Quotes by Arthur Schopenhauer

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Arthur Schopenhauer (February 22, 1788 September 21, 1860) was a German philosopher. He is most famous for his work The World as Will and Representation. He is commonly known for having espoused a sort of philosophical pessimism that saw life as being essentially evil, futile, and full of suffering. However, upon closer inspection, in accordance with Eastern thought, especially that of Buddhism, he saw salvation, deliverance, or escape from suffering in aesthetic contemplation, sympathy for others, and ascetic living. His ideas profoundly influenced the fields of philosophy, psychology, and literature. more

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To live alone is the fate of all great souls.

Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people.
A man can be himself only so long as he is alone.
Each day is a little life; every waking and rising a little birth; every fresh morning a little youth; every going to rest and sleep a little death.
After your death you will be what you were before your birth.
Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.
Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, Lighthouses as the poet said erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind, Books are humanity in print.
Vengeance taken will often tear the heart and torment the conscience.
Suffering by nature or chance never seems so painful as suffering inflicted on us by the arbitrary will of another.
Suicide may also be regarded as an experiment -- a question which man puts to Nature, trying to force her to answer. The question is this: What change will death produce in a man's existence and in his insight into the nature of things? It is a clumsy experiment to make; for it involves the destruction of the very consciousness which puts the question and awaits the answer.
Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; and the same is true of fame.
It is in the treatment of trifles that a person shows what they are.
Books are like a mirror. If an ass looks in, you can't expect an angel to look out.
The closing years of life are like the end of a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped.
Natural abilities can almost compensate for the want of every kind of cultivation, but no cultivation of the mind can make up for the want of natural abilities.
Will power is to the mind like a strong blind man who carries on his shoulders a lame man who can see.
Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self evident.
The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.
Nature shows that with the growth of intelligence comes increased capacity for pain, and it is only with the highest degree of intelligence that suffering reaches its supreme point.
Every parting gives a foretaste of death; every coming together again a foretaste of the resurrection.
It is with trifles and when he is off guard that a man best reveals his character.
To buy books would be a good thing if we also could buy the time to read them.
There is no doubt that life is given us, not to be enjoyed, but to be overcome --to be got over.
In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods.
The wise have always said the same things, and fools, who are the majority have always done just the opposite.
Time is that in which all things pass away.
To marry is to halve your rights and double your duties.
The doctor sees all the weakness of mankind; the lawyer all the wickedness, the theologian all the stupidity.
The more unintelligent a man is, the less mysterious existence seems to him.
No one can transcend their own individuality.
Honor has not to be won; it must only not be lost.
The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience.
It's the niceties that make the difference fate gives us the hand, and we play the cards.
Wicked thoughts and worthless efforts gradually set their mark on the face, especially the eyes.
Will minus intellect constitutes vulgarity.
Only a male intellect clouded by the sexual drive could call the stunted, narrow-shouldered, broad-hipped and short-legged sex the fair sex.
Our first ideas of life are generally taken from fiction rather than fact.
In our monogamous part of the world, to marry means to halve one's rights and double one's duties.
Money is human happiness in the abstract: he, then, who is no longer capable of enjoying human happiness in the concrete devotes his heart entirely to money.
The fundament upon which all our knowledge and learning rests is the inexplicable.
National character is only another name for the particular form which the littleness, perversity and baseness of mankind take in every country. Every nation mocks at other nations, and all are right.
To find out your real opinion of someone, judge the impression you have when you first see a letter from them.
Patriotism, when it wants to make itself felt in the domain of learning, is a dirty fellow who should be thrown out of doors.
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
How very paltry and limited the normal human intellect is, and how little lucidity there is in the human consciousness, may be judged from the fact that, despite the ephemeral brevity of human life, the uncertainty of our existence and the countless enigmas which press upon us from all sides, everyone does not continually and ceaselessly philosophize, but that only the rarest of exceptions do.
That the outer man is a picture of the inner, and the face an expression and revelation of the whole character, is a presumption likely enough in itself, and therefore a safe one to go on; borne out as it is by the fact that people are always anxious to see anyone who has made himself famous. Photography offers the most complete satisfaction of our curiosity.
Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.
There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.
Just as the largest library, badly arranged, is not so useful as a very moderate one that is well arranged, so the greatest amount of knowledge, if not elaborated by our own thoughts, is worth much less than a far smaller volume that has been abundantly and repeatedly thought over.
It is a clear gain to sacrifice pleasure in order to avoid pain.
Satisfaction consists in freedom from pain, which is the positive element of life.
If we were not all so excessively interested in ourselves, life would be so uninteresting that none of us would be able to endure it.
Rascals are always sociable -- more's the pity! and the chief sign that a man has any nobility in his character is the little pleasure he takes in others company.
Obstinacy is the result of the will forcing itself into the place of the intellect.
Style is what gives value and currency to thoughts.
The word of man is the most durable of all material.
As the biggest library if it is in disorder is not as useful as a small but well-arranged one, so you may accumulate a vast amount of knowledge but it will be of far less value to you than a much smaller amount if you have not thought it over for yourself.
Journalists are like dogs, when ever anything moves they begin to bark.
We forfeit three-quarters of ourselves in order to be like other people.
The greatest achievements of the human mind are generally received with distrust.