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Description
Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 14
System Requirements:

You will need a reliable Internet connection as well as a computer or device with which you can access your virtual class. We recommend you arrive to class 5-10 minutes early to ensure you're able to set up your device and connection.

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Classes will be held via Zoom.

Flexible Reschedule Policy: This provider has flexible, free rescheduling for any-in person workshop. Please see the cancellation policy for more details

What you'll learn in this philosophy class:

The Worst of All Possible Worlds: an Introduction to Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer is a true oddity in the history of philosophy. Although a great metaphysical systematizer in the tradition of Leibniz and Hegel, Schopenhauer posed a worldview entirely antithetical to the “optimism” characteristic of traditional Western philosophizing. Whereas for Leibniz ours is “the best of all possible worlds,” Schopenhauer insisted that we are “not to be pleased but rather sorry about the existence of the world.” Ignored for much of his life, languishing resentfully in Hegel’s shadow, Schopenhauer at last achieved prominence when his conception of the world as objectified “Will,” of life as endless conflict, struck a resounding chord with a younger generation of 19th century thinkers and artists, including Nietzsche, Wagner, Tolstoy, Baudelaire, and Melville. What is the philosophical basis for Schopenhauer’s profound pessimism? How, in a world constituted by “representation” and ceaseless “will,” can humans live meaningfully, peacefully, and morally?

In this class, we’ll make our way through Schopenhauer’s magnum opus The World as Will and Representation, as we attempt to make sense—metaphysically, epistemologically, aesthetically, and ethically—of his systematic philosophy. We’ll consider its roots not only in Kantian and Platonic idealism, but also in Hindu and Buddhist thought. How, for Schopenhauer, do art and aesthetic experience serve as a means for achieving something like “salvation”? What are the moral ramifications of Schopenhauer’s pessimism for an ethics of asceticism and compassion?



Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

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Refund Policy

Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.

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Reviews of Classes at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research (28)

(28 Reviews)
An Introduction to Schopenhauer
Reviewed by Anh T. on 12/11/2019
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School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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