Schopenhauer and Buddhism: Soulless Continuity

Journal of Animal Ethics 8 (1):12-25 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Arthur Schopenhauer did not believe in soul. However, he explained that every living thing is possessed by a will. Will is universal. Suffering is universal. Even so, he thought it ethically wrong to cause undue suffering to any person or animal. As a student of Buddhism, Schopenhauer was intrigued by the Buddhist belief in rebirth. I will explore how both Schopenhauer’s idea of the ever-present will and Buddhist rebirth are similar in their concern with and for continuity. For Schopenhauer, continuity is will and for Buddhism, as Frank Hoffman (1987) explains, “continuity is without identity of selfsame substance” (p. 53). If all living things are attached by continuity whether by will or “without identity of self-same substance” then what is foundational to the beginning of an ethics of existence is the valuing of that which is attached by continuity, and this includes both human and animal life.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 93,069

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Wagner's Animal Ethics and Its Debt to Schopenhauer.Laura Langone - 2023 - Journal of Animal Ethics 13 (2):160-168.
The Cambridge Companion to Schopenhauer.Christopher Janaway (ed.) - 1999 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Schopenhauer and Buddhism. Ñanajivako - 1970 - Buddhist Publication Society.
Humankind and Nature in Buddhism.Knut A. Jacobsen - 1991 - In Eliot Deutsch & Ronald Bontekoe (eds.), A Companion to World Philosophies. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 381–391.
Schopenhauer.Robert Wicks - 2008 - Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.


Added to PP

85 (#203,573)

6 months
15 (#185,003)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Christopher Ketcham
University of Houston Downtown

References found in this work

Schopenhauer and buddhism.Peter Abelsen - 1993 - Philosophy East and West 43 (2):255-278.

Add more references