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WeltschmerzPessimism in German Philosophy, 1860–1900$
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Frederick C. Beiser

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768715

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198768715.001.0001

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The Optimistic Pessimism of Eduard von Hartmann

The Optimistic Pessimism of Eduard von Hartmann

(p.122) 7 The Optimistic Pessimism of Eduard von Hartmann

Frederick C. Beiser

Oxford University Press

This chapter is a study in the intellectual development of Eduard von Hartmann, one of the most influential philosophers in Germany in the 1870s and 1880s. It considers specifically the development of his qualified pessimism, according to which life is worth living even though it involves more suffering than pleasure. Much of the chapter is an examination of his 1869 work Philosophie des Unbewussten. Hartmann’s philosophy was a synthesis of Hegel and Schopenhauer via the late Schelling, so the chapter attempts to explain in straightforward terms the meaning of this synthesis. The chapter also considers Hartmann’s attempt to form a new religion, a de-Christianized pantheism.

Keywords:   Eudemonism, pantheism, revelation, existence, essence, the will, the unconscious, evolutionary optimism, eudemonistic pessimism

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