In this classic treatise, Arthur Schopenhauer discusses the traits and character of the human being, including his will, morality and manner of social governance.
On Human Nature is an overview of several philosophic views which Schopenhauer held. Dealing sequentially with aspects of human behavior, society and man's innate characteristics, we receive here a comprehensive profile of Schopenhauer's beliefs about the essential character of mankind.
Schopenhauer first examines the society man has built around himself, the forms of government he has present to rule and organize a society's endeavors, and how these reflect upon his inner character.
This is followed by a discussion of the opposing beliefs of free will and fatalism. In the former, man contends that he has utter control over his destiny, and is not beholden to fate. By contrast, the latter belief holds that human will is ultimately an illusion, and that one's own destiny and fate is predetermined.
Next, Schopenhauer examines a series of human character traits - the various virtues, behaviors, and qualities demonstrated by a typical man are scrutinized. This part is followed by a discussion of human morality; deeds and actions which are considered good and commendable, and those thought immoral and wrong.
Finally, Schopenhauer reflects on the ethical ramifications of aspects in human nature. Whether humans are capable of being honorable on a large scale, or whether things such as innocence can be considered good or ill, is contemplated.
On Human Nature is distinguished for its accessibility; the translation to English by T. Bailey Saunders preserves the lively expression for which Schopenhauer was known. As such, this book is superb introduction to Arthur Schopenhauer's work, and as a supplementary resource for study of philosophy.
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