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Weltschmerz: Pessimism in German Philosophy, 1860-190

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2018.01.19 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Frederick C. Beiser, Weltschmerz: Pessimism in German Philosophy, 1860-1900, Oxford University Press, 2016, 301 pp., $74.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198768715. Reviewed by Sandra Shapshay, Indiana University-Bloomington It is well known that Schopenhauer's philosophy -- especially the pessimistic, resignationist strand thereof -- prompted Nietzsche to undertake a "justification" of life as an aesthetic phenomenon in the Birth of Tragedy, and an "affirmation" of life in many other works. It is not well known, however, especially in the Anglo-American philosophical world, that Schopenhauer's generally pessimistic take on the value of human existence sparked an entire controversy in Germany, the "Pessimism Controversy" in the second half of the 19th century. Or I should say, it has not been well known until now . . . with the publication of Frederick Beiser's ground-breaking book.

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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