Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Tolstoy and Schopenhauer and War and Peace: Influence and Ambivalence

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Canadian-American Slavic Studies

This essay is an analysis of the influence that Schopenhauer’s philosophy had upon Tolstoy during his writing of the novel War and Peace. It is generally conceded that Schopenhauer’s ideas had a deep impact upon Tolstoy during the writing of Anna Karenina, however, the case of War and Peace is more complex and contested. Some have maintained that War and Peace possesses an essentially “optimistic” perspective on life, and that Tolstoy shifted his ground dramatically when he embarked upon the latter novel. Others have seen a greater degree of continuity between the two works. This essay makes the case that War and Peace is in fact a work that is deeply influenced by Tolstoy’s affinity for Schopenhauer’s view of the world. However, at the same time, it argues that Tolstoy was ambivalent about Schopenhauer’s deep pessimism, and that this ambivalence is manifested throughout the novel. Nevertheless, the essay proposes that War and Peace is a far darker and more “pessimistic” work than is often understood, and that this element of the novel is an indication of the author’s sympathy with the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer.

Affiliations: 1: Philosophy Department, St. John’s University, Queens, NY, USA


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Canadian-American Slavic Studies — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation