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Quotes by Arthur Schopenhauer on life, love, truth, money and other things

98 Famous Quotes By Arthur Schopenhauer That Will Make You Appreciate Life A Lot More

Quick Facts

Famous As
Philosopher

Born On
22 February 1788 AD

Died On
21 September 1860 AD

Born In
Gdańsk

Died At Age
72

German philosopher and mathematician, Arthur Schopenhauer rose to prominence in the 19th century and is regarded as one of the most in-fluential philosophers of the modern world. He was born in a rich and aristocratic family and received a first class education before embarking on a career in philosophy and before long he became one of the most influential voices in Europe. In 1818, Schopenhauer published his most famous philosophical book titled ‘The World as Will and Representation’ and according to many, it ushered in a new era in philosophy following the era of Kant. His school of philosophy can best be described as being pessimistic and drew the picture of a world that might not be as rosy as people might claim. Later experts have termed it as philosophical pessimism. Schopenhauer’s theories on philosophy did not only open up a new chapter in the subject but also influenced some of the intellectual giants like Leo Tolstoy, Gustav Mahler, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jorge Luis Borges, Carl Jung and many others. Schopenhauer by all accounts was one of the biggest intellectuals to have ever lived and as such it is not a surprise that he has given a great amount of brilliant quotes. Here are a few. 

Honor has not to be won; it must only not be lost.

- The Wisdom of Life, Arthur Schopenhauer

Every Man Mistakes the Limits of His Vision For The Limits Of The World..

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Thus also every keen pleasure is an error and an illusion, for no attained wish can give lasting satisfaction.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

For it is a matter of daily observation that people take the greatest pleasure in that which satisfies their vanity; and vanity cannot be satisfied without comparison with others.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

If God made this world, then i would not want to be the God. It is full of misery and distress that it breaks my heart.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

If at any moment Time stays his hand, it is only when we are delivered over to the miseries of boredom.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Any foolish boy can stamp on a beetle, but all the professors in the world cannot make a beetle.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Other people's heads are too wretched a place for true happiness to have its seat.

- Parerga and Paralipomena: Short Philosophical Essays, Arthur Schopenhauer

The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

The more unintelligent a man is, the less mysterious existence seems to him.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

A man who has not enough originality to think out a new title for his book will be much less capable of giving it new contents.

- The Collected Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer, Arthur Schopenhauer

Men need some kind of external activity, because they are inactive within.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

In our monogamous part of the world, to marry means to halve one's rights and double one's duties.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Truth is most beautiful undraped.

- The Art of Literature, Arthur Schopenhauer

The fourfold root of the principle of sufficent reason is "Anything perceived has a cause. All conclusions have premises. All effects have causes. All actions have motives.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Money is human happiness in the abstract; and so the man who is no longer capable of enjoying such happiness in the concrete, sets his whole heart on money.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

...in the end every one stands alone, and the important thing is who it is that stands alone.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

The conviction that the world and man is something that had better not have been, is of a kind to fill us with indulgence towards one another.

- Studies in Pessimism: The Essays, Arthur Schopenhauer

No rose without a thorn. Yes, but many a thorn without a rose.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Marrying means, to grasp blindfolded into a sack hoping to find out an eel out of an assembly of snakes.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

To be alone is the fate of all great minds—a fate deplored at times, but still always chosen as the less grievous of two evils.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Nature shows that with the growth of intelligence comes increased capacity for pain, and it is only with the highest degree of intelligence that suffering reaches its supreme point.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

We seldom speak of what we have but often of what we lack.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Buying books would be a good thing if we also could buy the time to read them.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Solitude will be welcomed or endured or avoided, according as a man's personal value is large or small.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

...a genuine work of art, can never be false, nor can it be discredited through the lapse of time, for it does not present an opinion but the thing itself.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Clio, the muse of history, is as thoroughly infected with lies as a street whore with syphilis.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Animals hear about death for the first time when they die.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Each day is a little life.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

For where did Dante get the material for his Hell, if not from this actual world of ours?

- Arthur Schopenhauer

For the world is Hell, and men are on the one hand the tormented souls and on the other the devils in it.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Night gives a black look to everything, whatever it may be.

- Essays and Aphorisms, Arthur Schopenhauer

No one writes anything worth writing, unless he writes entirely for the sake of his subject.

- The Art of Literature, Arthur Schopenhauer

After your death, you will be what you were before your birth.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to inculcate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Life is short and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth.

- The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer

Men are the devils of the earth, and the animals are its tormented souls.

- Essays and Aphorisms, Arthur Schopenhauer

Scholars are those who have read in books, but thinkers, men of genius, world-enlighteners, and reformers of the human race are those who have read directly in the book of the world.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

There is some wisdom in taking a gloomy view, in looking upon the world as a kind of Hell, and in confining one's efforts to securing a little room that shall not be exposed to the fire.

- The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims, Arthur Schopenhauer

Whatever torch we kindle, and whatever space it may illuminate, our horizon will always remain encircled by the depth of night.

- The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer

Life is full of troubles and vexations, that one must either rise above it by means of corrected thoughts, or leave it.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

That I could clamber to the frozen moon. And draw the ladder after me.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

To find out your real opinion of someone, judge the impression you have when you first see a letter from them.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Ordinary people merely think how they shall 'spend' their time; a man of talent tries to 'use' it.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

What a man is contributes much more to his happiness than what he has or how he is regarded by others.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

If we suspect that a man is lying, we should pretend to believe him; for then he becomes bold and assured, lies more vigorously, and is unmasked.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

To free a man from error is to give, not to take away. Knowledge that a thing is false is a truth. Error always does harm; sooner or later it will bring mischief to the man who harbors it.

- Essays and Aphorisms, Arthur Schopenhauer

Rascals are always sociable, and the chief sign that a man has any nobility in his character is the little pleasure he takes in others company.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

There are very few who can think, but every man wants to have an opinion; and what remains but to take it ready-made from others, instead of forming opinions for himself?

- The Art of Always Being Right, Arthur Schopenhauer

We seldom think of what we have, but always of what we lack.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Reading is thinking with someone else's head instead of ones own.

- The Art of Literature, Arthur Schopenhauer

I have long held the opinion that the amount of noise that anyone can bear undisturbed stands in inverse proportion to his mental capacity and therefore be regarded as a pretty fair measure of it.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Sleep is the interest we have to pay on the capital which is called in at death; and the higher the rate of interest and the more regularly it is paid, the further the date of redemption is postponed.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Music is the melody whose text is the world.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.

- The Works of Schopenhauer: The Wisdom of Life and Other Essays, Arthur Schopenhauer

He who writes carelessly confesses thereby at the very outset that he does not attach much importance to his own thoughts.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

To feel envy is human, to savour schadenfreude is devilish.

- On Human Nature, Arthur Schopenhauer

Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Faith is like love: it does not let itself be forced.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

The safest way of not being very miserable is not to expect to be very happy.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Wealth is like sea-water; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; and the same is true of fame.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

The life of every individual, viewed as a whole and in general, and when only its most significant features are emphasized, is really a tragedy; but gone through in detail it has the character of a comedy.

- The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer

If we were not all so interested in ourselves, life would be so uninteresting that none of us would be able to endure it.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people. There is no more mistaken path to happiness than worldliness.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them; but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.

- Counsels and Maxims (The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer), Arthur Schopenhauer

The shortness of life, so often lamented, may be the best thing about it.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

The world is my idea

- Arthur Schopenhauer

If I maintain my silence about my secret it is my prisoner...if I let it slip from my tongue, I am ITS prisoner.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Every parting gives a foretaste of death, every reunion a hint of the resurrection.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

We can regard our life as a uselessly disturbing episode in the blissful repose of nothingness.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

I have not yet spoken my last word about women. I believe that if a woman succeeds in withdrawing from the mass, or rather raising herself from above the mass, she grows ceaselessly and more than a man.

- Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy, Arthur Schopenhauer

Marrying means to halve one's rights and double one's duties

- Arthur Schopenhauer

No rose without a thorn but many a thorn without a rose.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Hope is the confusion of the desire for a thing with its probability.

- Essays and Aphorisms, Arthur Schopenhauer

Life is a constant process of dying.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

A high degree of intellect tends to make a man unsocial.

- The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims, Arthur Schopenhauer

Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen, but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

A sense of humour is the only divine quality of man

- Arthur Schopenhauer

We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

One should use common words to say uncommon things

- Arthur Schopenhauer

... that when you're buying books, you're optimistically thinking you're buying the time to read them. (Paraphrase of Schopenhauer)

- Arthur Schopenhauer

It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience.

- Religion: A Dialogue and Other Essays, Arthur Schopenhauer

Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.

- The Basis of Morality, Arthur Schopenhauer

Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.

- Studies in Pessimism: The Essays, Arthur Schopenhauer

Happiness consists in frequent repetition of pleasure

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.

- Parerga and Paralipomena, Arthur Schopenhauer

A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.

- Essays and Aphorisms, Arthur Schopenhauer

All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; Third, it is accepted as self-evident.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Compassion is the basis of morality.

- Arthur Schopenhauer

Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.

- Arthur Schopenhauer