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Schopenhauers Essays

Arthur Schopenauer was born in Danzig in 1788, where his family, of Dutch origin, owned one of the most respected trading houses. In 1793 the business moved to Hamburg, and in 1805 Arthur, who was expected to inherit it, was apprenticed as a clerk to another Hamburg house. He hated the work, so in 1807, two years after his father’s suicide and the sale of the business, he enrolled at the grammar school at Gotha. In 1809 he entered Göttingen University to study medicine and science; the following year he took up philosophy. In 1811 he transferred to Berlin to write his doctoral thesis (1813). During the next four years he lived in Dresden and wrote The World as Will and Idea (1818), a complete exposition of his philosophy. Although the book failed to sell, Schopenhauer’s belief in his own philosophy sustained him through twenty-five years of frustrated desire for fame. During his middle life, he traveled widely in Europe. In 1844 he brought out a greatly expanded edition of his book, which after his death became one of the most widely read of all philosophical works. His fame was established in 1851 with the publication of Parerga and Paralipomena, a large collection of essays, dialogues and aphorisms. From 1833 until his death from a heart attack in 1860 he lived in Frankfurt-am-Main.

R. J. Hollingdale has translated eleven of Nietzsche’s books and published two books about him. He has also translated works by, among others, Schopenhauer, Goethe, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Lichtenberg and Theodor Fontane, many of these for the Penguin Classics. He is Honorary President of the British Nietzsche Society, and was for the Australian academic year 1991 Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Melbourne.

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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 amonArthur 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....more

Paperback, 184 pages

Published February 22nd 2008 by Dodo Press (first published 1882)