On the Basis of Morality, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


This edition originally published by Berghahn Books.

Schopenhauer's treatise on ethics is presented here in E.

F. J. Paynes definitive translation, based on the Hubscher edition (Wiesbaden, 1946-1950).

This edition includes an Introduction by David Cartwright, a translators preface, biographical note, selected bibliography, and an index.

For convenient reference to passages in Kant's work discussed by Schopenhauer, Academy edition numbers have been added.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of Western philosophy
  • ISBN: 9780872204423


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Schopenhauer's theme, well-argued, liberally illustrated, viciously defended is that _compassion_ is the foundation of morality and that, even so, it's really not _much_ of a foundation and ultimately every beneficient act, the kind to which we would ascribe moral value, is an exercise in practical mysticism because it depends on the understanding the all living creatures are, at the core, the same.This comes from a time, 1837, when philosophers, at least the brave ones, would take on huge issues and deliver a coherent, considered theory of the whole danged thing, a theory that was always flawed but who gives a crap. I just love the fearlessness with which they approached their project, attacked their critics and ridiculed those they considered the lesser lights. Interestingly, I found two similarities in Schopenhauers explication of the foundation of morals with Amartya Sen's [The Idea of Justice], which I'm also reading and which doesn't even mention Schopenhauer in the index. First, both insist that an understanding or morality (justice, in Sen's case) must start wityh an appreciation of how life is actually lived; second, they both invoke the Bhagavad Gita as a source of their thought--and so of the truth, neither being shy about stating they're right and others are wrong.Anyone interested in Schopenhauer, and anyone interested in Nietzche might profit from at least a mild interest in Schopenhauer, should first read his masterwork [The World As Will and Representation], but given time, don't neglect this little gem.