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Great Schopenhauer Quotes

Here are some great quotes from the Selected Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer, intentionally excluding quotes from his extremely sexist essay ‘On Women’:

On Reading and Books:

“Nine-tenths of our whole modern literature has no other purpose than to swindle the public of a few thalers out of its pocket. Author, publisher and reviewer are in a conspiracy to do this”. (What would he have said of literature today, I wonder!)

On Thinking for Oneself:

“Hence much reading deprives the mind of all elasticity….This practice is the reason why scholarship makes most men more unintelligent and stupid than they are by nature..”

On Ethics:

“Our civilized world is then only a great masquerade. One meets there knights, parsons, soldiers, doctors, advocates, priests, philosophers, and what not! But they are not what they represent themselves; they are mere masks under which are hidden as a rule money-makers.”

“Stupidity is especially favourable to the clear exposure of falseness, meanness and malice; while prudence understands better how to conceal this.”

On Suicide:

“When in disturbed, horrible dreams, anxiety has reached its highest pitch, it brings us of itself to awakening, and therewith all these horrors of a night vanish. The same thing happens in the dream of life, where also the highest degree of anxiety compels us to break it off.”

Some Words on Pantheism:

“Against Pantheism I have chiefly this objection only, that it says nothing.”