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Schopenhauer believed the function of art to be a meditation on the unity of human nature, and an attempt to either demonstrate or directly communicate to the audience a certain existential angst for which most forms of entertainment—including bad art—only provided a distraction. A wide range of authors (from Thomas Hardy to Woody Allen) and artists have been influenced by this system of aesthetics, and in the 20th century this area of Schopenhauer's work garnered more attention and praise than any other.

According to Daniel Albright (2004: p39, n34), "Schopenhauer thought that music was the only art that did not merely copy ideas, but actually embodied the will itself."


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