Schopenhauer’s book “The Wisdom of Life” is pretentious garbage. Nietzsche’s assessment of Schopenhauer, which seemed altogether extreme, turned out to be correct. Schopenhauer was a nihilist of the most lamentable sort – you read that right: Schopenhauer was a nihilist that was more lamentable than traditional nihilism.
The framework of Schopenhauer’s “The Wisdom of Life” is by far the most idiotic principle that I’ve ever encountered. It can and should only be regarded as a piece that was contemporary to its own time from a buffoon. Critics and even agitators of philosophy would be able to use this as the stereotype for why people believe that philosophy is nonsense.
Schopenhauer’s principle is thus: That we should rescind the idea of commercial wealth because they’re just things and they will vanish eventually; if not by us then by our progeny. Thus, because our wealth will eventually disappear and is thus not the key to true happiness. He argues that other people are also not the key to true happiness because being around other people makes one stupid and he uses a very racist generalization of American blacks to support this point. Apparently, singing and dancing are acts of stupidity according to Schopenhauer and he felt that black people – whom he perceived as an inferior race – epitomized this idea of other people being a waste of time.
It actually becomes worse from there. He goes on to make spurious generalizations of women needing men to be rulers of the household – contemporary to how they were treated during his time period – and then talks about honor. He makes it quite clear that honor is just meant to preserve, even violently preserve, the idea of one’s public perception. Men shooting each other on the street in a duel is about honor in his worldview. This type of violence is seen as morally good and rational while he – and others of his time – condemn women for being too emotional because women “give into” gossip. The self-contradiction is for all to see in these modern times. It also shows that chivalry really was nothing more than self-aggrandizing given the veneer of self-respect in accordance with customs at that time. Dueling for “honor” was never some good versus evil type of affair as depicted in Hollywood.
I haven’t been able to finish it because the book was so terrible. I got about half-way through it before I had to put it down so feel free to give me any criticisms on this one. I just couldn’t endure the beginning half of the philosophical book.