On the Suffering of the World is a collection of the later aphoristic writings of Arthur Schopenhauer, known for their incisive, aphoristic style and dark, pessimistic view of human existence.
Edited and with an introduction by Eugene Thacker, On the Suffering of the World comprises a core selection of Schopenhauer's later writings, gathered together for the first time in print.
These texts, produced during the last decades of Schopenhauer's long life, reveal a unique kind of philosophy, expressed in a singular style. Eschewing the tradition of dry, totalizing, academic philosophy prevalent during the time, Schopenhauer's later writings mark a shift towards a philosophy of aphorisms, fragments, anecdotes and observations, written in a literary style that is by turns antagonistic, resigned, confessional, and filled with all the fragile contours of an intellectual memoir. Here Schopenhauer allows himself to pose challenging questions regarding the fate of the human species, the role of suffering in the world, and the rift between self and world that increasingly has come to define human existence, to this day. It is these writings of Schopenhauer that later generations of artists, poets, musicians, and philosophers would identify as exemplifying the pessimism of their era, and perhaps of our own as well.
On the Suffering of the World is presented with an introduction that places Schopenhauer's thought in its intellectual context, while also connecting it to contemporary concerns over climate change, the anthropocene, and the spectre of human extinction. The book also includes a bibliography and chronology of Schopenhauer's life.