Topic: Schopenhauer. At times, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) is a strikingly progressive philosopher. He denounces intellectual Euro-centricism, defends the moral worth of non-human animals, and insists that our deepest insights come from embodied and aesthetic experiences instead of abstract deliberation. At other times, though, Schopenhauer's writings display intense self-absorption, racism, and misogyny. Visible in all these themes is his principled philosophical pessimism: he claims that our world is the worst of all possible worlds.
TEXTS: The World as Will and Representation, Arthur Schopenhauer, Volume 1 (J. Norman, A. Welchman, and C. Janaway, trans. & eds.); Two Fundamental Problems of Ethics, Arthur Schopenhauer, (D. Cartwright and E Erdmann, trans.); Reconstructing Schopenhauer's Ethics: Hope, Compassion, and Animal Welfare, Sandra Shapshay.