Who said: "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see."
- Arthur Schopenhauer.


Arthur SchopenhauerBorn in the late 18th century, Arthur Schopenhauer inherited a substantial sum from his father and was therefore able to devote most of his life to the study of philosophy. His 1813 PhD dissertation, The Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, opined that, contrary to the popular philosophical notion of the time, the universe was a thoroughly irrational and unpleasant sort of place.

Building on the work of Kant, and inspired by philosophical Indian writings from both the Vedic and Buddhist traditions (texts that he was, apparently, one of the first Western scholars to have access to), Schopenhauer believed that people did not have individual wills, but instead were part of a vast, cosmic will that pervades the universe and is ultimately wicked.

The natural extension of this conclusion is that no human desires can be properly fulfilled, so Schopenhauer proposed a lifestyle that, through moral, artistic and ascetic forms of awareness, would minimize natural desires in order to best overcome the natural misery of the universe.

Although some consider him a thoroughly pessimistic and depressing character, others point to him being the first to have the courage to acknowledge the glaring suffering of the world and to try to make sense of it. Whatever one's view of Arthur Schopenhauer, there's no doubt he could turn a good phrase. Here are some more of his words of wisdom:

  • All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
  • After your death you will be what you were before your birth.
  • Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.
  • Compassion is the basis of morality.
  • Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.
  • Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
  • Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right.
  • "Hatred is an affair of the heart; contempt that of the head.
  • Honor has not to be won; it must only not be lost.
  • Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.
  • The difficulty is to try and teach the multitude that something can be true and untrue at the same time.
  • Reading is equivalent to thinking with someone else's head instead of with one's own.
  • The first forty years of life give us the text; the next thirty supply the commentary on it.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Good Me Bad Me
    Good Me Bad Me
    by Ali Land
    Is a psychopath born or made? This is the terrifying question that author Ali Land explores in her ...
  • Book Jacket: Five-Carat Soul
    Five-Carat Soul
    by James McBride
    In the short story "Sonny's Blues," from the 1965 collection Going to Meet the Man, African-...
  • Book Jacket: This Blessed Earth
    This Blessed Earth
    by Ted Genoways
    For the Hammonds, a farming family in Nebraska, the 2014 harvest season started with a perfect storm...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

"A powerful, provocative debut ... Intelligent, honest, and unsentimental." - Kirkus, starred review

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Never Coming Back
    by Alison McGhee

    A moving exploration of growing up and growing old, and the ties that bind parents and children.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Wisdom of Sundays

The Wisdom of Sundays
by Oprah Winfrey

Life-changing insights from super soul conversations.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A Good M I H T F

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.