Who is Arthur Schopenhauer?

Who is Arthur Schopenhauer?

December 13, 2020 Off By Felso

Arthur Schopenhauer is a German philosopher who lived between 1788 and 1860. He is known as an irrationalist and pessimistic thinker in the history of philosophy. His most famous work is “The World as Will and Design”, published before he was 30.

Schopenhauer suggested that the essential reality behind the visible world is Will (will). This Will, according to Schopenhauer, had a mindless, unconscious essence and manifested itself in the world of Phenomena.

It was the source of all the visible. The human body was also his work. This uncontrolled will of the mind (what is meant by total will) made people move on their finger and, with temporary satisfaction or unattainable dreams, put one in a cycle of weariness and pain that he could never get out of.

According to that; There was only one way to avoid this meaningless, empty, pain-filled, bad life; that is to kill our will. This led him to propose a way of life that suggests to withdraw from a worldly life like Hinduism, Buddhism, and live like a monk, helping others, not increasing our happiness as much as possible, but reducing our suffering as much as possible. His philosophy meant a new perspective in the history of philosophy on which reason (Rationalism) was grounded, and it had a great impact on intellectual and artistic fields such as Psychology, Psychoanalysis, Music, and Literature.


He was born on February 22, 1788 in Danzig. Her father was Heinrich Floris Schopenhauer, a talented merchant, and her mother, Johanna, a young woman devoted to freedom. Heinrich Schopenhauer’s greatest desire was for his son Arthur to become a great merchant like himself. The Schopenhauer family was far from the ideal family a child dreamed of, Heinrich was too jealous, and Johanna too selfish and freedom-loving.

Therefore, the conflicts in the family would never cease until Heinrich Schopenhauer died. Arthur Schopenhauer, on the other hand, would grow up full of negative feelings towards his mother and be his disliked mother at the root of most of his negative thoughts on future women. When Arthur was very young, Prussia took over Danzig, and the family moved to Hamburg. After the family moved to Hamburg, Arthur’s younger sister Adele was born, and lived with her family in Hamburg from 1793 to 1797.

Later, when he was nine years old, he was sent by his father to Paris to learn about social grace, with a family friend. Arthur lived in Paris for two years. When he was fifteen, Arthur’s dreams were not at all about becoming a merchant. Although he was only fifteen years old, he had an insatiable interest in literature and philosophy. Nevertheless, his father’s attempts were unwilling to come to an end, and in 1804 he began his apprenticeship with the famous Hamburg merchant Senator Jenisch. Then, in April 1805, that important event occurred that would change the life and thoughts of Arthur Schopenhauer; His father, Heinrich, committed suicide by jumping into the Hamburg Canal from the window above his warehouse in Hamburg. Arthur was emotionally depressed, and he continued his merchant apprenticeship for a while after his father’s death.

While Schopenhauer mourned the death of his father in a deeply depressed state, his mother Johanna, after a few months of mourning, moved from Hamburg to Weimar, liquidating the family business. The hall he set up in Weimar quickly became famous and became friends with many important artists of the period. Over time he became a well-known writer and wrote many novels, articles and biographies. His novels often contained feministic themes, often the subject of women who were forced into a marriage he did not want but still did not give up their freedom and therefore refused to have children.

Arthur Schopenhauer entered the University of Göttingen in 1809. He was influenced by Kant and Plato. Two years later he went to Berlin and entered the University of Berlin. In 1813, he defended a thesis entitled “Über die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom Zureichender Grunde” (The Four Roots of Adequate Reason) in Jena, with this thesis he received his doctorate from the University of Jena. He had a serious fight with his mother around this time, and they never met until his mother died.

In 1818 he published his major work Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (The World as Will and Design). The work, which will be sold well in the future and will become a philosophical classic today, unfortunately did not sell at all at that time. Arthur Schopenhauer later became associate professor at the University of Berlin (1820). When he started teaching at the University of Berlin, he had set his lectures to the same time as that of Hegel, the famous philosopher of the day, so often no one would come to listen to him. He left his teaching post in 1831 and lived a reclusive life in Frankfurt.

In 1844, the second complementary volume of his work The World as Will and Design was published. Except for the last years of his life, he could not attain the reputation he believed he deserved. Yet it was perhaps the biggest thing he wanted in the world, reputation. He has many words on the reputation that he has not won over the long period, he has overemphasized his longing for recognition. His work Parerga et Paralipenoma (“lagging and complementary work” from Greek) published in 1850