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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Philosopher of the Month: Arthur Schopenhauer [slideshow] | OUPblog

Panumas King, marketing executive for philosophy at Oxford University Press says, "This September, OUP Philosophy honors Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860) as the Philosopher of the Month."

Photo: Frankfurt on the Main: Saalhof as seen from the Eiserner Steg (Iron Bridge), in the background the spire of Frankfurt Cathedral. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia.

Schopenhauer was largely ignored by the academic philosophical community during his lifetime, but gained recognition and fame posthumously. He arrived at his philosophical position very early on and his philosophy can be seen as a synthesis of Plato and Kant, whom he greatly admired, along with the Upanishads and Buddhist literatures.

Schopenhauer only wrote one seminal work of philosophy, The World as Will and Representation, which he published in 1818. The work was intended as a continuation of Kant’s ‘transcendental idealism’: ‘My philosophy is founded on that of Kant, and therefore presupposes a thorough knowledge of it.’ Kant argued that the world is not the ‘thing-in-itself’, but rather a complex of mere appearances. Schopenhauer, however, tells us that the world must be viewed at a deeper level, as will. What determines and governs our actions is will –  a range of emotions and desires which result in actions...

Schopenhauer did, however, offer ways to escape this suffering; one temporary and the other permanent. A temporary solution is through aesthetic contemplation, whereby our faculty of knowledge stops oneself from perceiving the world as just representation and allows one to be fully immersed in the beauty and sublime nature of art.
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Source: OUPblog (blog)