Schopenhauer’s Philosophy Summary

Arthur Schopenhauer

Pessimistic thinker, Arthur Schopenhauer has shattered the illusions performed on human and had a considerable influence on the history of philosophy (Nietzsche), on the art (Wagner) or literature (Maupassant) .

Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher, is essentially the author of the following works:

– The fourfold root of the principle of sufficient reason (1813)

– The World as Will and Representation (1818)

The Two Fundamental Problems of Ethics (1841)

Schopenhauer, the man and the tragic of life:


Man defines as a metaphysical animal, able to marvel at his own existence and the sight of the world, aspiring to be absolute.

– The term “metaphysical animal ” has remained famous.

– As for the term metaphysical taken substantively, it means, Schopenhauer, a discipline which claims to be knowledge and experience beyond the given phenomena (as defined by Kant), claiming a speculative rise above lessons of experience

Hence arises the metaphysical? It is rooted in surprise and suggests that is absolute behind nature.

– But man is not only a metaphysical animal: it is a religious being, which focuses on mysteries, understood as dogmas which can not be clearly captured by thought.

This aspiring to be the only absolute is doomed, like all reality, unfortunately.

– At the bottom of all there is, in effect, will (a will to live) that blind thrust and irresistible, unquenchable desire to live, only leads to suffering.

– Is Desire dissatisfied ? The human Suffering dominates.

– The trend reaches it, however, satisfaction? So boredom prevails.

And we swing like a pendulum between boredom and suffering.

– The happiness means nothing positive, but only the momentary cessation of pain or deprivation: far from appearing as concrete fullness, it represents a simple negative.

– This pessimism, Nietzsche will remotely, the feeling of happiness (true) becoming, in his mind, feeling of fullness, not mere “negativity”.

Schopenhauer shows us the tragic play of life.

Schopenhauer: A philosophy of detachment

How to get rid of this tragic game? Suicide does not seem like a solution: it means a more passionate affirmation of the will to live than its negation.

Art can bring us a temporary issue and a consolation.

– It transmutes, indeed, the pain in a performance shown, which removes, by its beauty, the sorrows of life and we reimburse actual pain: the pure contemplation of the things we pulled up, temporarily, into a nightmare existence.

But to truly be free, he must go to Nirvana.

– Indeed, the philosophy of India here we can make a real light. If the will to live means a restless power, plunging us into an eternal pain, we must detach ourselves from the blind power of universal life.

– This is defined Nirvana as extinction of the human desire to live: the life we ​​know, the one who gives up the will to live without leaving the sentence, and thus reaches Nirvana.

Therefore, it is not death that we must look (although it refers to the time of the liberation of individuality bounded and narrow), but the annihilation of the supreme will, in reaching Nirvana, the end of suffering.

To summarize, Schopenhauer wanted to cut the problem at its root: the desire is a constantly renewed need to address is the will to live forever he must break off, reaching finally the ultimate serenity linked to the extinction of all desire.


Cite this article as: Tim, "Schopenhauer’s Philosophy Summary, April 22, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, April 22, 2012,

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