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The Riddle of the World

Barbara Hannan

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780195378948
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199869589 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195378948.001.0001
The Riddle of the World

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This book is an introduction to the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. The peculiar inconsistencies and tensions in Schopenhauer's thought are emphasized. A main theme of the book is that Schopenhauer was torn between realism and anti-realism, and between denial and affirmation of the individual will. A useful summary of Schopenhauer's main ideas is provided. In addition, the book connects Schopenhauer's thought with ongoing debates in philosophy. The book argues that Schopenhauer was struggling half-consciously to break altogether with Kant and transcendental idealism and that the anti-Kantian features of Schopenhauer's thought possess the most lasting value. Schopenhauer's panpsychist metaphysics of will is defended, and compared favorably with contemporary views according to which causal power is metaphysically basic. Schopenhauer's ethics of compassion is also defended against Kant's ethics of pure reason. Friendly amendments are offered to Schopenhauer's theories of art, music, and “salvation.” The book illuminates the deep connection between Schopenhauer and the early Wittgenstein, as well as Schopenhauer's influence on existentialism and psychoanalytic thought.

Keywords: causal power; compassion; idealism; Kant; Immanuel; metaphysics of will; panpsychism; realism; reason; salvation; Wittgenstein; Ludwig

Book.  208 pages. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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Schopenhauer's Aesthetics in The Riddle of the World

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