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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins with a presentation of writers during Schopenhauer’s time who also wrote about Hindu thought, such as Herder, Schelling, the Schlegel brothers, and Hegel, contrasting them with Schopenhauer’s relatively more knowledgeable approach. It then considers the question of whether Schopenhauer’s interest in Hindu thought diminished as he grew older or if his fundamental doctrines changed due to his subsequent studies of Buddhism; the author argues that it did not, contrary to some recent commentators. The chapter concludes by examining the extent to which Schopenhauer understood Hindu thought as an outlook that fully supports his pessimism and shows that Schopenhauer remained uninformed about how the Vedantic tradition includes the practice of bhakti (devotion, love). This is not exactly the path of Schopenhauerian asceticism but is an alternative to asceticism that involves a spontaneous embracing of the other-worldly in this world and an invitation to higher love in this life.

Keywords: Schopenhauer, Hindu thought, Vedanta, Herder, Schlegel, Hegel, Schelling, asceticism, Buddhism, bhakti

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