Why Arthur Schopenhauer Is My Favorite Philosopher

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Reply Sun 28 Feb, 2010 07:43 pm
Let me begin by saying that I look foreword to communicating with many of you and that I believe this forum and those who contribute to it display what is best in people; the art of philosophizing. With that being said, I wanted, as a way to better introduce myself, begin by saying that my favorite philosopher, though not the one I ultimately agree most with, is Arthur Schopenhauer, and what follows is my explanation. Also, if you like videos, below is a video of me reading.

It is true that as little as two hours ago I struggled to write why Arthur Schopenhauer is my favorite philosopher and my reason would have been purely a matter of metaphysics had I not thought deeper about why metaphysics even matters. A lot of scientist and Christians these days tell me they "don't believe in metaphysics" and then ignore me and I asked my self, "why did they ignore me without giving me the chance to explain why I do believe in metaphysics?" and I thought either they think I'm so wrong it's evil, or they don't respect me enough to care. That is when I remembered Arthur Schopenhauer, who wrote a book of philosophy called THE WORLD AS WILL AND REPRESENTATION at 30 years old , and was, regardless of his PHD, and achievement, completely ignored by society, and even his colleges! He wrote of those who ignored him that "I can only advise them to stick to it, and go on as long as it works until ignoring is taken to imply ignorance, then there will still just be time to come round." It took Arthur Schopenhauer almost forty years (until he was nearly 70!) to be respected by society for his lifetime devotion to philosophy and writing. He then influenced nearly all the 19th century and early 20th century geniuses; Einstein, Dostoevsky, Freud, Wagner, Carl Jung, Nietzsche, Witggenstein, Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski- just to name a few. Such influence is stammering! I respect Schopenhauer for persisting, throughout his entire lifetime, in writing his philosophy, which are in his words; "for mankind", despite the astonishing amount of disrespect he was shown, and then having greater influence on metaphysics than perhaps Nietzsche and Kant combined. I also respect Schopenhauer for his respect for great artists and thinkers. In fact, I believe Schopenhaer taught me something about respect. He loves the philosophy of Immaunuel Kant so much as to accredit Kant's philosophy the foundation of his own philosophy. I never thought much of Kant for as Nietzsche says; "Philosophy defined by Kant; 'The science of the limitations of reason'" but Nietzsche none the less RESPECTS Kant enough write about him. Before I digress, I re-read a little bit of Kant and thought "wow" that he put so much thought into developing his morals, had so much respect for othersdespite my disagreement with his style, I can admire him aesthetically, appreciate him as intellectually stimulating, and enriching, and not have to think like him; I can respect him, and respect him greatly. There is also Arthur Schopnehauer's philosophy itself to admire as he believes the world is will and representation ; and I admire this philosophy with out believing it in its entirety because it raises very clarifying questions: how do we represent the world? Why? And what does the way we represent the world imply? Friedrich Nietzsche answers those questions by saying we represent the world through anything which we believe empowers us, that we do so because we want to, and implies that what we do with power is an art beyond reason and for the love of mankind which Ayn Rand thinks merely represents raw poetic emotion, or aimless will, while philosophy insists the love of man kind must be expressed in rational and intellectual terms. Although I agree with Ayn Rand that Nietzsche's representation of his aimless will lacks a necessary value of reason I think Ayn Rand's philosophy lacks the intellectual necessity of appreciation for mystery; this too, I think, in a more accentuated sense, for it lacks infinite interconnectivity which relies on mystery and a gain from even that which is "wrong", for it keeps anything possible, and makes value a blessing beyond reason but still connected to it. I will conclude by saying that what Arthur Schopenhauer calls the world as will and representation dares my mind to will a representation of the world with belief in reason that reasons ours beliefs as to love everything beyond reason, which is a mystifying, wise, and uplifting skill, ideal for the art of philosophizing and worth the time of anybody who cares about the world.As for those who do not believe it is true that they should care for the world, I repeat, as Schopenhauer says, ""I can only advise them to stick to it, and go on as long as it works until ignoring is taken to imply ignorance, then there will still just be time to come round.

---------- Post added 02-28-2010 at 08:44 PM ----------

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claudius phil
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2010 08:47 am
@Sean OConnor,
It is very interesting to see how few people regards Schopenhauer as a great thinker.

Obviously he is generally undervalued in society and especially among university philosophers. The reason for this in my opinion is that he crushed so elegantly every charlatan in philosophy that a lot of them are and were scared because reminded of their own worthlessness comparing to his great achievements in the field of metaphysics they took refuge in ignoring simple and elegant truths he produced.

He was a true genius. It is important to remind that to enable him to become one of the greatest a certain dispositions were required.
First of all after his father's death he inherited a large amount of money which enabled him to gain financial independence. So he was not obliged to earn money for his living and could devote all his time to study.
Secondly, in his teachings his standard was to speak and follow only and nothing but the truth despite the consequences which a way like that could bring.
Thirdly, possesing unparalleled beautiful and elegant style of his prose he was able to present his philosophy in clear and concise manner which is univerally recognized even from those who do not agree with his philosophy.
Reply Mon 8 Mar, 2010 03:55 pm
@Sean OConnor,
Hello and welcome to the forum. Schopenhauer is an interesting philosopher; he seems unique in comparison to others of his time.
Sean OConnor
Reply Tue 9 Mar, 2010 11:17 am
@claudius phil,
Indeed Schopenhauer has the perfect advantage of being one of the most unique philosophers of all time by the way he makes it such an ART! Logical discourse being all fine and good in metaphysics and practicalities doesn't have as much to do with wisdom as knowing, as Schopenhauer reminds us, that the world is first and foremost, illusion, and the arrangement of illusions we attach to by the representations of our minds. Here's what I find so ironic about it. There are a lot of "new age" people studying "the law of attraction" which consists of a very similar philosophical basis, and yet there is a suggestion I would impart to them; "how things work" does not make a good philosophy. What you do with how you grasp the way things work, what you think about....what you VALUE...how you express and live your values, how you move them around to stir and enrich your mind and experience and those of others--there is the true philosopher, as is seen in Schopenhauer. And an irony regarding philosophy these days? Has it not gotten a touch conventionally aimless? There are more books by "philosophers" on other "philosophers" on the merit of "clever critiques" than actual innovative philosophies. Schopenhauer may have shaken more ground in the history of philosophy than anybody, save Nietzsche, all though, what a great amount Nietzsche owes to Schopenhauer. Nietzsche's not without merit, but I think his "will to power" is incomplete. It was with that in mind that I created my own philosophy.

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