assume some definite attitude towards religion. For religion and metaphysics both concern themselves, in the last resort, with essentially the same objects, having both alike to do with ultimate reality and human destiny, on which profoundest of themes each, in its own way, professes to give to man the profoundest views attainable. Rightly, therefore, will the question be put to metaphysics...
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SOURCE: "Translator's Preface," in The Wisdom of Life, Being the First Part of Arthur Schopenhauer's Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit, by Arthur Schopenhauer, translated by T. Bailey Saunders, S. Sonnenschein & Co., 1890, pp. v-xxvi.
[In the following essay, Saunders comments on Schopenhauer's pessimism.]
Of Schopenhauer—as of many another writer—it may be said that he has been misunderstood and depreciated just in the degree in which he is thought to be new; and that, in treating of the Conduct of Life, he is, in reality, valuable only in so far as he brings old truths to remembrance. His name used to arouse, and in certain quarters still arouses, a vague sense of alarm; as though he had come to subvert all the rules of right thinking and all the principles of good conduct, rather than to proclaim once again and give a new meaning to truths with which the world has long been familiar. Of his philosophy in its more technical aspects, as matter upon which enough, perhaps, has been written, no account need be taken here, except as it affects the form in which he embodies these truths or supplies the fresh light in which he sees them. For whatever claims to originality his metaphysical theory may possess, the chief interest to be found in his views of life is an affair of form rather than of substance; and he stands in a sphere of his own, not because he sets new problems or opens up undiscovered...
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SOURCE: "Schopenhauer," in The Spirit of Modern Philosophy, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1920, pp. 228-64.
[Royce was an American philosopher whose works include The World and the Individual (1900) and Lectures on Modern Idealism (1919). Royce's neo-Hegelian idealism conceives of reality as fragmentary manifestations of an absolute mind; only when the individual understands the unity of the ideal absolute can perfection be attained. In the following excerpt from a lecture originally published in 1892, Royce contextualizes Schopenhauer's metaphysics with regard to idealism versus realism and evaluates Schopenhauer in relation to Hegel.]
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SOURCE: "The Positive Aspects of the System," in Schopenhauer's System in Its Philosophical Significance, William Blackwood and Sons, 1896, pp. 486-521.
[In the following excerpt, Caldwell outlines Schopenhauer's unique metaphilosophy.]
What is significant for philosophy in Schopenhauer is not so much the mere principle of will, which he sought to substitute for the idea of rationalistic metaphysic, as the simple fact of the attempted substitution. Strictly speaking, life cannot be grasped by thought as reducible, in the way of the old ontology, to some one or two entities. Whenever Schopenhauer talks of the will as if it were a thing in itself, we become distrustful of him. The chief safeguard of the will as a principle in philosophy lies in the fact of its being an impulse or an attempt, a fusion of all actual and imaginable entities into one grand effort to become all reality. The mind, in trying to grasp reality, must grasp it expansively and broadly and freely as something that is continually changing and evolving—must grasp it, in short, as an effort after a fuller and richer life. In doing so, it will become conscious of the fact that the very effort to attain to a philosophical synthesis of things is nothing that possesses an absolute significance in itself, nothing in connection with which we should look for definite returns or results, but is rather itself to be construed as...
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SOURCE: "Schopenhauer as an Evolutionist," in The Monist, Vol. XXI, No. 2, 1911, pp. 195-222.
[In the following essay, Lovejoy contends that Schopenhauer, especially in his later writings, proposes doctrines akin to Darwin's evolution.]
The Absolute of the philosophy of Schopenhauer is notoriously one of the most complicated of all known products of metaphysical synthesis. Under the single, and in some cases highly inappropriate, name of "the Will" are merged into an ostensible identity conceptions of the most various character and the most diverse historic antecedents. The more important ingredients of the compound may fairly easily be enumerated. The Will is, in the first place, the Kantian "thing-in-itself," the residuum which is left after the object of knowledge has been robbed of all of the "subjective" forms of time and space and relatedness. It is also the Atman of the Vedantic monism, the entity which is describable solely in negative predicates, though at the same time it is declared to sum up all of the genuine reality that there is in this rich and highly colored world of our illusory experience. The Will is, again, the "Nature" of Goethe; it is the "vital force" of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century vitalists in biology; and it is even the physical body of man and animals, in contrast with the mind. It is likewise the absolutely alogical element in reality, the "non-rational...
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SOURCE: An introduction to The Philosophy of Schopenhauer, edited by Irwin Edman, The Modern Library, 1928, pp. v-xiv.
[Edman has edited works by Plato, Schopenhauer, and John Dewey. In the following excerpt, Edman comments on Schopenhauer's writing style and popular appeal.]
The popularity of Schopenhauer with a large unacademic public is easily explained. Part of the explanation is to be found in the extraordinarily vivacious and luxurious discourse that was his medium. He is one of the great German prose writers, and even in translation there is the tang of sense, the pungency of realistic observation in his pages. But there is something more. He seems to the reflective layman to have hit upon the inner essence and divined the essential tragedy of human existence. His philosophy is not the closet dialectic of the schools, though even in the dialectical branches of thought he is nobody's fool; it is philosophy in the old and appealing meaning of wisdom of life. The plain man here recognises something he has long felt and never articulated. This philosophy is the alert, half-sad, half-cynical harvest of a candid eye. That is why lawyers and men of the world, acquainted with the disillusioned realms of experience, why adolescents just waking up from their own dreams, have found in Schopenhauer a philosophy they could feel at home with. Schopenhauer's philosophy is the Pathétique Symphony of...
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SOURCE: "Schopenhauer," in Essays of Three Decades, translated by H. T. Lowe-Porter, Alfred A. Knopf, 1947, pp. 372-410.
[Mann was a German novelist, short story and novella writer, essayist, and critic who acknowledged a deep indebtedness to Schopenhauer's philosophy. In the following essay, Mann overviews Schopenhauer's metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics and evaluates their historical significance.]
The Pleasure we take in a metaphysical system, the gratification purveyed by the intellectual organization of the world into a closely reasoned, complete, and balanced structure of thought, is always of a pre-eminently Æsthetic kind. It flows from the same source as the joy, the high and ever happy satisfaction we get from art, with its power to shape and order its material, to sort out life's manifold confusions so as to give us a clear and general view.
Truth and beauty must always be referred the one to the other. Each by itself, without the support given by the other, remains a very fluctuating value. Beauty that has not truth on its side and cannot have reference to it, does not live in it and through it, would be an empty chimera—and "What is truth?" Our conceptions, created out of the phenomenal world, out of a highly conditioned point of view, are, as a critical and discriminating philosophy admits, applicable in an immanent, not in a transcendent sense. The subject-matter of...
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SOURCE: "The Moral Gospel of Pessimism," in The Moral Ideals of Our Civilization, E. P. Dutton & Co., 1942, pp. 389-405.
[In the following excerpt, Tsanoff outlines Schopenhauer 's criticisms of Kant's moral law and contrasts Schopenhauer's "pessimistic ethics of redemption" with Kant's a priori metaphysic of morals.]
In [Schopenhauer's] view of human life, a life of insatiate greeds preying on each other, of wretched and futile desires, what meaning could morality have? A moral philosophy which ignored these basic facts of human nature and motivation would be vain irrelevance. In the fourth book of The World as Will and Idea Schopenhauer, probing the dismal outcome of his metaphysics of the Will-to-live, had traced the large outlines of a pessimistic ethics of redemption. In his work The Basis of Morality, he takes up more systematically this problem: "Is the fountain and basis of Morals to be sought for in an idea of morality which lies directly in the consciousness (or conscience), and in the analysis of the other ethical conceptions which arise from it? or is it to be sought in some other source of knowledge?" This question is ostensibly the same as that which had confronted Kant in his Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals, and Schopenhauer's first task was accordingly a criticism of the Kantian ethics. Despite his manner of treatment,...
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SOURCE: "Schopenhauer," in A History of Western Philosophy, and Its Connection with Political and Social Circumstances from the Earliest Times to the Present Day, Simon and Schuster, 1945, pp. 753-59.
[One of the preeminent thinkers of the twentieth century, Russell wrote a number of important works in philosophy, including Principia Mathematica (1910-13), a highly influential study in mathematical logic that he co-authored with Alfred North Whitehead. In the following essay, Russell briefly describes Schopenhauer's life and the relative importance of his ideas in the history of philosophy.]
Schopenhauer (1788-1860) is in many ways peculiar among philosophers. He is a pessimist, whereas almost all the others are in some sense optimists. He is not fully academic, like Kant and Hegel, nor yet completely outside the academic tradition. He dislikes Christianity, preferring the religions of India, both Hinduism and Buddhism. He is a man of wide culture, quite as much interested in art as in ethics. He is unusually free from nationalism, and as much at home with English and French writers as with those of his own country. His appeal has always been less to professional philosophers than to artistic and literary people in search of a philosophy that they could believe. He began the emphasis on Will which is characteristic of much nineteenth- and twentieth-century philosophy; but for him Will, though...
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SOURCE: "Schopenhauer, Other Thinkers, Christianity," in Arthur Schopenhauer: Philosopher of Pessimism, 1946. Reprint by Search Press, 1975, pp. 190-212.
[Professor emeritus at the University of London, Copleston is a highly respected historian of philosophy who is best known for his nine-volume History of Philosophy (1946-1974). In the following excerpt from his book-length study of Schopenhauer, first published in 1946, Copleston argues that Schopenhauer's ontology precludes interpretation as an evolutionary system and that his ethics and psychology are internally inconsistent.]
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SOURCE: "The Cult of the Irrational: Schopenhauer: Nietzsche," in Politics and Opinion in the Nineteenth Century: An Historical Introduction, Oxford University Press, Inc., 1954, pp. 365-81.
[Bowle wrote a number of studies of European history and politics, including Western Political Thought (1947) and The Unity of European History (1948). In the following excerpt, Bowle outlines Schopenhauer's political philosophy.]
The introspection displayed by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche was already apparent in Herder and Hegel and the Romantic writers of their day. As this romanticism developed, it had often achieved benevolence and sensibility—in hatred of oppression, humanitarian reform, the championship of small nationalities, the emancipation of the slaves. But there was another side to the picture; the obsession with self, the cult of farouche egotism, of utter despair.
It could, of course, prove politically demoralizing. When this romanticism, and its disillusionment, was bound up with philosophy, and when that philosophy was German, sad results might be expected. Driven to its logical conclusion, the new outlook could lead not to the transcendental humanism of Hegel, that heady substitute for religion, but to a blistering atheism and a suicidal despair. Life, it could be argued by soured romantics, was intrinsically evil; love was a cheat; politics a game for fools....
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SOURCE: "The Bourgeois Irrationalism of Schopenhauer's Metaphysics," in Schopenhauer: His Philosophical Achievement, edited by Michael Fox, The Harvester Press, Sussex, 1980, pp. 183-93.
[A Hungarian literary critic and philosopher, Lukács is a leading proponent of Marxist thought. In the following excerpt, which originally appeared in his The Destruction of Reason (1954), Lukács contends that Schopenhauer's "purification" of Kant and his resulting idealism effect complacency toward social improvement and pacifies objectors to the established capitalist order.]
It is a well-established fact that on all crucial philosophical questions, Kant occupies a shifting, equivocal position. With matchless lucidity Lenin characterized Kant's position between materialism and idealism [in Materialismus und Empiriokritizismus, 1952]:
The basic feature of Kantian philosophy is the reconciling of materialsim and idealism, a compromise between the two, a systematic binding together of heterogeneous, mutually contradictory philosophical orientations. When Kant assumes that something outside of us, some thing-in-itself corresponds to our ideas, he is a materialist. When he states that this thing-in-itself is unknowable, transcendent and from the Beyond, he is making an idealist stand. By acknowledging experiences and sensations as our sole source of knowledge he...
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SOURCE: "Schopenhauer Today," translated by Robert Kolben, in The Critical Spirit: Essays in Honor of Herbert Marchuse, edited by Kurt H. Wolff and Barrington Moore, Jr., Beacon Press, 1967, pp. 55-71.
[Horkheimer was a German-born American sociologist and philosopher. In the following essay, which was originally delivered as a lecture on the one-hundredth anniversary of Schopenhauer's death, Horkheimer addresses Schopenhauer's philosophies of history and politics, declaring that "Schopenhauer is the teacher for modern times. "]
Arthur Schopenhauer regarded fame with no less detachment than the majority of thinkers who finally gained it. Public recognition left him so indifferent that when he partook of it at last he did not even have to belittle it, either to himself or to others. He could relish the signs of future veneration and even succumb to the temptation of agreeing with Seneca's optimistic judgment that fame follows merit unfailingly. What great respect for the course of history! Only rarely did the philosopher show so much confidence in the verdict of a humanity, whose cultural decline he prophetically thought more plausible than its progress. As if there could be any certainty that among those forgotten there were no great men: indeed, hardly any age has demonstrated the universality of forgetting as clearly as has the present. In spite of our infinitely refined instruments of perception and...
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SOURCE: "The Possibility of Metaphysics," in Schopenhauer: His Philosophical Achievement, edited by Michael Fox, The Harvester Press, Sussex, 1980, pp. 37-49.
[Gardiner is an English critic, editor, and educator. In the following essay, which originally appeared in his Schopenhauer (1963), Gardiner examines Schopenhauer's distinction between philosophy and religion, and describes his approach to characterizing the Ding an sich.]
'A Man becomes a philosopher by reason of a certain perplexity, from which he seeks to free himself . . . But what distinguishes the false philosopher from the true is this: the perplexity of the latter arises from the contemplation of the world itself, while that of the former results from some book, some system of philosophy which lies before him.' Schopenhauer was not alone in characterizing the metaphysical frame of mind as being essentially one of original perplexity or (as he refers to it elsewhere) wonder; wonder 'concerning the world and our own existence, inasmuch as these press upon the intellect as a riddle, the solution of which therefore occupies mankind without intermission.' To be impressed by the fact that things are as they are and not otherwise, to find it strange or marvellous that there should be anything at all: this, Schopenhauer and others have wished to insist, is the mark of a certain type of outlook, a certain type of temperament, not shared by...
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SOURCE: "Arthur Schopenhauer as a Critic of History," in Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. XXXVI, No. 2, April-June 1975, pp. 331-38.
[In the following essay, Gottfried examines Schopenhauer 's philosophy of history, contrasting it with that of Hegel and the Judeo-Christian tradition.]
During the second half of the nineteenth century, educated Europeans, particularly Germans, respected Schopenhauer primarily as a formal philosopher and stylist. His most enthusiastic readers also knew that he was interested in history, and his most fervent admirers defended his views on this subject. György Lukács, the Marxist scholar, with much justification, speaks of him as "the intellectual leader of the German bourgeoisie" in the generation following 1848. The spoiled revolutions of that year supposedly destroyed the idealism of many liberal reformers. At the same time, those capitalists who feared the possibility of a proletariat uprising, searched for antisocial ideologies. Both groups rejected the Hegelianism still dominant in the German universities and spurned its paradigm of a rationally organized society. Moreover, they declared their belief in Schopenhauerian pessimism, which denied the feasibility of social improvement and the rationality of man.
While this explanation for Schopenhauer's fame may be clearly jaundiced, it raises some points worthy of consideration. The master himself,...
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Cartwright, David. "An English-Language Bibliography of Works on Schopenhauer." Schopenhauer—Jahrbuch 68 (1987): 257-66.
Bibliography of Schopenhauer criticism written in English.
Cartwright, David, and Luft, Eric von der. "Bibliographies." In Schopenhauer: New Essays in Honor of His 200th Birthday, edited by Eric von der Luft, pp. 327-404. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1988.
Bibliographies of Schopenhauer's works through 1988 and an extensive selection of recommended secondary material.
Hübscher, Arthur. Schopenhauer—Bibliographic Stuttgart-Bad Canstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 1981, 331 p.
German bibliography of Schopenhauer criticism, concentrating on his aesthetics and his influence on later literary figures.
Laban, Ferdinand. Die Schopenhauer-Literatur. Bersuch einer chronologischen Übersicht derselben. 1880. Reprint. New York: Burt Franklin, 1970, 123 p.
German bibliography of Schopenhauer's writings, and biographies and critical articles on Schopenhauer, arranged chronologically through 1880.
Bridgwater, Patrick. Arthur Schopenhauer's English...
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