By Arthur Schopenhauer
Read by Leighton Pugh
15 hours 58 minutes

Volume 2 of Parerga and Paralipomena has a very different character from Volume 1. There are, in total, 31 Essays, 24 of which are presented here. The range of topics is very varied, opening with On Philosophy and Its Method and including On Pantheism, On Ethics, On Jurisprudence, On Men of Learning, On Thinking for Oneself, On Religion and The Vanity of Existence. Quite a few open windows on to the personality of Schopenhauer himself – for example, he praises dogs as companions, argues that animals should be chloroformed before slaughter: animal welfare was very much in his sights. He inveighs against useless indulgence in luxury: ‘the most effective way of alleviating human misery would be to diminish luxury, or even abolish it altogether.’ A thinker at home with his thoughts, he remarks with a touch of resigned humour: ‘The pen is to thought what the stick is to walking, but one walks most easily without a stick, and thinks most perfectly when no pen is at hand. It is only when a man begins to get old that he likes to make use of a stick and his pen.’ His writings range widely over the international intellectual and cultural spectrum. There are numerous references to Eastern thought – especially Buddhism and Brahmanism as translations into European languages from Pali and Sanskrit gathered force during Schopenhauer’s active life. He clearly found himself comfortable in this body of thought, often comparing it favourably with the Western Judaic-Christian heritage. As always he makes liberal use of quotations and footnotes and these have been translated and incorporated into the main text for this recording. For Leighton Pugh, who has now recorded the main body of Schopenhauer’s work for Ukemi Audiobooks, spending many days in the studio with this hugely influential figure has been like ‘training at altitude.’ He remarked that the time spent with the varied and accessible essays in Parerga and Paralipomena Volume 2 proved to be among the most enjoyable.  Translations by T Bailey Saunders, Ernest Belfort Bax, Walter Jekyll and Charles Joséfé.


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