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Schopenhauer : a very short introduction di…
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Schopenhauer : a very short introduction (originale 1994; edizione 2002)

di Christopher Janaway

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349557,897 (3.73)1
Schopenhauer is 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'scentral 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 behaviour as that of a natural organism governed by the will to life, Schopenhauer developed radical insights concerning the unconscious and sexualitywhich influenced both psychologists and philosophers.… (altro)
Utente:BNCLibrary
Titolo:Schopenhauer : a very short introduction
Autori:Christopher Janaway
Info:Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2002.
Collezioni:Presentations to Library, La tua biblioteca
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Etichette:Mar2021, BNCmember

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Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction di Christopher Janaway (1994)

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Shopenhaueri është më i lexueshmi ndër tërë filozofët gjermanë. Ky libër na jep një shpjegim të ngjeshur dhe sa më përmbledhtas të sistemit të tij metafizik, duke u përqendruar në pamjet origjinale të mendimit të tij, që u shfaq si burim frymëzimi për artistë dhe mendimtarë të shumtë, duke nisur nga Niçe, Vagner, Frojd dhe Vitgenshtain. Christopher Janway vendos përballë njëra-tjetrës pikëpamjen pesimiste të Schopenhauer-it, sipas të cilës për qenien njerëzore do të kish qenë më mirë të mos ekzistonte me idenë e tij, sipas të cilës vetëm vetëmohimi, largimi nga vullneti, është gjithë sa i jep vlerë jetës. Në këtë libër Shopenhaueri na zbulohet si një mendimtar sfidues, progresist dhe me ndikim gjithnjë e më të gjerë.
  BibliotekaFeniks | Nov 10, 2020 |
Kudos to Janaway for writing a solid introduction to one of the most influential and stupid philosophers of the nineteenth century; it makes me wonder who'll get that honor for the twentieth. Heidegger? Wittgenstein? Probably Whitehead. The lesson seems to be that if your thought is meager enough to be taken up by a large number of novelists and poets, you'll end up looking like a bit of a fool. Everything of value in Schopenhauer can be found in the Buddhist tradition. His bizarre decision to combine Plato with Kant shows only that Schopenhauer didn't understand either of them. One very valuable thing that I learned from this book is to take Nietzsche more seriously than I already did; falling for this claptrap so hard, but then seeing so clearly the dullness of it all took tremendous strength of mind.

Of course, I can understand why one might be a pessimist. I'm just not sure you need so much bullshit metaphysics to justify it; walking down the street generally does it for me.

Janaway does a wonderful job, as I said, and I do recommend this as a solid work in the history of philosophy. But good lord, he makes it easy to see why everyone went to Hegel's supposedly incomprehensible lectures instead of Schopenhauer's surely beautiful one: Hegel wasn't a complete nutter. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |




Christopher Janaway’s little book on the life and philosophy of 19th century German thinker Arthur Schopenhauer makes for a most engaging and thought-provoking read. Indeed, if you are interested in literature and the arts or would like have a deeper understanding of the challenges in life we all face yet are generally put off by philosophers and philosophy, this book is for you. By way of example, here are some Janaway and Schopenhauer quotes along with my comments.

“Humanity is poised between the life of an organism driven to survival and reproduction, and that of a pure intellect that can rebel against its nature and aspire to a timeless contemplation of a ‘higher’ reality." ---------- Schopenhauer is an atheist as opposed to a traditional theist within the monotheistic Western tradition (he very much appreciated the wisdom of both the Upanishads and Buddhism). He viewed life as not created or guided by some all-knowing God but propelled by an irrational force he calls ‘the will’. This being the case, ordinary existence is an alternating between frustration and boredom. But do not despair! There is the possibility of escape: literature, music, the arts and aesthetic experience.

“Although thoroughly conservative himself, Schopenhauer regarded the political state merely as a convenient means for protecting property and curbing the excesses of egoism; he could not stomach Hegel’s representation of the state as ‘the whole aim of human existence’. Hegel was also an appalling stylist, who seemed to build abstraction upon abstraction without the breath of fresh air provided by common-sense experience, and Schopenhauer – not alone in this – found his writing pompous and obscurantist, even dishonest.” ---------- Here is one of the keys to the appeal of Schopenhauer’s writing. He is clear and approachable, a great literary stylist and essayist, at the opposite end of the literary spectrum from the vast majority of academic philosophers with their dense, obscure, technical language and convoluted syntax, forever quoting and referring to other equally dense, obscure, dry thinkers.

“Nevertheless, in talking so bluntly about sexuality, and in making it such a cornerstone of his philosophy, he is again unusually forward-looking for his day, Sex is ever-present in our minds, according to Schopenhauer, ‘the public secret which must never be distinctly mentioned anywhere, but is always and everywhere understood to be the main thing. . . . It is the ultimate goal of almost all human effort; it has an unfavorable influence on the most important affairs, interrupts every hour the most serious occupations.” ---------- Going back to Aristotle and ancient Greek philosophy, humans are defined as the ‘rational animal’. Schopenhauer didn’t buy it. He could see that having reason doesn’t free us from our constant preoccupation with sex; in fact, with our capacity for imagination, we humans are, in a way, even more bound to sex than other animals. With this thinking, Schopenhauer anticipates Sigmund Freud and the development of psychoanalysis.

“Schopenhauer belongs to a tradition which equates aesthetic experience with a ‘disinterested’ attitude towards its object, and is often cited as one of the chief proponents of such a view. The idea is that to experience something aesthetically, one must suspend or disengage all one’s desires toward it, attending not to any consideration of what ends, needs, or interests it may fulfill, but only to the way it presents itself in perception. In Schopenhauer’s case, aesthetic experience must always be an extraordinary episode in any human being’s life.” ---------- This is the prime reason generations of artists, writers and musicians have been moved and influenced by Schopenhauer. His emphasis on artistic transformation, creative imagination and the truth and dignity of aesthetic experience made a powerful imprint on Guy de Maupassant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Richard Wagner and Thomas Mann, to name several.

Sidebar: When once asked what philosopher I would recommend on the topic of aesthetics, I suggested Schopenhauer. I also suggested to start an aesthetics journal where you can make daily entries of your own aesthetic experiences of art, music, performance, reading, nature, and everyday encounters with the world: faces of people, driving a car, drinking coffee, etc.. The idea is to continually open yourself to experiencing the world aesthetically - a powerful path to self-transformation.

Janaway also writes on Schopenhauer’s metaphysics, epistemology ( theory of knowledge) , ethics and ideas on topics like the body, character and the self as well as how the great German thinker envisions a certain kind of mystical detachment as a way to salvation. I restricted my review to Schopenhauer's philosophy of art since this is the area of his thinking that was most influential, particularly among writers, artists and musicians. A philosopher deserving our attention, to be sure, and Janaway’s book is a great place to start. ( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |

Christopher Janaway’s little book on the life and philosophy of 19th century German thinker Arthur Schopenhauer makes for a most engaging and thought-provoking read. Indeed, if you are interested in literature and the arts or would like have a deeper understanding of the challenges in life we all face yet are generally put off by philosophers and philosophy, this book is for you. By way of example, here are some Janaway and Schopenhauer quotes along with my comments.

“Humanity is poised between the life of an organism driven to survival and reproduction, and that of a pure intellect that can rebel against its nature and aspire to a timeless contemplation of a ‘higher’ reality. ---------- Schopenhauer is an atheist as opposed to a traditional theist within the monotheistic Western tradition (he very much appreciated the wisdom of both the Upanishads and Buddhism). He viewed life as not created or guided by some all-knowing God but propelled by an irrational force he calls ‘the will’. This being the case, ordinary existence is an alternating between frustration and boredom. But do not despair! There is the possibility of escape: literature, music, the arts and aesthetic experience.

“Although thoroughly conservative himself, Schopenhauer regarded the political state merely as a convenient means for protecting property and curbing the excesses of egoism; he could not stomach Hegel’s representation of the state as ‘the whole aim of human existence’. Hegel was also an appalling stylist, who seemed to build abstraction upon abstraction without the breath of fresh air provided by common-sense experience, and Schopenhauer – not alone in this – found his writing pompous and obscurantist, even dishonest.” ---------- Here is one of the keys to the appeal of Schopenhauer’s writing. He is clear and approachable, a great literary stylist and essayist, at the opposite end of the literary spectrum from the vast majority of academic philosophers with their dense, obscure, technical language and convoluted syntax, forever quoting and referring to other equally dense, obscure, dry thinkers.

“Nevertheless, in talking so bluntly about sexuality, and in making it such a cornerstone of his philosophy, he is again unusually forward-looking for his day, Sex is ever-present in our minds, according to Schopenhauer, ‘the public secret which must never be distinctly mentioned anywhere, but is always and everywhere understood to be the main thing. . . . It is the ultimate goal of almost all human effort; it has an unfavorable influence on the most important affairs, interrupts every hour the most serious occupations.” ---------- Going back to Aristotle and ancient Greek philosophy, humans are defined as the ‘rational animal’. Schopenhauer didn’t buy it. He could see that having reason doesn’t free us from our constant preoccupation with sex; in fact, with our capacity for imagination, we humans are, in a way, even more bound to sex than other animals. With this thinking, Schopenhauer anticipates Sigmund Freud and the development of psychoanalysis.

“Schopenhauer belongs to a tradition which equates aesthetic experience with a ‘disinterested’ attitude towards its object, and is often cited as one of the chief proponents of such a view. The idea is that to experience something aesthetically, one must suspend or disengage all one’s desires toward it, attending not to any consideration of what ends, needs, or interests it may fulfill, but only to the way it presents itself in perception. In Schopenhauer’s case, aesthetic experience must always be an extraordinary episode in any human being’s life.” ---------- This is the prime reason generations of artists, writers and musicians have been moved and influenced by Schopenhauer. His emphasis on artistic transformation, creative imagination and the truth and dignity of aesthetic experience made a powerful imprint on Guy de Maupassant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Richard Wagner and Thomas Mann, to name several.

Sidebar: When once asked what philosopher I would recommend on the topic of aesthetics, I suggested Schopenhauer. I also suggested to start an aesthetics journal where you can make daily entries of your own aesthetic experiences of art, music, performance, reading, nature, and everyday encounters with the world: faces of people, driving a car, drinking coffee, etc.. The idea is to continually open yourself to experiencing the world aesthetically - a powerful path to self-transformation.

Janaway also writes on Schopenhauer’s metaphysics, epistemology ( theory of knowledge) , ethics and ideas on topics like the body, character and the self as well as how the great German thinker envisions a certain kind of mystical detachment as a way to salvation. I restricted my review to Schopenhauer's philosophy of art since this is the area of his thinking that was most influential, particularly among writers, artists and musicians. A philosopher deserving our attention, to be sure, and Janaway’s book is a great place to start. ( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
NBD|Biblion:
Het als literatuur lezende werk van Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), Duits filosofisch 'kopstuk', wordt door de auteur van deze introductie belicht naar verschillende aspecten. Dit zijn: het leven van Schopenhauer, de invloeden op hem (Plato, Kant, Hegel, het hindoeisme), de eigenheid van zijn denken (uiteenzettingen over antropologie, 'psychologie' -die nog niet bestond-, esthetica, ethiek, zingeving) en de invloed van Schopenhauer (op Nietzsche, Wagner, Freud, Jung, Wittgenstein). De eigenheid ligt onder meer in Schopenhauers denken over de wil, en over het noodzakelijk gevolg van lijden als manifestatie van de wil. Een genuanceerd beeld van deze filosoof door een gerenommeerd Schopenhauer-kenner. De vertaling doet recht aan bron- en doeltaal, en aan de wijsbegeerte. De bibliografie is bij dit deel helaas niet voor de vertaling aangepast. Vooral voor de gevorderde filosofisch geinteresseerde lezer. Deel uit een reeks inleidingen tot belangrijke filosofen.

Ik zie mezelf niet echt als gevorderd filosofisch lezer, maar ik kwam er prima doorheen, het moet je waarschijnlijk wel een beetje interesseren. niet zo leuk als plato, socrates en descartes, maar wel interessant. ( )
  JeroenBerndsen | Jan 24, 2008 |
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Schopenhauer is 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'scentral 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 behaviour as that of a natural organism governed by the will to life, Schopenhauer developed radical insights concerning the unconscious and sexualitywhich influenced both psychologists and philosophers.

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