Kantian Review 17 (3):431-457 (2012)

Christopher Janaway
University of Southampton
This paper gives an account of the argument of Schopenhauer's essay On the Freedom of the Human Will, drawing also on his other works. Schopenhauer argues that all human actions are causally necessitated, as are all other events in empirical nature, hence there is no freedom in the sense of liberum arbitrium indifferentiae. However, our sense of responsibility or agency (being the ) is nonetheless unshakeable. To account for this Schopenhauer invokes the Kantian distinction between empirical and intelligible characters. The paper highlights divergences between Schopenhauer and Kant over the intelligible character, which for Schopenhauer can be neither rational nor causal. It raises the questions whether the intelligible character may be redundant to Schopenhauer's position, and whether it can coherently belong to an individual agent, suggesting that for Schopenhauer a more consistent position would have been to deny freedom of will to the individual
Keywords Schopenhauer   Kant   freedom   will   empirical character   intelligible character   cause   necessity   individuality   agency   responsibility
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DOI 10.1017/s1369415412000167
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References found in this work BETA

Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1651 - Harmondsworth, Penguin.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Creating the Kingdom of Ends.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 2006 - In Aloysius Martinich, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Blackwell.

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Citations of this work BETA

Seriously Bored: Schopenhauer on Solitary Confinement.David Bather Woods - 2019 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 27 (5):959-978.

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The Problem of Freedom.Mary T. Clark (ed.) - 1973 - New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
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