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❤️Something about Philosophy - Arthur Schopenhauer
A leading German metaphysician of the 19th century, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) exerted an influence far beyond the hermetic world of philosophy, with adherents ranging from Richard Wagner and Friedrich Nietzsche to Leo Tolstoy and Thomas Mann. Among Schopenhauer's chief contributions to the field of philosophy are his rejection of the idealism of his contemporaries and his embrace of a practical variety of materialism. He jettisons the traditional philosophic jargon for a brisk, compelling style that employs direct terms to express the metaphysics of the will. For an overview of Schopenhauer, read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/schopenhauer/#6 Schopenhauer is often overlooked due to his reputation as a pessimist, which readers often shy away from. Here is an overview of pessimistic philosophers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu5-E1dVzbc Our discussion will focus on these two essays, "On Human Nature," and "The Wisdom of Life." (A link will be provided to those who reserve a chair for the discussion.) More than any other work, "On Human Nature" offers an expression of Schopenhauer's views, including the depth of his interests, his biases, and his philosophy. Students of history and philosophy along with other readers will appreciate these lucid, accessible observations on government, free will and fatalism, character, moral instinct, and ethics. In "The Wisdom of Life," an essay from Schopenhauer's final work, Parerga und Paralipomena (1851), the philosopher favors individual strength of will and independent, reasoned deliberation over the tendency to act on irrational impulses. He examines the ways in which life can be arranged to derive the highest degree of pleasure and success, presents guidelines to achieving this full and rich manner of living, and advises that even a life well lived must always aspire to grander heights. Abounding in subjects of enduring relevance, Schopenhauer's work is highly readable. Enjoy these 75 Quotes from the Genius of Pessimism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKF_QEyc7KE We'll discuss the readings to get an overview of Schopenhauer's philosophy, with an eye to his influence on Nietzsche.

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What we're about

We meet periodically to discuss topics and issues in philosophy. Normally our discussions focus on the announced topic; but occasionally we allow for an open, free flowing discussion. Our discussions are open to all levels of experience.

Other meetings are small reading groups which focus on specific philosophical works.

Much of philosophy deals with nagging questions, for example

Given the great success of science, what is the function of philosophy? Is there metaphysical truth? Is there a separate mental reality? What are the sources and limits of human knowledge? Does God exist? How do we explain evil? Which traditional religious beliefs are worth holding? Do we have reasons for believing that humans have a soul? Are computers capable of conscious thought? In the face of physical determinism, do persons have freedom of the will? Are there objective standards of right and wrong? How is morality related to law? Are social order and individual freedom compatible?

These and many other such questions do not have easy answers, if they have any answer at all.

We provide a forum for those interested in exploring the variety of "answers" which philosophers have offered, and also for those who wish to try their own "answers" to such questions. We welcome people from all backgrounds, philosophical and religious. But this is not a forum for those whose aim is to avow or preach the 'ultimate truth' of their religious faith or promote their latest version of "miracle" therapy. We ask that you engage in a dialogue of critical, rational philosophy, a search for clarity, meaning, and (possibly) a small piece of truth.

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