A Short Biography of Arthur Schopenhauer

Tiago Bele
Thoughts And Ideas
Published in
14 min readJul 25, 2021

Between ego fights and Napoleonic wars, here is the long story short of the pessimist

Photo by Wikipedia Database

The Beginning

Schopenhauer was born on February 22, 1788, in a world about to change completely. Son of a wholesaler, Heinrich Floris Schopenhauer, and his wife, twenty years younger, Johana Schopenhauer. It was very close that Schopenhauer did not came to be an English philosopher, as the couple hurried from London back to Germany (which was not yet a unified country).

The son of a rich and melancholy merchant, a distant and absent father, and a mother in love with social life and dispassionate with her husband, Schopenhauer never really felt the warmth of a family and the sense of being loved. While the father assumed a stoic posture with his depressive temper, the mother became bored and passionately sought social gatherings.

Arthur inherited his father's pride, pride, and clarity. Her abrupt haughtiness and cold arrogance also received it from him. The awareness of his own dignity and his so strongly developed self-esteem could not be softened by maternal affection, because Johana had to make a great effort to force herself to feel love for him" - Rudiger Safranski, Schopenhauer and the Wilder Years of Philosophy

The Family

Schopenhauer is the spawn of boredom and suffering, for his father and mother embodied these two feelings. While his mother wanted to live her life, his father couldn’t even live his own. Anyway, the child named Arthur experienced everything from a distance.

In principle, Arthur was raised with a single goal: to become a merchant and inherit his father’s business. His name was even handpicked, as it could be easily pronounced anywhere in Europe. He was sent at a young age to spend two years in France, Paris, where he could learn a second language and the country's customs. But Arthur did not seem to have the same vocation as his father.

Inclined to the humanities from an early age, Arthur didn’t seem to care about the family business. It was then that his father made him an irrefutable proposal: Arthur could devote himself to the subject he wanted, with complete freedom, or he could go on a great trip across Europe with his family for several years, but…

Tiago Bele
Thoughts And Ideas

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