Arthur Schopenhauer was among the first 19 th century philosophers to contend that at its core, the universe is not a rational place. Inspired by Plato and Kant, both of whom regarded the world as being more amenable to reason, Schopenhauer developed their philosophies into an instinct-recognizing and ultimately ascetic outlook, emphasizing that in the face of a world filled with endless strife, we ought to minimize our natural desires for the sake of achieving a more tranquil frame of mind and a disposition towards universal beneficence. Often considered to be a thoroughgoing pessimist, Schopenhauer in fact advocated ways — via artistic, moral and ascetic forms of awareness — to overcome a frustration-filled and fundamentally painful human condition. Exactly a month younger than the English Romantic poet, Lord Byron — , who was born on January 22, , Arthur Schopenhauer came into the world on February 22, in Danzig [Gdansk, Poland] — a city that had a long history in international trade as a member of the Hanseatic League. In March , when Schopenhauer was five years old, his family moved to the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg after the formerly free city of Danzig was annexed by Prussia.
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He is best known for his work The World as Will and Representation expanded in , which characterizes the phenomenal world as the product of a blind and insatiable noumenal will. Though his work failed to garner substantial attention during his lifetime, Schopenhauer had a posthumous impact across various disciplines, including philosophy , literature , and science. His writing on aesthetics , morality , and psychology have influenced many thinkers and artists.