Schopenhauer believed in the supremacy of will over intellect, and he wrote extensively on the motivations behind actions. These six essays, drawn from Parerga and posthumously published works, include observations on government, free will and fatalism, character, moral instinct, and ethics. They reflect the author's wide range of interests and offer an accessible approach to his philosophy.
German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) reacted with pessimism to his idealistic predecessors, contending that human motivations derive from basic desires that can never be satisfied. His writings on psychology, ethics, and politics influenced such latter-day thinkers as Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and Freud.