Dale Jacquette charts the development of Schopenhauer's ideas from the time of his early dissertation on The Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason through the two editions of his magnum opus The World as Will and Representation to his later collections of philosophical aphorisms and competition essays. Jacquette explores the central topics in Schopenhauer's philosophy including his metaphysics of the world as representation and Will, his so-called pessimistic philosophical appraisal of the human condition, his examination of the concept of death, his dualistic analysis of free will, and his simplified non-Kantian theory of morality. Jacquette shows how these many complex themes fit together in a unified portrait of Schopenhauer's philosophy. The synthesis of Plato, Kant and Buddhist and Hindu ideas is given particular attention as is his influence on Nietzsche, first a follower and then arch opponent of Schopenhauer's thought, and the early Wittgenstein. The book provides a comprehensive and in-depth historical and philosophical introduction to Schopenhauer's distinctive contribution to philosophy.