Schopenhauer, the “philosopher of pessimism,” makes it very plain that he regards the world and our life in it as a bad joke. But if the world is indifferent to our fate, it doesn’t thwart us on purpose. The world’s façade is supported by what Schopenhauer calls the universal Will—blind and without purpose. This Will brings on all our misery and suffering; our only hope is to liberate ourselves from its power and from the trappings of individualism and egoism that are at its mercy.
In Schopenhauer in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of Schopenhauer’s life and ideas and explains their influence on man’s struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from Schopenhauer’s writings, a brief list of suggested readings for those who wish to delve deeper, and chronologies that place Schopenhauer within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.