> Categories > Religion & Philosophy > Schopenhauer

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Schopenhauer  (Read 777 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
« on: March 23, 2012, 04:08:59 PM »

Any lovers of Schopenhauer? Any views of his you like?

Here's some of his views on genius and art.

Raised up by the power of mind, we relinquish the ordinary way of considering things, and cease to follow merely their relations to one another, whose final goal is always the relation to our own will. Thus we no longer consider the where, the when, the why, and the whither in things [the spatial, temporal, causal manifold], but simply and solely the what. Further, we do not let abstract thought, the concepts of reason, take possession of our consciousness, but instead of all this, devote the whole power of our mind to perception, sink ourselves completely therein, and let our whole consciousness be filled by the calm contemplation of the natural object actually present, whether it be a landscape, a tree, a rock, a crag, a building, or anything else. We lose ourselves entirely in this object, to use a pregnant expression; in other words, we forget our individuality, our will, and continue to exist only as pure subject, as clear mirror of the object, so that it is as though the object alone existed without anyone to perceive it, and thus we are no longer able to separate the perceiver from the perception, but the two have become one.

Now as this demands a complete forgetting of our own person and its relations and conexions, the gift of genius is nothing but the most complete objectivity, i.e., the objective tendency of the mind, as opposed to the subjective directed to our own person, i.e., to the will. Accordingly, genius is the capacity to remain in a state of pure perception, to lose oneself in perception, to remove from the service of the will the knowledge which originally existed only for this service. In other words, genius is the ability to leave entirely out of sight our own interest, our willing, and our aims, and consequently to discard entirely our own personality for a time, in order to remain pure knowing subject, the clear eye of the world.

For genius to appear in an individual, it is as if a measure of the power of knowledge must have fallen to his lot far exceeding that required for the service of an individual will; and this superfluity of knowledge having become free, now becomes the subject purified of will, the clear mirror of the inner nature of the world. This explains the animation, amounting to disquietude, in men of genius, since the present can seldom satisfy them, because it does not fill their consciousness. This gives them that restless zealous nature, that constant search for new objects worthy of contemplation, and also that longing, hardly ever satisfied, for men of like nature and stature to whom they may open their hearts. The common mortal, on the other hand, entirely filled and satisfied by the common present, is absorbed in it, and finding everywhere his like, has that special ease and comfort in daily life which are denied to the man of genius.



  • Guest
Re: Schopenhauer
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2012, 06:05:25 PM »

I'll go over Schopenhauer's main views, in my own words.

1. Ultimate Reality

Kant believed our knowledge of ultimate reality couldn't be known by a subject. Though he didn't know of Darwinian evolution, his views fit within the framework. A subject which evolved out of a Darwinian environment has tools of perception and measurement fitting to its survival, and could be limited in being able to know ultimate reality.

Schopenhauer agreed in many ways, but thought the behavior of apparent phenomenon could give insight into the nature of ultimate reality - the noumenon. From this insight, Schopenhauer formed the view of "The Will to Live" as the invisible driving force of nature, which was unified energy; this unified energy is perceived as divided by a mind that abstracts concepts among its manifestations of phenomenon.

2. Condition of Mankind

The result of the Will to Live, or energy driven in motion, is an unstoppable drive to growth and complexity. Nature bound by this drive is hostile and full of suffering. The will is not conscious, it's merely a natural drive. No matter the cost, the Will often exploits itself towards one direction of growth. Nature brutally eats itself that it may grow towards that direction of survival and complexity.

3. Liberation from the Will

According to Schopenhauer, some have a higher ability to reason. Such people are able to see the cause of suffering, which is the drive of the will, which manifests as craving and lust. This craving is to live - as manifest through sexual desire, the drive to eat, etc.. The way of liberation is to cut the bonds of the will, which are attached to the subject. In doing this, one becomes a clear objective eye of the world and is free from suffering.

Art can be a temporary release from suffering. When we see food the Will to Live moves one to eat it for its gain, when one see a woman the Will sees how it may breed with her for its gain. But when one sees artwork, of women and drawn food, the Will merely observes without trying to take advantage of it for its drive to growth. This absence of subjective craving brings about a clear objective observation, and with it no suffering.

Our sexual cravings, as with all cravings, cannot give permanent satisfaction. Satisfy the craving and it will return shortly. This blind and bound chasing after the cravings of the Will lead to suffering. The way out of suffering is to extinguish the subject's craving, freeing him from the Will. The result is a empty observer, who then discovers peace, as a man would find relief and peace after an infected tooth is pulled out or a thorn is removed from his foot.

I think it's safe to say Schopenhauer believes there really is no thoughtful purpose in nature. All is vanity. All is a passing play. Life is whatever you make it in this ever modulating reality. The objective reality of modulating energy becomes humans, etc., who then extract a subjective purpose, but the objective reality can never be pinned down to have any real purpose; it only modulates, grows, and changes. Even our subjective purposes will modulate into nonexistence, where new subjective purposes arise in dependence to the subject.

I won't comment on his views of genius, as I already did that above.

Pages: [1]   Go Up