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fuglyduckling's avatar

Can someone explain what Schopenhauer means here?

Asked by fuglyduckling (355 points ) 1 month ago

He is talking about why we can understand someones morals better without them speaking.

…secondly, that what is gained from an objective point of view by the clearer development of a man’s countenance while he is speaking, is again from a subjective point of view lost, because of the personal relation into which he immediately enters with us, occasioning a slight fascination, does not leave us unprejudiced observers, as has already been explained. Therefore, from this last standpoint it might be more correct to say: “Do not speak in order that I may see you.”

I’ve been reading this over and over again and can’t fully understand it. Please help me why he thinks this!

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8 Answers

Seek's avatar

People talk bullshit. You learn more about someone by what they do, rather than what they say. People lie.

janbb's avatar

It’s a bit like Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. That the act of hearing someone speak and engaging with them changes your perspective so that you can no longer see them objectively.

thorninmud's avatar

Schopenhauer thought that the clearest reading of a man’s character came from the first look at his face. He felt that the less you are acquainted with or familiar with him, the less your impression will be distorted by your subjective feelings about him.

So what he is saying here is that as soon as someone engages you in conversation, you begin to lose the pure objectivity that allows you to read their character in the face.

filmfann's avatar

A man may discuss his conflict, but his actions reveal his heart.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

As most of us now know, Schopenhauer was full of bull.

LostInParadise's avatar

A person’s morals is based on what he does, not what he says. A person’s speech is a distraction.

rojo's avatar

No so @Dan_Lyons. Schopenhauer helped bring an understanding of Eastern philosophy to Western civilization and his belief that humans were motivated by only their own basic desires has yet to be successfully refuted.
Further, who can argue with his statements that “woman is by nature meant to obey” and “Women are directly fitted for acting as the nurses and teachers of our early childhood by the fact that they are themselves childish, frivolous and short-sighted”
Yes, Schopenhauer is a man of brilliant insight and a sound ideology.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@rojo I’m still rotflmao!!!

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