Selected Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer (1891)


Selected Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer (1891)


Title: Selected Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer
Author: Arthur Schopenhauer, Ernest Belfort Bax (ed.)
Publisher: George Bell and Sons, 1891
Condition: Cloth-bound. Some wear to cover and some annotations in pencil, with 3 name inscriptions on fly page. Well-bound, text mostly clean and bright.

SKU: schopenhauer_1891 Categories: ,

An early English publication of Schopenhauer’s works. See picture for contents.

About Arthur Schopenhauer (from Wikipedia):

Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher best known for his book, The World as Will and Representation, in which he claimed that our world is driven by a continually dissatisfied will, continually seeking satisfaction. Influenced by Eastern thought, he maintained that the “truth was recognized by the sages of India”;consequently, his solutions to suffering were similar to those of Vedantic and Buddhist thinkers (i.e. asceticism); his faith in “transcendental ideality” led him to accept atheism and learn from Christian philosophy.

At age 25, he published his doctoral dissertation, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which examined the four distinct aspects of experience in the phenomenal world; consequently, he has been influential in the history of phenomenology. He has influenced a long list of thinkers, including Friedrich Nietzsche, Richard Wagner, Otto Weininger, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Erwin Schrödinger, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Otto Rank, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Mann, and Jorge Luis Borges.

About Ernest Belfort Bax (from Wikipedia):

Ernest Belfort Bax (23 July 1854 – 26 November 1926) was a British socialist journalist and philosopher, associated with the Social Democratic Federation (SDF).

Born into a nonconformist religious family in Leamington, he was first introduced to Marxism while studying philosophy in Germany. He combined Karl Marx’s ideas with those of Immanuel Kant, Arthur Schopenhauer and Eduard von Hartmann. Keen to explore possible metaphysical and ethical implications of socialism, he came to describe a “religion of socialism” as a means to overcome the dichotomy between the personal and the social, and also that between the cognitive and the emotional. He saw this as a replacement for organised religion, and was a fervent atheist, keen to free workers from what he saw as the moralism of the middle-class.

Bax moved to Berlin and worked as a journalist on the Evening Standard. On his return to England in 1882, he joined the SDF, but grew disillusioned and in 1885 left to form the Socialist League with William Morris. After anarchists gained control of the League, he rejoined the SDF, and became the chief theoretician, and editor of the party paper Justice. He opposed the party’s participation in the Labour Representation Committee, and eventually persuaded them to leave.

Almost throughout his life, he saw economic conditions as ripe for socialism, but felt this progress was delayed by a lack of education of the working class. Bax supported Karl Kautsky over Eduard Bernstein, but Kautsky had little time for what he saw as Bax’s utopianism, and supported Theodore Rothstein’s efforts to spread a more orthodox Marxism in the SDF.

Initially very anti-nationalist, Bax came to support the British in World War I, but by this point he was concentrating on his career as a barrister and did little political work.

Bax was an ardent antifeminist since, according to Bax, feminism was a part of the “anti-man crusade”. According to Bax, “anti-man crusades” were responsible for “anti-man laws” during the time of men-only voting in England. Bax wrote many articles in The New Age and elsewhere about English laws partial to women against men, and women’s privileged position before the law, and expressed his view that women’s suffrage would unfairly tip the balance of power to women.