This selection of thoughts on religion, ethics, politics, women, suicide, books and many other themes is taken from Schopenhaur's last work, Parerga and Paralipomena, which he published in 1851. No German philosopher had written so well or so readably before him, and none had propounded the athiestic view that everything may not be all for the best. This articulate if despairing vision contributed to Schopenhaur's enormous popularity. In his introduction R.J. Hollingdale explains the metaphysical background to Schopenhauer's ideas and the psychological setting for the theory of the "will", which anticipated Freud's notion of the unconcscious.
This selection of thoughts on religion, ethics, politics, women, suicide, books, and much more is taken from Schopenhauer's last work, Parerga and Paralipo-mena, published in 1851.
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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 fathers 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, Schopenhauers 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 Nietzsches 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.