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Schopenhauer in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes Series)
ISBN 1566632641 / 9781566632645 / 1-56663-264-1
Publisher Ivan R. Dee
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Schopenhauer in 90 Minutes is as effective in its biographical and philosophical summarizing as we've come to expect from Paul Strathern's unfolding series of introductions to the great thinkers. "As a man," Strathern writes, "Schopenhauer was a nasty piece of work, but his writings are immensely endearing." While never quite demonstrating how his philosophy "is the first since Socrates to be imbued with the entire personality of the man who propounds it" (though the sampling of excerpts in the back of the book certainly helps), Strathern does convey both Schopenhauer's prickly nature and its contradictions with the ascetic renunciation of the material world that he propounded in his writings. He also demonstrates how that asceticism was influenced by a "questionable use" of Eastern philosophical texts, and how his work would similarly inform that of philosophers like Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein. [via]