chapter  8
6 Pages

Aspects of Human Life

There are a number of matters on which Schopenhauer says things that have achieved fame or in some cases notoriety that are not really part of the main fabric of his argument. I have touched on some of them in passing in earlier chapters. Some of them again can be thought of as consequences of the main argument, though others really lie outside it. Schopenhauer has, for example, acquired a certain notoriety for his views on women, views which could hardly please a feminist. There is an essay of this kind ‘On Women’ in the Parerga and Paralipomena (PP II, p. 614ff.). For the most part I do not think that the views expressed there follow in any way from the argument on which his main system is based; they no doubt reflect Schopenhauer’s own temperament. For that reason I shall not say anything more about them, except in so far as they connect with any doctrine that can be regarded as a consequence of the main argument. Those that do mostly have regard to aspects of human life-birth, death, suicide and the metaphysics of sex. One might say that they have to do with ‘birth, copulation and death’. I shall discuss them briefly.