The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; the Art of Controversy eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 105 pages of information about The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; the Art of Controversy.


The volume now before the reader is a tardy addition to a series in which I have endeavoured to present Schopenhauer’s minor writings in an adequate form.

Its contents are drawn entirely from his posthumous papers.  A selection of them was given to the world some three of four years after his death by his friend and literary executor, Julius Frauenstaedt, who for this and other offices of piety, has received less recognition than he deserves.  The papers then published have recently been issued afresh, with considerable additions and corrections, by Dr. Eduard Grisebach, who is also entitled to gratitude for the care with which he has followed the text of the manuscripts, now in the Royal Library at Berlin, and for having drawn attention—­although in terms that are unnecessarily severe—­to a number of faults and failings on the part of the previous editor.

The fact that all Schopenhauer’s works, together with a volume of his correspondence, may now be obtained in a certain cheap collection of the best national and foreign literature displayed in almost every bookshop in Germany, is sufficient evidence that in his own country the writer’s popularity is still very great; nor does the demand for translations indicate that his fame has at all diminished abroad.  The favour with which the new edition of his posthumous papers has been received induces me, therefore, to resume a task which I thought, five years ago, that I had finally completed; and it is my intention to bring out one more volume, selected partly from these papers and partly from his Parerga.

A small part of the essay on The Art of Controversy was published in Schopenhauer’s lifetime, in the chapter of the Parerga headed Zur Logik und Dialektik.  The intelligent reader will discover that a good deal of its contents is of an ironical character.  As regards the last three essays I must observe that I have omitted such passages as appear to be no longer of any general interest or otherwise unsuitable.  I must also confess to having taken one or two liberties with the titles, in order that they may the more effectively fulfil the purpose for which titles exist.  In other respects I have adhered to the original with the kind of fidelity which aims at producing an impression as nearly as possible similar to that produced by the original.


February, 1896



By the ancients, Logic and Dialectic were used as synonymous terms; although [Greek:  logizesthai], “to think over, to consider, to calculate,” and [Greek:  dialegesthai], “to converse,” are two very different things.

The name Dialectic was, as we are informed by Diogenes Laertius, first used by Plato; and in the Phaedrus, Sophist, Republic, bk. vii., and elsewhere, we find that by Dialectic he means the regular employment of the reason, and skill in the practice of it.  Aristotle also uses the word in this sense; but, according to Laurentius Valla, he was the first to use Logic too in a similar way.[1] Dialectic, therefore, seems to be an older word than Logic.  Cicero and Quintilian use the words in the same general signification.[2]

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The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; the Art of Controversy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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