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Arthur Schopenhauer

1788-1860 ,  German philosopher
Arthur SchopenhauerGerman philosopher, often called the “philosopher of pessimism,” who was primarily important as the exponent of a metaphysical doctrine of the will in immediate reaction against Hegelian idealism. His writings influenced later existential philosophy and Freudian psychology.

His most important work: “ The World as Will and Representation ” (1818).

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For everyday life, genius is as useful as a giant telescope in the theater.

A high degree of intellect tends to make a man unsocial.

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone.

After your death, you will be what you were before your birth.

All religions promise a reward for excellences of the will or heart, but none for excellences of the head or understanding.

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

Any foolish boy can stamp on a beetle, but all the professors in the world cannot make a beetle.

Because people have no thoughts to deal in, they deal cards, and try and win one another’s money. Idiots!

Buying books would be a good thing if we also could buy the time to read them.

Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.

Clio, the muse of history, is as thoroughly infected with lies as a street whore with syphilis.

Compassion is the basis of morality.

Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.

Every child is in a way a genius; and every genius is in a way a child.

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.

Every nation criticizes every other one — and they are all correct.

Every parting gives a foretaste of death, every reunion a hint of the resurrection.

Fame is something which must be won; honor, only something which must not be lost.

For our improvement we need a mirror.

For the world is Hell, and men are on the one hand the tormented souls and on the other the devils in it.

For where did Dante get the material for his Hell, if not from this actual world of ours?

Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

Hatred is a thing of the heart, contempt a thing of the head. And neither feeling is quite within our control.

Honor has not to be won; it must only not be lost.

Hope is the confusion of the desire for a thing with its probability.

I believe that when death closes our eyes we shall awaken to a light, of which our sunlight is but the shadow.

I have described religion as the metaphysics of the people.

If God made this world, then i would not want to be the God. It is full of misery and distress that it breaks my heart.

If there is anything in the world that can really be called a man’s property, it is surely that which is the result of his mental activity.

If we were not all so interested in ourselves, life would be so uninteresting that none of us would be able to endure it.

In our monogamous part of the world, to marry means to halve one’s rights and double one’s duties.

Intellect is invisible to the man who has none.

It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.

It is with trifles and when he is off guard that a man best reveals his character.

Life is a business that does not cover the costs.

Life is a constant process of dying.

Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.

Marrying means, to grasp blindfolded into a sack hoping to find out an eel out of an assembly of snakes.

Memory works like the collection glass in the Camera obscura: it gathers everything together and therewith produces a far more beautiful picture than was present originally.

Men are by nature merely indifferent to one another; but women are by nature enemies.

Men are the devils of the earth, and the animals are its tormented souls.

Men need some kind of external activity, because they are inactive within.

Money is human happiness in the abstract: he, then, who is no longer capable of enjoying human happiness in the concrete, devotes his heart entirely to money.

Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.

Music is the occult metaphysical exercise of a soul not knowing that it philosophizes.

No rose without a thorn but many a thorn without a rose.

Obstinacy is the result of the will forcing itself into the place of the intellect.

Only a male intellect clouded by the sexual drive could call the stunted, narrow-shouldered, broad-hipped and short-legged sex the fair sex.

Ordinary people merely think how they shall “spend” their time; a man of talent tries to “use” it.

People of Wealth and the so called upper class suffer the most from boredom.

Philosophy of religion really amounts to philosophizing on certain favorite assumptions that are not confirmed at all.

Philosophy is a science, and as such has no articles of faith; accordingly, in it nothing can be assumed as existing except what is either positively given empirically, or demonstrated through indubitable conclusions.

Rascals are always sociable — more’s the pity! and the chief sign that a man has any nobility in his character is the little pleasure he takes in others’ company.

Reading is thinking with some one else's head instead of one's own.

Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.

So the problem is not so much to see what nobody has yet seen, as to think what nobody has yet thought concerning that which everybody sees.

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.

The alchemists in their search for gold discovered many other things of greater value.

The animal lacks both anxiety and hope because its consciousness is restricted to what is clearly evident and thus to the present moment: the animal is the present incarnate.

The bad thing about all religions is that, instead of being able to confess their allegorical nature, they have to conceal it.

The brain may be regarded as a kind of parasite of the organism, a pensioner, as it were, who dwells with the body.

The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.

The doctor sees all the weakness of mankind; the lawyer all the wickedness, the theologian all the stupidity.

The more unintelligent a man is, the less mysterious existence seems to him.

The safest way of not being very miserable is not to expect to be very happy.

The shortness of life, so often lamented, may be the best thing about it.

The truth can wait, for she lives a long life.

The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom.

The wise have always said the same things, and fools, who are the majority have always done just the opposite.

The world is my idea.

There are 80,000 prostitutes in London alone and what are they, if not bloody sacrifices on the altar of monogamy?

There is no doubt that life is given us, not to be enjoyed, but to be overcome.

Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first.

We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.

We seldom think of what we have, but always of what we lack.

Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become.

Will minus intellect constitutes vulgarity.

A sense of humour is the only divine quality of man.


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