Arthur Schopenhauer nsIn existographies, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) (IQ:185|#60) [RGM:89|1,500+] (Murray 4000:13|WP) (SN:15) (FA:93) (GA:10) (GPhE:#) [CR:250] was a German natural philosopher, an "avowed atheist" (Hecht, 2003), noted for his two-volume, 1818/1844 treatise: Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, variously translated as: The World as Will and Idea, The World as Will and Presentation (Ѻ), or The World as Will and Representation, in which, building on German polymath Johann Goethe's 1809 inorganic/organic elective affinities unified theory of will, among numerous other thinkers, e.g. Empedocles, Leucippus, Kant, etc., he posited that there was an inherent force inside humans (as well as inside all entities in general), which he named the ‘will to live’ (later re-branded by Nietzsche as "will to power"), that drove such entities into a will to live and to reproduce; although, through subtle in language, to note, he attempts to differentiate the so called will of inorganic masses, such as planets; and most interesting of all: he employs extended Goethean human chemistry style logic to explain types of reserved wills in humans, chemically. [1]

Schopenhauer, in short, as summarized by Jennifer Hecht (2003), believed that there is no god, that no thing made the world, and, supposedly, that humans are "accidental" animals (check). [16]

Dialogue on Religion
In c.1830, Schopenhauer, in his Dialogue on Religion, borrowing from, in admixture, David Hume’s Dialogue Concerning Natural Religion (1779) and Cicero’s dialogue The Nature of the Gods (45BC), employs two characters: Philalethes, the voice of philosophy, and Demopheles, the voice of the people, and thereby compares the philosophical view with the “metaphysics of the masses”; a few representative quotes: [18]

“They found it easier to burn Vanini that to confute him.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1830), Dialogue on Religion (pg. 5 + clause, pg. #)

“You’ve no notion of how stupid most people are.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1830), Dialogue on Religion (pg. 21); voice of Demopheles


Zollner | Helmholtz & Boltzmann
Both Hermann Helmholtz, partly via the writings of Karl Zollner, and Ludwig Boltzmann objected to Schopenhauer’s one nature version of philosophy. [11]

The following are the various translations of Schopenhauer's notion of the world as "will" and "vorstellung", variously translated as: representation (most common), presentation, or idea.
In 1839, Schopenhauer won the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences essay competition, on the question: "Is it possible to demonstrate human free will from self-consciousness?", with his submission "On the Freedom of the Will", the synopsis of which, as summarized by Albert Einstein (c.1930), is as follows: [8]

“Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.”

While Schopenhauer does repeatedly say, throughout his essay, "man can do what he wills", the latter part "but he cannot will what he wills" does not seem to be found, at least in the English translation; though this is the gist of what he argues, albeit via prolonged inorganic, plant, and animal division of argument as to how this comes about.

Whatever the case, in German, as recalled by Einstein in conversation with James Murphy: “Der Mensch kann was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will”, which was first printed Max Planck's 1932 Where is Science Going? and later reprinted by James Jeans (Physics and Philosophy, 1942) and Morris Zucker (The Philosophy of American History, 1945). [10]

In the essay, Schopenhauer claimed that as phenomenal objects appearing to a viewer (see: advanced perspective), humans have absolutely no free will. They are completely determined by the way that their bodies react to stimuli and causes, and their characters react to motives. As things that exist apart from being appearances to observers, however, humans have free will. [9]

In the 1844 second volume of his The World as Will and Representation, Schopenhauer cites German chemist Justus Liebig's description of the reaction of damp copper Cu in air containing carbonic acid H2CO3, to argue rather cogently that the:

“The will of the copper, claimed and preoccupied by the electrical opposition to the iron, leaves unused the opportunity that presents itself for its chemical affinity for oxygen and carbonic acid, behaves exactly as the will does in a person who abstains from an action to which he would otherwise feel moved, in order to perform another to which he is urged by a stronger motive.”

This is some real genius material for the year 1844, rarely seen in modern times; by virtue, of course, of the great two-culture divide that followed in the years after 1850 and the invention of thermodynamics, and in particular 1876, with the invention of chemical thermodynamics, after which philosophers were generally barred entry into chemical speculation of human affairs, by virtue of the advanced level of education one needed (degree in physical chemistry, chemical physics, or chemical engineering, at a minimum) in order to understand even the basics of affinity or rather free energy, as it has come to be known, of chemical processes (not to mention electrical engineering, which, following James Maxwell's 1873 Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, is an involved subject in itself: thus baring the lay philosopher from making electromagnetic speculations on the human condition). Another quotes is:

“Will power is to the mind like a strong man who carries on his shoulders a lame man who can see.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1840) (Ѻ)

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Goethe-Schopenhauer-Nietzsche triad
The German physical realism school: German polyintellect Johann Goethe, who directly mentored Schopenhauer (1806-1819), via his 1809 human chemical theory and the idea of electrochemical "will", whose work in turn was seized on by Friedrich Nietzsche in 1868 as the basis of his philosophy.

Mentor | Goethe
Schopenhauer's main intellectual mentor was German polymath Johann Goethe, who first came to his home in 1806; whom he consulted with 1816 about his work-in-progress The World as Will and Representation (1818); and who in 1819 again met with Schopenhauer and who that year read his new book.

Students | Influenced
Notable students of Schopenhauer include: Gustav Fechner (1801-1887) and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). The way Nietzsche was led into Schopenhauer is as summarized by German philosopher Thomas Nawrath as follows: [6]

“1868 was one of the most important years in Nietzsche’s development as a thinker. It marks the moment when he abandoned the struggle of the Hegel scholars and seized on the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer, widely recognized as Nietzsche’s “educator”, maintained a critique of Immanuel Kant, the genius of the leading philosophical schools in Germany at their times.”

Schopenhauer’s work has been influential to Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud, in particular his death drive counterpoint theory to Schopenhauer’s will to live drive theory (life drive), and to Albert Einstein, in respect to his definitional understanding of will (see: Einstein-Murphy dialogue).

In 1853, Richard Wagner, while writing the music for The Valkyrie, the second part of the Ring cycle, he discovered Schopenhauer and was so mesmerized by The World as Will and Representation that he read if from cover to cover in spite of his work on The Valkyrie and then read it three more times within a year. Goethe-Nietzsche scholar T.K. Seung comments on this: [13]

“Schopenhauer’s philosophy drastically changed his view of life and music by destroying his Feuerbachian optimism and his revolutionary fire. He came to believe that social injustice and human suffering could never be eliminated by any political movement. He accepted Schopenhauer’s view that the whole world was a tragic play of the blind will. The injustice in Wonton’s world in The Ring is not an unfortunate mistake to be rectified, but reveals the inevitable tragic dimension of human existence. He changed from a Feuerbachian optimist and idealist to a Schopenhauerian pessimist or realist.”

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Johanna SchopenhauerChristiane Vulpius
Johanna Schopenhauer (1766-1838)Christiane Vulpius (1765-1816)
Johanna Schopenhauer | Goethe
On 19 October 1806, German polymath Johann Goethe made Christiane Vulpius (1765-1816), the mother to his sixteen-year-old son August Goethe (1789-1830), albeit a women of lowly origins, his wife, following the invasion into their home earlier that month of the French troops, wherein she saved the house by boldly confronted them and declared that “a friend of Napoleon” lives here. In the weeks to follow, Goethe’s attempt to introduce Vulpius into high society, according to Goethean scholar Astrida Tantillo, was a bigger scandal that was the original affair in the first place. [4]

The first time the couple appeared publicly together as husband and wife was at a tea party at the house of Johanna Schopenhauer (1766-1838), mother of Arthur Schopenhauer, who at the time would have been about age eighteen. Johanna had only recently moved to Weimar and believed that Goethe had chosen her house for the occasion because of her urbanity and outsider status. As Johanna latter quipped: [5]

“If Goethe could give that women his name, I certainly could give her a cup of tea.”

No doubt the young Arthur Schopenhauer was much impressed by this incident. In any event, following the publication of Goethe's 1809 Elective Affinities, Arthur eventually read it, no doubt the year of its publication—and by the time of the first edition of his The World as Will and Representation, had begun to assimilate Goethe’s theory of will into his own theory of the “will to power”.
Arthur Schopenhauer 75 (1815)
Arthur Schopenhauer (1845) 75
Arthur Schopenhauer 75 (1855)

Goethe | elective affinities
Schopenhauer, as summarized above, knew Goethe personally in the decade 1810-20 through his mother’s literary set in Weimar. In his The World as Will and Representation, Goethe’s views, influence, and verse is quoted liberally, in particular his 1809 novella Elective Affinities, wherein Goethe's central theory of chemical will is explained. In regards to his own doctrine of will in relation to Goethe’s central doctrine of will, the following offhand remark by Schopenhauer, on Goethe’s novella, is said to acknowledge the continuity between the two: [2]

“As the title indicates [Elective Affinities], though Goethe was unaware of this, [it] has as its foundation the idea that the will, which constitutes the basis of our inner being, is the same will that manifests itself in the lowest, inorganic phenomena.”

That Goethe was unaware of this notion is hardly the truth as this subject was central topic of Goethe's four chapter four. In any event, Schopenhauer’s first mention of elective affinity (or rather chemical affinity) occurs on page 110 of his treatise, where he explains:

“Knowledge which everyone possesses directly in the concrete, namely as feeling, is the knowledge that the inner nature of his own phenomenon, which manifests itself to him as representation both through his actions and though the permanent substratum of these his body, is his will. This constitutes what is most immediate in his consciousness, but as such it has not wholly entered into the form of the representation, in which object and subject stand over against each other; on the contrary, it makes itself known in an immediate way in which subject and object are not quite clearly distinguished, yet it becomes known to the individual himself not as a whole, but only in its particular acts. Of itself it will become the key to the knowledge of the innermost being of the whole of nature, since he now transfers it to all those phenomena that are given to him, not like his own phenomenon both in direct and in indirect knowledge, but in the latter solely, and hence merely in a one-sided way, as representation alone. He will recognize that same will not only in those phenomena that are quite similar to his own, in men and animals, as their innermost nature, but continued reflection will lead him to recognize the force that shoots and vegetates in the plant, indeed the force by which the crystal is formed, and the force that turns the magnetic to the North Pole, the force whose shock he encounters from the contact of metals of different kinds, the force that appears in the elective affinities of matter as repulsion and attraction, separation and union, and finally even gravitation, which acts so powerfully in all matter, pulling the stone to the earth and the earth to the sun; all these he will recognize as different only in the phenomena, but the same according to their inner nature.”

Again, very genius in viewpoint, for such a year.

Schopenhauer cites Goethe over forty-one times in volume two alone and his theory of human elective affinity in general, as chemical attraction and repulsion, which he argues is inherent in man, plant, and chemical, several times in both of his volumes, which one might very well argue is the seed for the germination for his entire treatise. [3]

Schopenhauer, supposedly, liked Bruno and Spinoza, and curses all other philosophers, from Augustine to Kant, who upholds national religion over philosophy. [14]

In 1805, when he was 17, his father, Heinrich Schopenhauer, died (deboundstated), apparently from suicide. [20]

Quotes | Employed
The following are quotes employed by Schopenhauer:

“If anyone who wanders all day arrives toward evening, it is enough.”
Petrarch (c.1374), Publication; quoted fondly by Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1860) near his reaction end (death) [20]

Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Schopenhauer:

Schopenhauer was the first admitted and inexorable atheist among us Germans.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1882), The Gay Science (Ѻ)

“My first and only teacher, the great Arthur Schopenhauer.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1886) (Ѻ)

Schopenhauer takes us as far as philosophy can.”
Leo Tolstoy (c.1890) [12]

“The most terrible chapter in the most comfortless of all the great books that have been written, the chapter on ‘Death and its Relation to the Indestructibility of our Nature’, in Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Idea, is where the permanence of the will to maintain the species is set down as the only real permanence.”
Otto Weininger (1903), Sex and Character (pg. 223)

Schopenhauer’s saying, that ‘a man can do as he will, but not will as he will’, has been an inspiration to me since my youth, and a continual consolation and unfailing well-spring of patience in the face of the hardships of life, my own and others.”
Albert Einstein (c.1940) [12]

Schopenhauer is the person who, coming upon Kant’s philosophy, noticing that god therein was not attached to anything, shook the text until god fell out.”
Jennifer Hecht (2003), Doubt: a History (pg. 393)

Quotes | Morality
The following are Schopenhauer quotes on morality:

“Believers convince themselves that their religion’s myths are somehow connected to its ethical code, and thus ‘regard every attack on the myth as an attack on right and virtue. This reaches such lengths that, in monotheistic nations, atheism or godlessness has become the synonym for absence of all morality’.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (1818), The World as Will and Representation, Volume One (pg. #); summarized by Jennifer Hecht (2003) in Doubt: a History (pg. 396)

“It is easy to preach morality, difficulty to find a basis for it.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1830), “Essay on the Foundations of Morality” [19]

Quotes | Truth
The following are noted quotes by Schopenhauer on the nature of truth:

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (1818), The World as Will and Representation (preface) (see: truth)

Truth that has been merely learned is like an artificial limb, a false tooth, a waxen nose; at best, like a nose made out of another’s flesh; it adheres to us only because it is put on. But truth acquired by thinking of our own is like a natural limb; it alone really belongs to us. This is the fundamental difference between the thinker (compare: free thinker) and the mere man of learning.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1840) (Ѻ)

Schopenhauer quote
Noted Schopenhauer quote on the nature of the "untreated subject" of love, found on the back cover to the 2007 Human Chemistry textbook by American chemical-electrical engineer Libb Thims. [1]
Quotes | General
The following are noted general Schopenhauer quotes; the latter of these quotes, particularly in respect to steps one and two, seem to quantify the current nature of the state of the sciences of human chemistry, in large part, and human thermodynamics, to a lesser extent:

Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people how they shall think.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1830) [12]

“We should be surprised that a matter that generally plays such an important part in the life of man has hitherto been almost entirely disregarded by philosophers, and lies before us as a raw and untreated material.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (1844), The World as Will and Representation (§44: The Metaphysics of Sexual Love) [7]

“At the same point of view we find, indeed, Englishmen even at the present. The Bridgewater-Treatise-men, Lord Brougham, and company. To all these, teleology is at once also theology and at every instance of purpose recognized in nature, instead of thinking and learning to understand nature, they break at once into the childish cry, ‘Design! Design’. The ignorance of the Kantian philosophy is principally responsible for this whole outcast position of the English.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (1844), The World as Will and Idea; cited by John Cornell (1986) [14]

“For if we could guarantee them their dogma of immortality in some other way, the lively ardor for their gods would at once be cool; and if continued existence after death could be proved to be incompatible with the existence of gods, they would soon sacrifice these gods to their own immortality, and be hot for atheism.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (1844), The World as Will and Representation, Volume Two (pgs. 160-61) [15]

“Many millions, united into nations, strive for the common good. Now senseless delusion, now intriguing politics, incite them to wars with one another; then the sweat and blood the great multitudes must flow. In peace, inventions work miracles, seas are navigated, delicacies are collected from all the ends of the earth, the waves engulf thousands. All push and drive, some plotting and planning, others acting; the tumult is indescribable. But what is the ultimate aim of it all? To sustain the ephemeral and harassed individuals through a short span of time, in the most fortunate case with endurable want and comparative painlessness (thought boredom is on the lookout for this). Then the propagation of the race. With this evident want of proportion between effort and the reward, the will-to-live appears as a folly, or as a delusion. Seized by this, every little thing works with the utmost exertion of its strength for something that has no value.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (1844), The World as Will and Representation, Volume Two (pg. 357) [17]

“The relation of the genius to the ordinary mind may also be described as that of an idio-electrical body to one which merely is a conductor of electricity.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (1851), “On Genius” (Ѻ)(Ѻ) in Parerga and Paralipomena (§3) (Ѻ); not to be confused with “On Genius” (1844) from The World as Will and Representation, Volume Two (§31)

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1850)

“A genius is someone in whom intellect predominates over ‘will’ much more than within the average person.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1850)

“After your death, you will be what you were before your birth.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1850) (Ѻ)

“Religion has and always will be in conflict with the noble endeavor after pure truth.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1850), “Religion: a Dialogue”; in: The Works of Schopenhauer (editor: Will Durant) (pg. 474) [20]

“Religions are like glowworms; they shine only when it is dark. A certain amount of general ignorance is the condition of all religions, the element in which alone they can exist. And as soon as astronomy, natural science, geology, history, and knowledge of countries and peoples have spread their light broadcast, and philosophy finally is permitted to say a word, every faith founded on miracles and rev-elation must disappear.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1850), “Religion: a Dialogue”; in: The Works of Schopenhauer (editor: Will Durant) (pg. 485) [20]

“The chief objection I have to pantheism is that it says nothing. To call the world ‘god’ is not to explain it; it is only to enrich our language with a superfluous synonym for the word world.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (1851), A Few Words on Pantheism [20]

“Any dogma, no matter how extravagantly absurd, inculcated in childhood, is sure to retain its hold for life.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (c.1850), Publication [20]

See also
Einstein's personal library

1. (a) Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume Two) (pg. 471). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
(b) Schopenhauer, Arthur. (1844). The World as Will and Representation, Volume II (§44: The Metaphysics of Sexual Love, pg. 532), trans. E.F.J. Payne. Dover, 1969.
(c) Sex and Schopenhauer (c.2000) –
2. (a) Nicholls, Augus and Liebscher, Martin. (2010). The Thinking Unconscious: Nineteenth-Century German Thought (Elective Affinities, pg. 141). Cambridge University Press.
(b) Schopenhauer, Arthur. (date). Samtiche Werke, ed. Arthur Hubscher (Mannheim: F.A. Brockhaus, 1988), Vol. III, 336-37, 339-91.
3. (a) Schopenhauer, Arthur. (1818). The World as Will and Representation, Volume I (Elective Affinity, pgs. 110, 122, 148), trans. E.F.J. Payne. Dover, 1966.
(b) Schopenhauer, Arthur. (1844). The World as Will and Representation, Volume II (Goethe, 41+ pgs; Elective Affinity, pgs. 174, 297-98, 386, 396; inorganic will, pg. 297), trans. E.F.J. Payne. Dover, 1969.
4. (a) Tantillo, Astrida O. (2001). Goethe's Elective Affinities and the Critics (pg. 2). Camden House.
(b) August von Goethe (German → English) – Wikipedia.
5. (a) Kohler, Astrid. (1996). Salonkultur im Klassischen Weimar: Geselligkeit als Lebensform und Literarisches Konzept. Stuttgart: M&P Verlag. (pg. 27)
(b) Tantillo, Astrida O. (2001). Goethe's Elective Affinities and the Critics (pg. 2). Camden House.
(c) Johanna Schopenhauer – Wikipedia.
6. Paderborn, Nawrath. (2010). “Introduction to ‘Friedrich Nietzsche: On the Concept of the Organic since Kant” (translated and annotated by Th. Nawrath, Paderborn), Nov.,
7. Schopenhauer, Arthur. (1844). The World as Will and Representation, Volume II (§44: The Metaphysics of Sexual Love, pg. 532), trans. E.F.J. Payne. Dover, 1969.
8. (a) Schopenhauer, Arthur. (1839). On the Freedom of the Will (Über die Freiheit des menschlichen Willens). Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences.
(b) Einstein, Albert. (c.1930). "Conversation with James Murphy", in: Where is Science Going? (by Max Planck; introduction by James Murphy) (quote, pg. 201). Allen & Unwin
(c) Zucker, Morris. (1945). The Philosophy of American History: The Historical Field Theory (pg. 531). Arnold-Howard Publishing Co.
(d) Arthur Schopenhauer – Wikiquote.
9. On the Freedom of the Will – Wikipedia.
10. Jeans, James. (1942). Physics and Philosophy (pg. 213). Dover.
11. Buchwald, Jed Z. (1993). “Electrodynamics in Context: Object States, Laboratory Practice, and Anti-Romanticism”, in: Hermann von Helmholtz and the Foundations of Nineteenth-Century Science (editor: David Cahan) (§8:334-73, esp pgs. 370-72). University of California Press.
12. Malieth, Monydit (aka Tonnerre). (2013). The Future Affects the Past (religion, pg. 13; Tolstoy, pg. 54; Einstein, pg. 54). Red Lead Books.
13. (a) Seung, T.K. (2006). Goethe, Nietzsche, and Wagner: Their Spinozan Epics of Love and Power (pgs. 298-99). Lexington Books.
(b) T.K. Seung – Wikipedia.
14. Cornell, John F. (1986). “Newton of the Grassblade? Darwin and the Problem of Organic Teleology” (Ѻ), Isis, 77:405-21.
15. (a) Schopenhauer, Arthur (1844). The World as Will and Representation, Volume Two (pgs. 160-61) (translator: E.F.J. Payne). Dover, 1969.
(b) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 393). HarperOne.
16. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 393-97). HarperOne.
17. (a) Schopenhauer, Arthur (1844). The World as Will and Representation, Volume Two (pgs. 357) (translator: E.F.J. Payne). Dover, 1969.
(b) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 394). HarperOne.
18. (a) Schopenhauer, Arthur. (1788). Dialogue on Religion (translator: T. Bailey Saunders) (Arc) (WS). MacMillan, 1891.
(b) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 394). HarperOne.
19. (a) Schopenhauer, Arthur. (c.1838). “Essay on the Foundations of Morality”, submitted to competition of the Royal Danish Academy of Copenhagen (Ѻ). Publisher.
(b) Eros and Psyche or Sex and Character: A Fundamental Investigation (Geschlecht und Charakter: Eine prinzipielle Untersuchung) (pg. 175). Vienna: Braumüller & Co, 1906.
20. Haught, James A. (1996). 2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People with the Courage to Doubt (§25: Schopenhauer, pgs. 112-14). Prometheus.

● Schopenhauer, Arthur. (1818). The World as Will and Representation, Volume I (translator: E.F.J. Payne). Dover, 1966.
● Schopenhauer, Arthur. (1844). The World as Will and Representation, Volume II (translator: E.F.J. Payne). Dover, 1969.

Further reading
● Schopenhauer, Arthur. (c.1840). “Essay on Genius”, in: The World as Will and Representation, Volume Two (Ѻ); in: The Art of Literature: Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer. Wiley.

External links
Arthur Schopenhauer – Wikipedia.
The World as Will and Representation – Wikipedia.

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