Schopenhauer / Edition 1

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Arthur Schopenhauer's reputation as a cynic and a misanthrope often obscures the complexity and humanity of his philosophy. In this innovative volume, Robert Wicks breaks away from the accepted oversimplification of Schopenhauer as an incurable pessimist to present an insightful portrait of his life and work.

Beginning with a look at his early life and the people and circumstances that shaped his thinking, the book situates Schopenhauer's philosophical work within the context of these formative years. It examines Schopenhauer's aesthetic and moral theories, his affinity toward Asian mysticism and Christianity, as well as his ideas about the sublime, consciousness, empathy, humanity, and "Will". The volume focuses on the composition and structure of Schopenhauer's philosophy and explores his intellectual links to Hegel, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein. An essential resource for students and scholars of aesthetics and nineteenth-century philosophy, this is an important introduction to a unique and influential thinker.

About the Author:
Robert Wicks is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Auckland

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Robert Wicks offers a highly accessible introduction to Schopenhauer's philosophy, giving prominence to the central ethical notions of tranquility and wanting less, which he compares in illuminating fashion with Buddhism."
- Chris Janaway, University of Southampton

"Robert Wicks' Schopenhauer is a perspicacious and perspicuous elucidation of the great pessimist's thoughts. This is a fine work of philosophical scholarship, valuable for those approaching Schopenhauer for the first time and for those who have been with him for years."
- David Cartwright, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405134798
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/6/2008
  • Series: Blackwell Great Minds Series, #25
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Wicks is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Auckland. He is the author of Modern French Philosophy: From Existentialism to Postmodernism (2003), Nietzsche (2002), and Hegel's Theory of Aesthetic Judgment (1994). He is also the author of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Schopenhauer.

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Table of Contents

1 The philosophy of a nonconformist (1788-1860) 1

Pt. I Schopenhauer's theoretical philosophy 15

2 Historical background 17

3 The principle of sufficient reason 30

4 Schopenhauer's idealism and his criticism of Kant 39

5 The world in it self as a meaningless and almighty will 53

6 Critical interpretations of the world as will 67

Pt. II Schopenhauer's practical philosophy 81

7 Endless suffering in the daily world 83

8 Tranquility I: sublimity, genius, and aesthetic experience 95

9 Tranquility II: Christlike virtue and moral awareness 114

10 Tranquility III: asceticism, mysticism, and Buddhism 127

Pt. III Schopenhauer in perspective 143

11 Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and eternal life 145

12 Schopenhauer, Hegel, and alienated labor 161

13 Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein, and the unspeakable 173

Conclusion: idealism and the will to peace 184

bibliography 191

index 194

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