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Critical Realism by Alan Norrie, Tony Lawson, Andrew Collier, Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer

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18

EXPLANATION AND EMANCIPATION

Andrew Collier

Schopenhauer . . . would have sickened, become a pessimist (which he was not, much as he would have liked to be) had he been deprived of his enemies: of Hegel, of woman, of sensuality, of the human will to survival.

(Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals, p. 241)

Whether or not Schopenhauer was a pessimist personally, Schopenhauer’s philosophy, which entails that the only emancipation from misery is extinction, and that the moon is to be preferred to the earth since there is no life on it, is, by almost general consent, the epitome of pessimism. But Bryan Magee, early in his book on Schopenhauer, says:

Even professional philosophers tend to see him in this light, as is evidenced by the title of ...

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