Talk:Arthur Schopenhauer/Archive 4

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Science + edits

if some relevant RSs can be found, it would complete the picture of Artie to mention that he, unusual for a philosopher, was well versed in science - obviously at the state of the art of his time - and declared science to be highly important. I'll see what I can find in GE; if someone can trawl for EN sources, that would be helpful.
I removed his anti-marriage quotes from the section on mlle. Medon, by the way, as they were published 15-20 years after the event and so do not constitute any kind of contemporary commentary on this relationship.
T (talk) 02:27, 9 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Strongly agree! Schopenhauer's descriptions of contemporary science, and his use of science-metaphors, are fascinating and one of the reasons he is so much fun to read. HandsomeMrToad (talk) 09:16, 1 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

George Bernard Shaw and Schopenhauer

Added a sentence to the list of thinkers influenced by Schopenhauer, mentioning the interesting fact that although everyone THINKS that George Bernard Shaw was influenced by Schopenhauer, Shaw himself denied it, in the Preface to Major Barbara. I hope this is not too trivial to mention, because it seems very interesting and funny to ME. HandsomeMrToad (talk) 09:11, 1 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

UPDATE: Now User:FreeKnowledgeCreator objects to the sentence about Shaw, citing WP:UNDUE. But WP:UNDUE does not say how much detail about a subject should be included; it only says not to give undue weight to unsupported theories held by small minorities in scholarly communities. The thing about Shaw is not at all controversial and not a minority position; it's confirmed by Shaw himself. Therefore, WP:UNDUE is not relevant to the question whether or not it should be included. It's also kind of important, because lots of people associate Shaw with Schopenhauer--there are many similarities in their two philosophies. And, it makes the article more FUN! HandsomeMrToad (talk) 04:53, 13 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I do not care what you think is interesting or funny. Nor should anyone else. Your addition was inappropriate, and WP:UNDUE is a perfectly valid reason for removing it. If you had bothered to read a little more, you would have noticed that the page to which WP:UNDUE links states the following, at WP:PROPORTION: "An article should not give undue weight to minor aspects of its subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight proportional to its treatment in the body of reliable, published material on the subject. For example, discussion of isolated events, criticisms, or news reports about a subject may be verifiable and impartial, but still disproportionate to their overall significance to the article topic." Mentioning that Schopenhauer was not an influence on Shaw is a perfect example of something disproportionate to its "overall significance to the article topic".
You should also refer to WP:LEAD, which states, "The lead serves as an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important contents." Is the fact that Schopenhauer was not an influence on Shaw one of the most important parts of Wikipedia's article about him? No. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:33, 14 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
1. Re: "An article should not give undue weight to minor aspects of its subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight proportional to its treatment in the body of reliable, published material on the subject." This, of course, raises the question whether or not a single sentence, in parentheses, is really "undue weight". If I had put in a three-thousand-word paragraph about Schopenhauer and Shaw (which could easily be written), then you might have a point. There are so many similarities and commonalities between Schopenhauer's and Shaw's philosophies--witness Shaw's own complaint that everyone accused him of being influenced by Schopenhauer--that they are certainly notable and ought to be mentioned, however briefly, somewhere in the article. I would even say that failing to mention them at all makes the article fundamentally incomplete. It's not unlikely that many or most people who read Schopenhauer for the first time have already encountered his ideas by reading Shaw (or seeing his plays performed.) Among readers whose first language is English, it's quite likely.
2. Re: "The lead serves as an introduction to the article and a summary of its most important contents." Hmm. That would seem to argue against including the list of thinkers influenced by Schopenhauer in the lead at all! Maybe the best thing would be to make a new section on "Prominent thinkers influenced by Schopenhauer" and include the thing about Shaw there.
3. I notice that you have removed my Shaw sentence again, without waiting for consensus to emerge here on the Talk-page. Now might be a good time for you to review Wikipedia:Edit warring.
Best wishes, HandsomeMrToad (talk) 10:17, 14 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whether a sentence is placed in parentheses or not bears no relation to the issue of proportion. Schopenhauer's not being an influence on Shaw is a trivial matter that is of basically no relevance to Schopenhauer at all. The article is better off without it. Note that per WP:BRD, it is up to you to gain consensus for an addition you wish to make. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 22:39, 14 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, this whole dispute is very easy to resolve. Rather than saying that Shaw was not influenced by Schopenhauer, I will say instead that he was, and for my source I will cite the introduction to Man and Superman, in which he explicitly acknowledges the influence of "Bunyan, Blake, Hogarth and Turner (these four apart and above all the English Classics), Goethe, Shelley, Schopenhauer, Wagner, Ibsen, Morris, Tolstoy, and Nietzsche".
Q. E. D.: Quite Easily Done!
Best wishes, HandsomeMrToad (talk) 06:18, 15 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC on Schopenhauer and George Bernard Shaw

Should the WP article on Schopenhauer, which currently includes a short list of prominent thinkers who were influenced by him, mention George Bernard Shaw? In the introduction to Major Barbara, Shaw points out that numerous contemporary critics considered it obvious that his (Shaw's) ideas were heavily influenced by Schopenhauer, but, Shaw denied this, perhaps jokingly. I myself think that the commonalities are so significant, and Shaw's role in popularizing Schopenhauer's basic ideas in the English-speaking world so consequential, that the article is fundamentally incomplete unless it mentions Shaw. And surely Shaw's own comment about the question is a reliable source!

Also, maybe the whole list of thinkers influenced by Schopenhauer should be moved from the lead paragraph to elsewhere in the article, according to WP:LEAD; maybe into a new section entitled "Prominent thinkers influenced by Schopenhauer" or some such.

What say you, fellow Shaw-junkies and Schopenhauer-freaks?

HandsomeMrToad (talk) 10:36, 14 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

UPDATE: Hah, as it turns out, in the introduction to Man and Superman, Shaw himself acknowledges the influence of Schopenhauer on his ideas. So I will just add him to the list of thinkers influenced by Schopenhauer, and use this as my source. I think we can consider this resolved now. HandsomeMrToad (talk) 06:20, 15 September 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adoption of "Will to Life" article

I've noticed that the distinctly Schopenhauerian concept "Will-to-Life" and its article is strangely estranged from the articles of the great philosopher himself. I've added a sentence linking the article to Arthur Schopenhauer. Comicreader13 (talk) 10:20, 24 September 2017 (UTC)Comicreader13Reply[reply]

Justification for the edits in the philosophy section

I deleted one paragraph in the section on his metaphysical voluntarism, and since it is the work of someone else which I dare to throw away, I believe a good justification is needed on my part. The introduction on Hegel and Kant is without sources. It says that Schopenhauer criticizes Hegel and Kant for their logical optimism, but Schopenhauer does this nowhere (his criticisms of Kant deal with epistemology and ethics, and regarding Hegel, that he is not a philosopher). Even if "Hegel had popularized the concept of Zeitgeist, the idea that society consisted of a collective consciousness that moved in a distinct direction, dictating the actions of its members." it is unclear what this should tell us about Schopenhauer's theory on will.

This part should set out Schopenhauer's fundamental doctrine. Historical context can be useful if it clarifies the starting point.

The two sentences: "Schopenhauer believed that humans were motivated by only their own basic desires, or Wille zum Leben ("Will to Live"), which directed all of mankind. Will, for Schopenhauer, is what Kant called the "thing-in-itself", are better. On the current page they would add no new information.

Yuyuhunter UTC 13:55, 5 october 2017 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yuyuhunter (talkcontribs)


I deleted a few influences that had no source (if the article makes clear that they were an influence that is of course no problem, but the article did not make that clear), and also Christian Wolf, who had a source, but this source was only a list of (often minor) philosophers that Schopenhauer read during a period of his student life, and Wolf was mentioned amongst them. Schopenhauer was not influenced by the Leibniz-Wolf philosophy, but was delighted that Kant had put an end to it.

I also made it a flatlist. Yuyuhunter (talk) 07:45, 7 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Contra Academia

In the "Life" section it is claimed that "A late essay, 'On University Philosophy,' expressed his resentment towards the work conducted in academies." Is it possible for anyone beside Schopenhauer to know what motivated his opposition to academia? Isn't it merely a subjective opinion for anyone to assert that his motive was simply resentment? Did his extremely clear and thorough judgments regarding academia, as published in the above-mentioned essay, have, then, no intelligible basis in reality and were they the result of a mere emotional reaction? (talk) 03:30, 28 November 2017 (UTC)Barry SpizonaReply[reply]

External links modified

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 5 external links on Arthur Schopenhauer. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 13:44, 1 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Schopenhauer and religion

This article could benefit from a section on Schopenhauer and religion, stating that, although Schopenhauer's philosophy is atheistic, he was influenced by the world religions, especially Hinduism. It could also mention that he admired Jesus, whom he saw as an ascetic. Vorbee (talk) 08:14, 22 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was thinking about this as well. His philosophy has led people back to religion (such as Tolstoy, J.K. Huysman) because all his examples of the most important phenomenon in ethics, the denial of the will to live, are religious figures. Right now the ethics section does not clear how important these religious accounts are for his philosophy. I therefore plan to improve the ethics section with this important matter, which has caused the attraction towards religion among his readers. Yuyuhunter (talk) 09:14, 22 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why does the infobox say that his religion is Western philosophy? That is quite dubious.

Update: I changed it here - --Bringback2ndpersonverbs (talk) 00:01, 2 April 2018 (UTC) My mistake, it said "region", not "religion". --Bringback2ndpersonverbs (talk) 23:05, 2 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Regarding this photo of Schopenhauer,_1859b.jpg, I will copy and paste what I just wrote on its discussion page:

'The date of this photo is given as being March 1859. However, two things lead me to doubt this.

First of all, the Encyclopedia Britannica - a reliable source if anything is - identifies the photo as being from 1855. See

Secondly, this painting of Schopenhauer is from 1855, according to that page itself and also according to the article on Schopenhauer (, and is almost identical to the photo.

I therefore suggest that the photo's date is either changed to 1855 or else we remove reference to the date altogether, so as to get rid of the false information that the photo is from March 1859.'

Actually, the very title of the photo might be a problem because it has 1859 in its title.

Matthew Fennell (talk) 01:33, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And there is another version of the photo here,_1859b.jpg
Matthew Fennell (talk) 01:41, 1 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]