[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none” style=”margin:0px; padding:0px;”][vc_column width=”2/3″]


Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes


“Do not shorten the morning by getting up late, or waste it in unworthy occupations or in talk; look upon it as the quintessence of life, as to a certain extent sacred. Evening is like old age: we are languid, talkative, silly. Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 2 : Our Relation To Ourselves

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Art & Music


“The effect of music is so very much more powerful and penetrating than is that of the other arts, for these others speak only of the shadow, but music of the essence.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation


“The composer reveals the innermost nature of the world, and expresses the profoundest wisdom in a language that his reasoning faculty does not understand, just as a magnetic somnambulist gives information about things of which she has no conception when she is awake. Therefore in the composer, more than in any other artist, the man is entirely separate and distinct from the artist.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation


“In a field of ripening corn I came to a place which had been trampled down by some ruthless foot; and as I glanced amongst the countless stalks, every one of them alike, standing there so erect and bearing the full weight of the ear, I saw a multitude of different flowers, red and blue and violet. How pretty they looked as they grew there so naturally with their little foliage! But, thought I, they are quite useless; they bear no fruit; they are mere weeds, suffered to remain only because there is no getting rid of them. And yet, but for these flowers, there would be nothing to charm the eye in that wilderness of stalks. They are emblematic of poetry and art, which, in civic life—so severe, but still useful and not without its fruit—play the same part as flowers in the corn.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Parerga and Paralipomena


“The poet presents the imagination with images from life and human characters and situations, sets them all in motion and leaves it to the beholder to let these images take his thoughts as far as his mental powers will permit. This is why he is able to engage men of the most differing capabilities, indeed fools and sages together. The philosopher, on the other hand, presents not life itself but the finished thoughts which he has abstracted from it and then demands that the reader should think precisely as, and precisely as far as, he himself thinks. That is why his public is so small.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2 “On Philosophy and the Intellect” as translated in Essays and Aphorisms (1970), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale


“Writers may be classified as meteors, planets, and fixed stars. A meteor makes a striking effect for a moment. You look up and cry “There!” and it is gone forever. Planets and wandering stars last a much longer time. They often outshine the fixed stars and are confounded by them by the inexperienced; but this only because they are near. It is not long before they must yield their place; nay, the light they give is reflected only, and the sphere of their influence is confined to their orbit — their contemporaries. Their path is one of change and movement, and with the circuit of a few years their tale is told. Fixed stars are the only ones that are constant; their position in the firmament is secure; they shine with a light of their own; their effect today is the same as it was yesterday, because, having no parallax, their appearance does not alter with a difference in our standpoint. They belong not to one system, one nation only, but to the universe. And just because they are so very far away, it is usually many years before their light is visible to the inhabitants of this earth.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2 “The Art of Literature” as translated in Essays and Aphorisms (1970), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale

Top

[/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″]

Table of Contents


Quotes About (Clickable):


Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Life, Philosophy and Virtue

[/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″]

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Change & Pessimism


“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Studies in Pessimism

 


“There are two things which make it impossible to believe that this world is the successful work of an all-wise, all-good, and, at the same time, all-powerful Being; firstly, the misery which abounds in it everywhere; and secondly, the obvious imperfection of its highest product, man, who is a burlesque of what he should be.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Studies in Pessimism

  


“If two men who were friends in their youth meet again when they are old, after being separated for a life-time, the chief feeling they will have at the sight of each other will be one of complete disappointment at life as a whole; because their thoughts will be carried back to that earlier time when life seemed so fair as it lay spread out before them in the rosy light of dawn, promised so much — and then performed so little.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Studies in Pessimism

  


“There are 80,000 prostitutes in London alone and what are they, if not bloody sacrifices on the altar of monogamy?”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Studies in Pessimism

  


“Noise is the most impertinent of all forms of interruption. It is not only an interruption, but also a disruption of thought.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Studies in Pessimism

 


“To free a man from error is to give, not to take away. Knowledge that a thing is false is a truth. Error always does harm; sooner or later it will bring mischief to the man who harbors it. Then give up deceiving people; confess ignorance of what you don’t know, and leave everyone to form his own articles of faith for himself. Perhaps they won’t turn out so bad, especially as they’ll rub one another’s corners down, and mutually rectify mistakes. The existence of many views will at any rate lay a foundation of tolerance. Those who possess knowledge and capacity may betake themselves to the study of philosophy, or even in their own persons carry the history of philosophy a step further.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, “Religion : A Dialogue.”

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Character & Virtue


“For what is modesty but hypocritical humility, by means of which, in a world swelling with vile envy, a man seeks to beg pardon for his excellences and merits from those who have none? For whoever attributes no merit to himself because he really has none is not modest, but merely honest.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation


“No doubt, when modesty was made a virtue, it was a very advantageous thing for the fools, for everybody is expected to speak of himself as if he were one.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life


“Pride is an established conviction of one’s own paramount worth in some particular respect, while vanity is the desire of rousing such a conviction in others, and it is generally accompanied by the secret hope of ultimately coming to the same conviction oneself. Pride works from within; it is the direct appreciation of oneself. Vanity is the desire to arrive at this appreciation indirectly, from without.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life Vol. 1, Ch. 4, § 2


“On the other hand, the cheapest form of pride is national pride; for the man affected therewith betrays a want of indivudual qualities of which he might be proud, since he would not otherwise resort to that which he shares with so many millions. The man who possesses outstanding personal qualities will rather see most clearly the faults of his own nation, for he has them constantly before his eyes. But every miserable fool, who has nothing in the world whereof he could be proud, resorts finally to being proud of the very nation to which he belongs. In this he finds compensation and is now ready and thankful to defend, … all the faults and follies peculiar to it.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life pp. 360


“Rascals are always sociable — more’s the pity! and the chief sign that a man has any nobility in his character is the little pleasure he takes in others’ company.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, Vol. 1, Ch. 5, § 9


“Hatred is a thing of the heart, contempt a thing of the head. Hatred and contempt are decidedly antagonistic towards one another and mutually exclusive. A great deal of hatred, indeed, has no other source than a compelled respect for the superior qualities of some other person; conversely, if you were to consider hating every miserable wretch you met you would have your work cut out: it is much easier to despise them one and all. True, genuine contempt, which is the obverse of true, genuine pride, stays hidden away in secret and lets no one suspect its existence: for if you let a person you despise notice the fact, you thereby reveal a certain respect for him, inasmuch as you want him to know how low you rate him — which betrays not contempt but hatred, which excludes contempt and only affects it. Genuine contempt, on the other hand, is the unsullied conviction of the worthlessness of another.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 24, § 324

 


“Every true thinker for himself is so far like a monarch; he is absolute, and recognises nobody above him. His judgments, like the decrees of a monarch, spring from his own sovereign power and proceed directly from himself. He takes as little notice of authority as a monarch does of a command; nothing is valid unless he has himself authorised it. On the other hand, those of vulgar minds, who are swayed by all kinds of current opinions, authorities, and prejudices, are like the people which in silence obey the law and commands.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Parerga and Paralipomena

 


“A man’s body and the needs of his body are now everywhere treated with a tender indulgence. Is the thinking mind then, to be the only thing that is never to obtain the slightest measure of consideration or protection, to say nothing of respect?”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Parerga and Paralipomena


“A reproach can only hurt if it hits the mark. Whoever knows that he does not deserve a reproach can treat it with contempt.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life


“Our moral virtues benefit mainly other people; intellectual virtues, on the other hand, benefit primarily ourselves; therefore the former make us universally popular, the latter unpopular.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Death


“We can come to look upon the deaths of our enemies with as much regret as we feel for those of our friends, namely, when we miss their existence as witnesses to our success.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 26, sect. 311a

 


“Suicide may also be regarded as an experiment — a question which man puts to Nature, trying to force her to answer. The question is this: What change will death produce in a man’s existence and in his insight into the nature of things? It is a clumsy experiment to make; for it involves the destruction of the very consciousness which puts the question and awaits the answer.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims

 


“Every parting gives a foretaste of death, every reunion a hint of the resurrection.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 26, § 310, as translated by Eric F. J. Payne


“In early youth, as we contemplate our coming life, we are like children in a theatre before the curtain is raised, sitting there in high spirits and eagerly waiting for the play to begin. It is a blessing that we do not know what is really going to happen. Could we foresee it, there are times when children might seem like innocent prisoners, condemned, not to death, but to life, and as yet all unconscious of what their sentence means.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Studies in Pessimism

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Education


“The fundament upon which all our knowledge and learning rests is the inexplicable.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 1, § 1


“Opinion is like a pendulum and obeys the same law. If it goes past the centre of gravity on one side, it must go a like distance on the other; and it is only after a certain time that it finds the true point at which it can remain at rest.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2 “Further Psychological Observations” as translated in Essays and Aphorisms (1970), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale

 


“As the biggest library if it is in disorder is not as useful as a small but well-arranged one, so you may accumulate a vast amount of knowledge but it will be of far less value to you than a much smaller amount if you have not thought it over for yourself; because only through ordering what you know by comparing every truth with every other truth can you take complete possession of your knowledge and get it into your power. You can think about only what you know, so you ought to learn something; on the other hand, you can know only what you have thought about.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 22, § 257 “On Thinking for Yourself” as translated in Essays and Aphorisms(1970) as translated by R. J. Hollingdale


“Truth that has been merely learned is like an artificial limb, a false tooth, a waxen nose; at best, like a nose made out of another’s flesh; it adheres to us only ‘because it is put on. But truth acquired by thinking of our own is like a natural limb; it alone really belongs to us. This is the fundamental difference between the thinker and the mere man of learning. The intellectual attainments of a man who thinks for himself resemble a fine painting, where the light and shade are correct, the tone sustained, the colour perfectly harmonised; it is true to life. On the other hand, the intellectual attainments of the mere man of learning are like a large palette, full of all sorts of colours, which at most are systematically arranged, but devoid of harmony, connection and meaning.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 22, § 261


“Reading is merely a surrogate for thinking for yourself; it means letting someone else direct your thoughts. Many books, moreover, serve merely to show how many ways there are of being wrong, and how far astray you yourself would go if you followed their guidance. You should read only when your own thoughts dry up, which will of course happen frequently enough even to the best heads; but to banish your own thoughts so as to take up a book is a sin against the holy ghost; it is like deserting untrammeled nature to look at a herbarium or engravings of landscapes.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 22, § 261


“Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 23, § 296a

 


“Patriotism, when it wants to make itself felt in the domain of learning, is a dirty fellow who should be thrown out of doors.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 21, § 255


“As the strata of the earth preserve in succession the living creatures of past epochs, so the shelves of libraries preserve in succession the errors of the past and their expositions, which like the former were very lively and made a great commotion in their own age but now stand petrified and stiff in a place where only the literary palaeontologist regards them.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2 “On Books and Writing” as translated in Essays and Aphorisms (1970), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale

 


“How very paltry and limited the normal human intellect is, and how little lucidity there is in the human consciousness, may be judged from the fact that, despite the ephemeral brevity of human life, the uncertainty of our existence and the countless enigmas which press upon us from all sides, everyone does not continually and ceaselessly philosophize, but that only the rarest of exceptions do.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims


“Nature shows that with the growth of intelligence comes increased capacity for pain, and it is only with the highest degree of intelligence that suffering reaches its supreme point.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer


“A man of intellect is like an artist who gives a concert without any help from anyone else, playing on a single instrument — a piano, say, which is a little orchestra in itself. Such a man is a little world in himself; and the effect produced by various instruments together, he produces single-handed, in the unity of his own consciousness. Like the piano, he has no place in a symphony; he is a soloist and performs by himself — in soli tude, it may be; or if in the company with other instruments, only as principal; or for setting the tone, as in singing.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Greatness & Genius


“Great minds are related to the brief span of time during which they live as great buildings are to a little square in which they stand: you cannot see them in all their magnitude because you are standing too close to them.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 20, § 242

 


“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation

 


“If at times I have thought myself unfortunate, it is because of a confusion, an error. I have mistaken myself for someone else… Who am I really? I am the author of The World as Will and Representation, I am the one who has given an answer to the mystery of Being that will occupy the thinkers of future centuries. That is what I am, and who can dispute it in the years of life that still remain for me?”

– Arthur Schopenhauer

 


“Every child is in a way a genius; and every genius is in a way a child.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation

 


“Fame is something which must be won; honor, only something which must not be lost.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, Vol. 1. Ch. 4: Position, or a Man’s Place in the Estimation of Others

 


“Talent works for money and fame; the motive which moves genius to productivity is, on the other hand, less easy to determine. It isn’t money, for genius seldom gets any. It isn’t fame: fame is too uncertain and, more closely considered, of too little worth. Nor is it strictly for its own pleasure, for the great exertion involved almost outweighs the pleasure. It is rather an instinct of a unique sort by virtue of which the individual possessed of genius is impelled to express what he has seen and felt in enduring works without being conscious of any further motivation. It takes place, by and large, with the same sort of necessity as a tree brings forth fruit, and demands of the world no more than a soil on which the individual can flourish.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2 “On Philosophy and the Intellect” as translated in Essays and Aphorisms (1970), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale

 


“Men of learning are those who have read the contents of books. Thinkers, geniuses, and those who have enlightened the world and furthered the race of men, are those who have made direct use of the book of the world.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Happiness


“The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, Personality; or, What a Man Is

 


“There is only one inborn erroneous notion … that we exist in order to be happy … So long as we persist in this inborn error … the world seems to us full of contradictions. For at every step, in great things and small, we are bound to experience that the world and life are certainly not arranged for the purpose of maintaining a happy existence … hence the countenances of almost all elderly persons wear the expression of … disappointment.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation

 


“There is no doubt that life is given us, not to be enjoyed, but to be overcome — to be got over.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims

  


“Epicurus, the great teacher of happiness, has correctly and finely divided human needs into three classes. First there are the natural and necessary needs which, if they are not satisfied, cause pain. Consequently, they are only victus et amictus [food and clothing] and are easy to satisfy. Then we have those that are natural yet not necessary, that is, the needs for sexual satisfaction. … These needs are more difficult to satisfy. Finally, there are those that are neither natural nor necessary, the needs for luxury, extravagance, pomp, and splendour, which are without end and very difficult to satisfy.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 346

 


“There is no more mistaken path to happiness than worldliness, revelry, high life.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, Our Relation to Others, § 24

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Independence & Intellect


“What now on the other hand makes people sociable is their incapacity to endure solitude and thus themselves.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life

 


“The result of this mental dullness is that inner vacuity and emptiness that is stamped on innumerable faces and also betrays itself in a constant and lively attention to all events in the external world, even the most trivial. This vacuity is the real source of boredom and always craves for external excitement in order to set the mind and spirits in motion through something. Therefore in the choice thereof it is not fastidious, as is testified by the miserable and wretched pastimes to which people have recourse. … The principal result of this inner vacuity is the craze for society, diversion, amusement, and luxury of every kind which lead many to extravagance and so to misery. Nothing protects us so surely from this wrong turning as inner wealth, the wealth of the mind, for the more eminent it becomes, the less room does it leave for boredom. The inexhaustible activity of ideas, their constantly renewed play with the manifold phenomena of the inner and outer worlds, the power and urge always to make different combinations of them, all these put the eminent mind, apart from moments of relaxation, quite beyond the reach of boredom.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, pp. 329–330

 


“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, Our Relation to Others, § 23

 

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Life


 Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Life

“Every time a man is begotten and born, the clock of human life is wound up anew to repeat once more its same old tune that has already been played innumerable times, movement by movement and measure by measure, with insignificant variations.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation


“In youth it is the outward aspect of things that most engages us; while in age, thought or reflection is the predominating quality of the mind. Hence, youth is the time for poetry, and age is more inclined to philosophy. In practical affairs it is the same: a man shapes his resolutions in youth more by the impression that the outward world makes upon him; whereas, when he is old, it is thought that determines his actions.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims

 


“In general admittedly the Wise of all times have always said the same thing, and the fools, that is to say the vast majority of all times, have always done the same thing, i.e. the opposite; and so it will remain in the future.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life


“If you feel irritated by the absurd remarks of two people whose conversation you happen to overhear, you should imagine that you are listening to a dialogue of two fools in a comedy.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims T. B. Saunders, trans., § 38


“Newspapers are the second hand of history. This hand, however, is usually not only of inferior metal to the other hands, it also seldom works properly.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 19, § 233


“Because people have no thoughts to deal in, they deal cards, and try and win one another’s money. Idiots!”

 – Arthur Schopenhauer


“In our monogamous part of the world, to marry means to halve one’s rights and double one’s duties.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 27, § 370


“We see in tragedy the noblest men, after a long conflict and suffering, finally renounce forever all the pleasure of life and the aims till then pursued so keenly, or cheerfully and willingly give up life itself.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation


“Life is a business that does not cover the costs.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation


“Memory works like the collection glass in the Camera obscura: it gathers everything together and therewith produces a far more beautiful picture than was present originally.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life

 


“One can forget everything, everything, only not oneself, one’s own being.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life

 


“Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life

 


“We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.”

Arthur Schopenhauer, As attributed in Dictionary of Quotations from Ancient and Modern English and Foreign Sources (1899) by James Wood

“For our improvement we need a mirror.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life


“A man’s face as a rule says more, and more interesting things, than his mouth, for it is a compendium of everything his mouth will ever say, in that it is the monogram of all this man’s thoughts and aspirations.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 29, § 377


“That the outer man is a picture of the inner, and the face an expression and revelation of the whole character, is a presumption likely enough in itself, and therefore a safe one to go on; borne out as it is by the fact that people are always anxious to see anyone who has made himself famous …. Photography … offers the most complete satisfaction of our curiosity.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 29, § 377

 


“If there is anything in the world that can really be called a man’s property, it is surely that which is the result of his mental activity.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, Unverified attribution noted in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1993)


“There is only one healing force, and that is nature; in pills and ointments there is none. At most they can give the healing force of nature a hint about where there is something for it to do.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Morality & Ethics


“Compassion is the basis of all morality.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, As attributed in Thesaurus of Epigrams : A New Classified Collection of Witty Remarks, Bon Mots and Toasts


“If a person is stupid, we excuse him by saying that he cannot help it; but if we attempted to excuse in precisely the same way the person who is bad, we should be laughed at.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation


“The animals are much more content with mere existence than we are; the plants are wholly so; and man is so according to how dull and insensitive he is. The animal’s life consequently contains less suffering but also less pleasure than the human’s, the direct reason being that on the one hand it is free from care and anxiety and the torments that attend them, but on the other is without hope and therefore has no share in that anticipation of a happy future which, together with the enchanting products of the imagination which accompany it, is the source of most of our greatest joys and pleasures. The animal lacks both anxiety and hope because its consciousness is restricted to what is clearly evident and thus to the present moment: the animal is the present incarnate.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2 “On the Suffering of the World” as translated in Essays and Aphorisms (1970), as translated by R. J. Hollingdale


“In Christian ethics … animals are seen as mere things. They can therefore be used for vivisection, hunting, coarsing, bull-fights and horse-races and can be whipped to death as they struggle along with their heavy carts of stone. Shame on such a morality that fails to recognise the eternal essence that exists in every living thing and shines forth with inscrutable significance from all eyes that see the sun.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Basis of Morality

 


 “All the cruelty and torment of which the world is full is in fact merely the necessary result of the totality of the forms under which the will to live is objectified.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 14, § 164

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Philosophy & Truth


“In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, “The Art of Controversy” as translated by T. Bailey Saunders

 


“The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Counsels and Maxims, Vol. 2, Ch. 1, § 17

 


“In every page of David Hume, there is more to be learned than from Hegel’s, Herbart’s and Schleiermacher’s complete philosophical works.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation

 


“The charlatan takes very different shapes according to circumstances; but at bottom he is a man who cares nothing about knowledge for its own sake, and only strives to gain the semblance of it that he may use it for his own personal ends, which are always selfish and material.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Parerga and Paralipomena

 


“The auspices for philosophy are bad if, when proceeding ostensibly on the investigation of truth, we start saying farewell to all uprightness, honesty and sincerity, and are intent only on passing ourselves off for what we are not. We then assume, like those three sophists [Fichte, Schelling and Hegel], first a false pathos, then an affected and lofty earnestness, then an air of infinite superiority, in order to impose where we despair of ever being able to convince.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and the Real

  


“An unbiased reader, on opening one of their [Fichte’s, Schelling’s or Hegel’s] books and then asking himself whether this is the tone of a thinker wanting to instruct or that of a charlatan wanting to impress, cannot be five minutes in any doubt. … The tone of calm investigation, which had characterized all previous philosophy, is exchanged for that of unshakeable certainty, such as is peculiar to charlatanry of every kind and at all times. … From every page and every line, there speaks an endeavor to beguile and deceive the reader, first by producing an effect to dumbfound him, then by incomprehensible phrases and even sheer nonsense to stun and stupefy him, and again by audacity of assertion to puzzle him, in short, to throw dust in his eyes and mystify him as much as possible.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and the Real

  


“Descartes is rightly regarded as the father of modern philosophy primarily and generally because he helped the faculty of reason to stand on its own feet by teaching men to use their brains in place whereof the Bible, on the one hand, and Aristotle, on the other, had previously served.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and the Real E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 3

  


 “To be a philosopher, that is to say, a lover of wisdom (for wisdom is nothing but truth), it is not enough for a man to love truth, in so far as it is compatible with his own interest, with the will of his superiors, with the dogmas of the church, or with the prejudices and tastes of his contemporaries; so long as he rests content with this position, he is only a philantos, not a philosophos [a lover of ego, not a lover of wisdom]. For this title of honor is well and wisely conceived precisely by its stating that one should love the truth earnestly and with one’s whole heart, and thus unconditionally and unreservedly, above all else, and, if need be, in defiance of all else. Now the reason for this is the one previously stated that the intellect has become free, and in this state it does not even know or understand any other interest than that of truth.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Sketch of a History of the Doctrine of the Ideal and the Real E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, pp. 21–22

  


“Philosophy … is a science, and as such has no articles of faith; accordingly, in it nothing can be assumed as existing except what is either positively given empirically, or demonstrated through indubitable conclusions”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Parerga and Paralipomena

 


“Chair-philosophy is burdened with the disadvantage which philosophy as a profession imposes on philosophy as the free investigation of truth, or which philosophy by government order imposes on philosophy in the name of nature and mankind.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in On Philosophy in the Universities, Sämtliche Werke, Bd. 5, p. 151, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 139

 


“A government will not pay people to contradict directly, or even only indirectly, what it has had promulgated from all the pulpits by thousands of its appointed priests or religious teachers. … Hence the maxim improbant secus docentes [We reject and condemn the man who teaches something different].”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in On Philosophy in the Universities, Sämtliche Werke, Bd. 5, pp. 152–153, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 139

 


“In philosophy at the universities truth occupies only a secondary place and, if called upon, she must get up and make room for another attribute.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in On Philosophy in the Universities, Sämtliche Werke, Bd. 5, p. 152, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 140

 


“Framed with regard to the established religion, this philosophy runs essentially parallel thereto; and so, being perhaps intricately composed, curiously trimmed, and thus rendered difficult to understand, it is always at bottom and in the main nothing but a paraphrase and apology of the established religion.” “Accordingly, for those teaching under these restrictions, there is nothing left but to look for new turns of phrase and forms of speech by which they arrange the contents of the established religion. Distinguished in abstract expressions and thereby rendered dry and dull, they then go by the name of philosophy.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in On Philosophy in the Universities, Sämtliche Werke, Bd. 5, pp. 152–153, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 140

 


“University professors, restricted in this way, are quite happy about the matter, for their real concern is to earn with credit an honest livelihood for themselves and also for their wives and children and moreover to enjoy a certain prestige in the eyes of the public. On the other hand, the deeply stirred mind of the real philosopher, whose whole concern in to look for the key to our existence, as mysterious as it is precarious, is regarded by them as something mythological, if indeed the man so affected does not even appear to them to be obsessed by a monomania, should he ever be met with among them. For that a man could really be in dead earnest about philosophy does not as a rule occur to anyone, least of all to a lecturer thereon; just as the most sceptical Christian is usually the Pope. It has, therefore, been one of the rarest events for a genuine philosopher to be at the same time a lecturer in philosophy.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in On Philosophy in the Universities, Sämtliche Werke, Bd. 5, p. 153, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 141

 


“We should judge university philosophy … by its true and proper aim: … that the junior barristers, solicitors, doctors, probationers, and pedagogues of the future should maintain, even in their innermost conviction, the same line of thought in keeping with the aims and intentions that the State and its government have in common with them. I have no objection to this and so in this respect have nothing to say. For I do not consider myself competent to judge of the necessity or needlessness of such a State expedient, but rather leave it to those who have the difficult task of governing men, that is to say, of maintain law and order, … and of protecting the few who have acquired property from the immense number of those who have nothing but their physical strength. … I certainly do not presume to argue with them over the means to be employed in this case; for my motto has always been: “Thank God, each morning, therefore, that you have not the Roman realm to care for!” [Goethe, Faust] But it was these constitutional aims of university philosophy which procured for Hegelry such an unprecedented ministerial favor. For it the State was “the absolute perfect ethical organism,” and it represented as originating in the State the whole aim of human existence. Could there be for future junior barristers and this for state officials a better preparation than this, in consequence whereof their whole substance and being, their body and soul, were entirely forfeited to the State, like bees in a beehive, and they had nothing else to work for … except to become efficient wheels, cooperating for the purpose of keeping in motion the great State machine, that ultimus finis bonorum [ultimate good]? The junior barrister and the man were accordingly one and the same. It was a real apotheosis of philistinism.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in On Philosophy in the Universities, Sämtliche Werke, Bd. 5, p. 159, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, pp. 146-147

  


“It is the courage to make a clean breast of it in the face of every question that makes the philosopher. He must be like Sophocles’ Oedipus, who, seeking enlightenment concerning his terrible fate, pursues his indefatigable inquiry even though he divines that appalling horror awaits him in the answer. But most of us carry with us the Jocasta in our hearts, who begs Oedipus, for God’s sake, not to inquire further.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, Letter to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (November 1819)

 


“Reason is feminine in nature; it can only give after it has received. Of itself it has nothing but the empty forms of its operation. There is no absolutely pure rational knowledge except the four principles to which I have attributed metalogical truth; the principles of identity, contradiction, excluded middle, and sufficient reason of knowledge. For even the rest of logic is not absolutely pure rational knowledge. It presupposes the relations and the combinations of the spheres of concepts. But concepts in general only exist after experience of ideas of perception, and as their whole nature consists in their relation to these, it is clear that they presuppose them.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation

  


“Life is short and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Philistine


“A man who has no mental needs, because his intellect is of the narrow and normal amount, is, in the strict sense of the word, what is called a philistine.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, Personality; or, What a Man Is


“His [the Philistine’s] existence is not animated by any keen desire for knowledge and insight for their own sake, or by any desire for really aesthetic pleasures which is so entirely akin to it. If, however, any pleasures of this kind are forced on him by fashion or authority, he will dispose of them as briefly as possible as a kind of compulsory labour.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 344


“The purpose of his [the Philistine’s] life is to procure for himself everything that contributes to bodily welfare. He is happy enough when this causes him a lot of trouble. For if those good things are heaped on him in advance, he will inevitably lapse into boredom.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 344


“Dancing, the theatre, society, card-playing, games of chance, horses, women, drinking, traveling, and so on … are not enough to ward off boredom where intellectual pleasures are rendered impossible by lack of intellectual needs. Thus a peculiar characteristic of the Philistine is a dull, dry seriousness akin to that of animals.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 344


“A great affliction of all Philistines is that idealities afford them no entertainment, but to escape from boredom they are always in need of realities.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 345

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Religion


“When the Church says that, in the dogmas of religion, reason is totally incompetent and blind, and its use to be reprehended, this really attests the fact that these dogmas are allegorical in their nature, and are not to be judged by the standard which reason, taking all things sensu proprio, can alone apply. Now the absurdities of a dogma are just the mark and sign of what is allegorical and mythical in it. In the case under consideration, however, the absurdities spring from the fact that two such heterogeneous doctrines as those of the Old and New Testaments had to be combined. The great allegory was of gradual growth. Suggested by external and adventitious circumstances, it was developed by the interpretation put upon them, an interpretation in quiet touch with certain deep-lying truths only half realised. The allegory was finally completed by Augustine, who penetrated deepest into its meaning, and so was able to conceive it as a systematic whole and supply its defects.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in “The Christian System” in ‘Religion : A Dialogue, and Other Essays (1910) as translated by Thomas Bailey Saunders


“The bad thing about all religions is that, instead of being able to confess their allegorical nature, they have to conceal it; accordingly, they parade their doctrines in all seriousness as true sensu proprio, and as absurdities form an essential part of these doctrines we have the great mischief of a continual fraud. Nay, what is worse, the day arrives when they are no longer true sensu proprio, and then there is an end of them; so that, in that respect, it would be better to admit their allegorical nature at once. But the difficulty is to teach the multitude that something can be both true and untrue at the same time. Since all religions are in a greater or less degree of this nature, we must recognise the fact that mankind cannot get on without a certain amount of absurdity, that absurdity is an element in its existence, and illusion indispensable; as indeed other aspects of life testify.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in “The Christian System” in ‘Religion : A Dialogue, and Other Essays (1910) as translated by Thomas Bailey Saunders


“I have described religion as the metaphysics of the people.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in On Philosophy in the Universities, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 140


“Monotheistic religions alone furnish the spectacle of religious wars, religious persecutions, heretical tribunals, that breaking of idols and destruction of images of the gods, that razing of Indian temples and Egyptian colossi, which had looked on the sun 3,000 years: just because a jealous god had said, ‘Thou shalt make no graven image.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, Studies in Pessimism, on Human Nature, and Religion: A Dialogue, Etc

 


“All religions promise a reward for excellences of the will or heart, but none for excellences of the head or understanding.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Wealth


“It is difficult, if not impossible, to define the limit of our reasonable desires in respect of possessions.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 346

 


“People are often reproached because their desires are directed mainly to money and they are fonder of it than of anything else. Yet it is natural and even inevitable for them to love that which, as an untiring Proteus, is ready at any moment to convert itself into the particular object of our fickle desires and manifold needs. Thus every other blessing can satisfy only one desire and one need; for instance, food is good only to the hungry, wine only for the healthy, medicine for the sick, a fur coat for winter, women for youth, and so on. Consequently, all these are only … relatively good. Money alone is the absolutely good thing because it meets not merely one need in concreto, but needs generally in abstracto.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 347

  


“For the purpose of acquiring gain, everything else is pushed aside or thrown overboard, for example, as is philosophy by the professors of philosophy.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 347

  


“Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 347

  


“Means at our disposal should be regarded as a bulwark against the many evils and misfortunes that can occur. We should not regard such wealth as a permission or even an obligation to procure for ourselves the pleasures of the world.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 348

  


“People who originally have no means but are ultimately able to earn a great deal, through whatever talents they may possess, almost always come to think that these are permanent capital and that what they gain through them is interest. Accordingly, they do not put aside part of their earnings to form a permanent capital, but spend their money as fast as they earn it. But they are then often reduced to poverty because their earnings decrease or come to an end after their talent, which was of a transitory nature, is exhausted, as happens, for example, in the case of almost all the fine arts; or because it could be brought to bear only under a particular set of circumstances that has ceased to exist.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, E. Payne, trans. (1974) Vol. 1, p. 348

Top

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes about Writing



Arthur Schopenhauer quotes about writing and philosophy

Photo by: Dr. Haack Leipzig

“Truth that is naked is the most beautiful, and the simpler its expression the deeper is the impression it makes; this is partly because it gets unobstructed hold of the hearer’s mind without his being distracted by secondary thoughts, and partly because he feels that here he is not being corrupted or deceived by the arts of rhetoric, but that the whole effect is got from the thing itself.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in “On Authorship and Style” as translated by Mrs. Rudolf Dircks


“The law of simplicity and naïveté applies to all fine art, for it is compatible with what is most sublime.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer


“True brevity of expression consists in a man only saying what is worth saying, while avoiding all diffuse explanations of things which everyone can think out for himself; that is, it consists in his correctly distinguishing between what is necessary and what is superfluous. On the other hand, one should never sacrifice clearness, to say nothing of grammar, for the sake of being brief. To impoverish the expression of a thought, or to obscure or spoil the meaning of a period for the sake of using fewer words shows a lamentable want of judgment.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in “On Authorship and Style” as translated by Mrs. Rudolf Dircks

 


“There are, first of all, two kinds of authors: those who write for the subject’s sake, and those who write for writing’s sake. The first kind have had thoughts or experiences which seem to them worth communicating, while the second kind need money and consequently write for money.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in “On Authorship and Style” as translated by Mrs. Rudolf Dircks

 


“No greater mistake can be made than to imagine that what has been written latest is always the more correct; that what is written later on is an improvement on what was written previously; and that every change means progress. Men who think and have correct judgment, and people who treat their subject earnestly, are all exceptions only. Vermin is the rule everywhere in the world: it is always at hand and busily engaged in trying to improve in its own way upon the mature deliberations of the thinkers.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in “On Authorship and Style” as translated by Mrs. Rudolf Dircks

 


“A book can never be anything more than the impression of its author’s thoughts. The value of these thoughts lies either in the matter about which he has thought, or in the form in which he develops his matter — that is to say, what he has thought about it.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in “On Authorship and Style” as translated by Mrs. Rudolf Dircks

 


“The little honesty that exists among authors is discernible in the unconscionable way they misquote from the writings of others.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in “On Authorship and Style” as translated by Mrs. Rudolf Dircks

 


“For a work to become immortal it must possess so many excellences that it will not be easy to find a man who understands and values them all; so that there will be in all ages men who recognise and appreciate some of these excellences; by this means the credit of the work will be retained throughout the long course of centuries and ever-changing interests, for, as it is appreciated first in this sense, then in that, the interest is never exhausted.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in “On Authorship and Style” as translated by Mrs. Rudolf Dircks

Top

Quotes about Arthur Schopenhauer


“In human freedom in the philosophical sense I am definitely a disbeliever. Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity. Schopenhauer’s saying, that “a man can do as he will, but not will as he will,” has been an inspiration to me since my youth up, and a continual consolation and unfailing well-spring of patience in the face of the hardships of life, my own and others’. This feeling mercifully mitigates the sense of responsibility which so easily becomes paralyzing, and it prevents us from taking ourselves and other people too seriously; it conduces to a view of life in which humor, above all, has its due place.”

– Albert Einstein, as quoted in “Mein Weltbild” (1931) [“My World-view”


“He was the first to speak of the suffering of the world, which visibly and glaringly surrounds us, and of confusion, passion, evil — all those things which the [other philosophers] hardly seemed to notice and always tried to resolve into all-embracing harmony and comprehensiblility. Here at last was a philosopher who had the courage to see that all was not for the best in the fundaments of the universe.’

– Carl Jung, as quoted in Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1961), p. 69


“He speaks to me as no other philosopher does, direct and in his own human voice, a fellow spirit, a penetratingly perceptive friend, with a hand on my elbow and a twinkle in his eye. Although I frequently do not agree with what he says, I always listen to him.”

– Bryan Magee, as quoted in Confessions of a Philosopher : A Personal Journey through Western Philosophy from Plato to Popper (1999), p. 373


“We are struck by the psychological force and even fierceness with which he reveals the deepest recesses of the human heart.”

– Eric F. J. Payne, as quoted in his introduction to his 1958 translation of The World as Will and Representation

Top


 
Related Material


 


Top

Share this Page:

[/vc_column][/vc_row]