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Publisher's Summary

"Unless suffering is the direct and immediate object of life, our existence must entirely fail of its aim. It is absurd to look upon the enormous amount of pain that abounds everywhere in the world, and originates in needs and necessities inseparable from life itself, as serving no purpose at all and the result of mere chance. Each separate misfortune, as it comes, seems, no doubt, to be something exceptional; but misfortune in general is the rule."

Public Domain (P)2018 Bassett Publishing

What listeners say about Studies in Pessimism

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    3 out of 5 stars

A Difficult Set of Beliefs

This book is exactly what it claims to be and Boy does the philosopher pile it on! I was completely unfamiliar with his work and now I know why.

The Sixth Chapter on Women is best understood by taking everything we now know about Women and turning it on its head. Tough to listen to.

The best takeaways from these Studies come in the chapters on Suicide (It should be permitted), Education of the Young and his approach to the Arts (They should be appreciated for their own sake and not just for the needs of Men).

The rest if the book is bellyaching! But well done.

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Interesting, partly downright amusing. Bad ending.

Overall I really liked the book and it gave me a good chuckle now and then, especially in the beginning.
I loved the performance and must give kudos to the narrator for keeping the tone serious, even when the book begins to drift into the (by today's standards) downright offensive (Chapter 7 "Of Women") and delusional territory (Chapter 8 "On noise").
However, I understand that when the book was written, people actually believed all that nonsense about one sex being inferior to the other; needless to say: that part of the book hasn't aged well.

That aside, the remainder of the book, in particular chapters 1 (On the sufferings of the world) and 2 (On the Vanity of existence), are highly satirical in their tone, I enjoyed them immensely, and change to deeply reflective for the chapters 3 (On suicide) and 4 (Immortality: a dialogue).

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It's a book about pessimistism

The material was insightful in the first half and exactly what you'd expect in the second. The narration was well-performed.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-24-21

Good in many ways but...

I enjoyed the booked until the point when Schopenhauer bluntly expresses his utter misogynistic views in this book. It made my blood boil.

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  • charlotte hunter
  • 07-10-18

Incredibly insightful ( - on women)

I have a degree in philosophy, yet haven’t had the chance (because as Schopenhauer says, university lecturers try exude optimism) to read or study these works - in depth or otherwise. The way he speaks of women I found offensive, but after studying issues in feminist philosophy I am aware that this was a general problem across the field at the time. But non the less, I really enjoyed listening to this and would recommend

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  • IULIA SOLOMON
  • 09-03-21

I probably play it every night

For over 2 weeks. It picks me up . It gives me areenght and optimism actually. I feel a boost of inner strength everytime i listen.