Thursday, November 22, 2007

On the Problem of Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer is my favorite philosopher. For pure readability, as well as clarity of thought and originality, there's none better. Except on the issue of women. Schopenhauer was convinced of women's inferiority. I like to think that, just as with the evolutionary psychologists, Schopenhauer mistakes the social construction of female inferiority with innate inferiority. Although Schopenhauer went even further than EPs, suggesting that males are more physically attractive than females. As an avowed female heterosexual I might be convinced of it, but no EP will be.

In any case, much of his work is now available for free online (what DID we do before the Internet?) and I'll be posting various nuggets here from time to time.


That is certainly the strong point of religion. If it is a fraud, it is a pious fraud; that is undeniable. But this makes priests something between deceivers and teachers of morality; they daren't teach the real truth, as you have quite rightly explained, even if they knew it, which is not the case. A true philosophy, then, can always exist, but not a true religion; true, I mean, in the proper understanding of the word, not merely in that flowery or allegorical sense which you have described; a sense in which all religions would be true, only in various degrees. It is quite in keeping with the inextricable mixture of weal and woe, honesty and deceit, good and evil, nobility and baseness, which is the average characteristic of the world everywhere, that the most important, the most lofty, the most sacred truths can make their appearance only in combination with a lie, can even borrow strength from a lie as from something that works more powerfully on mankind; and, as revelation, must be ushered in by a lie. This might, indeed, be regarded as the cachet of the moral world. However, we won't give up the hope that mankind will eventually reach a point of maturity and education at which it can on the one side produce, and on the other receive, the true philosophy. Simplex sigillum veri: the naked truth must be so simple and intelligible that it can be imparted to all in its true form, without any admixture of myth and fable, without disguising it in the form of religion.


You've no notion how stupid most people are.