This collection of thirty-one essays encompasses Schopenhauer's central contributions, his influences, and the scope of his impact, especially on the arts and philosophy. Six sections cover the wide range of his thought, including its connection to religion, ethics, and art, as well as his influence and legacy.
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More than two hundred years after the publication of his seminal The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer's influence is still felt in philosophy and beyond. As one of the most readable and central philosophers of the 19th century, his work inspired the most influential thinkers and artists of his time, including Nietzsche, Freud, and Wagner. Though known primarily as a herald of philosophical pessimism, the full range of his contributions
is displayed here in a collection of thirty-one essays on the forefront of Schopenhauer scholarship.
Essays written by contemporary Schopenhauer scholars explore his central notions, including the will, empirical knowledge, and the sublime, and widens to the interplay of ethics and religion with Schopenhauer's philosophy. Authors confront difficult aspects of Schopenhauer's work and legacy—for example, the extent to which Schopenhauer adopted ideas from his predecessors compared to how much was original and visionary in his central claim that reality is a blind, senseless "will," the
effectiveness of his philosophy in the field of scientific explanation and extrasensory phenomena, and the role of beauty and sublimity in his outlook. Essays also challenge prevailing assumptions about Schopenhauer by exploring the fundamental role of compassion in his moral theory, the Hindu, Christian,
and Buddhist aspects of his philosophy, and the importance of asceticism in his views on the meaning of life.
The collection is an internationally constituted work that reflects upon Schopenhauer's philosophy with authors presently working across the globe. It demonstrates fully the richness of Schopenhauer's work and his lasting impact on philosophy and psychoanalysis, as well as upon music, the visual arts, and literature.