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The Wisdom of Life by Arthur Schopenhauer

The Wisdom of Life by Arthur Schopenhauer. Paperback92 pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Wisdom of Lifefericiit sign up.

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This is the first book I have read from Schopenhauer and I have to say, honestly each paragraph embraces wisdom in every sense of the word. There is not a single word or line that is not a quotable. I have not read his pessimistic views, but I can tell you this book does not instill pessimism the least bit, but peace, understanding, and self-reliance, and inner richness.

I did not reach the last chapter on Fame, as it did not interest me but the rest of the book was well worth the read. If you’r This is the first book I have read from Schopenhauer and I have to say, honestly each paragraph embraces wisdom in every sense of the word. If you’re looking for a non-traditional self-help book, honestly I believe the foundations of self-books rests in this book, and in his ideas, in Nietzsche, and in Kant.

View all 3 comments. View all 5 comments. For those who are familiar with Schopenhauer’s view on existence and humanity spoiler alert: His advice boils down to: If you are gifted with intellect or artistic ability, devote yourself to it, and seek not fame ; because art is long, life is short, commerce is idiotic, and most men are fools anyway.

It is a fairly self-serving philosophy, but which has much good sense ; also, because the old crank writes so well, there are For those who are familiar with Schopenhauer’s view on existence and humanity spoiler alert: It is a fairly self-serving philosophy, but which has much good sense ; also, because the old crank writes so well, there are a lot of great quotes to be found.

The Wisdom of Life

I have to say that this book changed my life and the way I see it. It helped me understand myself better, made me aware of my own potential and gave me self confidence. It is a book that will most likely make you think twice about the things you thought matter most in life. If it was in my power to do so I would certainly compel everyone into reading it. It helps me to find my inner richness and the sources of the true happiness. Si colgono in ogni caso riflessioni interessanti, ma a ben vedere le parti migliori ripetono idee riconducibili ad altre e antecedenti dottrine, orientali o stoiche.


I love this book. I have read in 3 different language Not my cup of tea! The book was only 77 pages long but took me quit a while to read. At times, I was not able to read more than a few paragraphs in one sitting as it had given me more than enough material to chew upon and mull over for days.

It is indeed full of words of wisdom and was a very enjoyable read. Schopenhauer’s noble attempt to convince himself that reading serious books is better than chasing girls — which is partially true, not only because Plato never really made me cry, but also because a book’s period never ruined my day. Wait, can girls see this? Excellent observations on almost all parts of life, an educational handbook for living as Nietzsche observed in his brilliant essay Schopenhauer as Educator.

It has weaknesses though, as i will show. Also the greater importance of skill and ability over possession and fame.

La saggezza della vita by Arthur Schopenhauer

All this shows his elementary categorization of a human life in what one is, one has, and one represents in others, in descending order of importance. Throughout the book, Schopenhauer makes us consider all these central ideas on life, making him a great teacher as Nietzsche observed in his brilliant essay “Schopenhauer as Educator” found in his Untimely Meditations, even though he may not always be right.

In many ideas his delightful language and literary qualities shine, such as this one: Because schoepnhauer they do not have thoughts to trade, they trade cards. Aphorismen German Edition p. Also noteworthy are his frequent allegories and metaphors, which in his view do not expand knowledge, as they can be subsumed into general ideas, but speak more immediately to us and are beautifully written and fitting.

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I couldn’t find a better example, but this one contains even two metaphors in succession: I cannot understand how a thinker of his calibre can generalize over such a large set of people. To him black people are primitive and unintellectual, women controlled by their emotions and unintellectual, too.

This is today quite clearly disproven by science. His excuse may be that he may have mostly met women and black people of his times that fit this generalization, because culture and prejudice did not widely allow them access to intellectual goods, and this was a widespread opinion of his times. Still one would have liked him to exercise his philosophical prudence over such a daring generalization.

Ridiculous in our times is his statement that an adulterating woman would be shamed by all her kind. Thankfully culture moved beyond that, and this should be taken as a historical note. To his defense, he notes that this sexual virtue only has a conventional and relative value.

Another negative point are in some parts frequent repetitions, e. The natural needs of a human at the start of chapter 3 taken from Epicureus are a bad categorization in my opinion. Exceedingly long seems his description of “Ritterehre” “knight’s honour code “which he admits himself, though it does seem to be a widespread fault that leads to all the revenge, crime and war follies.


Unsatisfying to me are Schopenhauer’s fatalism and sufficiency of pain avoidance for happiness.

Assuming life to be deterministic, at least for practical purposes, and only striving to avoid pain, to me would just lead to boredom. I’d trade a little idealism and pain for more interestingness any day.

Some of Schopenhauer’s psychological musings don’t hold up to science any more, others are valid and remarkably poignant, almost prescient, like the observation that a multitude of choices paralyzes, and restricted choice supports happiness. I have more additions and some objections to Schopenhauer’s ideas, but they should not draw out this review. One more thing perhaps that could soften his misanthropy: Schopenhauer writes that superiority of mind isolates and makes unpopular p.

To me he underestimates the human ability to honour and be drawn to people better than them. Clear argumentation like this is difficult, and thus rare in musings on life, which makes up the problem that they have little argumentative power and need to be examined critically, and often convince us to the degree that we agree on them in the first place.

Luckily Schopenhauer excels at this and thus challenges us to reconsider our attitudes all the more. For its faults i intended to give these aphorisms 4 or 4. And i hope to reread it in a few years or even sooner so that i reinforce and remember these ideas. Original review on another edition here: Well this was a waste of time.

For some reason I was convinced this book was important, so I forced myself through it. There’s not much wisdom here for me.

I was never really in a situation where I wanted to restore my honour while avoiding a duel: This will restore your honour” For such a short book he has managed to find plenty of space to repeat himself several times.

He’s arts found time for some basic s Well this was a waste of time.

He’s also found time for some basic sexism: But they’re short, sparse and of little practical value. Aug 05, Metin. I am in agreement with most if not all of Schopenhauers analyses, however I found a handful of them difficult to reconcile with contemporary social behaviours.

His first and most emphasized chapter- What a Man Is as the fundamental contributor to happiness- is a gold mine of wisdom. Schopenhauer is brilliant, but from the fifty rules collected in this work, many rules are frequently repeated.

Nonetheless an easy introduction to his pessimistic outlook on life. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Schopenhauer attempted to make his career as an academic by correcting and expanding Immanuel Kant’s philosophy concerning the way in which we experience the world. He was the son of author Johanna Schopenhauer and the older brother of Adele Schopenhauer.

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