Arthur Schopenhauer: A Comparative Analysis

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Reading and thinking for oneself are both present in everyday life. However, Arthur Schopenhauer argues that thinking without restraints produces more benefits than reading. There is evidence in other texts that support this claim. One is Sarah Crowley’s argument in A Plea for the Revival of Sophistry that argues against the use of textbooks to teach in classrooms. Another example provided further in the same text discusses the differences between “teaching by example” and “teaching by theory”, where teaching by example is shown to be the more appealing choice. Likewise, Ghosts by Paul Auster, the main character Blue is presented with two alternatives that are very similar to the ones Schopenhauer provided, and heavily implies that thinking for oneself would have resulted in the better outcome. Texts repeatedly support Schopenhauer’s claim that thinking for oneself is better for a man than reading is. As Crowley argues against the technologizing of rhetoric, she brings up the disadvantages of reading…show more content…
This allows the student to think for himself. The alternative, “teaching by theory” focuses more on teaching through written instructions that the reader should follow. Teaching by theory is able to give the student long-lasting instructions to read, but the value of the instructions is not as great as the advice the teacher provided while the student worked. Since the student thought for himself at first, the advice will only make him better, and not something else. The instructions form a plaster for the student’s thoughts, while the advice caters to the student’s own unique thoughts. As a result, later in life, the one who learned through example will be better off because he received guidance on how to do work better, and not how to follow certain
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