Chapter

Character, sex, and the unconscious

in Schopenhauer

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780192802590
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191775666 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780192802590.003.0005

Series: Very Short Introductions

Character, sex, and the unconscious

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‘Character, sex, and the unconscious’ explores Schopenhauer's treatment of character and individuality. In Schopenhauer's view, the will is the primary element within us. The will often has the role of an impersonal force which is greater than the individual, attaching to the species or to the world as a whole. However Schopenhauer also believes that each person has a distinct character. Individual character comes into its own in explaining and predicting actions. An action follows on from motives, but only in combination with the character of the agent. Schopenhauer sees the character as a person's ‘being’, something distinct from the collection of all the person's actions put together.

Keywords: action; character; Sigmund Freud; Friedrich Nietzsche; unconscious; will

Chapter.  4490 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: 19th-Century Philosophy

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