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Basis Of Morality

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By: (1788-1860)

In "Basis of Morality," Arthur Schopenhauer provides a deep exploration of ethics and morality, delving into the fundamental principles that guide human behavior. Schopenhauer's writing is thought-provoking and challenging, forcing readers to reconsider their assumptions about right and wrong.

One of the key themes in the book is the idea that morality is not derived from rational thought or societal conventions, but rather from a deeper, innate sense of compassion and empathy. Schopenhauer argues that our true moral compass comes from our ability to understand and connect with the suffering of others, leading us to act in accordance with a universal sense of justice.

While Schopenhauer's ideas may be difficult to digest at times, his writing is clear and engaging, providing readers with a stimulating intellectual journey. Overall, "Basis of Morality" is a compelling and important work that challenges readers to think critically about the foundations of their ethical beliefs.

Book Description:
In 1837, the Danish Royal Society of Sciences offered a prize to any essayist who could satisfactorily answer the question, "Is the fountain and basis of Morals to be sought for in an idea of morality which lies directly in the consciousness , and in the analysis of the other leading ethical conceptions which arise from it? Or is it to be found in some other source of knowledge?" The Basis of Morality is the essay submitted in 1840 by German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. In it, he first mercilessly deconstructs the prevailing Western theory of morality as championed by Immanuel Kant, among others, before establishing a series of maxims and thought experiments which lead him to a conclusion which points squarely at compassion as the cardinal virtue upon which all morality rests. In the appendix to this essay, he links his own conclusion with the conclusions reached millennia earlier by the authors of the Vedas and Upanishads. The essay was ultimately rejected for the prize despite being the only entry, a minor scandal with some speculation that the result was due in no small part to Schopenhauer's onslaught against Hegel—the judge of the contest being the author of a Hegelian theory of morals.

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