Arthur Schopenhauer's reputation as a cynic and a misanthrope often obscures the humanity and complexity 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 circumstances and people that shaped his thinking, the book situates Schopenhauer’s philosophical writings 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 asceticism, the sublime, consciousness, empathy, humanity, and "Will". The volume focuses on the composition and structure of Schopenhauer’s philosophy and concludes by exploring 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.