turning pain into knowledge

Philosophy – Arthur Schopenhauer [TPM]

Summary of article:
– his focus was upon the griefs of love
– one of the greatest pessimists in the history of philosophy
– born in Germany in 1788
– son of a wealthy merchant
– emotionally distant childhood
– father committed suicide & Arthur inherited his father’s fortune which meant he never had to work
– he learned English in London
– studied philosophy at University in Germany
– his principle works initially did not sell well, nor did his university lecturing flourish
– 2 failed attempts at romantic love
– quoted as stating that he believed life has no intrinsic worth, & is maintained by want & illusion [to paraphrase him]
– he then lived in Frankfurt with his poodles, whom he noted gave him pleasure
– he published a book in 1851 which became a best-seller – called Parerga & Paralipomena (essays & aphorisms)
– he referred to this period as “the comedy of fame)
– he was scathing of public opinion, believing it to be the opinion of small minds
– he is credited with giving a name to a force in human beings – “the will to life”, a will more powerful than reason – that is the will to live & have children
– this, in his view, lead even committed depressives to fight for survival
– he believed the aim of love affairs was more important than all the other aims in man’s life because it gives rise to the composition of the next generation of humans [these forces often not being in the conscious mind]
– Schopenhauer’s theory contends that the will to life furthers it own ambitions rather than that necessarily attributed to human happiness
– article exhorts us to remember we are not inherently unloveable, that there is nothing wrong with us per se, & that our character, our face us not somehow repellant
– he died aged 72
– article believes that despite his pessimism, people can learn from him regarding the attitude to take towards love
– believes people have an in-born error that they must be happy
– apparently Schopenhauer had great sympathy for the mole which lived in terrible conditions, had un attractive young & yet had a great will to life, to survive
– he believed that art, novels, philosophy (objective versions of life & struggle) offered respite from the vicissitudes & seeming contradictions (vis-a-vis our happiness) arising from the will-to-life – they help to turn pain into knowledge

Source: http://thephilosophersmail.com/relationships/the-great-philosophers-arthur-schopenhauer/


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