(1788–1860) Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher best known for his 1818 work The World as Will and Representation, which draws from Kantian philosophy to argue that the world that humans experience exists only as a representation of reality, and that this representation varies from person to person. Schopenhauer argues that the world does not exist in itself—in other words, there is no objective, rational world that exists beyond the way a thinking, conscious subject interprets it. Schopenhauer and The World as Will and Representation in particular greatly influenced Nietzsche as a young philosopher, though as Nietzsche matured, he broke with Schopenhauer over Schopenhauer’s philosophical pessimism (a philosophical worldview that assigns negative value to life).
Schopenhauer Character Timeline in Twilight of the Idols
The timeline below shows where the character Schopenhauer appears in Twilight of the Idols. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Problem of Socrates
...Socrates—have claimed that life is “worthless.” But what’s the point of this? Pessimistic followers of Schopenhauer claim that if people throughout the ages have decided that life is worthless, then it... (full context)
Morality as Anti-Nature
...life has done. An anti-nature view of morality (as espoused by Christianity and philosophers like Schopenhauer) that places God in opposition to life values a life that is “declining, debilitated, weary,... (full context)
The Four Great Errors
...reasons to assign “punishment” to things that morality tells us we shouldn’t do. Nietzsche derides Schopenhauer’s assertion that we in fact deserve every physical or mental discomfort we feel. (full context)
Expeditions of an Untimely Man
What I Owe to the Ancients
...concept of the tragic feeling” is something Aristotle could not grasp. Unlike the Hellenes (as Schopenhauer sees them), who see tragedy pessimistically, Nietzsche sees all intense feeling (even suffering) as an... (full context)