Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Comparing Nietzsche and Schopenhauers Attitudes Towards Life Essay
Comparing Nietzsche and Schopenhauer's Attitudes Towards Life ABSTRACT: On the basis of his metaphysics, Schopenhauer was led to advocate quietism and resignation as attitudes toward life. In the course of his career, Nietzsche reversed his estimation of Schopenhauer from initial agreement to final excoriation. In what follows, I examine and assess the grounds on which Nietzsche revised his opinion of Schopenhauer as educator of humanity. I argue that three fundamental issues divide Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. The first concerns the eliminability of human suffering. The second regards the value of sympathy to those who feel rather than are recipients of this sentiment. The third is the value of cultivating indifference to the suffering of others. Schopenhauer considers suffering as inextricably bound up with human existence, whereas Nietzsche views suffering as a sign of weakness that is ultimately eliminable from human existence. Schopenhauer assumed that sympathy and compassion have a benign effect upon those who experience these emotions; Ni etzsche maintains they have the opposite effect. Contra Nietzsche, Schopenhauer deplores the cultivation of indifference towards the suffering of others. I defend Schopenhauer against Nietzsche on all three issues, though I argue that Schopenhauer exaggerates the ubiquity of human suffering and hence the need and desirability of the cultivation of self-denial. 1. Nietzsche's Revaluation of Schopenhauer On the basis of his metaphysics, Schopenhauer was led to advocate quietism and resignation as an attitude to life. As is well known, Nietzsche held Schopenhauer's views on this and other matters in far higher esteem at the start of his intellectual career than he did at its end. To... ..., Friedrich (1965), Schopenhauer as Educator, trans. J.W. Hillesheim and Malcolm R. Simpson, (South Bend, Indiana, Gateway), pp. 25-26 (2) Nietzsche, Friedrich (1968), Twilight of the Idols and the Anti-Christ, trans. R.J.Hollingdale, (Harmondsworth, Penguin), pp.79-80 (3) Nietzsche, Friedrich, op cit, p.75 (4) Nietzsche, Friedrich, op cit, p.88 (5) Nietzsche, Friedrich, op cit, p. 88 (6) Mill, John Stuart (1962), Utilitarianism, (ed.) M.Warnock, (Glasgow, Collins), p.26. (7) Nietzsche, Friedrich (1968), Twilight of the Idols and the Anti-Christ, trans. R.J.Hollingdale, (Harmondsworth, Penguin), pp.118-119. (8) Schopenhauer, Arthur (1965), On the Basis of Morality, trans. E. F. J. Payne, (Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill), pp. 211-212. (9) Nietzsche, Friedrich (1969), Thus Spoke Zarathrustra, trans. R.J.Hollingdale, (Harmondsworth, Penguin), p.103.