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Arthur Schopenhauer

German Philosopher


Lifetime: 1788 - 1860 Passed: ≈ 162 years ago

Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher born on February 22, 1788, in Danzig (present-day Gdańsk, Poland). He is best known for his work "The World as Will and Representation", which was published in 1818 and expanded upon in 1844. In this work, he argues that the world is driven by a blind and irrational force that he called "will to live", which manifests in the human desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain.


Schopenhauer's philosophy was heavily influenced by Eastern thought, particularly the Upanishads and Buddhist teachings. He believed that the world was filled with suffering and that the only way to escape this suffering was through a form of asceticism, which involved a denial of the will to live. He argued that the ultimate goal of human life was to achieve a state of detachment from the world, a state of inner peace and contentment that he called "enlightenment".


One interesting detail worth mentioning about Schopenhauer is that he was a lifelong animal rights advocate and was one of the first philosophers to argue for the ethical treatment of animals. He believed that all beings, including animals, were driven by the same blind and irrational force, and that they deserved to be treated with respect and dignity.


Schopenhauer was famous for his pessimistic views on life and his rejection of the idea of progress. He believed that the world was full of suffering, and that human beings were driven by a blind and irrational force that they could not control. Despite this, he was also known for his witty and often humorous writing style, which made his philosophy accessible to a wider audience.


Some of Schopenhauer's notable works include "The World as Will and Representation", "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason", and "Parerga and Paralipomena". He also wrote several essays on a wide range of subjects, including aesthetics, ethics, and the nature of love.


Schopenhauer died on September 21, 1860, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He is remembered as one of the most important figures in 19th-century philosophy and as a pioneering figure in the study of the will and the nature of human desire. His ideas have had a significant impact on a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, literature, and the arts.

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Books by Arthur Schopenhauer