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Schopenhauer: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Kindle Edition
|Length: 168 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
The world as will
By Howard A. Jones
This is another excellent little monograph in the Oxford University Press series. Unlike one reviewer, I did not find Schopenhauer the easiest of German philosophers to study, even in translation. I did find Bryan Magee's book equally readable as this, but it is three times the length and is therefore obviously more detailed, as is Hamlyn's book for Routledge. The author here is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton and is an expert on Nietzsche and Schopenhauer.
This book begins with a synopsis of Schopenhauer's PhD thesis work, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason - a ubiquitous principle in philosophy and science since Aristotle that everything must have a cause. His best known work is On the World as Will and Representation (WWR) that was much inspired by eastern mysticism: Janaway tells us how this came about and how it expands on Plato's world of Ideas, on Berkeley's `reality in perception' and on Kant's view of the numinous: `only the will is thing in itself . . . It appears in every blindly acting force of nature'. The identification of Wille with Kant's Ding-an-sich is one of Schopenhauer's great insights; but while Kant's ethics is an ethics of duty, Schopenhauer's ethics is an ethics of compassion.
The compatibility of Schopenhauer's ideas with the Noble Truths of Buddhism is illustrated by a quote: `as long as our consciousness is filled by our will . . . we never attain lasting happiness or peace.Read more ›
(x) The tone of the book, on the whole, is RANK; it being a horrible mix of both pomposity and incredulity. It is the kind of attitude that is an anathema to honest philosophical enquiry and is out of place in an introductory text designed for a lay reader: "How are we to take this? If meant literally, it is merely embarrassing."
Such an attitude becomes even more inexplicable in light of 20th century science which presented us with a plethora of counter intuitive notions about the nature of the world; notions which, in their emphasis on the subjectivity of experience and the limits of human knowledge, took on a distinctly Kantian-Schopenhauerian flavour. The distorting of the perceptual form in Einstein's relativity, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the wave-particle duality, Bell's theorem and the non-locality of space. Does sneering condescension befit such ideas? (whether you except these as explanations is a whole other matter) Janaway's attitude which seems to treat Schopenhauer as a relic of the past who is silly and inconsequential is utterly bizarre when physics has been moving in a generally Kantian-Schopenhauerian direction.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I heard Professor Janaway in a progamme BBC Radioo 3. His knowledge about Schopenhauer, his concision, prose (eloquence) were extraordinary and I ended researching to get his... Read morePublished on 25 July 2013 by Tupinambah
As Magee states in his book on Schopenhauer's(1788-1860) philosophy, that the idea of wille has caused problems. Read morePublished on 27 Sept. 2012 by Tony Tripp (Ultrarunner).
Possibly my favourite philosopher, from my thus far limited knowledge, Schopenhauer seems to fit my own views of the world very well, particularly about how happiness is in... Read morePublished on 3 Oct. 2011 by Mike Andrew Dawson
This is a very neat little book and I think meets a genuine need. Arthur Schopenhauer's philosophy has influenced some of the leading creative artists and thinkers in the 160 years... Read morePublished on 23 Dec. 2010 by Martin Raynes
To pack an account of Schopenhauer's philosophy - including discussions of where he is inconsistent or where his metaphysics is questionable - into a book of 127 pages is an... Read morePublished on 30 Nov. 2008 by Ralph Blumenau