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The World as Will and Idea: Containing the Criticism of the Kantian Philosophy and the Supplements to the First Book and Part of the Second Book O Capa dura – Formato grande, 1 fevereiro 2011
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Detalhes do produto
- Editora : Kessinger Publishing; Large type / Large print edição (1 fevereiro 2011)
- Idioma : Inglês
- Capa dura : 504 páginas
- ISBN-10 : 1169891209
- ISBN-13 : 978-1169891203
- Dimensões : 21.6 x 2.7 x 28 cm
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Schopenhauer's greatest work
By Howard A. Jones
Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (WWR) was published in 1819. Immanuel Kant, whose work greatly influenced Schopenhauer, had died in 1804. The other most influential philosopher in his life was Plato. The German word "Vorstellung" can be translated as "idea" or "notion", which highlights the development of the philosophy of Schopenhauer out of Plato's world of Ideas or Forms. But "Vorstellung" can also be rendered as "representation", and this meaning emphasises the inspiration Schopenhauer found in the eastern mystical concept of "maya".
Schopenhauer's home life was not a happy one. His mother was a romantic novelist and social butterfly; his father was a depressive who committed suicide when Schopenhauer was in his late teens. This background greatly influenced Schopenhauer whose major work is imbued with a spirit of deep pessimism. Readers would benefit from reading, or reading about, Schopenhauer's doctoral thesis "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason" before tackling WWR as the thesis work is referred to several times and informs Schopenhauer's interpretation of the work of other philosophers.
WWR is written in four Books. Book 1 deals with the world as representation, that is, all we can know of the world is what we glean from the images or representations presented to the senses, and the work opens with the statement `The world is my idea'. Book 2 is really the core of the work - the world as will. It is here that Kant's influence is most keenly felt since Schopenhauer himself, at least in Volume 1 of his work, regarded der Wille as the equivalent of Kant's Ding an sich - the thing-in-itself - the unknowable noumenal aspect of objects in the material world.
Book 3 gives us Schopenhauer's views on art and `the Idea independent of the principle of sufficient reason'. This is quite an extended discussion, though it is not all self-consistent. The final Book is probably the most pessimistic of them all. Although it describes der Wille as the "will to life", Wille zum Leben, a concept that had a profound effect on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, it is essentially an evil or demonic force that drives us on continually without our ever gaining satisfaction. The only possibility for release for Schopenhauer is through art and music (he was a great opera lover and played the flute himself).
This is not an easy book to read or interpret but if you are strong enough to rise above its over-riding pessimism it contains many interesting and challenging ideas. Just as Schopenhauer was a great admirer of Plato and Kant, so he despised the philosophies of Fichte and Hegel: this work is the antithesis of Hegel's developing Geist, inspiration of the world.
Dr Howard A. Jones is the author of The Thoughtful Guide to God (2006) and The Tao of Holism (2008), both published by O Books of Winchester, UK.
Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)