The connections between death, contemplation and the contemplative life have been a recurrent theme in the canons of both western and eastern philosophical thought. This book examines the classical sources of this philosophical literature, in particular Plato's Phaedo and the Katha Upanishad and then proceeds to a sustained analysis and critical assessment of the sources and standpoints of a single thinker, Arthur Schopenhauer, whose work comprehensively pursues this problem. Going beyond the well examined western influences on Schopenhauer, Singh offers an in-depth account of Schopenhauer's references to eastern thought and a comprehensive examination of his eastern sources, particularly Vedanta and Buddhism. The book traces the pivotal issue of death through the whole range of Schopenhauer's writings uncovering the deeper connotations of his crucial notion of the will-to-live.
"An excellent book, clear and concise without academic slang. A book for all those who expect from philosophy more than intellectual acrobatics." -- Gunter Wohlfart, University of Wuppertaal, Germany
"According to Raj Singh, Schopenhauer is a thinker 'whose philosophical thought revolves around the pivotal issue of death.' In this work, a thoughtful examination of Socrates and the Vedantic tradition provides the background for an extensive treatment of the role of death in Schopenhauer's work and its relation to contemplation and the contemplative life. Professor Singh's work is searching, enlightening and revealing." -- David Carr, Emory University, USA
"Raj Singh considers all of Schopenhauer's published works, focussing on the connection between death, philosophy and the ideal philosophical life. As the first complex study to qualify Schopenhauer's pessimism with reference to Indian thought, this book is timely in light of the recently awakened debate on Schopenhauer's relation to eastern traditions." -- Matthias Kossler, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany