Het was Schopenhauers bedoeling niet om iedereen een depressie te bezorgen, aldus Alain de Botton, maar veeleer om iedereen te bevrijden van de romantische verwachtingen die aan de basis liggen van veel menselijke ellende. De Botton zelf schreef Proeven van liefde/Essays in love, een filosofisch essay over de liefde.
Arthur Schopenhauer was a gloomy German philosopher of genius from the nineteenth century 1788 -1860. He remains of interest today in part because of the extremely dark, incomplete, but deeply fascinating things he wrote about love. He began by observing that most philosophers have not been interested in love: “It is absurd that an emotion which plays such an important part in the life of man has been so little studied by philosophers.”[…] “Love interrupts at every hour the most serious occupations, and sometimes perplexes for a while even the greatest minds. It does not hesitate to interfere with the negotiations of statesmen and the investigations of scientists.”[…]”The intellect does not penetrate into the secret workshop of the will’s decisions. It is being lied to all the time during the period of being in love.”[…]”Love casts itself on people who, apart from attraction, would be hateful, contemptible, and even abhorrent to one another. But the will of the species is so much more powerful than that of reason, that lovers shut their eyes to all problems, overlook everything, misjudge everything, and bind themselves for ever to an object of passion. They are so completely infatuated by a delusion, which will vanish as soon as the will of the species is satisfied, leaving behind a detested partner.”[…]”The point of marriage is not intellectual entertainment or emotional understanding, but the procreation of healthy children.”[…]”There is only one inborn error, and that is the notion that we exist in order to be happy. So long as we persist in this inborn error, the world seems to us full of contradictions. For at every step, in great things and small, we are bound to experience that the world and life are certainly not arranged for the purpose of maintaining happiness. So much would be gained if through timely advice and instruction all young people could have eradicated from their minds once and for all the foolish notion that the world has a great deal to offer them.” via The Philosophers’ Mail.