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 ... 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.
With people of limited ability modesty is merely honesty. But with those who possess great talent it is hypocrisy.
The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.
Great minds are related to the brief span of time during which they live as great buildings are to a little square in which they stand: you cannot see them in all their magnitude because you are standing too close to them.
Friends and acquaintances are the surest passport to fortune.
The longer a man's fame is likely to last, the longer it will be in coming.
Fame is something that must be won. Honor is something that must not be lost.
It is only at the first encounter that a face makes its full impression on us.
A man's face as a rule says more, and more interesting things, than his mouth, for it is a compendium of everything his mouth will ever say, in that it is the monogram of all this man's thoughts and aspirations.
The first forty years of life give us the text; the next thirty supply the commentary on it.
The difficulty is to try and teach the multitude that something can be true and untrue at the same time.
The man never feels the want of what it never occurs to him to ask for.
The alchemists in their search for gold discovered many other things of greater value.
To free a person from error is to give, and not to take away.
A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants.
Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.
The present is the only reality and the only certainty.
Because people have no thoughts to deal in, they deal cards, and try and win one another's money. Idiots!
People of Wealth and the so called upper class suffer the most from boredom.
Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.
Reading is equivalent to thinking with someone else's head instead of with one's own.
The brain may be regarded as a kind of parasite of the organism, a pensioner, as it were, who dwells with the body.
A man's delight in looking forward to and hoping for some particular satisfaction is a part of the pleasure flowing out of it, enjoyed in advance. But this is afterward deducted, for the more we look forward to anything the less we enjoy it when it comes.
In action a great heart is the chief qualification. In work, a great head.
Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world.
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.
Man can do as he will, but not will as he will.
Every child is in a way a genius; and every genius is in a way a child.
A word too much always defeats its purpose.
If there is anything in the world that can really be called a mans property, it is surely that which is the result of his mental activity.
We do not want a thing because we have found reasons for it; we find reasons for it because we want it. We even elaborate philosophies and religions to cloak our desires. The intellect may seem to lead the will, but only as a guide leads his master.
There are three steps in the revelation of any truth: in the first it is ridiculed; in the second, resisted; in the third it is considered self-evident.
Mostly only loss teaches us about the value of things.
Many a man is seen to the best advantage in old age when he is more lenient and indulgent because he is more experienced, unruffled, and resigned.
If the characteristic feature of the first half of life is an unsatisfied longing for happiness, that of the second is a dread of misfortune.
After his fortieth year, any man of merit, anyone who is not just one of five-sixths of humanity so grievously and miserably endowed by nature, will hardly be free from a certain touch of misanthropy. For, as is natural, he has inferred the characters of others from his own and has gradually become disappointed.
The petty misfortunes that vex us every hour may be regarded as intended to keep us in practice so that the strength to endure great misfortunes may not be wholly dissipated in prosperity.