<history of philosophy, biography> German philosopher(1788-1860). Rejecting the idealism of Hegel, Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (vol. 1-4) (The World as Will and Representation) (1818) (vol. 1-2) employed Kant's notion of the noumenal self as the foundation for a comprehensive account of human nature, in contrast to the phenomenal realm of objects. We are, for better or (much more commonly, according to the pessimistic Schopenhauer) for worse, manifestations of our own wills, rarely exhibiting the universal compassion for others that would render our egoistic impulses aesthetically valuable. Only by eliminating desire can we hope to achieve harmony and peace, he argued, but even that is possible only in ascetic living or death. Our very name for the "world", Schopenhauer suggested, is an acronym for the characteristics of human life - woe, misery, suffering, and death (Ger. WELT = Weh, Elend, Leid, Tod). Recommended Reading: Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosophical Writings, ed. by Wolfgang Schirmacher (Continuum, 1994); Arthur Schopenhauer, Prize Essay on the Freedom of the Will, ed. by Gunter Zoller and Eric F. J. Payne (Cambridge, 1999); Bryan Magee, The Philosophy of Schopenhauer (Oxford, 1997); Patrick Gardiner, Schopenhauer (St. Augustine, 1997); The Cambridge Companion to Schopenhauer, ed. by Christopher Janaway (Cambridge, 1999); Christopher Janaway, Schopenhauer (Oxford, 1994); Michael Tanner, Schopenhauer (Routledge, 1999); Rudiger Safranski, Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy (Harvard, 1991); and Christopher Janaway, Self and World in Schopenhauer's Philosophy (Oxford, 1999).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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