“Essays of Schopenhauer” by Arthur Schopenhauer

2013/04/20 § 3 Comments

“Those writers who construct difficult, obscure, involved, and ambiguous phrases most certainly do not rightly know what it is they wish to say: they have only a dull consciousness of it, which is still struggling to put itself into thought; they also often wish to conceal from themselves and other people that in reality they have nothing to say. Like Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel, they wish to appear to know what they do not know, to think what they do not think, and to say what they do not say.”

(Arthur Schopenhauer)

Herr Schopenhauer knew how to write… what a shame that he was a pompous misogynist.


I have a kind of a love-hate relationship with this collection of essays. Though I liked it, and even found it amusing and funny at times, there were moments when I wanted to throw it across the room and never pick it up again. But I did return to it, after all, cause I enjoy arguing with dead philosophers. So, we were having a fight, Arthur and I, like back in my high school days, but it must be said that, sometimes, I couldn’t do anything else but nod my head in agreement. I guess it takes a certain kind of person to say some truths that we don’t want to hear… That’s why humanity need(ed) Schopenhauer, and that’s why I still recommend this thing to you. If you can handle pessimism, that is.

“The vanity of existence is revealed in the whole form existence assumes: in the infiniteness of time and space contrasted with the finiteness of the individual in both; in the fleeting present as the sole form in which actuality exists; in the contingency and relativity of all things; in continual becoming without being; in continual desire without satisfaction; in the continual frustration of striving of which life consists. Time and that perishability of all things existing in time that time itself brings about is simply the form under which the will to live, which as thing in itself is imperishable, reveals to itself the vanity of its striving. Time is that by virtue of which everything becomes nothingness in our hands and loses all real value.”

(On the vanity of existence)

ESSAYS OF SCHOPENHAUER by Arthur Schopenhauer

[LibraryThing] Read/download (free): [1] [2]

(from "Action Philosophers" #8)

(from “Action Philosophers” #8)


Tagged: , , ,

§ 3 Responses to “Essays of Schopenhauer” by Arthur Schopenhauer

  • Anthony says:

    Arthur is brutal, isn’t he? I owe Beckett, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer much, though I’m not sure I should be grateful to them. I love the excerpts you chose to quote here.

    • Oh, yes, he is. But that’s why we read him, no? We don’t need books that will make us feel happy and comfortable :) Can’t help but think of Kafka right now. And I feel similar about Nietzsche and Beckett, though I don’t like Schopenhauer as much.
      Thanks for commenting.

      • Anthony says:

        I’m not sure I liked Schopenhauer at all when I first read him, but I came to appreciate him knowing his importance to Beckett. That caused me to reappraise and, in a way, reread Schopenhauer through Beckett.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading “Essays of Schopenhauer” by Arthur Schopenhauer at Alice's Notes from Underground.


%d bloggers like this: