e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Philosophers - Schopenhauer Arthur (Books)

  Back | 21-40 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

21. The Two Fundamental Problems of
22. The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer
23. The Essential Schopenhauer: Key
24. Schopenhauer Selections
25. On the Basis of Morality
26. On the Fourfold Root of the Principle
27. Essay on the Freedom of the Will
28. On Human Nature
29. Arthur Schopenhauer: Knowledge
30. The Cambridge Companion to Schopenhauer
31. Schopenhauer and the Wild Years
32. In Search of Schopenhauer's Cat:
33. The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer;
34. Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction
35. Arthur Schopenhauer: Philosopher
36. Parerga and Paralipomena: Short
37. The Horrors and Absurdities of
38. Manuscript Remains, Vol. 4: The
39. The Art of Literature and The
40. Suffering, Suicide and Immortality:

21. The Two Fundamental Problems of Ethics (Oxford World's Classics)
by Arthur Schopenhauer, David Cartwright, Edward E. Erdmann, Christopher Janaway
Paperback: 304 Pages (2010-06-11)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$8.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199297223
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
These two important essays show Schopenhauer at his most accessible, offering two self-contained and clearly argued contributions to ethical theory, published here in a new translation that preserves Schopenhauer's style in a lucid and engaging way. This is also the only paperback edition to publish both essays together. Schopenhauer argues, in uniquely powerful prose, that self-consciousness gives the illusion of freedom and that human actions are determined, but that we rightly feel guilt because our actions issue from our essential individual character.He locates moral value in the virtues of loving kindness and voluntary justice that spring from the fundamental incentive of compassion.Morality's basis is ultimately metaphysical, resting on an intuitive identification of the self with all other striving and suffering beings. The Introduction by leading Schopenhauer scholar Christopher Janaway gives a clear summary of the argument of the essays in the context of Schopenhauer's life and works and the history of ethics in the modern period. The volume includes helpful notes, up-to-date bibliography, and a full index. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Warning on Paperback edition
The paperback edition listed here by Amazon is not the same edition as the Cambridge University Press hardcover translated by Janaway. Rather, the paperback is a completely different edition from Oxford University Press translated by David Cartwright and Edward Erdmann. The scholarly apparatus attached to the Cambridge UP edition is a little more detailed, as you might expect given the price. Both translations are an improvement, from a strictly philosophical perspective, over the Payne translations of these two Schopenhauer essays. ... Read more

22. The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Hardcover: Pages (1945)

Asin: B000N4510W
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Essays of Schopenhauer including "Wisdom of Life", "Art of Controversy", "Studies in Pessimism", "Art of Literature", "Councils and Maxims on Human Nature" and "Religion". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars Mistake in Table of Contents
I agree with the previous comment (Platon), except that there is a serious and confusing mistake in the Table of Contents where it lists "The Art of Controversy (also known as Counsels and Maxims).They are not the same, and "Counsels and Maxims" is not included here.The other editions so far do not have TOC's that can be used to navigate the text.This is the only edition I've seen so far where the TOC let's you navigate the text.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best so far
This is the best Schopenhauer for the Kindle so far. The formatting is good, as are the essays (particularly "The Wisdom of Life"). Unfortunately, these are minor works. We are still waiting for acceptable editions of (both volumes of) The World as Will and Representation. ... Read more

23. The Essential Schopenhauer: Key Selections from The World As Will and Representation and Other Writings
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 368 Pages (2010-11-01)
list price: US$15.99 -- used & new: US$10.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061768243
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

A new, comprehensive English anthology

What is the meaning of life? How should I live? Is there any purpose to the universe? Generations have turned to the great German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer for answers to such essential questions of existence. His influence has extended not only to later philosophers—Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein among them—but also to musicians, artists, and important novelists such as Tolstoy, Thomas Mann, and Proust.

The Essential Schopenhauer, the most comprehensive English anthology now available of this seminal thinker’s writings, will open English readers to Schopenhauer’s profound ideas. Selected by Wolfgang Schirmacher, president of the International Schopenhauer Association, The Essential Schopenhauer is an invaluable and accessible introduction to Schopenhauer’s powerful body of work.

... Read more

24. Schopenhauer Selections
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 132 Pages (2010-09-17)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1926842200
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 - 21 September 1860) was a Germanphilosopher known for his pessimismand philosophical clarity. At age 25, he published his doctoral dissertation, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which examined the fundamental question of whether reason alone can unlock answers about the world.Schopenhauer's most influential work, The World as Will and Representation, emphasized the role of man's basic motivation, which Schopenhauer called will. His analysis of will led him to the conclusion that emotional, physical, and sexual desires can never be fulfilled. Consequently, he favored a lifestyle of negating human desires, similar to the teachings of ancient Greek Stoic philosophers, Buddhism, and Vedanta.Schopenhauer's metaphysical analysis of will, his views on human motivation and desire, and his aphoristic writing style influenced many well-known thinkers including Friedrich Nietzsche,Richard Wagner, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Erwin Schrödinger, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Otto Rank, Carl Gustav Jung, Leo Tolstoy, and Jorge Luis Borges. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars only dreamers can call him pessimistic
how dare to call Schopenhauer pessimistic in todays world after Vietnam, Iraq I and II , Enron, PGE, Lehmann, Goldman Sachs and all the other fumbles.
Only a dreamer not standing firmly with his feet on the ground of our world today has such a blurred vision. In fact particularly today his views of the world
are more realistic than 200 years ago, wake up dreamers! ... Read more

25. On the Basis of Morality
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 226 Pages (1998-09-01)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$11.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0872204421
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Interest in Schopenhauer has increased noticeably in recent years. Published here is one of his key works, which has been out of print for a long time, in the form of Payne's definitive translation. This work is one of the most significant nineteenth century treatises on ethics. It is also Schopenhauer's most extended discussion of traditional themes in ethics and presents a descriptive ethics radically at odds with rationally based, prescriptive ethical theories. Schopenhauer begins this book with a wide-ranging critique of Kant's ethics, one that anticipates the work of contemporary critics of modern moral philosophy like that of G E M Anscombe, Philippa Foot, and Richard Taylor. Schopenhauer argues that compassion is the basis of morality, and in so doing presents a virtue ethics in which passion and desire are viewed as the keys for explaining different moral characters, behaviours, and world views. In the concluding part of his essay, Schopenhauer sketches his metaphysics of morals, using Kant's transcendental idealism as a ground for stressing both the interconnectiveness of being and the affinity of his ethics to Eastern thought. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars BOBWIRE
Excellent read, but deep.I recommend that this treatise be read slowly.Reader should have a basic understanding of Kantian Ethics prior to reading this refutation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Schopenhauer's Basis for Morality
I would just like to agree with the above reviewer in saying that Schopenhauer's philosophy outshines just about any other from the 19th century.Many praise Schopenhauer's writing style or his wonderful prose, but I cannot honestly say that I think every word of Schopenhauer is valuable.His ideas are worth more than diamonds, but I find that a lot of his writing can be a bit flowery.In the Basis of Morality, Schopenhauer does quite a bit of wandering and I find it hard to stay interested when he starts critisising Kant.However, that being said, I managed to find his statement of compassion in about 1-2 sentences somewhere in the middle, and it is the best explanation of compassoin that I have found yet.To sum up in a sentence, as pointed out correctly by the above reviewer, since we are simply instances of will in living organisms, which are basically material imbued with the 'spark' or 'will' of life, compassion is simply the recognition that there is No Difference between us and any other life form, becuase we are all of the same living will.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Beautiful Book
The nineteenth century produced many different systems of ethics. While Kant, Nietzsche, Mill, and Hegel all contributed greatly to ethical thought, the greatest contribution, in my opinion, came from Arthur Schopenhauer.

On the Basis of Morality is not only a beautifully written book; it's quite simply, in my estimation, the most convincing (and humane) exposition on ethics that I've ever read. Schopenhauer's rightly hailed literary style is especially lucid here, and On the Basis of Morality is much more of an immediately digestible read as compared to The World as Will and Representation.

Schopenhauer's elegant polemic against Kant's ethics of duty, i.e. the categorical imperative, is very effective. Schopenhauer deconstructs Kant's rational ethics with such prodding efficiency that it's amazing that Schopenhauer isn't mentioned more frequently as a corrective to Kant's ethical thought. Schopenhauer also makes it a point to mention that Kant's ethics rely heavily on theism, albeit in a clandestine way. Schopenhauer's ethical thought is atheistic to the core.

The main thesis that Schopenhauer argues is that the basis of morality is compassion. In other words, the vast majority of so-called "moral" acts that we commit are in fact nothing of the sort. They are merely self-interested acts that we perform to either do what we are supposed to do, or because we will receive some sort of compensation. Schopenhauer's definition is quite different: only completely altruistic acts are moral.

Another aspect of On the Basis of Morality that I find so appealing is that it mixes Kant's transcendental idealism with a Buddhist sense of compassion for all sentient beings. Schopenhauer appropriated Kant's idealism of the thing-in-itself, and he defines that as a blind will to live that permeates all things. Therefore, everything is interconnected via the Will. Schopenhauer reiterates that true morality is compassion for ALL living beings, not humans alone. Schopenhauer was very much ahead of his time in this respect.

This is currently out of print, which is truly a shame. It's a great book by a great philosopher, and it deserves to be read.

... Read more

26. On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason (Dodo Press)
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 184 Pages (2008-10-16)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$9.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1409924378
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was a German philosopher best known for his work The World as Will and Representation. He responded to and expanded upon Immanuel Kant’s philosophy concerning the way in which we experience the world. His critique of Kant, his creative solutions to the problems of human experience and his explication of the limits of human knowledge are among his most important achievements. His metaphysical theory is the foundation of his influential writings on psychology, aesthetics, ethics, and politics which influenced Friedrich Nietzsche, Wagner, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Sigmund Freud and others. He said he was influenced by the Upanishads, Immanuel Kant, and Plato. References to Eastern philosophy and religion appear frequently in his writing. He appreciated the teachings of the Buddha and even called himself a Buddhaist. He said that his philosophy could not have been conceived before these teachings were available. He called himself a Kantian. He formulated a pessimistic philosophy that gained importance and support after the failure of the German and Austrian revolutions of 1848. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars If you could only read one phylosophy book, this would be a good choice
I came to this book through a winding road. I was out of new books to take at work with me and the idea of having to spend the day actually working without the chance to transfer at least my mind somewhere else was unbearable, so I opened a case of old books and took out something at random, which revealed itself to be a collection of writings about the primacy of the will over reason by Schopenhauer - a book which I had received as a gift seven years before. Apparently at the time I didn't have the right bag of experiences to appreciate Schopenhauer, but this time it really hit, and after that I decided I had to read his magnum opus, The World as Will and Representation. After reading the introduction and several reviews, I got the feeling that of the various prerequisites the author himself prescribes to be able to fully understand his work there was at least one that could not be skipped without depreciating the whole experience, and it was to read Schopenhauer's doctoral thesis: "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason".

I had never ever heard of this book before, so I guess that it's not well known outside the circle of full-time philosophy students, and that's a shame. Compared to better known works it's exceptionally clear and enjoyable, and still it builds an essential, solid framework that will probably become one of the most useful tools in your mental arsenal. After reading it I caught myself using it in many different circumstances; it made me reconsider a lot of problems leading to a view where everything simply fell into its place. This came naturally, almost without even realizing that I was applying it... I think I can't say more to vouch for the simple beauty of this system.

The "sufficient reason" is a relation that presents itself in the various realms in which our mind operates and that ties the objects of such realms between themselves. It appears in a different form for each of those realms (for example as cause-and-effect in the material world, and as logical consequence in the world of concepts) but with a consistency that makes it a perfect candidate to be the swiss army knife of idealism. Indeed this book can be seen as a no-nonsense presentation of idealism using the idea of sufficient reason as its principle.

"On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason" can be read in one day, doesn't need any prior knowledge, and I couldn't even make a complete list of how many benefits it brings, although I'd like at least to mention two:

-The ability to see the bases of the scientific method (logic and experience) united as different aspects of the same principle, or even to take it further and have a single idea that in a practical way unifies "objective" and "subjective" reasoning

-The verbal/logical advantage to be able to distinguish between the different meanings the word "why" can have. I would like to believe that it is so obvious that this remark will get people laughing, but as sad as it is, I've noticed that most people never think about it and that allows them to fall prey of rhetoric persuasion, or to spend emotional and mental efforts with paradoxes whose flaw becomes immediately clear once one can question that meaning

1-0 out of 5 stars A FRUSTRATING edition of an essential philosophical master piece
The reviews so far have covered all that needs to be said of substance for practical purposes.

I will just add, with emphasis, that this is a terrible translation.

The "Open Court Classics" translation is much, much better.

1. In this "Dodo Press" edition, there are no translations of the latin.The Open Court ed. has them, with the added benefit of their being in the main body of text; no need to flip back-and-forth constantly to the back of the book.

2. This edition (Dodo press) has so many errors, its frustrating to say the least!
Its as if no one bothered editing the book at all! I mean this literally: this is the only explanation as to how lines of gibberish could be printed, such as, "% No# .? ^& % Il #?",etc.)

Great book, bad edition.Don't buy this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Open Court Classics edition translates all quotations Schopenhauer cites
I have nothing substantial to add to earlier reviews except to point out that the translator, E. F. J. Payne, has systematically translated all of Schopenhauer's many comments, quotations, and the like, into English. If Schopenhauer uses, for example, an importantLatin word or phrase, this may be left in the text but is footnoted and translated at the end of the chapter. Quotations from Greek, Latin, etc. are given in English in the text, footnoted, and the original provided at the end of the chapter.

This makes Payne's translation useful for both students and scholars. While a student in the 19th century had to be fluent in Latin, Greek, etc. (mainly because most of this literature had not yet been translated into a modern language), now in the early 21st century it is rare for even a professional philosopher to know Latin, let alone Greek, etc. Specialists on the other hand may need to refer to the original language of a quote for various reasons, and here this Open Court edition serves admirably. Again, a most useful edition, in my professional opinion.

4-0 out of 5 stars hard to find
Right for the price (if under 20$). Type set is large, no eye strain to be encountered.

1-0 out of 5 stars Good Book, Cosimo Classics=Bad Translation
I bought the Cosimo Classics edition of "on the fourfold root" (its the pink one) and basically there is on major problem with this copy, there are entire passages that Schopenhauer uses from other philosophers that are left completely untranslated, rendering null any ability to make sense of an already not too easy volume (that is of course unless you know latin, french, german, etc...) ... Read more

27. Essay on the Freedom of the Will (Philosophical Classics) (Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences Winner)
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 128 Pages (2005-05-06)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$3.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486440117
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The winning entry in a competition held by the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences, Schopenhauer's 1839 essay brought its author international recognition. Its brilliant and elegant treatments of free will and determinism elevated it to a classic of Western philosophy, and its penetrating reflections still remain relevant.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thought-Provoking Discussion on Freedom of the Will
I really enjoyed this essay. I have always been interested in the freedom of the will problem and I thought that this essay provided a good description of the problem and some very interesting discussion. Schopenhauer writes very clearly and in a manner that kept me interested throughout the hundred pages of the essay. Schopenhauer starts out with a consideration of what is meant by "freedom of the will." He considers the statement that "I can do what I will" to be irrelevant to the question of freedom of the will since he says that "...the will is already presupposed...for it assumes that the will has already been decided." He goes on to say, "The assertion does not at all speak about the dependence or independence of the occurrence of the act of volition itself."

The real question that Schopenhauer seems to be interested in is whether an individual can will what he or she wills; he does not think that this is the case. Schopenhauer arrives at the opinion that "...man's will is his authentic self, the true core of his being...he himself is as he wills and wills as he is" such that, "You can do what you will, but in any given moment of your life you can will only one definite thing and absolutely nothing other than that one thing."He then goes on to talk about causality and what compels the will to act in one way or another (i.e., motives) always coming back to what he sees as a confusion when people use the fact that they can do what they will as an argument for free will. Schopenhauer argues that an individual's statement of "...`I can do this' is in reality a hypothetical and carries with it the additional clause, `if I did not prefer the other.' But this addition annuls the ability to will." Schopenhauer considers the notion of an uncaused cause to be unintelligible and at variance with observation. "If freedom of the will were presupposed, every human action would be an inexplicable miracle--an effect without a cause...here we are supposed to think something which determines without being determined, which depends on nothing, but on which the other depends."

One question that often comes up when talking about the absence of freedom of will is "What then happens to individual responsibility?" Schopenhauer answers this by saying that people are responsible for their own characters and that others judge individuals based on the outward signs (actions) that belie their inward character. "So the responsibility of which he is conscious falls upon the act only provisionally and ostensibly, but basically it falls upon his character--for this he feels responsible. And it is for his character that the others also make him responsible." So then Schopenhauer seems to be saying that people are judged based on their actions and underlying motives since these together show evidence of their true nature.

On a somewhat unrelated note, Schopenhauer's relationship with Hegel seems less than cordial as evidenced by his discussing Hegel's philosophical ponderings as "the emptiest word rubbish and silliest gallimathias [the word means nonsense or gibberish] that have ever been heard outside the insane asylum." For some reason, this passage made me laugh such that I wanted to include it in this review. It makes me thankful that my professional relationships have not yet reached such a level of colorful language. At any rate, I enjoyed this essay very much and would recommend it to others who are interested in a freedom of the will discussion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Schopenhauer at his best
We are free when we are able do what we want, that is, when we are not somehow impeded from doing what we will to do. But we decide what to do as a matter of causal necessity; otherwise, our actions would be random and senseless. The notion that we have the power to originate the causal chain by an act of will makes no sense; as Schopenhauer says, causation is not like a cab that you can start and stop wherever it helps your argument. As he notes, that point also defeats cosmological arguments about "prime movers" and "first causes." This is a great read, a chance to experience a first-class mind grappling with a difficult and interesting problem. Schopenhauer generally even avoids his usual bitter broadsides and against Schelling and Hegel and the sort of philosophizing they represent, although those are fun to read and generally on target. (He lost another, later prize because his essay in that case, although the only candidate for the prize, was so full of personal invective that the judges refused to make the award.)

Another reviewer correctly notes that Schopenhauer undermines his own argument at the last minute, or tries to, in a strange concluding chapter. There he argues that our feelings of personal responsibility for our actions points to freedom of some kind, a species of argument that he had earlier dismantled. Anyway, this freedom would have to exist beyond the empirical level, as his arguments have decisively eliminated any possibility of freedom there. The position Schopenhauer presents in that chapter involves the idea that we, somehow, choose our own characters at some mysterious point of emergence from the Kantian noumena. No commentator I have read has been able to make sense of it. In any case, it's completely skippable, a brief, tacked-on chapter that makes no difference for the rest of the book, which is very well worth reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not a case for determinism
The title of my review is a little misleading, so I'll be quick to explain. In fact, Schopenhauer does make a good case for determinim in his essay. However, there is something noteworthy I haven't seen in any of the reviews so far: At the end of the well-crafted essay, Schopenhauer -- well -- spoils it all. Having established the truth of determinism, he suddenly tries to justify free will. Yes, that's true. He appeals to a Kantian style idealism to try and convince the reader that we are ultimately morally responsible. He asserts that we have metaphysical free will because we FEEL our responsibility. His proclamation that this free will that we are supposed to have is a mystery is strikingly reminiscient of theistic statements like "God works in mysterious ways". This is just an example to illustrate the failure of Schopenhauer's case for free will. In order to defend his free will, "real free will", Schopenhauer is forced to resort to mere assertions. He can't explain why we have this free will or how it works, hence he calls it a mystery. If you are a determinist it may well be that you will feel a little betrayed or even outright disappointed after finishing the book. I give the book 4 stars nonetheless, because for the most part it IS a skillfully written defense of determinism. Schopenhauer should have laid aside his pen a couple of pages earlier than he did, that's all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Engaging, but open to question.
Almost everyone agrees that - here, Schopenhauer made a convincing case for denying free-will. Nevertheless, I would argue that if we look back to the influence Kant's work exerted on Schopenhauer, and review Schopenhauer's own remarks about the validity of empirical knowledge, it must surely be that Schopenhauer landed himself in difficulties. On his own reading of Kant's philosophy, and those parts of it which he incorporated into his own work, the 'willing' subject, sensu strictu, cannot be said to exist in space and time, but only to be working through those categories in the understanding.

If time and space are transcendentally ideal - as Schopenhauer asserted, following Kant, he ought to have known better than to locate the 'will' in time and space, when according to his own reckoning, 'time and space are in us.'

Kant distinguished here, between 'will' and 'willkuhr' - that is, the practical difference between the will grounded in the noumenon, and the will seen in its phenomenal or empirical
employment. Insofar as Schopenhauer adopted Kant's distinction between appearance and reality, viz. the ideality of time and space, it surely follows that by denying free-will, Schopenhauer was denying a key element in his own philosophy. In short, his argument against 'free-will' amounts to a simplistic observation - namely, 'your willing takes place in the empirical world. The empirical world is conditioned. Ergo, your willing is conditioned' - as if he had suddenly forgotten everything else said in his philosophy, about the ideality of time and space.

By arguing that 'free will' - in the empirical manifold, is simply comparative or relative - viz., when confronted with choices - Schopenhauer was stating the obvious. In this respect, Schopenhauer's position was not unlike that of certain early Buddhists, who almost made Buddhism into a form of determinism. To do that, they had to advocate a kind of empirical realism, while denying any reality to the 'pudgala.' But in actual fact, Schopenhauer's position vis-a-vis the ideality of the phenomenal world, more nearly resembled the Vijnanavada/Yocacara. What mattered to Kant (and what surely matters to anyone else, defending the case for free-will), is that considered as noumenon (i.e. our unconditioned nature), that which can initiate a new chain of events - in the phenomenal world, is not - in itself, phenomenal.

5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful examination of free will and determinism
For those who are convinced that determinism has been refuted (ie. Popper, Sartre, Kierkegarrd) it is quite obvious that they haven't read this essay because if they had they might put their own presuppositions about the validity of free will into question.
Schopenhauer does a fantastic job at dissecting the concept of the 'freedom of the will' by first showing that it cannot be proven from self-consciounsess. He follows this by meticulously distinguishing between the changes that occur in inorganic objects (cause), plants (stimulus), and animals(intuitive and particularly for humans, abstract motives). He points out that in regards to the automatic organic function of animals bodies, changes occur in the form of a "stimulus" but in willed actionmotivation is the cause (but not in the mechanical sense that the narrow definition of casaulity implies). Schopenhauer writes, in regards to motivation, "causality that passes through cognition... enters in the gradual scale of natural beings at that point where a being which is more complex, and thus has more manifold needs, was no longer able to satisfy them merely on the occasion of a stimulus that must be awaited, but had to be in a position to choose, seize, and even seek out the means of satisfaction."

Schopenhauer thinks that humans have "relative freedom" but that relative freedom is to act in accordance with the motives that are necessitated by the Will-- which in turn is the determining factor of human behavior. In humans the linkage of cause and effect is of a far greater distance than that of intuitive animals-- causing us to mistakingly exclude our behavior from the law of casaulity-- but in the end 'the Will' still determines actions by what he calls "sufficient necessitiy".

"For he (human beings) allows the motives repeatedly to try their strength on his will, one against the other. His will is thus put in the same position as that of a body that is acted on by different forces in opposite directions - until at last the decidedly strongest motive drives the others from the field and determines the will. This outcome is called decision and, as a result of the struggle, appears with complete necessity."

Unlike Sartre's treatise on freedom, which ultimately collapsed into obscurity and contradiction, Scophenhauer's rightly contends that a fixed essence is inborn (what we would today call DNA). In other words, it contradicts Sartre's saying that "existence precedes essence." For Schopenhauer, neither precedes the other. The two are inseparable. The expression of the essence can change through experience within the environment but the fundamental aspects of it remaininstrinsic to the organism (Genes/Biology). Schopenhauer responds to the proponents of absolute free will, who haven't carefully analyzed what it means for the 'will' to be free, by writing: "Closely considered, the freedom of the will means an existentia without essentia; this is equivalent to saying that something is and yet at the same time is nothing, which again means that it is not and thus is a contradiction." So my guess is that if Sartre had happened to stumble upon this particular essay he might have realized that it was he who was in "bad faith" about man being condemned to be free.

It should also be noted that if Schopenhauer is wrong about mans intrinsic nature then all of the social sciences are a fraud and particularly psychology is wrong when it takes genes, biology, and the environment into consideration when interpreting and analyzing human behavior.

The reason people object to philosophical determinism is that it makes morality and personal responsibility a precarious thing. One valuable thing we can adopt from Sartre's ideas is that it is imperative that we take responsibility for our choices. But being that pragmatism is the philosophy of the U.S. and not existentalism, it is more than likely the masses will always assume that Free Will exists because the stability of civil society depends on it. In light of all of this it should be mentioned that Schopenhauer does not think that people can't be morally reformed. In other words he thinks that the expression of behavior can be cultivated. Many people credit Nietzsche for coming up with the idea of sublimation that would later be used by Freud, but it was actually Schopenhauer who was the first speak of the idea.

"Cultivation of reason by cognitions and insights of every kind is morally important, because it opens the way to motives which would be closed off to the human being without it."

Schopenhauer also condemns a moral system that tries to root out the defects of a person's character rather than utilizing sublimation.

For those who consider this type of philosophy immoral because it seems to exclude the possibility of moral responsibility we should remember that in Christianity there is the concept of predesination, and in Islam there is a religious fatalism.On top of that fact, many of the church fathers (Augustine and Luther) didn't accept the notion of free will either.

I highly recommend this book! ... Read more

28. On Human Nature
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 56 Pages (2010-01-01)
list price: US$7.34 -- used & new: US$5.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1151766151
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Publisher: London : G. Allen ... Read more

29. Arthur Schopenhauer: Knowledge Products (Giants of Philosophy) (Library Edition)
by Charleton Heston (Narrator) Mark Stone
Audio CD: Pages (2006-04-01)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$9.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786169400
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Arthur Schopenhauer was the most articulate and influential pessimist in the history of human thought. He was convinced that the space and time of ordinary life is an illusion, that the world consists of two aspects: representation (visible appearances) and will (hidden reality). Will is a unitary, blind, irrational force underlying all nature and expressing itself throughout it. Since human actions are blindly propelled by this will, not reason, prescriptive ethical rules have little force. We flourish only at each other’s expense; evil, pain, and suffering are not aberrations, but express the inner nature of the world. Our will to live is a continuing cycle of want, temporary fulfillment, and more want. New desires replace any satisfied ones, so no lasting happiness is possible. There is no overall end or purpose of life; our will to live is doomed ultimately to fail, and we die. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Sufficient Rational?
Schopenhauer's discussion of the organic nature of our humanity, is exciting, up-lifting, and scary.He swept away many of the cobwebs of human thought and meta-physical mysteries. To him, the brain, the limbic system,(although his concepts pre-dated modern brain theory), are really what's at the heart of human reason.He helped me to understand, the nature of truth, which is sufficient rational, based upon very human perception.Why is art beautiful? Why are entire people's irrational? Schopenhauer's work opens doors that modern psychology, in Freud and Jung stepped into.

Heston's narration is very pleasant, and this treatment, although academic was very approachable for the dilettante.

Gare Henderson

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent summary of Schopenhauer if you can track it down
This is the only audiobook exposition and analysis of Schopenhauer's works I've encountered (if you know of another please e-mail me!).It was done in the mid-1990's by Knowledge Products, and I've gathered that many of these titles (I believe there are 12, each one an approximately 2.5 hour affair covering major philosophers from Plato to Sartre) are going out of print.They are all narrated by Charlton Heston, but don't think you'll be stuck with the gravelly-voiced Moses for the entire two cassettes.The producers utilize a revolving cast of actors to bring to life the thinkers themselves-- in this one we hear them "play" Kant and Nietzsche as well as the anonymous reviewer in Britain who brought Schopenhauer to the public's attention in his piece on Arthur's final publication, _Parerga and Paralipomena_.You will think the vocal imitation (including heavy accents) of history's greatest minds either cheesy or effective; I am of the latter.There is a biographical portion, to my mind heavily borrowing from the opening chapter of perhaps the finest book on Schopenhauer in English, Bryan Magee's _Philosophy of Schopenhauer_, followed by an exegesis of Schopenhauer's thought.Schopenhauer was that most darkly cast of philosophers, despite being highly influential on artists, poets, and musicians of every sort. Many believe (and I among them) that his adaptation and extension of Kantian philosophy outclasses Hegel's, Fichte's, and Schelling's.The background and context to Schopenhauer's work is well represented, and the presentation is liberally peppered with selections from his writings.There are also reactions to Schopenhauer and a short criticism of his work to wrap things up.If anything, the reading of the final lines from Schopenhauer's central work, _The World As Will and Representation_, are worth this audiobook alone-- not to mention Heston's voicing (via the scriptwriter I assume) that Schopenhauer's view of life as purposeless touches on the "appalling." (!)(hilarious!) ... Read more

30. The Cambridge Companion to Schopenhauer (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)
Paperback: 492 Pages (1999-10-13)
list price: US$41.99 -- used & new: US$34.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521629241
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Schopenhauer (1788-1860) is something of a maverick figure in the history of philosophy. He produced a unique theory of the world and human existence based on his notion of will. This collection analyzes the related but distinct components of will from the point of view of epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, ethics, and the philosophy of psychoanalysis. New readers will find this the most convenient and accessible guide to Schopenhauer currently available. Advanced students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Schopenhauer. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Anglo-American Claptrap
"Statt der selbsteigenen Werke der Philosophen allerlei Darlegungen ihrer Lehren [...] zu lesen, ist wie wenn man sich sein Essen von einem Anderen kauen lassen wollte." Thus spoke Schopenhauer. But as he probably knew himself, the savouring of regurgitated food is not an uncommon practice in the animal kingdom. Schopenhauer was a master of clarity, and sensitivity to beautiful prose should help one a long way towards understanding the philosophy of someone who was also a master of the German language. Nevertheless, there are two obstacles of which one should be wary. (i) A full understanding of Schopenhauer's philosophy requires familiarity with the philosophy of Kant. (ii) One should have read and understood his doctoral dissertation dealing with the four varieties of objects qua representations - viz., real objects, concepts, space-time, selfhood - and the laws by which their becoming is governed. Owing to these two obstacles, introductory texts are likely to prove worthwhile. Unfortunately, the collection of essays on hand fails to serve its purpose. The ultimate objection to this collection is that its editor seems to have failed to understand that the contributors must be asked to do their utmost to maintain their focus on the subject matter: the philosophy of Schopenhauer. Anything that may prove disruptive to such a focus must be treated as anathema. Furthermore, the most difficult themes must be identified - for instance the immutability of the human character - and treated of in a rigorous manner. The latter demand is met in an admirable fashion by Günter Zöller, David Hamlyn, and F.C. White, whereas most of the remaining essays can be said to oscillate between the silly and the irrelevant. And finally there are essays dealing with themes which are less than challenging, viz., an intelligent reader is in need of no assistance when it comes to understanding these particular aspects to the philosophy of Schopenhauer. Silliness and its cases in point: Moira Nicholls's crude understanding of Nibbana - her main source in this regard is the catechism of Sri Rahula, available in all New Age bookstores - proves less than helpful in terms of comparing Schopenhauers doctrine of salvation with its Eastern counterpart. Christopher Janaways's essay entitled "Schopenhauer's Pessimism" is an instance of theoretical exercise in the quest for eudaimonia: (A) Strive toward X (B) Attain X and rejoice (C) If not, pout. This is sure to bring back memories of philosophy courses at high school. Another point of criticism is the appalling myopia of these Anglo-Americans. A survey of their footnotes reveals a great deal. The only contributor who is not active in the Anglo-American domain, is Günter Zöller. An examination of his footnotes shows that he is familiar with both English and German sources on Schopenhauer. As for the others, they seem to be relying almost exclusively on Anglo-American sources. One is tempted to ask the following question: is no relevant research on Schopenhauer being carried out in his own country? There are several excellent books on Schopenhauer in the German language, which should have been listed in the bibliography section. The most elementary texts on Schopenhauer in the German language, keep track of things that seem to have bypassed these Anglo-American experts on Schopenhauer. For instance, Sebastian Gardener writes about "Schopenhauer's frequent asylum tours" (p. 386) and refers to an essay by R.K. Gupta in which it was, according to Gardener, "claimed" that Schopenhauer used to visit mental asylums (n. 59, p. 412). Incidentally, Schopenhauer does write about these visits himself in his Handschrifliche[m] Nachlaß (I:87) and in WWV (I:3:36), as pointed out Klaus-Jürgen Grün in his rather unpretentious introduction to the philosophy of Schopenhauer (p. 121). If Gardener's lack of familiarity with the corpus of Schopenhauer is in any way representative of the level at which the other contributors find themselves, then there is every reason to shun this collection. Schopenhauer's philosophy views the world as a riddle, it attempts to account for all the contradictions to the human existence, and it culminates in mysticism; precisely for these reasons it does not lend itself to analytical hair-splitting: Schopenhauer's "methodische Drehen und Wenden der Standpunkte umeinander und gegeneinander - in der Sekundärliteratur häufig übersehen oder als Widersprüche im Denken Schopenhauers, als Denkfehler abgetan - sucht die dogmatische Festschreibung einer einzelnen Betrachtungsweise zu verhindern" (p. 10). The follies against which we are warned by Volker Spierling, are committed again and again in this collection, not least by the editor himself. One is justified in asking for something more edifying from the publishing house of a university that blessed the world with legends like Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, and Anthony Blunt.

1-0 out of 5 stars Follow Schopenhauer's Own Advice
Why would anyone want to become acquainted with a philosopher as clear as Schopenhauer through thedistorting lens of academic exegeses?

And distortion is what you are guaranteed to find given that Schopenhauer's bleakly profound message has been generally trivialized or dismissed by academics for many generations now. This despite the fact that, for instance, modern cosmology amply substantiates his pronouncements on the vanity of existence.

My advice is to follow Schopenhauer's own advice:
"A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones - for life is short."

4-0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag on the Misanthropic Misogynist Metaphysician.
If you're new to Schopenhauer, this probably isn't the best place to start. Although most of these essays merit a read, some are utterly blighted by an academic pomposity & inscrutability that makes them all but unreadable.

Granted, some philosophers who were guilty of transgressions of style (such as Kant), were still truly deep thinkers. But there is no excuse for the academic wretchedness displayed in this gem from the book's first essay:"Such purported intimate knowledge of the ultimate reality behind or beneath the appearances seems to transgress the critical interdiction against seeking knowledge of the unknowable things in themselves and therefore to constitute a relapse into pre-Kantian dogmatism or transcendental realism, thus turning Schopenhauer's work into a puzzling conjunction of transcendental philosophy and transcendent metaphysics of the will." And this from a book that claims to purportedly "dispel the intimidation ... readers often feel when faced with the work of a difficult and challenging thinker"!

Along with such drivel, there is much that is good. All of Christopher Janaway's essays are excellently written, perceptive, and a pure joy to read. Along with Bryan Magee, I consider Janaway the most reliable authority on Schopenhauer.

Although Schopenhauer probably would have resented this, some of the best essays in the volume were written by women. I found the essays on Schopenhauer's Eastern influences by Moira Nicholls and the Nietzsche/Schopenhauer/Dionysus connection by Martha Nussbaum to be especially interesting & insightful.

If you're new to Arthur Schopenhauer, it would be best to start with Schopenhauer-A Very Short Introduction by Christopher Janaway, and then move on to Bryan Magee's The Philosophy of Schopenhauer. Then move on to The World as Will & Representation. It's truly a breeze to read when compared to Kant...or some of these essays. ... Read more

31. Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy
by Rüdiger Safranski
Paperback: 404 Pages (1991-09-01)
list price: US$42.50 -- used & new: US$35.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674792769
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

This richly detailed biography of a key figure in nineteenth-century philosophy pays equal attention to the life and to the work of Arthur Schopenhauer. Rüdiger Safranski places this visionary skeptic in the context of his philosophical predecessors and contemporaries Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel--and explores the sources of his profound alienation from their "secularized religion of reason." He also provides a narrative of Schopenhauer's personal and family life that reads like a Romantic novel: the struggle to break free from a domineering father, the attempt to come to terms with his mother's literary and social success (she was a well-known writer and a member of Goethe's Weimar circle), the loneliness and despair when his major philosophical work, The World as Will and Representation, was ignored by the academy. Along the way Safranski portrays the rich culture of Goethe's Weimar, Hegel's Berlin, and other centers of German literary and intellectual life.

When Schopenhauer first proposed his philosophy of "weeping and gnashing of teeth," during the heady "wild years" of Romantic idealism, it found few followers. After the disillusionments and failures of 1848, his work was rediscovered by philosophers and literary figures. Writers from Nietzsche to Samuel Beckett have responded to Schopenhauer's refusal to seek salvation through history.The first biography of Schopenhauer to appear in English in this century, Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy succeeds in bringing to life an intriguing figure in philosophy and the intellectual battles of his time, whose consequences still shape our world.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Marvelous!
This is an exciting book.Often I found it rather exhilarating to read.(I don't agree with the reviewer who found it "plodding," unless in re. its lingering on topics peripheral to Schopenhauer's philosophy, though I find these very enlightening and a major strength of the book.)Safranski provides a wonderful synthesis of the intellectual, psychological, sociological, cultural and historical contexts of Schopenhauer's thought, as well as a fine exegesis of his philosophy.I had read Magee and Gardiner on Schopenhauer, as well as "The Fourfold Root...." (and P&P, as well as Kant's first Critique), so perhaps one needs some acquaintance with Schopenhauer to appreciate Safranki's remarkable eclecticism in portraying this brilliant thinker and his philosophy from so many perspectives.Safranki's prose is often vivid and it occasionally soars beyond, perhaps, conventional academic form -- at least in the translation from German -- but that seems to me to reflect the same boldness that characterizes Schopenhauer's mature editions.I'm not a professional philosopher and I recommend this book as such; it's quite accessible to the interested layman.

3-0 out of 5 stars Read Bryan Magee instead!
Rüdiger Safranski writes his books rather too easily. After his biography of Schopenhauer there followed volumes on Heidegger, Nietzsche, and most recently Schiller. Though not exactly 'dumbed down,' all of them are geared towards a wide audience, which he also commands in his native Germany, where he hosts a TV show together with Peter Sloterdijk. The book on Nietzsche I find entirely superfluous -- but Safranski knew there was a market for it, and my guess is that he wrote it with relative ease. The same must be said for this book on Schopenhauer.

This is a fairly decent biography, however. I share the predicament with another reviewer here who wanted to like this book more than he actually did, as the subject is indeed so interesting. And in the main, the biography of this great philosopher is ably retold. There are grave weaknesses, though, mainly having to do with the way Safranski inserts himself between Schopenhauer and the reader, always mirroring not only his philosophy, but his emotional life as well through the prism of his own (Safranski's) interpretations. For one, there's too much amateur psychology in it, constantly reducing Schopenhauer's pessimistic system to feelings of inadequacy and pain experienced during his youth. In general, the man Schopenhauer comes off rather badly; and though he undoubtedly was a difficult man to deal with, there's something petty in that approach. As a reader, I never felt I got close to what this enigmatic man might in fact have been like.

Another weakness comes from Safranski's -- in my judgment -- inadequate grasp of Schopenhauer's philosophy, which he labors far too much to contextualize and rewrite in his own language. This is in no way an adequate introduction to Schopenhauer's thinking, which is really the only thing that matters. Indeed, I came away with the feeling that Safranski hadn't really 'got it;' that he had never acquired any deeper understanding either of transcendental idealism, or of Schopenhauer's particular brand of it.

In short, the reader is much better advised to turn instead to Bryan Magee's study 'The Philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer,' which remains unparalleled in scope and brilliance. Admittedly, Magee's book is primarily concerned with Schopenhauer's thought, not his life. But he in fact does provide a brief (about 20 pp) biography as well in one of his first chapters, which is really all that anyone needs. For the reader who would then want to delve even deeper into the life of the Sage of Frankfurt, I would recommend turning to a volume of his letters, or to one of the earlier biographies written about him, but to avoid Safranski's book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Complementary readings
There are already several good reviews to this book, so I will only add that it is easy to follow and in order to savour it one only needs to be a curious layperson. So my rate is 4 (content) and 4 (pleasure).

I also suggest reading the following readable books dealing with philosophical matters in addition to Safranski's interesting book: a) "Hegel" by Terry Pinkard; b) "Justice. What's the right thing to do" by Michael Sandel; c) "The God Question: What Famous Thinkers from Plato to Dawkins Have Said About the Divine" by Andrew Pessin; d) "The proper study of mankind" by Isaiah Berlin; and e) "Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors" by Susan Sontag. Other interesting books, but no so readable would be the following: 1) "The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies" by Thomas McEvilley; 2) "Moral Measures: An Introduction to Ethics West and East" by James Tiles; and 3) "The accessible Hegel" by Michael Allen Fox.

4-0 out of 5 stars Schopenhauer... more than just a pessimist
I didn't mind the style of this book. It doesn't feel wooden to me. I will admit Safranski does repeat himself to fill pages and that's why I am not going to gush and give this five stars. I think editting is more of an issue here than translating.

All biographies - I should say "successful" biographies - aim at presenting an individual in his/her time, mentioning his/her relationships and his/her work. Safranski gives the reader a fairly thorough look at the beginning of the 19th century. I really enjoyed getting to know the dark, misanthropic philosopher. He was a complex, albeit egotistical man with a penchant for isolation, paranoia and hypochondria. I will recommend Bryan Magee's book as well. It's nice to compare.

Schopenhauer, I discovered borders somewhere between the artist and the intellectual as a personality. There is something about him that reminds me of other artists with huge egos and incomprehensive manners. Unlike Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer lived a stormy inner life. His father was rumored to have committed suicide, he was at loggerheads with his mother, he looked down on women, he was anti-patriotic, despised Napoleon (while Hegel revered him as did many of the Romantic French writers following the Napoleonic Era), moved around, slept with a gun close by, allowed government troops into his room to fire on the uprisers in Dresden, physically assaulted a cleaning lady, wrote works of genius, inspired great artists and thinkers (Nietzsche, Wagner, Mahler, Mann, Conrad, Hardy, Proust, Wittgenstein, Tolstoy, Turgenev) had two dogs named "Atmen" and died sitting on his sofa. And these are just the highlights.

I doubt I would have enjoyed his company had I met him in his time. Safranski offers, in my opinion a "compassionate" glance at a man too obstinate to be socially graceful and too important in the history of ideas to be ignored.

5-0 out of 5 stars Arthur Schopenhauer: A Man and His Misery
I've heard it said ((and by biographers, no less)) that a good biographer needs to spend so much time with his subject that he either ought to start off in love with him--or end up falling in love with him. Reading *Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy* I'd say that Rudiger Safranski most definitely belongs in the second category. But it's a tough love that Safranski feels for his subject; out of all the principle characters in this comprehensive study of the life and philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, Safranski is hardest on the philosopher himself. He even shows more sympathy for Schopenhauer's preternaturally cold, self-serving, and reluctant mother--only criticizing Johanna S., at last, in relation to her shabby mistreatment of Schopenhauer's sister. So glaring is Sadanski's efforts to bend over backwards to accommodate and excuse Johanna that one finally wonders if he were afraid of being accused of otherwise justifying Schopenhauer's misogyny and being tagged with the same label himself.

By the same token, and rather paradoxically, Safranski starts off his exegesis of Schopenhauer by actually attributing the philosopher's pessimistic philosophy in no small part to the lack of motherly affection he experienced as a baby. I found this sort of revisionist psychoanalytic reductionism almost insufferably disheartening, to say the least. One might similarly reduce any philosopher's work on the basis of such a critical method and thereby render the entire history of philosophy nothing more than a catalogue of psychiatric curiosities--the solipsistic compensations of so many emotional cripples, sexual neurotics, and late bedwetters who, blessed with immense logical and linguistic gifts, managed to successfully reconfigure their childhood dysfunctions into grand world-views. If nothing else, one might at least theorize that Schopenhauer's distant, hands-off mother gave him a direct--and painfully accurate--experience of the coldness and indifference of the universe itself--and, thus, the enduring relevance of his resultant philosophy even for those of us who were raised by warm and nurturing moms. We are all of us orphaned in this heartless cosmos.

These caveats aside, I found Safranski's *Schopenhauer* to be an excellent book that admirably balances the life and work of the philosopher, while also providing an excellent historical and political background of the period and its major philosophical figures--Fichte, Kant, Hegel, Goethe, etc. After reading some of the reviews here criticizing the text and/or the translation as dull and plodding, I was pleasantly surprised to find how *readable* and, yes, even lively the book was, relatively speaking. To be sure, it's a densely-written book and the typeface is too small. But, let's face it, this is a scholarly biography published by Harvard University Press about a 19th century philosopher. Schopenhauer isn't an action hero and this isnt the latest potboiler by John Grisham or Dan Brown. Just how lively can you expect the book to be?! Nonetheless, for a work about a 19th century German guy who thought life was a terrible mistake that only grows worse and worse over time until the worst of all happens and you croak--I actually found myself laughing out loud in parts, especially at some of the excerpts from the philosopher's own texts. Schopenhauer can be hilariously funny and there's probably no greater put-down artist in the entire philosophical canon.

Of course, it helps enormously if you're a fan of Schopenhauer, or have an affinity for his dour outlook on life, but I'd wholeheartedly recommend *Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy* as an excellent one-volume treatment of the life, the times, and the philosophy of one of history's great misanthropes and one of its most incisive theorists of human misery.
... Read more

32. In Search of Schopenhauer's Cat: Arthur Schopenhauer's Quantum-Mystical Theory of Justice
by Raymond B. Marcin
Hardcover: 193 Pages (2006-02)
list price: US$34.95 -- used & new: US$34.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0813214300
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down
This short book is hard to put down.It provides an excellent introduction to Schopenhauer's thought, focusing on the fact that he viewed the universe -- the reality that lies behind appearances -- as one.Marcin shows how Schopenhauer's view coincides with that of quantum physics, Eastern religion, and Christian mysticism.Schopenhauer's theory of justice derives from the fact that reality is one.You and I are one, so, if I do wrong to you, then I do wrong to myself.Schopenhauer's theory of justice, therefore, calls for compassion, not for individual rights, as, in reality, there are no individuals. ... Read more

33. The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Studies in Pessimism
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 64 Pages (2006-06-12)
list price: US$9.90 -- used & new: US$6.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1406800457
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

34. Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Christopher Janaway
Paperback: 160 Pages (2002-05-16)
list price: US$11.95 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192802593
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Schopenhauer is considered to be the most readable of German philosophers. This book gives a succinct explanation of his metaphysical system, concentrating on the original aspects of his thought, which inspired many artists and thinkers including Nietzsche, Wagner, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Schopenhauer's central notion is that of the will--a blind, irrational force that he uses to interpret both the human mind and the whole of nature. Seeing human behavior as that of a natural organism governed by the will to life, Schopenhauer developed radical insights concerning the unconscious and sexuality which influenced both psychologists and philosophers ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Embrace the pessimism and deny your will...
Arthur Schopenhauer remains somewhat notorious for his fervent pessimism concerning human existence. Not only does he claim that the universe and our embedded lives contain no purpose or special status, he also argues that determinism and unavoidable suffering inherently imbue our lives. Beneath this lies 'the will,' a kind of force or compulsion that drives us onwards towards life (not living, but life). This 'will to life' provides the foundation for our motivations, desires, and passions. It has no meaning or purpose apart from 'life.' Thus many cherished human institutions, including love, crumble into mere manifestations of this mysterious striving. Love becomes natures' way to get us to reproduce, not to passionately embody another person's being. It should come as no surprise that Schopenhauer remained unmarried throughout his long privileged, but seemingly bitter, life. Regardless, his work, written througout the nineteenth century but often sounding extremely modern, has influenced other well-known thinkers, artists and movements including Nietzsche, Wagner, Wittgenstein, and psychoanalysis. Some threads of our modern ethos seem to trace back to his brooding texts.

Given that the basis for much of Schopenhauer's thought rests on the rather unintuitive Kantian notion of appearances vs. things in themselves, those unacquainted with such turgid concepts should not delve will-nilly into his magnum opus "The World As Will and Representation" without a life vest. This little book will provide the uninitiated with such security. Written in clear and readable prose, concepts such as "things in themselves" and "Platonic Ideas" become almost instantly accessible. An entire chapter is devoted to the infamous "things in themselves" as well as a survey of Schopenhauer's dissertation (inhale) "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason" (exhale). The latter elucidates four ways that effects get predicated with causes. On knowledge, Schopenhauer straddles the Idealists and the empiricists. He says, like an Idealist, that reality comes from the mind (the mind-dependent and categorized appearances), but likewise says that all knowledge of this reality comes from the senses, like an empiricist. Ultimate reality, or reality as it "really is" remains mostly inaccessible to us, apart from aesthetic experiences, particularly via music (a later chapter covers his intriguing but somewhat bizarre aesthetic thoughts; 19th century artists ate it up). Thus, all we experience are representations. And our actions largely derive from the will. This book excuses this metaphysical doctrine as "obviously flawed" (as have others), but concedes that this rubbery foundation nonetheless provided the structure for the aspects of Schopenhauer's thought that still influence us today. He also had iconoclastic views on ethics and reason. Reason doesn't make a person ethical, he claims, but it can make an evil person more efficiently evil. Ultimately, reason represents a means, not an end. Ethical theories cannot produce "good people" any more than aesthetic theories can produce staggeringly beautiful eye candy. He also held surprisingly modern views towards animals and homosexuality (which he considered 'natural') given his time, but held the 19th century line on the inferiority of women. Two final chapters focus on suffering, death, denial of the will, pessimism, and Schopenhauer's influence. Much of this sounds very Eastern, particularly Vedantic or Buddhist, but the book merely grazes the surface of Schopenhauer's Eastern influences.

Given Schopenhauer's contributions to our conceptions of existence, it's surprising the existentialists didn't appropriate him as fervently as they did Nietzsche and Kierkegaard. The author points out that the early 20th century was really "Schopenhauer's Time" given the pessimism and angst that followed the First World War. Many of his ideas continue to ring true in an increasingly pessimistic world. And it remains here, not in metaphysics, that Schopenhauer continues to resonate. This little book provides the perfect introduction or thumbnail sketch of the thought of the 19th century man who systematized pessimism.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very short perfect introduction to Schopenhauer
Janaway's little volume was the perfect introduction to Schopenhauer for me. I completed a degree in philosophy during the early 1970s. At that time, the academic world of philosophy was still in thrall to analytical philosophy. Continental philosophy was largely represented by thinkers like Merleau-Ponty or Heidegger. Habermas, Gadamer and Foucault were just beginning to be translated. My philosophy classes taught a lineage that went directly from Kant to Hegel to Marx to Husserl. Thinkers like Fichte, Schelling and Schopenhauer were ignored. Others like Kierkegaard and Nietzsche were left for personal reading.
So coming into my reading of Janaway's book I had practically no background in Schopenhauer. After reading this book, I feel like I have a sense of the historical context, a grip on the main points of Schopenhauer's philosophy, and both where to go in my reading of Schopenhauer and in the secondary literature. Not bad at all for 127 pages.
The main thing I want to emphasize is that Janaway makes me want to read Schopenhauer himself. I have long had the volumes of The World as Will and Representation hanging around my bookshelf. I have now bought a copy of The Fourfold Root.. as the beginning to my further study.
All I am saying is that you couldn't ask for much more than what this book gives. All in an inexpensive paperback that you can carry around in your back pocket and pull out to read during the odd moments in your day.
The VSI series continues to impress me with their outstanding publications.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good and compact summary
To pack an account of Schopenhauer's philosophy - including discussions of where he is inconsistent or where his metaphysics is questionable - into a book of 127 pages is an achievement.Such a concentrated text requires concentrated reading. I have found Bryan Magee's 'The Philosophy of Schopenhauer' of 456 pages not only more enjoyable but also more rewarding.But if it has to be done in 127 pages, it is well done here.

5-0 out of 5 stars A splendid introduction to an influential thinker
Schopenhauer, a German philosopher of the early 19th century, is a greatly neglected thinker today, despite being hugely influential in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most notably on the thought of Nietzsche, Wagner and Freud.The latter in particular, although he denied it, was greatly influenced by him.Janaway convincingly extends the list to include Mahler, Jung, Mann and others.In fact, if you have not yet delved deeply into the work of Freud or Nietzsche, I would strongly recommend that you tackle Schopenhauer before doing so, and Janaway's is the perfect introduction.It is a well-informed, readable and balanced account, neither an apology nor a savaging.Schopenhauer's metaphysics have not stood the test of time, but his worldview, essentially pessimistic yet with promise of redemption, is still very relevant, and in many ways strikingly modern.If you are at all interested in the development of modern thought, especially that of the various German and Austrian schools, then you need to acquaint yourself with Schopenhauer, and I doubt you will find a better introduction than this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars First Rate
Janaway is a top-notch Schopenhauer scholar, so there is no question that he knows his subject forwards and backwards.The first time I tried to read this Short Introduction, I didn't get very far before setting it aside with the feeling that I just wasn't getting it. A year later, after reading a lot of Schopenhauer and a several longer treatments of his ideas, I found that Janaway's book was clear as a bell, and I read right through it.I'm not sure what to make of that, but I think that I just didn't approach this kind of material with the right attitude and that the fault was therefore entirely mine. See below.

In any case, this is a first-rate introduction to Schopenhauer, and a very well-written one, too. Schopenhauer himself was a very clear and careful writer (no Hegel, by far), and Janaway continues in that tradition. Schopenhauer's metaphysics is, of course, speculative and that can be a problem if, like me, you come to it from an analytic tradition where everything has to be provable to be considered meaningful or taken seriously.In reading Schopenhauer, or a book like this describing his philosophy, you need to suspend those criteria temporarily and to look at his system as one extremely smart man's best guess about the nature of the world. Call it a working hypothesis that is necessarily underdetermined by the possible empirical evidence. The judgment required therefore must be an overall one as to how well you think that picture fits with the world as you experience it, granting that some number of alternative systems are possible that would fit equally well. To some degree, it's an aesthetic judgment, or perhaps a decision about what kind of world view you can be comfortable with; the key question is whether you are willing to entertain the possibility that the empirical world might not be all there is.

If you are shopping around for a congenial view at that level, then Schopenhauer's ideas are well worth considering, and Janaway's introduction would be a good place to start. Or, if you just have a detached curiousity about what one of the giants of 19th-century philosophy had to say, then it's a good book for that purpose, also. One thing about Schopenhauer is that once you understand his view of things, you will have a hard time seeing the world in quite the same way as you previously did. ... Read more

35. Arthur Schopenhauer: Philosopher of Pessimism
by Frederick Charles Copleston
 Hardcover: 216 Pages (1975)

Isbn: 0064912817
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

36. Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays Volume One
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 520 Pages (2001-06-28)
list price: US$65.00 -- used & new: US$34.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0199242208
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This is the only complete English translation of one of the most significant and fascinating works of the great philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860). The Parerga (Volume 1) are six long essays; the Paralipomena (Volume 2) are shorter writings arranged under thirty-one different subject-headings. These works won widespread attention with their publication in 1851, helping to secure lasting international fame for Schopenhauer. Indeed, their intellectual vigor, literary power, and rich diversity are still extraordinary even today. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfectly pleased
Ordered the much needed book easily and received it in perfect condition in a timely manner. Perfect service. 100% satisfied.

5-0 out of 5 stars suggested reading
one has plenty of reasons to read Dr.Arthur's book. Be that interst in philosophy as a science, an interest in getting to know the world and society we live in or our own self Dr.Arthur has something to say. Not surprising that both Freud and Nietzche worked on his sayings in order to produce their own works. Excellent, elitistic, contemporary book

1-0 out of 5 stars This volume is not complete!Do not buy it!
Amazon bills this book as Parerga and Paralipomena, but it only contains the Parerga.The short essays, which made this book famous, are not included.It is a complete ripoff and now I'm stuck with fixing their stupid mistake.

5-0 out of 5 stars Schopenhauer's Claim to Fame
Actually, Parerga was not the book which S. considered to be his masterpiece; The World as Will and Representation was. But it made him famous, especially in England.It's striking too how weak human nature is, even in the case of a man considered to be both a genius and wise.Already rich by inheritance, both supremely intelligent and extremely clever, highly educated, and ultra-cynical about people, the temperamental philosopher craved FAME all his life.(He got it, just before he died.)

Not everything S. writes about in this book (or for that matter any of his other books) is relevant or interesting or correct - you may want to skip his physical theory of colors, for example. But the reader does get a sense of the range and brilliance of his multilingual mind. Many of his thoughts are timeless and true everywhere in the world.

S. caught my attention not because I'm interested in philosophy generally - I most certainly am not - but rather because he was one of Einstein's heroes, and Einstein is one of mine. Einstein loved to quote him, and apparently had his picture hanging in his office.

Interestingly, Hitler also counted S. as his hero. The only book he took to the front as a soldier in the First World War was Schopenhauer's masterpiece, and later as Fuehrer he quoted S. in long, rambling paragraphs in his own table talk. One wouldn't normally expect much in common between the greatest mind who ever lived and this anti-intellectual warmonger. Hitler was an antisemite, so perhaps that's one reason why he was attracted to S. But S. was most liberal and generous in his misanthropic hatreds - one doesn't find him discriminate for or against any particular group. Perhaps Hitler didn't know about the far more damning things S. had to say about Germans?

S. influenced many philosophers, such as Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, but I'm not familiar enough with philosophy to elaborate on this point. He also inspired many other creative minds who were not actually philosophers: Richard Wagner (a fanatical devotee to S. and to whom Hitler was also a fanatical devotee), Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Mann, Sir Winston Churchill (mentioned S. in his autobiography My Early Life), and the quantum physicist Erwin Schroedinger, among numerous others. (Notice that the last three were Nobel prizewinners?)Even the sharp-tongued and critical Wolfgang Pauli (another Nobel physicist) took him seriously.If you want to know why S. was so influential, then this is a good place to start. Parerga is easier to read than his other books, with the exception of his two essays on morality. Try to get Vol. I as well, but if you must choose, get Vol. II - it's longer and has a good index, and a good index is always useful in any book.

Start with Parerga; then after you're familiar with his philosophy, move on to his main work.But don't forget his Essay on the Freedom on the Will - which stands alone as a real masterpiece in all philosophy, even more outstanding than his other works.

5-0 out of 5 stars schopenhauer, pessimist good and undefeated
Schopenhauer is still worth the read, maybe even more today in the persistence of the me generation and the collapse of any serious interest in metaphysical speculation.In turn crafty, sentimental, realistic, andrealistically bitter, he never fails to stimulate. Even a case for hissubtextual optimism might be interesting. ... Read more

37. The Horrors and Absurdities of Religion (Penguin Great Ideas)
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 128 Pages (2009-08-27)
-- used & new: US$4.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0141191597
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A fascinating examination of ethics, religion and psychology, this selection of Schopenhauer's works contains scathing attack on the nature and logic of religion, and an essay on ethics that ranges from the American slavery debate to the vices of Buddhism. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Schopenhauer Introduction
All Penguin Great Ideas lack biographical information, notes, or context. Of these texts this one has so far been the least affected.

The selections are all choice. There's no fat, and it is quite readable. His arguments aren't the most philosophically rigorous, but are very pragmatic and rational. The opening dialogue is actually very well written, on par with Hume, and does not suffer, as many do, from a weak character. The 'Simplicio' is a competant and capable figure, and throughout often can be seen to have the advantage of reasoning.

The straight essays are short and clear. The prose is rather admirable. Some of his historical theories are incorrect, but due to the brevity little time is spent on them. I loved it. ... Read more

38. Manuscript Remains, Vol. 4: The Manuscript Books of 1830-1852 and Last Manuscripts
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Hardcover: 520 Pages (1988-01-01)
list price: US$120.95 -- used & new: US$109.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0854965416
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

This historico-critical edition of "Schopenhauer's Manuscript Remains" contains Schopenhauer's entire suviving philosophical notes, from his university years until his death in 1860. Translated here into English for the first time, it provides a fascinating insight into the workings of Schopenhauer's mind and an important key to his philosophical work.
... Read more

39. The Art of Literature and The Art of Controversy
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 112 Pages (2008-01-01)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$7.03
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1420931113
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"The Art of Literature and The Art of Controversy" is a collection of essays by famed German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. In this work you will find two collections of essays which include the following: On Authorship, On Style, On the Study of Latin, On Men of Learning, On Thinking for Oneself, On Some Forms of Literature, On Criticism, On Reputation, On Genius, The Art of Controversy: (1. Preliminary: Logic and Dialectic, 2. The Basis of all Dialectic, 3. Stratagems), On the Comparative Place of Interest and Beauty in Works of Art, Psychological Observations, On the Wisdom of Life: Aphorisms, Genius and Virtue. ... Read more

40. Suffering, Suicide and Immortality: Eight Essays from The Parerga (The Incidentals) (Philosophical Classics)
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Paperback: 112 Pages (2006-03-31)
list price: US$6.95 -- used & new: US$3.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0486447812
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

One of the greatest philosophers of the 19th century, Schopenhauer is best known for his writings on pessimism. In this 1851 essay collection, he offers concise statements of the unifying principles of his thinking. These essays offer an accessible approach to his main thesis, as stated in The World as Will and Representation.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fellow-masks and fellow-sufferers
These eight texts from the Parerga are an excellent introduction to Schopenhauer's work, his pessimistic worldview (`the burden of existence'), his phenomenal psychological and philosophical insights, his stances on reason, religion, commerce and education, and his unacceptable misogyny.

Man's life, good and evil
Man's life is a task, the task of subsisting at all. Its material basis is simply health, food, protection from wet and cold, the satisfaction of the sexual instinct. It is full of pain, with a few pleasures and with a continually pressing Time, like a taskmaster with a whip. Man is a continual Becoming, never a Being and it all ends in vain with a sure death.
Evil is what is positive, while good is negative. Happiness and satisfaction always imply some desire fulfilled, some state of pain brought to an end.

Man, reason, suicide, commerce
The real meaning of `persona' is mask: nobody shows himself as he really is. The whole of our social arrangements may be likened to a perpetual comedy.
For man, reason is a prophet, because it shows the consequences and effects of his actions.
There is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person (habeas corpus).
Those whose one aim in life is to fill their purses are miserable wretches.

Religion, ascetism
There are two things which make it impossible to believe that this world is the successful work of an all-wise, all-good, and all-powerful Being: firstly, the misery which abounds in it everywhere; and secondly, the obvious imperfection of its highest product, man.
Ascetism is the denial of the will to live.

Instead of developing the child's own faculties of discernment and of teaching it to judge and think for itself, the teacher uses all his energies to stuff its head full of ready-made thoughts of other people, in order to imprint prejudices which will paralyze it forever.

Schopenhauer's vision on women as being lifelong big children was the main theme in Guy de Maupassant's brilliant bundle of short stories "Le Verrou'.

A club of indulgent fellow-masks
The conviction that the world and man is something that had better not have been, is of a kind to fill us with indulgence towards our fellow-sufferers. The most necessary things in life are tolerance, patience, regard and love of neighbor, of which everyone stands in need and which, therefore, every man owes to his fellow-masks.

The influence of Schopenhauer's vision on man, on art and more specifically on literature, cannot be overestimated.
Highly recommended to all fellow-masks and fellow-sufferers.

2-0 out of 5 stars This man was not a happy camper
This short work contains translated excerpts of the thought of Schopenhauer. It includes a misogynstic section on women in which he argues that women are incapable of real creative work or intellectual activity. It also includes his discussion of Life in which he expresses the opinion that it is largely a loser, a mistake. In fact his whole conception is that mankind's creation was a kind of mistake. In this regard he argues against a basic tenet of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and sings the praises of suicide.
Schopenhauer seems to lack an appreciation of the variety and richness of human activity and capacity for pleasure. He sees humans as perpetually dissatisfied, fundamentally unhappy, miserable. He who was so bent on prophesying the Decline of the West, did not foresee any of the remarkable signs of human progress, including lengthening and healthier life spans which are part of the twentieth century story.
There is a tremendous amount of suffering in the world. It is right to believe that each and every human being suffers disappointment in life. But there is also much happiness and goodness and well- being in human life which this man was simply incapable of seeing. As a guide to life he is a very poor guru. ... Read more

  Back | 21-40 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats