Its difficult then to go on to the aphorisms section

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It’s difficult, then, to go on to the Aphorisms section that ends the book. I have to confess I skipped “On Philosophy and the Intellect” and “On Aesthetics,”** making right for “On Books and Writing” in hopes that it would wash the foul taste out of my mouth. And it did, to some extent, because Schopenhauer has delightful things to say about writers, beginningwith his first paragraph: “Writers can be divided into meteors, planets and fixed stars. The first produce a momentary effect: you gaze up, cry: “Look!”–and then they vanish forever. The second, the moving stars, endure for much longer. By virtue of their proximity they often shine more brightly than the fixed stars, which the ignorant mistake them for. But they too must soon vacate their place, they shine moreover only with a borrowed light, and their sphere of influence is limited to their own fellow travellers…The third alone are unchanging, stand firm in the firmament, shine by their own light, and influence all ages equally.” I could go on and quote much, much more, but I’ll stop now and just say, seek out this essay. It’s delightful and contains many truths.Chapter 7 Russell does lay it on rather thick, but the picture of THIS world isn't much different than the picture you get from the Book of Job or Revelations. This world is a vale of tears, and our planet will probably end up by crashing into the sun, so, as the Bible says of all of man's accomplishments, "vanity vanity all is vanity." In face of the forces of nature, humans have tried to survive by placating the powers of the gods by worship or inventing an ideal world where everything is perfect. Then they convince themselves that this world is somehow harmonious with this ideal world, i.e., just put up with this one, believe the right things and you will get to the next one. Russell thinks we should reject the worship of force and power whether in gods or humans. Instead we need to exercise our freedom by respect for truth, beauty and what is best in ourselves. Since the "world in not made for us" we should not seek happiness and meaning in the things of this world; this is what he means by renunciation. We need to shrink our desires and accept the way the world is. To do this is to be emancipated; our free nature makes it possible to master nature through love and passion for eternal truths and beauty. [The free man's worship is thus one which could be advocated by theist and atheist alike; it is just thatfor Russell the Ideals are not founded on a Divine Power.] (Russell is one of the great philosophers & mathematicians of the 20th centuries. He showed how much of math can be deduced from 5 principles of logic, and this forms the basis of digital computing. Living a long life he opposed WWI and the Viet Nam war, spending some time in prison for his efforts.]Chapter 8 Moritz SchlickMoritz Schlick claimed in “On the Meaning of Life” from his Philosophical Papers that “the meaning of life is youth” (139). Schlick began by explaining what life could not possibly mean, and then he went on to explain what life could mean.

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