Schopenhauer: On Women

Schopenhauer : A phallocentric philosopher

Schopenhauer, in his Essay on Women, is trying to demonstrate the inferiority of women. He is obsessed with a malignant vision of women. He denigrates the cult of beauty, he sought to reduce women to a common animal whose charm is the perfect tool of torture.
In short, his purpose is to break the image of the second sex. However, does the end justify the means ?

Schopenhauer’s philosophy sometimes seem to streamline his own subjectivity. And put oneself in his writings is to betray. Schopenhauer excels in this area, to his great loss. In fact, he criticizes the faults of women are actually his own: lack of logic, compassion with his own misfortune. Ironically, his arguments turned against him. It is the classical boomerang effect.

Schopenhauer has a target: his mother, the woman who exasperated him. Philosophy becomes the seat of resentment. The “woman in Europe” is in fact a portrait than inspired hypocritical and selfish mother. So when he contrasts the “wise and intelligent man” the woman “arrogant”, it merely reproduces what were the couple disparate his father, a merchant and his depressed mother, a woman frivolous, extravagant, thief of inheritance. This irruption of autobiographical details disturbs objectivity. Is it time for philosophical or autobiographical works?

But you have not seen how Schopenhauer can be harsh. Therefore continue to go his thoughts. It deprives women of their freedom, claiming that it is determined by its nature. He said all the faults of women are innate qualities and all invented by the company. But would it not itself been determined by nature? By its genes? Reached a kind of depressive symptoms? His uncles were interned in a psychiatric hospital and his father recalled, committed suicide. Melancholy, pessimism, depression, are hereditary?

It is also possible to judge the IQ of women, as if the intellect could also serve as a bulwark against human stupidity … but some fun, we also judge his sense of logic, because his arguments are sometimes calembredaines real …

Here is the statement presented by Schopenhauer …

“Man can easily create in one year more than 100 children, if available an equal number of women, while a woman, even with an equal number of men could not always give birth that a child in the year. ”

This might look far to an algebra problem … But it is rather an argument disingenuous. Indeed, it assumes 100 women. We deduce correspondingly an equal number of 100 men. If one of these 100 fertile women, while the remaining 99 are useless … Therefore the power of men is subject to the capabilities of women. Women therefore make man impotent …

For Schopenhauer, the man is by definition a rational and intelligent being. Two contradictions still occur:
– First contradiction: “They constantly excite that is less noble in us, they are made to trade with our weakness, our folly, but with our reason.” Why is man so rational, he can not control his impulses? Moreover, even if it’s not some idealistic, Cartesian to separate the body of reason? He dares to state in addition that “women need a constant guardian.” But is the man incompetent! It is he who has no control over his desires. So he needs to be protected by a guardian against himself. Schopenhauer, dare to lay the blame on women when they are raped?

– Second contradiction:”The rational man is a victim of his education.” Note the bad faith of Schopenhauer. When the woman hides is innate, purely biological. It is similar to a “sepia”. By cons, when men hide, beware: it is the work of education. Yes, but now, man has the privilege to choose between his true nature and education. And yet he behaves like a true coward. “A woman needs a master”, and the man is a slave of his superego. We are therefore on track, unless the Hegelian dialectic come to our aid …

A master of despair, Schopenhauer did not, however, completely freed from his illusions, such as polygamy, the myth of Don Juan, Isolde, the faithful wife … He said the man needs to change, and we know now that only women are subject to hormonal changes …

For Arthur, the woman must satisfy the primary desire of man. It is thus reduced to a consumer product. “The genius of the species is an industrialist who wants to produce.”
We return then to the myth of Rome, merged with the thought of Hobbes: the woman is a wolf to man. It seeks only the perpetuation of the species through his vanity.
In fact, Schopenhauer hates women, the focus of life, because he hates life. “The ascetic saves the lives of generations, women have not wanted, so I hate them.”

The smell of pessimism that emerges is quite close to the fatalistic conception of Christianity of the Middle Ages: life is suffering and death issue. It makes indirect reference to original sin.

He blames the woman to attract the love. “Love is evil.” The woman, however, is not solely responsible for the reproduction of the species.

Schopenhauer is blinded by his feelings of inveterate misanthrope. But why has he not nominated as Flaubert, tortured writings of disillusionment “Memoirs of a Madman” …

To his credit, he still acknowledged that there “a few individuals, and a few exceptions”, that stands out from women in general. But, true to himself, he adds that this does not change anything … Well, time changes, it will be wrong.

“Become what thou art” or “Know thyself,” they have definitely marked by. Yet better still kill his rough character, other than to bury in a coffin.

And although women were similar to the flowers of evil, as Baudelaire said, “The sensitivity of each is his genius.” Do not despise so insensitive …

Cite this article as: Tim, "Schopenhauer: On Women, April 30, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, April 30, 2012,

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