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FREE FIRST CHAPTER: The Wisdom of Life, Counsels and Maxims Audiobook

FREE FIRST CHAPTER: The Wisdom of Life, Counsels and Maxims

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Publisher's Summary

'The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom.'

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was one of the most influential philosophers of the 19th century because his humanistic, atheistic, if pessimistic views chimed with a new secularism that was emerging from a Western society dominated by religion. Despite his rather forbidding image (and a few outdated views), he is one of the most approachable German philosophers, and this is certainly evident in these two key works, The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims.

This is, says his translator, T. Bailey Saunders, because his theories were based on observation and experience - 'interpreting the world as it is'. In The Wisdom of Life, Schopenhauer considers eudemonology (the science of happiness) - 'the art of ordering our lives so as to obtain the greatest possible amount of pleasure and success'.

He begins by dividing 'differences in the human lot' into three: what a man is in the sense of personality; what a man has in terms of property and possessions; and how a man stands in terms of the estimation of others. In the course of the book, he expands on these divisions.

In Counsels and Maxims, he develops the theme of eudemonology by advising that it is best to replace the pursuit of pleasure and happiness with a more measured approach based on the avoidance of pain and suffering. However, his views are not as negative and pessimistic as this may seem, not least because he was the first major Western philosopher to be influenced by Eastern thought, notably Buddhism, which he acknowledges.

In his exposition, Schopenhauer draws on numerous sources as varied as Plato and Horace, Goethe, Shakespeare, Silesius and, of course, his own major work The World as Will and Representation (1818). Both The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims first appeared (under the collective heading of Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life) in his collection of writings Parerga and Paralipomena (1851).

Schopenhauer proved a major influence on numerous key figures, from Nietzsche, Schrödinger and Freud to Tolstoy, Wagner, Einstein, Thomas Mann and Samuel Beckett. Translation by T. Bailey Saunders (revised).

Public Domain (P)2016 Ukemi Productions Ltd

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  • Anonymous
    08/06/17
    Overall
    "Having been working"

    Having been working hard time finding that was just wondering where they don't need anything

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    04/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great intro"

    Very well read, and a wonderful intro into the general works of Schopenhauer. At times the text was a little too presumptuous for someone with no awareness of the tenents, but not so much as to obfuscate the points.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • JackJimJackJimJackJimJackJimJackJimJackJImJack
    27/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book to listen..... Good Narration by author"

    Good to listen.... Author narrated the story very well. . . . . . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • CICADA
    OREGON
    04/05/17
    Overall
    "Preface to his ideas"

    How can you complain when it was free? It was a very good thing to follow the book by Thomas Mann called, Buddenbrooks. I became interested in Schopenhauer after studying Fathers and Sons. In the Force and Matter, or Kraft and Stoff by Ludwig Buchner, the book read by the nihilist in Fathers And Sons. Ludwig Buchner quoted a lot from Schopenhauer. I doubt we can understand our culture unless we begin to understand the seeds that have been planted to undermine it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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