Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Arthur Schopenhauer. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Arthur Schopenhauer (German: [ˈaʁtʊʁ ˈʃoːpn̩haʊ̯ɐ] (listen); 22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work The World as Will and Representation (expanded in 1844), which characterizes the phenomenal world as the product of a blind and insatiable noumenal will. Building on the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer developed an atheistic metaphysical and ethical system that rejected the contemporaneous ideas of German idealism. He was among the first thinkers in Western philosophy to share and affirm significant tenets of Indian philosophy, such as asceticism, denial of the self, and the notion of the world-as-appearance. His work has been described as an exemplary manifestation of philosophical pessimism.
Though his work failed to garner substantial attention during his lifetime, Schopenhauer had a posthumous impact across various disciplines, including philosophy, literature, and science. His writing on aesthetics, morality, and psychology have influenced many thinkers and artists. Those who have cited his influence include philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Ludwig Wittgenstein, scientists such as Erwin Schrödinger and Albert Einstein, psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, writers such as Leo Tolstoy, Herman Melville, Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Machado de Assis, Jorge Luis Borges, Marcel Proust, and Samuel Beckett as well as composers such as Richard Wagner, Johannes Brahms, Arnold Schoenberg and Gustav Mahler.
The greatest achievements of the human mind are generally received with distrust.
Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.
No one can transcend their own individuality.
To desire immortality for the individual is really the same as wanting to perpetuate an error forever.
Exaggeration in every sense is as essential to newspaper writing as it is to the writing of plays: for the point is to make as much as possible of every occurrence.
Exaggeration in every sense is as essential to newspaper writing as it is to the writing of plays: for the point is to make as much as possible of every occurrence. So that all newspaper writers are, for the sake of their trade, alarmists: this is their way of making themselves interesting. What they really do, however, is resemble little dogs who, as soon as anything whatever moves, start up a loud barking. It is necessary, therefore, not to pay too much attention to their alarms, and to realize in general that the newspaper is a magnifying glass, and this only at best: for very often it is no more than a shadow-play on the wall.
A good supply of resignation is of the first importance in providing for the journey of life.
Human life must be some form of mistake.
The man who sees two or three generations is like one who sits in the conjurer's booth at a fair, and sees the same
tricks two or three times. They are meant to be seen only once.
If at any moment Time stays his hand, it is only when we are delivered over to the miseries of boredom.
Honor means that a man is not exceptional; fame, that he is.
Mankind cannot get on without a certain amount of absurdity.
Reasonable and vicious are quite consistent with each other, in fact, only through their union are great and far-reaching crimes possible.
In early youth, as we contemplate our coming life, we are like children in a theatre before the curtain is raised, sitting there in high spirits and eagerly waiting for the play to begin.
Will is the lord of all worlds: everything belongs to it, and therefore no one single thing can ever give it satisfaction, but only the whole, which is endless.
A reproach can only hurt if it hits the mark. Whoever knows that he does not deserve a reproach can treat it with contempt.
If a man sets out to hate all the miserable creatures he meets, he will not have much energy left for anything else; whereas he can despise them, one and all, with the greatest ease.
There are tree main bulwarks of defence against new thoughts: to pay no heed, to give no credence, and finally to assert that it had already long existed.
He who is without hope is also without fear.
We deceive and flatter no one by such delicate artificies as we do our own selves.
Pride works from within; it is the direct appreciation of oneself.
To expect a man to retain everything that he has ever read is like expecting him to carry about in his body everything that he has ever eaten.
Honour is external conscience, and conscience is inward honour.
Ah, how little they must have had to think about, to have been able to read so much!
Intellect is invisible to the man who has none.
The highest, most varied and lasting pleasures are those of the mind.
Materialism is the philosophy of the subject who forgets to take account of himself.
To free a man from error is to give, not to take away. Knowledge that a thing is false is a truth. Error always does harm; sooner or later it will bring mischief to the man who harbors it.
Religion is the metaphysics of the masses.
The faculty for remembering is not diminished in proportion to what one has learnt, just as little as the number of moulds in which you cast sand lessens its capacity for being cast in new moulds.
That the Negroes were enslaved more than other races, and on a large scale, is evidently a result of their being, in contrast to other races, inferior in intelligence -- which, however, does not justify such slavery.
To overcome difficulties is to experience the full delight of existence.
Every parting gives a foretaste of death; every remeeting a foretaste of the resurrection. That is why even people who are indifferent to each other rejoice so much if they meet again after twenty or thirty years of separation.
One can never read too little of bad, or too much of good books: bad books are intellectual poison; they destroy the mind.
Means at our disposal should be regarded as a bulwark against the many evils and misfortunes that can occur. We should not regard such wealth as a permission or even an obligation to procure for ourselves the pleasures of the world.
This actual world of what is knowable, in which we are and which is in us, remains both the material and the limit of our consideration.
Every time a man is begotten and born, the clock of human life is wound up anew to repeat once more its same old tune that has already been played innumerable times, movement by movement and measure by measure, with insignificant variations.
Dissimulation is innate in woman, and almost as much a quality of the stupid as of the clever.
Because people have no thoughts to deal in, they deal cards, and try and win one another's money. Idiots!
A major difficulty in translation is that a word in one language seldom has a precise equivalent in another one.
In many cases hate a person is rooted in the involuntary estimate of its virtues.
Rudeness is better than any argument; it totally eclipses intellect.
Nothing shocks our moral feelings so deeply as cruelty does. We can forgive every other crime, but not cruelty. The reason for this is that it is the very opposite of compassion.
The less one, as a result of objective or subjective conditions, has to come into contact with people, the better off one is for it.
That which knows all things and is known by none is the subject.
It is, indeed, only in old age that intellectual men attain their sublime expression, whilst portraits of them in their youth show only the first traces of it.
Man shows his character best in trifles.
Not to go to the theater is like making one's toilet without a mirror.
Genius is an intellect that has become unfaithful to its destiny.
Vengeance taken will often tear the heart and torment the conscience.
Genuine contempt, on the other hand, is the unsullied conviction of the worthlessness of another.
For if the choice were given to any individual between his own destruction and that of the world, I do not need to say where it would land in the great majority.
In truth the most striking figure for the relation of the two is that of the strong blind man carrying the sighted lame man on his shoulders.
We should be surprised that a matter that generally plays such an important part in the life of man has hitherto been almost entirely disregarded by philosophers, and lies before us as raw and untreated material.
There is in the world only the choice between loneliness and vulgarity. All young people should be taught now to put up with loneliness ... because the less man is compelled to come into contact with others, the better off he is.
I am often surprised by the cleverness, and now and again by the stupidity, of my dog; and I have similar experiences with mankind.
Each day is a little life.
The mother of useful arts is necessity; that of the fine arts is luxury. For father the former has intellect; the latter genius, which itself is a kind of luxury.
The nobler and more perfect a thing is, the later and slower it is in arriving at maturity. A man reaches the maturity of his reasoning powers and mental faculties hardly before the age of twenty-eight; a woman at eighteen.
Will without intellect is the most vulgar and common thing in the world, possessed by every blockhead, who, in the gratification of his passions, shows the stuff of which he is made.
If God made the world, I would not be that God, for the misery of the world would break my heart.
Memory works like the collection glass in the Camera obscura: it gathers everything together and therewith produces a far more beautiful picture than was present originally.
Sexual passion is the cause of war and the end of peace, the basis of what is serious... and consequently the concentration of all desire.
To repeat abstractly, universally, and distinctly in concepts the whole inner nature of the world , and thus to deposit it as a reflected image in permanent concepts always ready for the faculty of reason , this and nothing else is philosophy.
Many books serve merely to show how many ways there are of being wrong, and how far astray you yourself would go if you followed their guidance. You should read only when your own thoughts dry up.
To use many words to communicate few thoughts is everywhere the unmistakable sign of mediocrity. To gather much thought into few words stamps the man of genius.
If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world.
If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most Ill-adapted to its purpose in the world: for it is absurd to suppose that the endless affliction of which the world is everywhere full, and which arises out of the need and distress pertaining essentially to life, should be purposeless and purely accidental. Each individual misfortune, to be sure, seems an exceptional occurrence; but misfortune in general is the rule.
Every state of welfare, every feeling of satisfaction, is negative in its character; that is to say, it consists in freedom from pain, which is the positive element of existence.
There is only one healing force, and that is nature; in pills and ointments there is none. At most they can give the healing force of nature a hint about where there is something for it to do.
Happiness of any given life is to be measured, not by its joys and pleasures, but by the extent to which it has been free from suffering-from positive evil.
Genius and madness have something in common: both live in a world that is different from that which exists for everyone else.
As a general rule, the longer a man's fame is likely to last, the later it will be in coming; for all excellent products require time for their development.
For, as you know, religions are like glow-worms; they shine only when it is dark.
For it is a matter of daily observation that people take the greatest pleasure in that which satisfies their vanity; and vanity cannot be satisfied without comparison with others.
Truth is no harlot who throws her arms round the neck of him who does not desire her; on the contrary, she is so coy a beauty that even the man who sacrifices everything to her can still not be certain of her favors.
Gaiety alone, as it were, is the hard cash of happiness; everything else is just a promissory note.
A man must have grown old and lived long in order to see how short life is.
Our religions will never at any time take root; the ancient wisdom of the human race will not be supplanted by the events in Galilee. On the contrary, Indian wisdom flows back to Europe, and will produce a fundamental change in our knowledge and thought.