SCHOPENHAUER: an evaluation of his theory of will

Dissertation, University of Tasmania (2012)
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The aims of this paper are twofold: firstly, to give the reader a comprehensive- but not exhaustive- understanding of Schopenhauer’s theory of will, and, secondly, to elucidate certain problems inherent in this theory. Schopenhauer’s epistemology, dual aspect ontology, aesthetics, ethics, and pessimism are explored. Additionally, a cursory exposition of Kant’s metaphysics is presented, along with Schopenhauer’s critique of this. Possible solutions to problems in his theory are expounded and subsequently critiqued. Most salient of these problems is his identification of the will with the Kantian thing-in-itself. I argue that Schopenhauer’s theory of will contradicts the Kantian confines on metaphysical knowledge. Consequently, and in light of his own epistemology, there are serious, if not intractable, problems with his contentions that the will is the thing-in-itself, and is knowable.



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Andrew John Cantwell
La Trobe University

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References found in this work

Schopenhauer: 'The World as Will and Representation': Volume 1.Arthur Schopenhauer & E. F. J. Payne - 2010 - [Indian Hills, Colo.]: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Judith Norman, Alistair Welchman & Christopher Janaway.
On the Basis of Morality.Arthur Schopenhauer - 1965 - Providence: Hackett. Edited by E. F. J. Payne.
The World as Will and Representation.Lewis White Beck - 1959 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 20 (2):279-280.
The philosophy of Schopenhauer.Bryan Magee - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
On the fourfold root of the principle of sufficient reason.Arthur Schopenhauer - 1974 - La Salle, Ill.,: Open Court. Edited by David E. Cartwright, Edward E. Erdmann, Christopher Janaway & Arthur Schopenhauer.

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