Arthur Schopenhauer's reputation as a cynic and a misanthrope often obscures the complexity and humanity of his philosophy. In this innovative volume, Robert Wicks breaks away from the accepted oversimplification of Schopenhauer as an incurable pessimist, to present an insightful portrait of his life and work.
Beginning with a look at his early life and the people and circumstances that shaped his thinking, the book situates Schopenhauer's philosophical work within the context of these formative years. It examines Schopenhauer's aesthetic and moral theories, his affinity toward Asian mysticism and Christianity, as well as his ideas about the sublime, consciousness, empathy, humanity, and "Will". The volume focuses on the composition and structure of Schopenhauer's philosophy and explores his intellectual links to Hegel, Nietzsche, and Wittgenstein.
An essential resource for students and scholars of aesthetics and nineteenth-century philosophy, this is an important introduction to a unique and influential thinker.