Unfortunately, Schopenhauer does not seem to have understood the evidence for Young's discoveries about light, or even for Newton's -- he still clung to Goethe's clever but clueless theory of colors.
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The , "the best of possible worlds," is, of course, a reference to .
The denial of will, self, and self-interest produce for Schopenhauer a theory both of morality and of holiness, the former by which self-interest is curtailed for the sake of others, the latter by which all will-to-live ceases.
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The "dungeon of Ugolino" is where Count Ugolino della Gherardesca (d.1289), his sons Gaddo and Uguccione, and his grandsons Nino and Anselmuccio, having fallen to the politics of , were left to starve to death on the orders of Ruggieri degli Ubaldini, Archbishop of Pisa.
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He knew of the slaughter at Waterloo, but not of Shiloh or Antietam, let alone the Somme or Verdun -- and we wonder if he ever saw anything of Goya's "Disasters of War" (), despite their being done in his time (1810-1820).
Thus his theory fails as phenomenology of religion.
The battlefields in World War I, where nothing green grew and human flesh and body parts were blended with the mud, was an experience and, doubtlessly, a smell that, surprisingly, drove no more than a few soldiers insane.
They better have read Kant, also.
In World War II, of course, what the Germans did in their concentration and extermination camps set a standard for cruelty, inhumanity, horror, and evil that has actually been matched with some regularity in subsequent history, for instance in or .
It is clear that Schopenhauer expects a lot from his readers.
Payne translation, 1958, Dover, 1966, p.325; German text, Arthur Schopenhauer, , Band 1, Philipp Reclam, Stuttgart, 1987, 1990, p.458]In the same section, Schopenhauer has previously discussed the Soliloquy in , which I have examined .
It later becomes clear that he doesn't get it.
In our own day, Islamic are advancing the nightmare in their own unique ways, proudly selling into sex slavery and beheading or immolating hostages on videos subsequently distributed for the edification of the faithful.