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Arthur Schopenhauer Biography & Facts

Arthur Schopenhauer ( SHOH-pən-how-ər, German: [ˈaʁtʊʁ ˈʃoːpn̩haʊɐ] ; 22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work The World as Will and Representation (expanded in 1844), which characterizes the phenomenal world as the manifestation of a blind and irrational noumenal will. Building on the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant (1724–1804), Schopenhauer developed an atheistic metaphysical and ethical system that rejected the contemporaneous ideas of German idealism. He was among the first thinkers in Western philosophy to share and affirm significant tenets of Indian philosophy, such as asceticism, denial of the self, and the notion of the world-as-appearance. His work has been described as an exemplary manifestation of philosophical pessimism. Though his work failed to garner substantial attention during his lifetime, Schopenhauer had a posthumous impact across various disciplines, including philosophy, literature, and science. His writing on aesthetics, morality, and psychology have influenced many thinkers and artists. Life Early life Arthur Schopenhauer was born on 22 February 1788, in Danzig (then part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth; present-day Gdańsk, Poland) on Heiligegeistgasse (present day Św. Ducha 47), the son of Johanna Schopenhauer (née Trosiener; 1766–1838) and Heinrich Floris Schopenhauer (1747–1805), both descendants of wealthy German patrician families. While they came from a Protestant background, neither of them was very religious;: 79  both supported the French Revolution,: 13  were republicans, cosmopolitans and Anglophiles.: 9  When Danzig became part of Prussia in 1793, Heinrich moved to Hamburg—a free city with a republican constitution. His firm continued trading in Danzig where most of their extended families remained. Adele, Arthur's only sibling, was born on 12 July 1797. In 1797, Arthur was sent to Le Havre to live with the family of his father's business associate, Grégoire de Blésimaire. He seemed to enjoy his two-year stay there, learning to speak French and fostering a life-long friendship with Jean Anthime Grégoire de Blésimaire.: 18  As early as 1799, Arthur started playing the flute.: 30 In 1803, he accompanied his parents on a European tour of Holland, Britain, France, Switzerland, Austria and Prussia. Viewed as primarily a pleasure tour, Heinrich used the opportunity to visit some of his business associates abroad. Heinrich offered Arthur a choice: he could stay at home and start preparations for university, or he could travel with them and continue his merchant education. Arthur chose to travel with them. He deeply regretted his choice later because the merchant training was very tedious. He spent twelve weeks of the tour attending school in Wimbledon, where he was disillusioned by strict and intellectually shallow Anglican religiosity. He continued to sharply criticize Anglican religiosity later in life despite his general Anglophilia.: 56  He was also under pressure from his father, who became very critical of his educational results. In 1805, Heinrich drowned in a canal near their home in Hamburg. Although it was possible that his death was accidental, his wife and son believed that it was suicide. He was prone to anxiety and depression, each becoming more pronounced later in his life. Heinrich had become so fussy, even his wife started to doubt his mental health.: 43  "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.": 88 Arthur showed similar moodiness during his youth and often acknowledged that he inherited it from his father. There were other instances of serious mental health problems on his father's side of the family.: 4  Despite his hardship, Schopenhauer liked his father and later referred to him in a positive light.: 90  Heinrich Schopenhauer left the family with a significant inheritance that was split in three among Johanna and the children. Arthur Schopenhauer was entitled to control of his part when he reached the age of majority. He invested it conservatively in government bonds and earned annual interest that was more than double the salary of a university professor.: 136  After quitting his merchant apprenticeship, with some encouragement from his mother, he dedicated himself to studies at the Ernestine Gymnasium, Gotha, in Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. While there, he also enjoyed social life among the local nobility, spending large amounts of money, which deeply concerned his frugal mother.: 128  He left the Gymnasium after writing a satirical poem about one of the schoolmasters. Although Arthur claimed that he left voluntarily, his mother's letter indicates that he may have been expelled.: 129  Arthur spent two years as a merchant in honor of his dead father. During this time, he had doubts about being able to start a new life as a scholar.: 120  Most of his prior education was as a practical merchant and he had trouble learning Latin; a prerequisite for an academic career.: 117 His mother moved away, with her daughter Adele, to Weimar—then the centre of German literature—to enjoy social life among writers and artists. Arthur and his mother did not part on good terms. In one letter, she wrote: "You are unbearable and burdensome, and very hard to live with; all your good qualities are overshadowed by your conceit, and made useless to the world simply because you cannot restrain your propensity to pick holes in other people." His mother, Johanna, was generally described as vivacious and sociable.: 9  She died 24 years later. Some of Arthur's negative opinions about women may be rooted in his troubled relationship with his mother.Arthur moved to Hamburg to live with his friend Jean Anthime, who was also studying to become a merchant. Education He moved to Weimar but did not live with his mother, who even tried to discourage him from coming by explaining that they would not get along very well.: 131  Their relationship deteriorated even further due to their temperamental differences. He accused his mother of being financially irresponsible, flirtatious and seeking to remarry, which he considered an insult to his father's memory.: 116,131  His mother, while professing her love to him, criticized him sharply for being moody, tactless, and argumentative, and urged him to improve his behavior so that he would not alienate people.: 129  Arthur concentrated on his studies, which were now going very well, and he also enjoyed the usual social life such as balls, parties and theater. By that time Johanna's famous salon was well established among local intellectuals and dignitaries, the most celebrated of them being Goethe. Arthur attended her parties, usually when he knew that Goethe would be there—although the famous writer and statesman seemed not even to notice the young and unknown student. It is possible that Goethe kept a distance because Johanna .... Discover the Arthur Schopenhauer popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Arthur Schopenhauer books.

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    Studies in Pessimism

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