Schopenhauer & Waterfalls

One thing leads to another – I have been enjoying re- reading Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann. The last time I read it I was in my teens – a very long time ago. Now, I am appreciating it far more.

It also made me want to read more about Mann, so I started to read Ronald Hayman’s biography of Thomas Mann. This led to more reading about Schopenhauer (as Mann was influenced by both Schopenhauer and Nietzsche). In Nigel Warburton’s book Philosophy:The Classics 2nd Edition, there is a section that particularly interested me –

Schopenhauer and Art – here he explains how ‘ art has a pre-eminent position in Schopenhauer’s philosophy. When we contemplate a work of art we can, and should, set aside any practical concerns and cares, any notion of the work of art serving as a function for us. We lose ourselves in contemplation. The same is true of our experience of beauty in nature: we can achieve this state of peaceful contemplation looking at a waterfall or a mountain just as much as a great painting.

Today, this passage seemed even more relevant as we walked in soft autumn sunshine through the Wood of Cree.