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The Essential Schopenhauer: Key Selections from The World As Will and Representation and Other Writings Paperback – 1 Dec 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Original edition (1 Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061768243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061768248
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 452,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

A new, comprehensive English anthology

What is the meaning of life? How should I live? Is there any purpose to the universe? Generations have turned to the great German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer for answers to such essential questions of existence. His influence has extended not only to later philosophers—Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein among them—but also to musicians, artists, and important novelists such as Tolstoy, Thomas Mann, and Proust.

The Essential Schopenhauer, the most comprehensive English anthology now available of this seminal thinker’s writings, will open English readers to Schopenhauer’s profound ideas. Selected by Wolfgang Schirmacher, president of the International Schopenhauer Association, The Essential Schopenhauer is an invaluable and accessibleintroduction to Schopenhauer’s powerful body of work.

About the Author

German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860) is the author of The World as Will and Representation. Wolfgang Schirmacher is Director of the European Graduate School and President of the International Schopenhauer Society. He lives in New York City.


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Format: Paperback
I didn't like this book as much as the other one I recently read (Essays and Aphorisms), but this was a lot more encompassing of Schopenhauer's whole philosophy and had a lot more from his main work, The World as Will and Representation. I found myself starting to get bored with the last third of the book or so, where the theme tends to be repetitive, but it still has a lot to offer and is still more interesting than most philosophy books. Schopenhauer had a clear way of thinking and a clear philosophy, basing much of it off of Kant and Plato, but also a lot off of Eastern philosophy, which perhaps makes it more unique. He is a lot more accessible than most philosophers, and this book shows that he was not nearly as pessimistic as his reputation tends to portray. I doubt I will read his main work now, after reading this, but I would highly recommend the previously mentioned Essays and Aphorisms to those interested in his philosophy.
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By Peasant TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is an edited selection of Schopenhauer's work, mostly from his early "The World as Will and Representation", but including selections from later works. The selecting has presumably been done by Schirmacher, who has also written an introduction. The purpose of this book seems to be to present to the general reader the "gist" of Schopenhauer's philosophy. The whole project, however honest its aim may be, is deeply flawed.

It is not easy - indeed I found it impossible - to identify which of Schopenhauer's books the selections are taken from. We are told they are largely from "The World as Will and Representaion", but there is nothing obvious to distinguish which bits are from elsewehere. Once we are within Schrimacher's selected text, elisions appear - as [ . . . ] - betraying the fact that Schirmacher has excised part of Schopenhauer's text. This alone is enough to make one profoundly uneasy about accepting this book as a portrayal of Schopenhauer's thought. An academic text should make its sources blindingly clear, and these elisions - well, what has been edited out? Fluff, waffle - or something which dilutes the particular picture of Schopenhauer which the editor wishes to get across?

We turn to the introduction to get some idea of Schirmacher's approach. It very soon becomes clear to the British reader that Schirmacher has a US sensitivity and US priorities. He assumes a largely church-going audience. He drags in, rather clumsily, apocalyptic attitudes to technology, the future of humanity and the fate of the planet. He tries to link Schopenhauer to almost every guru of modern times from Freud and Darwin (where the link is clear) to such sundry figures as Karl Popper, Hobbes, Lacan, Albert Camus and Derrida.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Crazy cat....interesting read
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