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Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction

Christopher Janaway

Publication Date - 16 May 2002

ISBN: 9780192802590

160 pages

In Stock


Schopenhauer is considered to be the most readable of German philosophers. This book gives a succinct explanation of his metaphysical system, concentrating on the original aspects of his thought, which inspired many artists and thinkers including Nietzsche, Wagner, Freud, and Wittgenstein. Schopenhauer's central notion is that of the will--a blind, irrational force that he uses to interpret both the human mind and the whole of nature. Seeing human behavior as that of a natural organism governed by the will to life, Schopenhauer developed radical insights concerning the unconscious and sexuality which influenced both psychologists and philosophers


  • Clear, accessible introduction to all the major themes in Schopenhauer's philosophy
  • Explains how Schopenhauer's work inspired many artists and thinkers including Nietzsche, Wagner, Freud, and Wittgenstein

About the Author(s)

Christopher Janaway is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Birbeck College, University of London.

Table of Contents

    1. Schopenhauer's life and works
    2. Within and beyond appearance
    3. The world as will and representation
    4. Will, body, and the self
    5. Character, sex, and the unconscious
    6. Art and ideas
    7. Ethics: seeing the world aright
    8. Existence and pessimism
    9. Schopenhauer's influence
    Further reading

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