Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer . German thinker and one of the best prose writers in the German language. With clear and simple language, he penetrated the deepest foundations of western philosophy.

He developed an original system that collected the thinking of the classics such as Plato and the predecessor Kant to bring them to coincide surprisingly with Buddhism and Hinduism, thus closing the circle of philosophy to bring it back to the origin, to the oldest cultures of humanity.

It was, in fact, the first serious attempt to unite western and eastern metaphysics, and although this was not intentional, the truth is that it anticipated the interests of the coming century.


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  • 1 Biographical synthesis
  • 2 Chronology
  • 3 Works
    • 1 Introduction to thinking
    • 2 The work in time
    • 3 Work in Prosterity
    • 4 Access to the work: comments
  • 4 Some quotes
    • 1 About the world
    • 2 On the meaning of life
    • 3 On the natural goodness of the human being
    • 4 About friendship
    • 5 About society and the state
    • 6 About happiness
    • 7 About reading
    • 8 On religion
    • 9 On philosophy
  • 5 Sources

Biographical synthesis

Arthur Schopenhauer was born in Danzig in February of 1788at the time that Kant published the “Critique of Pure Reason”. The father, a prosperous merchant with a strong character, was a liberal republican who admired all things English, an admiration that he tried to pass on to his son, who captured much of this interest. Determined that the son follow the same commercial career, he would end up finding his opposition to whom it was not funny to follow those steps. However, Arthur always had a good relationship with him; He considers that it appears in the writings, thanking that the economic independence inherited from the parent would have allowed him to carry out his true vocation. However, he had to experience very difficult relationships with his mother. She was a woman with a jovial and cheerful temperament, skillful in dealing with others and assiduous at social gatherings,

When the Prussians occupied Danzig in 1793 , the family retired to Hamburg, where poets and writers would regularly pass through the new house. This environment led the mother to write several books that were not widely disseminated. 4 years later, in 1797 , the father sent him to France to educate himself in the heat of the post-revolutionary chaos, soon after, and following an itinerant and polyglot education, he traveled to learn english. Here the rigid British character of the time was not too liked, although these small disappointments would contribute to developing a certain negativism regarding the supposed collective virtues such as patriotism, against which he was always skeptical if not satirical. All this, in addition to how strongly impressed he would be by the sufferings of the humble classes he saw on trips in such a troubled time, would lead him to assume a special perception of the world that he would develop extensively years later. As he comments, “At seventeen, without any intellectual training, I was as impressed by the misery of life as the Buddha, when in youth he beheld illness, old age, pain, and death.”

In 1805the father dies in a dark suicide, something for which he would morally blame the mother. However, he will be under the guardianship of the latter with which he moves to live in Weimar. At the mother’s house she will see the opening of a literary salon through which very important artists, Goethe among others, will pass. At that time, he began his commercial career, but after a certain time and influenced by the talks that he attended at home, he decided to change his vocation and entered the Gymnasium of Gotha, where he would be for 6 years, first, and then continue his pre-university studies in Weimar. . Shortly afterwards he entered the university, taking courses in medicine, natural sciences and history in Gottinga; by then Schopenhauer speaks in addition to the language, English, Italian and some French, in addition to Greek and Latin. Under Schulze’s recommendations,

In 1811 he moved to the University of Berlin , where he was impressed by Wolf, while disappointed by Fichte , who enjoyed professional fame. During the stay in Berlin, the liberation war against Napoleon Bonaparte breaks out , but Schopenhauer, being a foreigner, is not called up, and chooses to go to a small town far from the conflict and where he writes the first thesis “On the fourfold root of the beginning of sufficient reason “in 1813, on which the subsequent system would germinate. This work was dedicated to the mother who received it with disdain. However, after obtaining a doctorate, he returned to the mother’s home in Weimar, where he enjoyed Goethe’s friendship and professed a lifetime admiration.

At that time he contacted the orientalist F. Mayer, which was a major event in the author’s trajectory of thought. Brahmanism , Buddhism , Taoism… and a long etcetera of the master ideas of the East passed through the hands while he saw in them constant affirmations to the expositions exposed in the thesis. These translations, of disputed accuracy at the time, began to enter the West at that same time and so strongly impacted the author that attention would be permanent on them throughout life. Even being so contrary to all religious forms, he is said to have obtained a bronze statue of a Buddha which he would place in the bedroom. Without knowledge to probe the practical foundations of what these books expounded, Schopenhauer has to content himself with “finding solace in the Buddha’s kind smile”, in the face of the absurdity of existence.

After a few years, and after a trip through Italy and a foray into science in “On Vision and Colors”, he gave the editor “The World as Will and Representation” which was published in 1819 . The main work, the “dear daughter” would not suffer any alteration in the bases throughout life, and all other works pivot. However, the editorial failure in the first publication was enormous; as much as disappointment, which justifies not being a work for that time, but for times to come.

In 1822 he returned to Italy from which he returned in 1825 with the intention of teaching in Berlin, but the classes were not filled unlike the then popular Hegel. Furthermore, he is denied a chair. The ghost of the persecution of the work begins to appear and soon decides to move to Frankfurt on the Main due to a premonitory dream that he records. Cholera would soon appear in Berlin, and the rival, Hegel, would fall victim to it. In Frankfurt am Main he lives in the company of a dog, an animal that, along with the rest, he treats with total devotion and of which he says that the company has no comparison to that of people. Here he will live in retirement until his death in 1860enjoying a comfortable income that will allow you a literary production not very large but very careful and of great value. He also learns Spanish and translates Baltasar Gracián’s complex “Oráculo”, and he regularly reads Calderón. His admiration for what is Hispanic even leads him to an excellent command of the proverb, which he uses very frequently.

During his life in Frankfurt, he publishes various works. “On the Will in Nature” published in 1836 , he tried to reconcile the system with the latest achievements of science but it did not have much resonance. In 1838 the mother dies, shortly after he goes to a contest called by the Royal Norwegian Academy of Sciences, which rewards his essay “On Human Freedom”, but in another called by the Danish Academy, he did not receive an award despite being the only one presented for “disrespectfulness with established philosophers.” The rest of the works would suffer a similar fate. In 1844publishes the second edition of “The world as Will and representation”, augmented with a second volume of “Complements”. This ignorance about the work would endure until 1851.the “Parerga and Paralipómena” (accessory and omitted things) would appear, and fame shot up. The artists tried to portray him, the youth followed him in this non-optimistic vision of the world after having experienced the disappointment of yet another revolution, that of 1848-49, and characters like Wagner were impressed. The latter read “The world as will and representation”, and it would be largely inspired by it. He even sent him a dedicated copy of “The Ring of the Nibelungs”, his greatest work. As a consequence of this final recognition, “The world as will and representation” reaches the third edition, and one year after death, 1860, the second edition of “The two fundamental problems of ethics” is published.

All this radical turn in the acceptance of the work was viewed with great satisfaction by Schopenhauer, and he did not fail to take advantage of the occasion to make a scathing review of all those who had reviled him. At the end of life, he was offered to be an honorary member of the Danish Royal Academy, since he rejects it. However, all these features of this sporadic facet of Schopenhauer’s character also have a negative side, since it must be commented that he had an explicit misogyny, which at the end of life he regretted in large part “I have not said the last word about women, I think that when a woman manages to withdraw herself from the crowd, that is, to stand out above her, she is capable of enlarging herself unlimitedly and more than men themselves. ”

An idea of ​​Arthur’s personality is offered by F. de Careil:

and sometimes the small circle of the intimates listened to him until midnight without at any moment the fatigue painted on his face appearing or the fire of the gaze dimming. With a clear and accentuated word it captivated the audience: it ordered and analyzed everything together; a delicate sensitivity increased the heat; He was exact and precise on all kinds of subjects. A German who had traveled extensively in Abyssinia, was amazed one day to hear him give such precise details about the different crocodile species and customs; he imagined having before him a former traveling companion. ” a delicate sensitivity increased the heat; He was exact and precise on all kinds of subjects. A German who had traveled extensively in Abyssinia, was astonished one day to hear him give such precise details about different crocodile species and customs; he imagined having before him a former traveling companion. ” a delicate sensitivity increased the heat; He was exact and precise on all kinds of subjects. A German who had traveled extensively in Abyssinia, was amazed one day to hear him give such precise details about the different crocodile species and customs; he imagined having before him a former traveling companion. ”

A year after the date of this story in 1860 , Schopenhauer died, the maid went to the room as every morning and was reclining in the chair with a slight smile.


  • 1788– Arthur Schopenhauer is born in Dantzig.
  • 1803– Take a trip through various countries in Europe.
  • 1805– In Hamburg, the preparation begins to dedicate itself to the commerce. The father would appear dead with strong signs of suicide.
  • 1806– Moves to Gotha with mother and hangs out with friends like Goethe.
  • 1810– Philosophy and the studies of Kant and Plato begin.
  • 1813– Doctoral thesis: “On the quadruple principle of sufficient reason”
  • 1819– Publishes the first edition of “The world as will and representation”
  • 1820– Enters a professor in Berlin. Students frequent the classes of the hated and then popular Hegel. He is sued in a lawsuit for “inviting” to evict a neighbor from his home while waiting for a mistress. Later he would leave teaching living on a comfortable income that ensures both intellectual and economic independence.
  • 1831– Leaves Berlin thanks to a premonitory dream of which he leaves a written record. Soon after, anger would end Hegel. 1832 – Translates Baltasar Gracián’s “Manual Oracle”.
  • 1836– Already in Frankfurt, publishes “On the will in nature”.
  • 1839– The Royal Norwegian Academy of Sciences awards his essay “On the freedom of the human will”.
  • 1840– The writing “About the foundation of morals” is not awarded by the Danish Academy of Sciences even though it was the only one presented, due to disrespectfulness towards established philosophers.
  • 1841– Edits these essays under the name “The two fundamental problems of ethics”
  • 1844– Second edition of “The world as will and representation”, to which he adds a second volume of “Complements”.
  • 1851– He publishes “Parerga y Paralipómena”, a complement to the main work that catapulted him to fame among the general public.
  • 1859– “The world as will and representation” reaches the third edition after the difficult past beginnings. The Danish Academy of Sciences finally offers him a position as an honorary member, since Schopenhauer declines.
  • 1860– On September 21 Schopenhauer appears reclining on the sofa with a gentle smile. You have awakened from the brief dream of life.


Introduction to thinking

For Schopenhauer the world is made of the same material as that of dreams, the “Veil of maya” of the Hindus. There is only one cosmic force: the will; that both gives birth to stars and plants grow or generate and liquidate new human beings without ceasing. They are caught in a painful paradox: they cannot resist the impulse of the blind and irrational will of their own nature that often brings suffering, and at the same time they aspire to be free of it. There are only apparently two ways to free ourselves or at least reduce this suffering. The first is with death, but this is something completely illusory and deceptive. A trance in which nature, once the function in man is over, will put another new individual in its place to continue the endless task, and the suffering will not end, making acts like suicide totally useless. The second is the task carried out by mystics and ascetics, who through the annihilation of the will and victory over nature manage to tear the veil of maya, see “beyond.” This is the only possible exit and victory.

Despite the fact that many authors affirm that ethics is the basis of the Schopenhauer system, the truth is that metaphysics is the cornerstone of it. Schopenhauer claims to discover the thing itself, which is none other than the will. From there all his ethics impels knowledge and renunciation of it. Neither the time nor perhaps the personality of the author himself would have made it possible for Schopenhauer to put into practice what he said. That is why he distances himself by differentiating the work of the philosopher from that of the ascetic or mystic. At first it is only possible at most to aspire to a certain tranquility before the world thanks to self-knowledge, but only to the ascetic or the mystic is victory reserved over him, the vision of the thing itself. Only they tear the Veil of Maya. Schopenhauer thus found special inspiration where this fight against the dream of reality still survives with full force; in the East, and specifically in theIndia . He soon became an avid reader of everything related to the culture of those latitudes.

Schopenhauer’s admiration for all forms of asceticism and mysticism is enormously strong. In a way, his philosophy is the prelude to mysticism, as he himself sometimes realizes. However, with the same force with which he admires mystics and ascetics, he rejects socially systematized religions, which he calls “metaphysics for the people”. It is this same consideration for the pure religions that leads him to quote Hindu, Buddhist and Christian texts several times as well as reject Catholicism , Protestantism , Judaism , Islam , and any other type of “social” religion at the same time .

For Schopenhauer the conquest of the world was never even the objective of the Christian religion, but Christianity did not finish triumphing over the old Jewish dogmas:

“This determining objective is not, not even once, the authentic Christianity of the New Testament , nor is it the spirit, since it is for them too high, too ethereal, too eccentric, excessively not of this world and, therefore, too pessimistic, completely inappropriate for the apotheosis of the State, but it is simply Judaism, the doctrine that the world has received the existence of a personal and much superior being, something that, therefore, is also the most charming and where all things are most beautiful. ”

Around Schopenhauer a plot of silence was organized in the academic world against which he reacted with fury, accusing the academic environment of being under the control and influence of the clergy. This silence persists to a great extent until today. Over time, the scathing criticism with which the author was used in the works are a real stimulus for reading. Tremendously individualistic, it was very difficult for contemporaries to pigeonhole him in any school. Subsequently, the attacks on him have been focused on his various comments on the most diverse groups. But this is actually anecdotal when delving into the author’s personality. It both starts hotly in favor of the abolition of slavery, and questions the intelligence of women.

The work in time

During the post-Kant era, in which Schopenhauer appears claiming the logical succession, philosophy began to drift towards an obscurantism in both language and concepts. The ideas discussed in such depth by Kant did not usually penetrate the heads of many scholars, who, without understanding them, chose to use absurd forms of language devoid of any content. This especially irritated Schopenhauer, who always opted for clear language and was at the opposite pole of these practices. He saw how the sincere search for knowledge was slowly being replaced by a nonsense jargon of language that was sectarianly approved in academic circles. Ideas become “empty nuts, like that of ‘the world is the existence of the infinite in the finite’, or that “the spirit is the reflection of the infinite in the finite”, and others like it. But no doubt a vulgar mind is as non-vulgar in thoughts as elms are pears. ”

According to Schopenhauer, all this was due to a special interest of the academic authorities related to the clergy. The “philosophy of teachers” is created, just as it happened in the days of the sophists, where the sincere desire for knowledge has been buried before the economic dependence of the state. It is not possible to be a philosopher for hire. “That with philosophy such a sincere and strong desire is possible, is something that a teacher can least dream of; in the same way that the least believer of all Christians is usually the Pope. That is why it is very rare that a true philosopher has also been a professor of philosophy ”

The philosophy after Kant and the establishment that it assumed of the rational principles that increasingly questioned the acceptance of a search for a “Being” as the center of thought in the West, was beginning to become a threat to the intellectuality of the theist. Europe . Thus he comments with irony “German Catholicism or neo-Catholicism is, in fact, nothing other than popularized Hegelianism. Just as it leaves the world unexplained: it is there, with no more stories. It simply receives the name of God, and humanity that of Christ. Both are “ends in themselves”, that is, they exist precisely to abandon oneself to well-being, as long as the short life lasts.

All this, however, is sarcastically treated by the author, who giving it up for lost attacks with irony and a sense of humor and trusting that future times will give him recognition that the present denied him. “… also at all times the works that can be seen are opening the way step by step and as if by a miracle, they are finally seen to rise above the mob, in the manner of aerostats, that of the densest regions of the atmosphere they ascend to purer ones and once there they support themselves without anything or anyone being able to lower them. ”

This recognition has undoubtedly come to him, but in the special way of having become a cult author. It is easy to find brilliant personalities of this century in the field of humanities or science who have been influenced by the work, but even easier is to observe the law of silence to which it has frequently been subjected.

Work in prosperity

A difficult thinker to get into any current, he has been used so much to say that he inspired Marxists and National Socialists, atheists and spiritualists. In fact, many decisive authors read Schopenhauer, but he cannot be accused of being the germ of any of these things, and the opposition to the submission of the individual to the state is well evident in many paragraphs of the work.

The outright rejection of Hegel’s ideas, which according to him were spoiling Germany and that would ultimately feed both Nazism and Marxism in a fundamental way, is the best proof of this.

“With this, not only does academic philosophy become a more vulgar school of philistinism, but in the end, like Hegel, one reaches the outrageous doctrine that the destiny of the human being is exhausted in the State – something like that of the bees in the hive – and thus the attention is completely diverted from the most sublime end of our existence. ”

The genius and brilliance, the sense of humor, and the development of the most powerful metaphysics ever found in the West have provided Schopenhauer with endorsements by the most brilliant contemporary minds. From Freud, from whom it has been demonstrated, he was inspired by his ideas, Nietzsche, more sincere and who dedicated an entire book to him (” Schopenhauer educator “). Einstein also affirmed that after having read Schopenhauer the conception of death had changed radically, Wittgenstein, Kierkeegard, and a long list of authors do not escape the influence of ” The world as will and representation “, the main work of Schopenhauer and hub of your entire system.

A great lover of everything Hispanic, he uses the proverb often, and was a great reader of Calderón de la Barca and Baltasar Gracián , from whom he was inspired by ” Oráculo ” to perform part of ” Parerga ” and whom he quotes very frequently. Schopenhauer’s work also finds correspondence in one of the brightest Spanish literary generations in history, that of the beginning of the century, and especially in Baroja and Unamuno.

Currently, the impulse of his thought has been manifesting for decades in all kinds of artistic and thought manifestations. With Schopenhauer he meets early, all the speculative interests that will later become general in the 20th century , from psychoanalysis to an interest in the esoteric and in eastern cultures, science, psychology, and even the sensitivity of music more current. He is considered by many to be the father of this century, and yet an increasingly evident silence continues to weigh on him.

Access to the work: comments

Schopenhauer liked to say that philosophy was the Thebes with the 100 doors, where you access it you always go to the center of the system. Both philosophically and literarily, the center of the system is the capital work ” The world as will and representation “. Since the 1928 edition, it has been necessary to wait until 2003 to see a complete edition of the work again.

The Editorial Trotta and Economic Fund / Readers Circle Culture has launched paths translated editions of the main work carried out by the best specialists of the author in Spanish. Trotta has also published in 2003 an edition of the Complements which are the last revision that the philosopher made to the work. This same editorial has published the Critique of Kantian philosophy, a fundamental piece in the author’s thinking. Both translated by Pilar López de Santamaría, who, as mentioned, together with the work of R. Aramayo to date make up the best option to recommend for quality.

The ” Parerga and Paralipómena ” are, a compendium of observations and quotes that made Schopenhauer famous towards the end of life, and are a good gateway to thought. However, they are observations aimed more at the general public, and if the metaphysical basis of the system has not been understood, they can be misunderstood as a whole.

Regarding editions of Schopenhauer’s work, care must be taken with both translations and prologues. This author has not always been well tolerated, and in addition to the traditional censorship of the main work, the fragments that appeared from it have often tried to condition the reader in one way or another.

Some quotes

About the world

  • “To want is essentially to suffer, and how to live is to want, all life is essentially pain. The higher the being, the more he suffers … The life of man is nothing more than a struggle for existence, with the certainty of being defeated. Life is an incessant hunt, where beings, sometimes hunters and others hunted, fight for the piltrafa of a horrible prey. It is a natural history of pain, which is summarized as follows: want without reason, always suffer, fight for I continue, and then die … And so on for centuries, for centuries until our planet is torn to pieces. “
  • “Our civilized world is nothing more than a masquerade where knights, priests, soldiers, doctors, lawyers, priests, philosophers meet, but they are not what they represent, but only the mask, under which, as a general rule, speculators hide of money.”

On the meaning of life

  • “Men look like those winding watches that go around without knowing why. Every time a man is begotten and made to come into the world, the watch of human life is wound again, to repeat once more his stale singsong worn from an eternal music box, phrase by phrase, time by time, with hardly noticeable variations. “
  • “They tell me to open your eyes and contemplate the beauties that the sun illuminates; to admire its mountains, its valleys, its streams, its plants, its animals and I don’t know how many more things. But then, the world is only one magic lantern? Certainly the show is splendid, but as for playing a role there, that’s something else. “
  • “There are only three fundamental springs of human actions, and all possible reasons are only related to these three springs. In the first place, selfishness, which wants its own good and has no limits; later, perversity, which wants the evil of others and reaches extreme cruelty, and ultimately sympathy, which wants the good of others and reaches generosity, the greatness of the soul. All human action must refer to one of these 3 motives, or even two to the time.”

On the natural goodness of the human being

  • Imagine the public force being suppressed, that is, the muzzle removed. You would recoil with horror at the spectacle that would be offered to your eyes, a spectacle that each one easily figures out. Is this not enough to confess how little rooted religion, conscience, natural morality, whatever its basis? “
  • “Only commiseration is the real principle of all free and true justice. Commiseration is an undeniable fact of human consciousness; it is essentially its own and does not depend on previous notions, a priori ideas, religions, dogmas, myths, education and culture. “
  • “What the rain is to the fire, that is the pity to the anger.”

About friendship

  • “Nothing better the ignorance of the world like alleging, as proof of the merits and worth of a man, who has many friends. As if men bestowed their friendship on the basis of worth and merit! As if, on the contrary , they were not similar to dogs, who love those who caress them or only make bones to gnaw, without further flattery! Who knows best how to pet men even when they are filthy vermin, that one has many friends. “
  • “I must sincerely confess it. The sight of any animal rejoices me next to it and broadens my heart, especially that of dogs, and then that of all animals in the wild, birds, insects, etc. On the contrary, the sight of men almost always excite in me a very marked aversion, because with few exceptions, they offer me the spectacle of the most horrible and varied deformities: physical ugliness, moral expression of low passions and despicable ambition, symptoms of madness and perversities of all classes and sizes, in short, a sordid corruption, fruit and result of degrading habits. That is why I move away from them and flee to take refuge in nature, happy to find the brutes there. “

About society and the state

  • “The state is nothing more than the muzzle that is intended to render this butcher animal, man, harmless and make it look like a herbivore.”
  • He knows the exact time; but what does it matter ?. Everyone is guided by public clocks, which mark a fatal hour, even those who know that only the clock of the first one gives the true time. “
  • “Every society necessarily requires a reciprocal accommodation, a temperament; thus the more numerous it is, the more insipid it becomes. One cannot truly be oneself, but while one is alone; therefore, who does not love solitude, does not love freedom, because you are not free but by yourself. “
  • “Ah! When the quality of society can substitute for the quantity, then it will be worth living even in the great world, but a hundred fools piled high do not make a man of talent.”

About happiness

  • “But what more than anything contributes directly to our happiness, is a jovial humor, because this good quality immediately finds its reward in itself. Indeed, the one who is happy, always has reason to be so, just as he is Nothing can replace all other goods as completely as this quality, while she herself cannot be replaced by anything. For a man to be young, beautiful, rich, and considerate, to be able to judge his happiness the question would be to know if, in addition he is happy, on the other hand if he is happy, then it does not matter if he is young or old, well formed or inconsistent, poor or rich: he is happy. “
  • “So we must open doors and windows to joy, whenever it occurs, because it never comes at the wrong time, instead of hesitating to admit it, as we often do, wanting first to realize if we have reasons to be happy in all respects, or for fear that it will take us away from serious meditations or serious concerns, and yet it is very uncertain that they can improve our situation, while joy is an immediate benefit. She alone is, so to speak, cash money and ringing with happiness. “
  • “It is true that nothing contributes less to joy than wealth, and nothing contributes more than health; in the lower classes, among the workers of the land, happy and happy faces are observed; in the rich and great figures dominate melancholic. “

About reading

  • “That is why it is very important to know the art of not reading. It consists in not reading what momentarily worries the general public, such as political and ecclesiastical libels, novels, poetry, etc., some of which reach several editions”
  • “To read the good it is necessary not to read the bad, because life is short and time and forces are limited.”
  • “Judgments of reason all call certain phrases that are believed to be true without investigating them, convinced that, even if they wanted to, they could not seriously verify them, having to question them for the time being. They have obtained this credit since they began to speak and think, being always repeated and inoculated, so they have become accustomed to thinking about them since they have reflected, and can no longer separate them from themselves, because they have joined their brains. What is said is so true that it would be superfluous and even dangerous to demonstrate it with examples. “
  • “Books are written about the great spirits of the past, and the public reads them, but not those, because they always want to see fresh prints, and with the vulgar the talk of contemporary cretins is more in harmony than the thoughts of the great spirits, I thank fate, which made me read a beautiful epigram by Schlegel, which has become mine: ‘Reading with heat the true ancients, what the moderns say about them does not mean much.’ vulgar men! They all seem made from the same mold! The same thing always happens to them on the same occasions! And their low personal intentions, and the despicable talk of such subjects reads a stupid audience as long as they are printed today, leaving the great spirits on the shelves. “
  • “At all times there are two literatures, parallel and opposite: one real and one apparent. That becomes permanent literature, made by men who live for science and poetry, progressing seriously and consistently, but very slowly, producing in Europe a dozen works per century, but works that remain The other literature is written by men who live on science or poetry: filling the market every year with many thousands of works, but after a few years he asks: Where are the works? Where is the glory so fast and noisy? You can call one permanent literature and the other temporary. “
  • “There is no greater spiritual enjoyment than the reading of the ancient classics: its reading, although half an hour long, purifies, recreates, refreshes, elevates and strengthens us, as if we had drunk in a fresh fountain that flows from rocks.”
  • “In world history, half a century always means something, because something always happens. But in the history of literature it means nothing, because nothing happens, since sloppy attempts do not matter. You are where you were fifty years ago years. Thus, for example, the philosophy of Fichteand Schelling is crowned by the caricature of Hegel. This epicycle lately deviated from the circular line led by Kant. his epicycle the quoted pseudophilosophers and even some others, an epicycle that is now ending, recognizing the public that is where he has started. “

About religion

  • “Truly it is not Judaism, but Brahmanism and Buddhism who, by their spirit and moral tendency, approach Christianity. The spirit and moral tendency are the essence of a religion, and not the myths that surround it. The spirit of the Old Testament is truly foreign to pure Christianity, because in all the New Testament the world is treated as a thing to which one does not belong and does not love, a thing that is under the rule of the devil. in accordance with the spirit of asceticism, renunciation and victory over the world; spirit that together with that of love of neighbor and forgiveness of injury, points out the fundamental trait and the close affinity that unite Christianity, Brahmanism and Buddhism . “
  • It really is our very deplorable situation; to live a period of time full of difficulties, miseries, anguishes and pains without even knowing where we came from, where we are going, and with all this having to hear even the clergymen of all colors, with their respective revelations and their threats against unbelievers. “
  • “That the world has only a physical and not a moral significance is the greatest error and the most pernicious fundamental error, the true perversity of thinking, and ultimately, it is also what faith has personified as the antichrist.”

About philosophy

  • “In order to philosophize, two conditions are necessary: ​​first, having the courage not to delete any question, and second, understanding as a problem everything that is understood by oneself, being aware of it”
  • “What is most opposed to finding the truth is not the false appearance that arises from things, leading to error, nor immediately the weakness of intelligence, but the presupposed opinion, the prejudice that is imposed as an a priori impediment to the truth.”
  • “… Kant’s brilliant period was immediately followed by another in German philosophy that sought to impose rather than convince: to be brilliant and hyperbolic, but incomprehensible instead of profound and clear. […] In Hegel and his followers he has The superlative came the impertinence to write nonsense, and the complaint without conscience, and the manifest intention of these deaf maneuvers, so that all this quackery was finally revealed to all, also ending the protection from above thanks to certain revelations The antecedents of Fichte and Schelling, with respect to the most miserable philosophers’ shop that has ever existed, also dragged them into the abyss of discredit. “
  • “If I imagine an object, perhaps a panorama, and I imagine that at this moment they cut off my head, I know very well that the object would remain unchanged: this indicates deep down that I also still existed. Very few will understand this, and for these is said. “
  • “Intelligence is not an extensive magnitude, but intense; for this reason a reasonable man opposes his criteria to ten thousand people, and a thousand fools do not make a reasonable man.”
  • “What is lacking in most heads are two related qualities: judging and having ideas of your own. Both qualities are missing in an incredible way and those who do not belong to them do not understand the sadness of their existence.”
  • “Genius is the objectivity of the intellect.”
  • “To have original, extraordinary and perhaps even immortal ideas, it is enough to be completely strange to the world and things for a moment.”


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