Through the stories, I remember fondly the memories of playing games of snakes and ladders, eating snacks and sweets, as well as Christmas presents. But I also remember the overall sense of wonder as a child, when we easily became excited by engaging in our, now seemingly mundane, daily activities. The idea of a childhood sense of wonder has become salient again to me recently while I was on a reporting trip to the United Arab Emirates. My arrival felt quite surreal:
Arthur Schopenhauer Certainly one of the greatest philosophers of the 19th century, Schopenhauer seems to have had more impact on literature e.
Thomas Mann and on people in general than on Memories art essay philosophy. Perhaps that is because, first, he wrote very well, simply and intelligibly unusual, we might say, for a German philosopher, and unusual now for any philosophersecond, he was the first Western philosopher to have access to translations of philosophical material from Indiaboth Vedic and Buddhistby which he was profoundly affected, to the great interest of many except most academic philosophersand, third, his concerns were with the dilemmas and tragedies, in a religious or existential sense, of real life, not just with abstract philosophical problems.
He was the first to speak of the suffering of the world, which visibly and glaringly surrounds us, and of confusion, passion, evil -- all those things which the [other philosophers] hardly seemed to notice and always tried to resolve into all-embracing harmony and comprehensiblility.
Here at last was a philosopher who had the courage to see that all was not for the best in the fundaments of the universe. If we were to conduct the most hardened and callous optimist through hospitals, infirmaries, operating theatres, through prisons, torture-chambers, and slave-hovels, over battlefields and to places of execution; if we were to open to him all the dark abodes of misery, where it shuns the gaze of cold curiosity, and finally were to allow him to glance into the dungeon of Ugolino where prisoners starved to death, he too would certainly see in the end what kind of a world is this meilleur des mondes possibles.
Payne translation,Dover,p. The "dungeon of Ugolino" is where Count Ugolino della Gherardesca d. The "dungeon" was actually in a tower, the Muda, that belonged to the the Ghibelline Gualandi family. Ugolino himself was Ghibelline in origin but, after the marriage of his sister to a Visconticame to incline towards the Guelphs.
The meilleur des mondes possibles, "the best of possible worlds," is, of course, a reference to Leibniz. I otherwise was only aware that Leibniz had published in Latin and German.
The battlefields in World War I, where nothing green grew and human flesh and body parts were blended with the mud, was an experience and, doubtlessly, a smell that, surprisingly, drove no more than a few soldiers insane.
In World War II, of course, what the Germans did in their concentration and extermination camps set a standard for cruelty, inhumanity, horror, and evil that has actually been matched with some regularity in subsequent history, for instance in Cambodia or Rwanda.
In our own day, Islamic terrorists are advancing the nightmare in their own unique ways, proudly selling kidnapped girls and women into sex slavery and beheading or immolating hostages on videos subsequently distributed for the edification of the faithful.
Their shamelessness defeats even the Nazis, who concealed and attempted to erase evidence of the worst of their crimes. Adolf Hitler never boasted of Auschwitz. It is rare for philosophers to notice these events, unless their religious or Existential significance is of concern, or the writers have some particular political axe to grind.
Schopenhauer is all but unique in intellectual history for being both an atheist and sympathetic to Christianity.
For the purposes of the Proceedings of the Friesian SchoolSchopenhauer may be said to have made three great contributions to the Kantian tradition, which supplement the contemporary contributions of Fries: This may be a mistaken interpretation of Kant, but it is not uncommon.
On the other hand, even Schopenhauer favorably compares Kant to Berkeley, even though both Kant and Schopenhauer reject a true "subjective idealism" in which objects exist in no way apart from consciousness. What stands over and above objects is something else. For Berkeley that was only God.
For Schopenhauer it was the Will as thing-in-itself. Kant, however, properly held that there are things about objects, like free will which Schopenhauer rejectsunconditioned realities, that cannot be captured in phenomena.
Schopenhauer gave aesthetics and beauty a central place in his thought such as few other philosophers have done. Beyond that lies a realistic appreciation of many religious phenomena that is superior to Kant and conformable to insights that will later be found in Otto and Jung.The idea of a childhood sense of wonder has become salient again to me recently while I was on a reporting trip to the United Arab Emirates.
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contents. the spike () a hanging () bookshop memories () shooting an elephant () down the mine () (from “the road to wigan pier”). Arthur Schopenhauer () Certainly one of the greatest philosophers of the 19th century, Schopenhauer seems to have had more impact on literature (e.g.
Thomas Mann) and on people in general than on academic philosophy.