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Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes


Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Arthur Schopenhauer
  • Born: 22nd February 1788, Danzig, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
  • Died: 21st September 1860, Frankfurt, German Confederation
  • Residence: Danzig, Hamburg and Frankfurt
  • Alma mater: Gymnasium illustre zu Gotha, University of Göttingen and University of Jena
  • Occupation: Philosopher and author
  • Era: 19th-century philosophy
  • Influenced by: Buddhism, Gottlob Ernst Schulze, Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Plato
  • Inspired: Albert Einstein, Alfred Adler, Anthony Ludovici, Carl Jung, Carlo Michelstaedter, Emil Cioran, Erwin Schrödinger, F.A.M. Schlick, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Santayana, Gilbert Ryle, Greg Bahnsen, Guy de Maupassant, Hans Vaihinger, J.K. Huysmans, Johannes Volkelt, Jorge Luis Borges, K.H. Ulrichs, L.E.J. Brouwer, Leo Tolstoy, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Machado de Assis, Max Horkheimer, Philipp Mainländer, Oswald Spengler, Otto Weininger, P.W. Zapffe, Richaed Wagner, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Ligotti and Vladimir Solovyov
  • Notable works: The World as Will and Representation (1818)
  • Trivia: In a meeting of western and eastern thinking he was the first philosopher attracted to the enlightened pessimism found in Buddhist thought and used it as his own inspiration to wrestle with reason the primary forces that reside in us all
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

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

Arthur Schopenhauer

"A pessimist is an optimist in full possession of the facts"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"Intellect is invisible to the man who has none"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"To feel envy is human, to savour schadenfreude is devilish"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"Genius and madness have something in common: both live in a world that is different from that which exists for everyone else"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"Journalists are like dogs, when ever anything moves they begin to bark"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"He who does not enjoy solitude will not love freedom"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"The object of journalism is to make events go as far as possible"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"The real meaning of persona is a mask, such as actors were accustomed to wear on the ancient stage; and it is quite true that no one shows himself as he is, but wears his mask and plays his part"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"Indeed, the whole of our social arrangements may be likened to a perpetual comedy; and this is why a man who is worth anything finds society so insipid, while a blockhead is quite at home in it"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"Exaggeration of every kind is as essential to journalism as it is to dramatic art"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"To use many words to communicate few thoughts is everywhere the unmistakable sign of mediocrity. To gather much thought into few words stamps the man of genius"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"The majority of men... are not capable of thinking, but only of believing, and... are not accessible to reason, but only to authority"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"The fundament upon which all our knowledge and learning rests is the inexplicable"

Arthur Schopenhauer

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

Arthur Schopenhauer

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

Arthur Schopenhauer

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

Arthur Schopenhauer

"Hatred is a thing of the heart, contempt a thing of the head"

Arthur Schopenhauer

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

Arthur Schopenhauer

"There are no true pleasures without true needs"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"Life is a business that does not cover the costs"

Arthur Schopenhauer

"Rascals are always sociable - more’s the pity"

Arthur Schopenhauer

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Arthur Schopenhauer Biography

Arthur Schopenhauer was the German thinker who wrote himself into the annals of philosophical history as his body of work caught the attention of generations of intellectuals across a broad scope of disciplines. Many of his theories sprung from the inspiration of Immanuel Kant but whereas Kant scratched the surface of human perception Schopenhauer was full on busy excavating the mind for every last piece of reason he could fathom.

His most famous work "The World as Will and Representation" was first published in 1818 and it barely caused a flutter in German society. Before it gained the intellectual popularity it so richly deserved it had taken two literary luminaries of the day by complete surprise as they gorged on every word in silent appreciation of what they described as philosophical genius.



Maybe the book was before its time but Arthur Schopenhauer took it in his stride as he was quoted as saying: "the praise of one man of genius fully makes good the neglect of a thoughtless multitude". He was referring to the praise the German romantic writer Jean Paul lavished on his writing. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was the other man of words who also championed "The World as Will and Representation" and who read the book in its entirety contrary to his usual habit of merely scanning a few pages.

His words indulged in a life of reason with equanimity so profound he inspired Albert Einstein, Friedrich Nietzsche and Charles Darwin to call him a genius whose work was a revelation. Rarely has a philosopher had so much influence on the arts, science and literature with a legion of the great and the good from all walks of life citing him as a big inspiration to achieve their successes.

It was late in his life when his own success story started to unfold and after his death in 1860 his reputation grew in stature as is so common with many under appreciated talents who become popular posthumously. It is with ease to get engrossed and listen to every word he wrote for its reasoning and meaning and whilst he was great with the unconscious mind he was also good for a quick quip or two in the waking world, so here is my compilation of 22 of the best Arthur Schopenhauer quotes

Quotes About Arthur Schopenhauer

Albert Einstein was inspired to say: "Schopenhauer's saying, that "a man can do as he will, but not will as he will", has been an inspiration to me since my youth up, and a continual consolation and unfailing well-spring of patience in the face of the hardships of life, my own and others"

The psychiatrist Carl Jung described him thus: "He was the first to speak of the suffering of the world... Here at last was a philosopher who had the courage to see that all was not for the best in the fundaments of the universe"

The author Eric F.J. Payne was moved to say: "We are struck by the psychological force and even fierceness with which he reveals the deepest recesses of the human heart"


Arthur Schopenhauer image quote