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WeltschmerzPessimism in German Philosophy, 1860–1900$
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Frederick C. Beiser

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768715

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198768715.001.0001

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Reconstructing Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics

Reconstructing Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics

(p.25) 2 Reconstructing Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics

Frederick C. Beiser

Oxford University Press

This chapter attempts to provide a sympathetic reconstruction of Schopenhauer’s metaphysics and to save it from the more common objections raised against it. Central to the reconstruction is the reinterpretation of the Kantian thing-in-itself, according to which it is the essence or inner nature of the things of experience as opposed to the relations in which these things stand to other things. This reinterpretation allows Schopenhauer to claim that his metaphysics does not transcend experience but simply uncovers the meaning of what is given in experience. It is also argued that Schopenhauer’s system was not simply one of transcendental idealism but that it also involved a transcendental realism, according to which things exist independent of our consciousness of them. His system was more like Schelling’s philosophy of identity, which postulated the unity of the ideal and real.

Keywords:   The will, thing-in-itself, appearance, transcendental idealism, transcendental realism

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