Arthur Schopenhauer : biography
Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher best known for his book, The World as Will and Representation, in which he claimed that our world is driven by a continually dissatisfied will, continually seeking satisfaction. Influenced by Eastern thought, he maintained that the "truth was recognized by the sages of India";Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1, trans. E. Payne, (New York: Dover Publishing Inc., 1969), 3. consequently, his solutions to suffering were similar to those of Vedantic and Buddhist thinkers (i.e. asceticism); his faith in "transcendental ideality"Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1, trans. E. Payne, (New York: Dover Publishing Inc., 1969), 4. led him to accept atheism and learn from Christian philosophy.Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 2, trans. E. Payne, (New York: Dover Publishing Inc., 1966), 639. "the Veda says; Finditur nodus cordis, dissolvuntur omnes dubitationes, ejusque opera evanescunt. In agreement with this view, the fifteenth sermon of Meister Eckhart will be found well worth reading."Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 2, trans. E. Payne, (New York: Dover Publishing Inc., 1966), 635. "Even the conclusion of Seneca’s last letter is in keeping with this… which certainly seems to indicate an influence of Christianity."The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 2, Ch. 48 (Dover page 616), "The ascetic tendency is certainly unmistakable in genuine and original Christianity, as it was developed in the writings of the Church Fathers from the kernel of the New Testament"
At age 25, he published his doctoral dissertation, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which examined the four distinct aspectsArthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1, trans. E. Payne, (New York: Dover Publishing Inc., 1969), table of contents. of experience in the phenomenal world; consequently, he has been influential in the history of phenomenology. He has influenced a long list of thinkers, including Friedrich Nietzsche,Addressed in: Cate, Curtis. Friedrich Nietzsche. Chapter 7. Richard Wagner, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Erwin Schrödinger, Albert Einstein,Albert Einstein in (August 1932): "I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer’s words: ‘Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wants,[Der Mensch kann wohl tun, was er will, aber er kann nicht wollen, was er will]’ accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper." Schopenhauer’s clearer, actual words were: "You can do what you will, but in any given moment of your life you can will only one definite thing and absolutely nothing other than that one thing." [Du kannst tun was du willst: aber du kannst in jedem gegebenen Augenblick deines Lebens nur ein Bestimmtes wollen und schlechterdings nichts anderes als dieses eine.] On the Freedom of the Will, Ch. II. Sigmund Freud, Otto Rank, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Mann, and Jorge Luis Borges.
Arthur Schopenhauer was born in the city of Danzig (Gdańsk), on Heiligegeistgasse (known in the present day as Św. Ducha 47), the son of Johanna Schopenhauer (née Trosiener) and Heinrich Floris Schopenhauer, both descendants of wealthy German Patrician families. When the Kingdom of Prussia annexed the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth city of Danzig in 1793, Schopenhauer’s family moved to Hamburg. In 1805, Schopenhauer’s father may have committed suicide.Safranski (1990) page 12. "There was in the father’s life some dark and vague source of fear which later made him hurl himself to his death from the attic of his house in Hamburg." Shortly thereafter, Schopenhauer’s mother Johanna moved to Weimar, then the centre of German literature, to pursue her writing career. After one year, Schopenhauer left the family business in Hamburg to join her. As early as 1799, he started playing the flute.