Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer
Birth 1788
Death 1860

Eminent German philosopher. He’s the sort of person you might call a ‘trailblazer’. He was an irrationalist, mystic and misanthropist, who was influenced by Eastern philosophy, Spinoza and Kant and himself went on to influence Nietzsche, Freud and Sartre. He was a pessimist; to spite Leibniz, he declared that we lived in ‘the worst of all worlds’, and in his major work, The World as Will and Representation, he described this ‘world of evil’ as a blind, malicious, insatiable and full of frustrated desires. It was no better than the animal world. There’s no need for Christian religion in a world like that; it is its own Final Judgement. Our only prospect of saving ourselves is to discard with the illusion of individuality and independence and give up all hope of fulfilling our desires (Eastern philosophy has a very similar idea, especially Buddhism).

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