Literary Birthday – 22 February – Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer was born 22 February 1788, and died 21 September 1860.


  1. All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
  2. It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.
  3. The more unintelligent a man is, the less mysterious existence seems to him.
  4. One should use common words to say uncommon things.
  5. Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.
  6. A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
  7. Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right.
  8. Without books the development of civilisation would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, ‘Lighthouses’ as the poet said ‘erected in the sea of time’. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind, Books are humanity in print.
  9. Compassion is the basis of morality.
  10. To buy books would be a good thing if we also could buy the time to read them.

Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher best known for his book, The World as Will and Representation. He was among the first philosophers to contend that, at its core, the universe is not a rational place.

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 22nd February 2014