Arthur Schopenhauer

1788 (Danzig, now Gdánsk, Poland) – 1860 (Frankfurt-am-Main)

Practically all of Schopenhauer’s significant connections arose early in his career, and even then he was careful to distance himself from those — Hegel, Schelling, Fichte — whose positions he was about to undermine (inimitably describing all three as charlatans). Wieland, the Schlegels, the Grimms and Goethe all attended his mother’s salon, Goethe telling her that her son had a great future, and lending him his experimental optical apparatus. Impressed by Humboldt’s achievements, Schopenhauer was disappointed by the man. Increasingly reclusive in later years, he preferred his poodles’ company to that of most men.