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One of the greatest philosophers of the nineteenth century, Schopenhauer believed that human action is determined not by reason but by 'will' - the blind and irrational desire for physical existence. This selection of his writings on religion, ethics, politics, women and many other themes is taken from Schopenhauer's last work, Parerga and Paralipomena, which he published in 1851. He depicts humanity as locked in a struggle beyond good and evil, each individual absolutely free within a Godless world in which art, morality and self-awareness are our only salvation. This innovative and pessimistic view proved powerfully influential upon philosophy and art, affecting the work of Nietzsche and Wittgenstein among others.