Schopenhauer on <3

If I could have dinner with anyone who ever lived, as the ice-breaker goes, Schopenhauer would definitely be in my top 10.

One of his theories that amazed me when I first heard it describes the paradox of love and marriage, which Schopenhauer intuited long before science was anywhere close to proving anything like this.

He suggested that one of the reasons why many people have miserable marriages (although they used to be oh-so-in-love not that long before they tied the knot) comes from the fact that people marry according to biology, rather than to a more pragmatic kind of love, based on genuine shared interests.

Apparently, there is a famous T-shirt experiment (1) that proves that we are attracted to people who have dissimilar genes from us. This is nature’s smart but torturous way of ensuring our offspring has a varied pool of genes. Torturous because it means when the spell wears off lovers realise they are complete strangers. It’s almost as if they were tricked into it and that Mother Nature is some ruthless charlatan.

Regardless, I find it beautiful when biology and philosophy touch in such a straightforward manner to explain something we all have to cope with.


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