Life and writings of Arthur Schopenhauer (1890) PDF book by William Wallace

 Life and writings of Arthur Schopenhauer (1890) PDF book by William Wallace

 Life and writings of Arthur Schopenhauer

Excerpt from the author's introduction:

ANY Life of Schopenhauer must be founded on the biographical materials supplied by Gwinner and Frauenstadt. Besides these main sources, the following sketch has drawn from supplementary papers by his friends, has borrowed some descriptive notes from his mother, and has freely used the Works, especially the " Parerga and Paralipomena," to interpret the incidents of a somewhat uneventful life. It has thus sought to escape from the judgment of Schopenhauer, that " those who, instead of studying the thoughts of a philosopher, make themselves acquainted with his life and history, are like people who, instead of occupying themselves with a picture, are rather occupied with its frame, reflecting on the taste of its carving, and the nature of its gilding." But, after all, there is nothing to keep the English reader from using the ample resources recent translations have given him for getting at these thoughts more directly.

PHILOSOPHERS in Germany take a different place in the literary commonwealth from what they hold among ourselves. With a few striking exceptions, it may be said that in England, down at least to the present day, the fountainhead of the philosophical stream has not been in the Universities, and the professional element has been entirely secondary. In Germany, on the contrary, the treasures of learned wisdom have been entrusted to the keeping of a chosen official order, the teachers in the Universities.

It would be going out of the way to inquire into the ulterior causes of this circumstance or to point out how it hangs together with more general contrasts in the social and political system of the two countries.

 Nor is it possible here to discuss at length the profit and loss which accrue according as the ideal interests of a community in science, art, or religion, are administered under a more or less direct delegation from the supreme power in the state or left to the energy, enterprise, and good-will of private agencies. Yet it is clear that much depends on which arrangement is adopted. Without the guiding control of an academic system, there is apt to be waste and misdirection of effort, there is a risk of incoherence and inequality in the line of development, a tendency to eccentricity. But, in compensation, the self- taught and independent thinker is freed from the dangers of conventionalism, and he deals with the great problems of life and thought, not because it is his official duty to say something on them, but because his own reflections have made him realize difficulties, and seek for solutions of his difficulties.

Author:  William Wallace

 Publication Date:1890

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