Archives for posts with tag: arthur schopenhauer

“The truth is that we ought to be wretched and are so. The chief source of the most serious evils affecting man is man himself, homo homini lupus: Man is wolf for man. He who keeps this last fact clearly in view beholds the world as a hell, surpassing that of Dante by the fact that one man must be the devil of another.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Vanity and Suffering of Life

“One cold winter’s day, a number of porcupines huddled together quite closely in order through their mutual warmth to prevent themselves from being frozen. But they soon felt the effect of their quills on one another, which made them again move apart. Now when the need for warmth once more brought them together, the drawback of the quills was repeated so that they were tossed between two evils, until they had discovered the proper distance from which they could best tolerate one another.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer.

This quote was used to open a chapter on Kant and the Concept of Respect for Persons. I think the author could not have picked a more appropriate extract.

“The hours pass the more quickly the more pleasantly they are spent, and the more slowly the more painfully they are spent, since pain not pleasure, is the positive thing, whose presence makes itself felt. In just the same way we become conscious of time when we are bored, not when we are amused. Both cases prove that our existence is happiest when we perceive it least; from this it follows that it would be better not to have it.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Vanity and Suffering of Life

The Essential Schopenhauer: Key Selections from The World as Will and Representation and Other Writings.

I believe this book really contains the essential Schopenhauer. The introduction is very well written and the book itself is made to be taken with you everywhere. I am usually partial to hardcover books, because paperbacks make me nervous. But this book bends and moves with me, I don’t know what they made the cover of, but I like it, it doesn’t crack, tear, fold or peel, it’s hardy.

I feel like the cover accurately represents the mindset you must adopt before reading Schopenhauer. The man speaks the truth, the hardest truth, he’s honest, courageous and unwavering, just as you ought to be when you read him. The book opens wide without the spine cracking, unlike other paperbacks. It should challenge you in such a way that you have to carry it with you. And then one day while on your coffee break at the local café, you’ll look up to take a sip from your exotically named muddy drink, glance around at the people walking by and you’ll realize you understand the world a lot better.

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