Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Schopenhauer, Arthur

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SCHOPENHAUER, ARTHUR, a German philosopher; born in Danzic, Feb. 22, 1788; son of Johanna Schopenhauer, the popular novelist and littérateur. He studied at Göttingen, attended the lectures of Fichte at Berlin, spent some time at Weimar and Dresden, and led a very restless life till 1831, when he settled at Frankfort-on-the-Main. He despised his countrymen and their philosophies, and studied French and English literature and latterly Oriental religions. He became an enthusiast for Buddha and the Vedas, and enjoyed tracing all Western accomplishments to Eastern sources. The principal work of Schopenhauer is entitled “The World as Will and Idea.” It appeared in 1819, and after being neglected for many years attracted a good deal of attention and received some sharp criticism. The practical upshot of his system, which makes will the one sole reality, is intolerable melancholy, taking from man all that constitutes his greatness, his goodness, or his bliss. God — futurity — the soul — mere names, illusions; and the world of men is to him hopelessly bad. The style is brilliant; but the general effect of the work on the average mind is depressing. He published several other works of philosophy, of which the most important is “The Two Sound Problems of Ethics.” He died in Frankfort-on-the-Main, Sept. 21, 1860.

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