Essays and Aphorisms

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, 1970 - Literary Collections - 237 pages
66 Reviews
One of the greatest philosophers of the nineteenth century, Schopenhauer (1788–1860) believed that human action is determined not by reason but by ‘will’ – the blind and irrational desire for physical existence. This selection of his writings on religion, ethics, politics, women, suicide, books and many other themes is taken from Schopenhauer’s last work, Parerga and Paralipomena, which he published in 1851. These pieces depict humanity as locked in a struggle beyond good and evil, and each individual absolutely free within a Godless world, in which art, morality and self-awareness are our only salvation. This innovative – and pessimistic – view has proved powerfully influential upon philosophy and art, directly affecting the work of Nietzsche, Wittgenstein and Wagner among others.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Essays and Aphorisms

User Review  - keren - Goodreads

i dunno. i reread this because i hate myself, apparently like. schopenhauer is a twat. a self-righteous, I'm Smarter Than the Rest of the Population kind of twat. so it's rly annoying when i find ... Read full review

Review: Essays and Aphorisms

User Review  - Jason - Goodreads

Schopenhauer's lucidity and clarity cannot be discounted. This is not to say his ideas are simple or do not need some reflection and thought for thorough cognition. The main theme of Schopenhauer is ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1970)

Arthur Schopenauer was born in Danzig in 1788, where his family, of Dutch origin, owned one of the most respected trading houses. In 1793 the business moved to Hamburg, and in 1805 Arthur, who was expected to inherit it, was apprenticed as a clerk to another Hamburg house. He hated the work, so in 1807, two years after his father's suicide and the sale of the business, he enrolled at the grammar school at Gotha. In 1809 he entered Göttingen University to study medicine and science; the following year he took up philosophy. In 1811 he transferred to Berlin to write his doctoral thesis (1813). During the next four years he lived in Dresden and wrote The World as Will and Idea (1818), a complete exposition of his philosophy. Although the book failed to sell, Schopenhauer's belief in his own philosophy sustained him through twenty-five years of frustrated desire for fame. During his middle life, he traveled widely in Europe. In 1844 he brought out a greatly expanded edition of his book, which after his death became one of the most widely read of all philosophical works. His fame was established in 1851 with the publication of Parerga and Paralipomena, a large collection of essays, dialogues and aphorisms. From 1833 until his death from a heart attack in 1860 he lived in Frankfurt-am-Main.

R. J. Hollingdale has translated eleven of Nietzsche's books and published two books about him. He has also translated works by, among others, Schopenhauer, Goethe, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Lichtenberg and Theodor Fontane, many of these for the Penguin Classics. He is Honorary President of the British Nietzsche Society, and was for the Australian academic year 1991 Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Melbourne.

Bibliographic information