While largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Schopenhauer’s works had a profound impact on subsequent generations of thinkers and writers. He was the philosopher of pessimism who advocated art and knowledge as a release from the pain of desire.
To Schopenhauer, “the history of every life is a history of suffering,” which results from the “blind will of the world.” He argued that evil was not an accidental but an essential condition of creation. Unlike many intellectuals of his time, Schopenhauer was indifferent to nationalism; he also disliked democracy, and despised both Judaism and Christianity.
Banished from his home by his social butterfly mother, who disapproved of her son’s seriousness, he wandered lonely and obscure throughout Europe. Having no use at all for women, Schopenhauer never married and spent his life in what he regarded as mellow solitude in the company of his dogs.
At one point in his life, an unwelcome female guest whom he ejected bodily from his home rudely shattered this self-imposed isolation. She sued for damages, and he was forced to pay what he termed “alimony” until her death. Today, he is remembered not only for his profound, if gloomy, philosophy, but also for his rabid misogyny.
Arthur Schopenhauer (l788-1860) -- German thinker who greatly enriched philosophy through his investigations of the problem of human existence, and explorations of the limits of human knowledge.
in the main solely for the propagation of the species.
the second sex, inferior in every respect to the first.
Women are . . . big children all their life--a kind of intermediary stage between the child and the full-grown man. -- On Women
have great talent, but no genius, for they always remain subjective.
is fitting [for a woman] to amuse man in his hours of recreation, and, in case
of need, to console him when he is borne down by the weight of his cares.
in a court of justice is more often committed by women than by men. It may
indeed be questioned whether women ought to be sworn at all.
fundamental fault of the female character is that it has no sense of justice.
of calling them beautiful, there would be more warrant for describing women as
the unaesthetic sex. Neither for music, nor for poetry, nor for fine art, have
they really and truly any sense or susceptibility; it is a mockery if they make
a pretense of it in order to assist their endeavor to please.
their hearts women think that it is men’s business to earn money and theirs to
spend it--if possible during their husband’s life, but, at any rate, after his
has equipped woman .
. . with the
weapons and requisite for the safeguarding of her existence, and as long as it
is necessary for her to have them.
as the female ant, after fecundation, loses her wings which are then superfluous,
nay, actually a danger to the business of breeding, so after giving birth to one or two
a woman generally loses her beauty, probably, indeed, for similar reasons.
Women . . . are dependent, not upon strength,
but upon craft; hence their instinctive capacity for cunning, and their
ineradicable tendency to say what is not true. . . . Nature has equipped woman, for
her defense and protection, with the arts of dissimulation; and all the power
which nature has conferred upon man in the shape of physical strength and
reason has been bestowed upon woman in this form. Hence dissimulation is innate
in woman, and almost as much a quality of the stupid as of the clever.
woman who is perfectly truthful and not given to dissimulation is perhaps an
The lady . . . is a being who
should not exist at all; she should be either a housewife or a girl who hopes
to become one; and should be brought up, not to be arrogant, but to be thrifty
as a whole, women are .
. . thorough-going
philistines, and quite incurable.