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Weltschmerz – Pessimism in German Philosophy, 1860–1900 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Weltschmerz: Pessimism in German Philosophy, 1860–1900

Frederick C. Beiser


This book is a survey of pessimism in German philosophy in the second half of the 19th century. Pessimism, broadly defined, is the doctrine that life is not worth living. The first chapter is a discussion of Schopenhauer’s influence. Chapters 2-4 offer a brief introduction to Schopenhauer’s philosophy, especially his pessimism. Chapter 5 deals with a much neglected figure: Julius Frӓuenstadt, who played a crucial role in the dissemination of Schopenhauer’s philosophy. Chapter 6 is a discussion of another neglected figure: Eugen Dühring, who was the major critic of pessimism during this period. ... More

Keywords: Pessimism, optimism, problem of evil, puzzle of existence, identity crisis, Weltschmerz, Zeitgeist, meaning of life

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198768715
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198768715.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Frederick C. Beiser, author
Syracuse University