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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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.

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