Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes – Wisdom from a German Philosopher

Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher who is best known for his philosophical work, The World as Will and Representation. In this work, Schopenhauer explored the idea that the world is driven by a will that is not accessible to the individual. Here are some of the top Arthur Schopenhauer quotes.

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes

Arthur Schopenhauer was born in 1788 in the city of Danzig, which is now located in Poland. Schopenhauer’s father was a successful merchant, and when his father passed away in 1805. This event had a profound impact on Schopenhauer, and it was the beginning of his lifelong interest in philosophy.

Schopenhauer was educated at a prestigious boarding school in Frankfurt, and in 1809 he enrolled at the University of Göttingen, where he studied mathematics and philosophy. 

Schopenhauer’s first major work, The World as Will and Representation, was published in 1818. This work established Schopenhauer as one of the most important philosophers of his time. Schopenhauer’s philosophy is based on the idea that the world is governed by the will, which is the basic force of nature. For Schopenhauer, the will is the driving force behind all human action and desire. 

He believed that the will is the root of all suffering, and that the only way to achieve happiness is to renounce the will. Schopenhauer’s philosophy has been greatly influential. His philosophy is still studied and debated by philosophers today, and he is considered to be one of the most important thinkers of the 19th century.

62 Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes

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

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

3. “A sense of humour is the only divine quality of man”

4. “A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.”

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

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

7. “Compassion is the basis of morality.”

8. “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.”

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

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

best schopenhauer quotes

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes Happiness and solitude

12. “One should use common words to say uncommon things”

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

14. “Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude”

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

16. “Happiness consists in frequent repetition of pleasure”

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

18. “The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom.”

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

20. “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. ”

schopenhauer quotes on life

Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes on Life

21. “Truth that is naked is the most beautiful.”

22. “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.”

23. “Life is a constant process of dying.”

24. “I believe that when death closes our eyes we shall awaken to a light, of which our sunlight is but the shadow.”

25. “No rose without a thorn but many a thorn without a rose.”

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

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

28. “To become reconciled to a friend with whom you have broken, is a form of weakness; and you pay the penalty of it when he takes the first opportunity of doing precisely the very thing which brought about the breach.”

29. “Reading is thinking with someone else’s head instead of ones own.”

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

31. “One can never read too little of bad, or too much of good books: bad books are intellectual poison; they destroy the mind. In order to read what is good one must make it a condition never to read what is bad; for life is short, and both time and strength limited.”

Thought-Provoking Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes

32. “He who has lost all hope has also lost all fear;”

33. “Almost all of our sorrows spring out of our relations with other people.”

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

35. “Truth is most beautiful undraped.”

36. “Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, “Lighthouses” as the poet said “erected in the sea of time.” They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind, Books are humanity in print.”

37. “So the problem is not so much to see what nobody has yet seen, as to think what nobody has yet thought concerning that which everybody sees.”

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

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

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

Famous Arthur Schopenhauer Quotes

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

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

43. “Truth is no prostitute, that throws herself away upon those who do not desire her; she is rather so coy a beauty that he who sacrifices everything to her cannot even then be sure of her favour.”

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

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

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

47. “Solitude will be welcomed or endured or avoided, according as a man’s personal value is large or small.”

48. “Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.”

49. “buying books would be a good thing if we also could buy the time to read them.”

Best Schopenhauer Quotes

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

51. “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.”

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

53. “Education stuffs you full of ideas without the coinciding experience that gave rise to those ideas in the first place, giving you incorrect perspective and notions.”

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

55. “If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world.”

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

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

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

59. “In savage countries they eat one another, in civilized they deceive one another; and that is what people call the way of the world!”

60. “For the longer to have had to rack your brains for something the more firmly will is stay once you have got it.”

61. “Common people are merely intent on spending time – whoever has some talent, on making use of it.”

62. “Why is it that, in spite of all the mirrors in the world, no one really knows what he looks like?”

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