Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Coltin Griffith - Section 008 - Post #2 - Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher who was best known for his book, The World as Will and Representation. He believed our world is driven by a displeased will that continually seeks satisfaction. He was an atheist that believed in transcendental ideality. He influenced many thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche, Richard Wagner, and Sigmund Freud.
Schopenhauer could never agree with Hegel. He thought Hegel’s philosophy was nonsense. He even requested that all his lectures take place at the same time as Hegel’s. He thought we were all caught up in a hopeless cycle of wanting things, getting them, and then wanting more things. He thought that if we could recognize the true nature of reality, we would behave very differently and avoid these depressing features of the human condition. A lot of his inspiration for his philosophy came from Buddha, but also Kant.
He believed reality had two aspects: Will and Representation. Will is the driving force in everything that exists. The World as Representation is the world as we experience it. Schopenhauer’s World as Representation was the same as Kant’s phenomenal world. It believes your consciousness makes sense of the world around you. However, Schopenhauer believed that there was a deeper reality that exists beyond our experiences, or the World as Will. He believed this world as a single, unified, directionless force behind everything that is. We could see this world through our actions and through our experience of art. He thought that Will was just a meaningless force that we are a part of.
He believed strongly in how art and music improved our lives. To him we were all part of one energy force and that an individual only exists in the World as Representation. So, to Schopenhauer, hurting another was actually hurting yourself. It would destroy part of the life force that ties us all together. We are all linked to each other in the World as Will. However, his morals seemed a little offset, because he got annoyed with an old woman and pushed her down the stairs.
Schopenhauer didn't believe that what we may experience was truly the real reality. I can’t agree with that. Experience is something we live through and I believe it is as real as it gets. He seemed like a really shallow person. He was ultimately jealous of Hegel and he was cruel enough to push a woman down the stairs, eventually leading to her death, because she annoyed him. I agree with his view that hurting others hurts yourself, but it’s hard to prove that Schopenhauer himself actually believed in that. I mean who pushes an old lady down the stairs if you believe it will hurt your own nature force. Overall, he was a negative person, which I can slightly relate to. Yet, his negativity makes me doubt a lot of his ideas and philosophy.