Schopenhauer on the Development of the Individual

Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2):427-446 (2016)
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Abstract

This paper formulates Schopenhauer’s account of the development of the individual, with emphasis on the drive towards discerning truth about the essence of the world, be it through philosophy, religion, or the natural sciences, and the concomitant search for consolation in the face of the pessimistic truths about human existence.In this regard, the paper analyses the often largely ignored passages‘On Man’s Need for Metaphysics’ and ‘On the Different Periods of Life’,in order to reflect upon how he views the cognitive and therapeutic needs that all individuals feel throughout their lives, and how these can evolve through the different stages of life, from childhood, through maturity, to old age.Such an account can help fill out our understanding not only of various parts of Schopenhauer’s system, but also of the wider therapeutic aims of his philosophy.

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Jonathan Head
Keele University

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