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The previous post in this series may be found here: 

He now begins to present his arguments for solitude:

Solitude is doubly advantageous to such a man. Firstly, it allows him to be with himself, and, secondly, it prevents him being with others–an advantage of great moment; for how much constraint, annoyance, and even danger there is in all intercourse with the world.

This is partially an argument from definition: to be solitary is to be with oneself; and to be solitary is to be apart from others.

Why is this good? Because being others can lead to:

much constraint: by this he apparently means that you can’t really “be yourself” if someone else is around. This leads me to wonder what exactly did Schopenhauer like to do?

Annoyance:  Other people bug me.

Danger: I’m not certain what he means by danger, unless it was mere rhetorical flare. While danger could obviously result from meeting a murderer, is that danger inherent in all interaction?

He then moves one to a matter of assertion:

Rascals are always sociable–more’s the pity! and the chief sign that a man has any nobility in his character is the little pleasure he takes in others’ company.

One does not necessarily follow from the other: there have been dreadful people who loved company. But then I think of the sorry case of the Unibomber, who lived quite alone for many years, shunning most all company. He was a very intelligent and well educated man. And he was also at the very least a “rascal”. The man was a cold-blooded murderer, quite certain he was doing the greatest good:

Men of great intellect live in the world without really belonging to it; and so, from their earliest years, they feel that there is a perceptible difference between them and other people.

There is a transparent bitterness in such sentences. Perhaps this section from the a brief history of his life on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy might give some background:

After a year’s vacation in Italy and with The World as Will and Representation in hand, Schopenhauer applied for the opportunity to lecture at the University of Berlin, the institution at which he had formerly studied, and where two years earlier (1818), Hegel had arrived to assume Fichte’s prestigious philosophical chair. His experiences in Berlin were less than professionally fruitful, however, for in March of 1820, Schopenhauer self-assuredly scheduled his class at a time that was simultaneous with Hegel’s popular lectures, and few students chose to hear Schopenhauer.

Sometimes even great philosophers engage in self-justification.