Arthur Schopenhauer


German Philosopher

Author Quotes

The will is the strong blind man who carries on his shoulders the lame man who can see.

The majority of men...are not capable of thinking, but only of believing, and... are not accessible to reason, but only to authority.

The greatest intellectual capacities are only found in connection with a vehement and passionate will.

The cause of laughter is simply the sudden perception of the incongruity between a concept and the real object.

The capacity for feeling pain increases with knowledge... A degree which is the higher the more intelligent the man is.

Style is the physiognomy of the mind, and a safer index to character than the face.

The bad thing about all religions is that, instead of being able to confess their allegorical nature, they have to conceal it; accordingly, they parade their doctrine in all seriousness as true sensu proprio, and as these doctrines, you have the great mischief of a continual fraud.

One man is more concerned with the impression he makes on the rest of mankind, another with the impression the rest of mankind makes on him. The disposition of the first is subjective, of the second objective. The one is, in the whole of his existence, more in the nature of an idea which is merely presented, the other more of the being who presents it.

Our hesitation before such a colossal thought will perhaps be diminished by the recollection... that the ultimate dreamer of the vast life-dream is finally, in a certain sense, but one, namely the Will to Live, and that the multiplicity of appearances follows from the conditioning effects of time and space [the morphogenetic field whereby the Will to Live assumes forms]. It is one great dream dreamed by a single Being, but in such a way that all the dream characters dream too. Hence, everything links and accords with everything else.

Obstinacy is the result of the will forcing itself into the place of the intellect.

Of all the intellectual faculties, judgment is the last to mature.

My desire for wisdom, not for the exercise of the will. The will is the strong blind man who carries on his shoulders the large man who can see.

Men need some kind of external activity, because they are inactive within.

Man is at bottom a wild and terrible animal. We know him only as what we call civilization has tamed and trained him; hence we are alarmed by the occasional breaking out of his true nature. But whenever the locks and chains of law and order are cast off, and anarchy comes in, he shows himself for what he really is.

Man is never happy, but spends his whole life in striving after something which he thinks will make him so.

Life is short, and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth.

Joy and sorrow are not ideas of the mind but affections of the will, and so they do not lie in the domain of memory. We cannot recall our joys and sorrows; by which I mean we cannot renew them. We can recall only the ideas that accompanied them; and, in particular, the things we were led to say; and these form a gauge of our feelings at the time. Hence our memory of joys and sorrows is always imperfect, and they become a matter of indifference to us as soon as they are over.

Life is neither to be wept over nor to be laughed at but to be understood.

It is with trifles, and when he is off guard, that a man best reveals his character.

It is only in the microscope that our life looks so big. It is an indivisible point, drawn out and magnified by the powerful lenses of Time and Space.

Intellect is invisible to the person who hasn't any.

It is difficult to keep quiet if you have nothing to do.

If you want to discover your true opinion of anybody, observe the impression made on you by the first sight of a letter from him.

If we were not all so excessively interested in ourselves, life would be so uninteresting that no one of us would be able to endure it.

History has always been the favorite study of those who wish to learn something without having to face the effort demanded by any branch of real knowledge, which taxes the intelligence.

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German Philosopher