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The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 2

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Arthur Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung is one of the most important philosophical works of the 19th century, the basic statement of one important stream of post-Kantian thought. It is without question Schopenhauer's greatest work, and, conceived and published before the philosopher was 30 and expanded 25 years later, it is the summation of a lifetime of t Arthur Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung is one of the most important philosophical works of the 19th century, the basic statement of one important stream of post-Kantian thought. It is without question Schopenhauer's greatest work, and, conceived and published before the philosopher was 30 and expanded 25 years later, it is the summation of a lifetime of thought. For 70 years, the only unabridged English translation of this work was the Haldane-Kemp collaboration. In 1958, a new translation by E. F. J. Payne appeared which decisively supplanted the older one. Payne's translation is superior because it corrects nearly 1,000 errors and omissions in the Haldane-Kemp translation, and it is based on the definitive 1937 German edition of Schopenhauer's work prepared by Dr. Arthur Hübscher. Payne's edition is the first to translate into English the text's many quotatioins in half a dozen languages, and Mr. Payne has provided a comprehensive index of 2,500 items. It is thus the most useful edition for the student or teacher.


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Arthur Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung is one of the most important philosophical works of the 19th century, the basic statement of one important stream of post-Kantian thought. It is without question Schopenhauer's greatest work, and, conceived and published before the philosopher was 30 and expanded 25 years later, it is the summation of a lifetime of t Arthur Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung is one of the most important philosophical works of the 19th century, the basic statement of one important stream of post-Kantian thought. It is without question Schopenhauer's greatest work, and, conceived and published before the philosopher was 30 and expanded 25 years later, it is the summation of a lifetime of thought. For 70 years, the only unabridged English translation of this work was the Haldane-Kemp collaboration. In 1958, a new translation by E. F. J. Payne appeared which decisively supplanted the older one. Payne's translation is superior because it corrects nearly 1,000 errors and omissions in the Haldane-Kemp translation, and it is based on the definitive 1937 German edition of Schopenhauer's work prepared by Dr. Arthur Hübscher. Payne's edition is the first to translate into English the text's many quotatioins in half a dozen languages, and Mr. Payne has provided a comprehensive index of 2,500 items. It is thus the most useful edition for the student or teacher.

30 review for The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 2

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cameron

    Seven hundred pages of intimidatingly dense and brilliant metaphysics from the dour prince of philosophy. Written twenty-six years after the first volume, Schopenhauer expands on key themes of his metaphysical system, notably his ontology, epistemology and reflections on death and religion. The centerpiece of Schopenhauer's thought is his concept of the will, a blind and irrational urge underlying all material reality, realizing itself as phenomena engaged in an unceasing and violent struggle fo Seven hundred pages of intimidatingly dense and brilliant metaphysics from the dour prince of philosophy. Written twenty-six years after the first volume, Schopenhauer expands on key themes of his metaphysical system, notably his ontology, epistemology and reflections on death and religion. The centerpiece of Schopenhauer's thought is his concept of the will, a blind and irrational urge underlying all material reality, realizing itself as phenomena engaged in an unceasing and violent struggle for existence. This volume adds greater color and detail to the system revealed in his first book with all the characteristically razor-sharp observations and quotes that makes Schopenhauer so pleasing to read. In my opinion, this book is one of the greatest pleasures the study of philosophy has to offer.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Peycho Kanev

    Arguably the greatest mind in the human history!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Xander

    This book completes the second edition of Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, published in 1844, by Arthur Schopenhauer. In it, Schopenhauer tries to elucidate and deepen the contents of the original work (published, unaltered, as volume 1). It spans more than 50 chapters and almost 700 pages and is accordinlgy longer and deeper than the original work. (I read this book as a source of additional information on key topics of volume 1; I skipped the chapters on minor details like madness, a theory This book completes the second edition of Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, published in 1844, by Arthur Schopenhauer. In it, Schopenhauer tries to elucidate and deepen the contents of the original work (published, unaltered, as volume 1). It spans more than 50 chapters and almost 700 pages and is accordinlgy longer and deeper than the original work. (I read this book as a source of additional information on key topics of volume 1; I skipped the chapters on minor details like madness, a theory of laughter, etc. This is all outdated anyways. I read almost all of the chapters on book 1 (the world as representation) and book 2 (the world as will); just these chapters make up more than half of the entire volume 2. I also read some selected chapters on book 3 (aesthetics) and the most important chapters on book 4 (ethics). So, I read a fair bit of book 2, next to the original work.) At some points the book is interesting, and at some points the book is even a worthy extension of the original work, but I have to admit that I found the totality of 1200 pages for just one philosophical work a bit too much. Even Kant, with a much more abstruse style of writing and much more new ground to cover, could do with not even the half of Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung. To make matters even worse: throughout volumes 1 and 2, Schopenhauer reminds the reader that he/she should read all of Schopenhauer's other essays and materials; he never explains his earlier works - the reader should just come to this book prepared (i.e. read everything of Schopenhauer besides Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung). This is just an insane demand - not only because it isn't really practical, but also because Schopenhauer himself repeats himself over and over and over again, meaning that he could just as well have written one clear and concise book on his system of philosophy. The way he presents himself, and his material, is rather pedantic. I therefore cannot rate this second volume very highly. I continuously irritated myself throughout both books, but at least volume 1 offered a new, total system of philosophy - an update of Kant. Volume 2 offered nothing but some confused notions, disguised as important material. But let's leave my own opinion at the side for the moment. Is this book really that bad? Well, actually it's worse than bad. It's irrelevant. For example, in all of the chapters on book 2 (on the Will), Schopenhauer makes use of contemporary physiology, psychology and biology. But now, anno 2017, all these sciences have radically improved and this means that Schopenhauer's edifice comes crumbling down. To illustrate this point: Schopenhauer has to explain how it comes that all the phenomena in nature have an ultimate ground (otherwise he has to deal with an infinite regress of cause and effect). What is the origin of animal or human bodies? Well the first, natural cause is blood. There is something in the blood that let's the blood act as a first cause and build bodies via long causal chains. This 'something' is the (then current) life force, or vis viva, some postulated natural force that made the blood develop into bodies. This smells like aristotelean teleology, and it rightfully does. Ever since Darwin (1859) we know that species orginate via natural selection; and ever since Watson and Crick (1953) we know that natural selection works by selecting genes at the cost of other competing genes. There is no need for any 'life force' anymore, we don't need final causes, we have DNA. The same goes with all of Schopenhauer's ideas that are intertwined with the physics of his time. Ever since the 1920's - i.e. general relativity and quantum mechanics - we know that Newtonian physics is not the complete picture and especially quantum mechanics, with its notions of non-causal processes and probability distributions, has radically changed our world picture. Schopenhauer's phenomenal world is intimately interwoven with these sciences, which means that with the radical changes in these sciences, his philosophical system is annihilated as well. And there is one more problematic point in Schopenhauer's system. This is purely a metaphysical point, but it was a problem that Kant couldn't deal with and that Schopenhauer didn't see or didn't know how to solve. This problem is the problem of causality. Schopenhauer, as well as Kant (but in a slightly different version), postulate a free will as noumenon, a thing in itself. This Will is supposedly infinite, since it exists independent of time, space and causality: these are phenomenal notions. But causality is nothing more than changes in time and space. Since time, space and (thus) causality don't exist for the Will (it exists as a GROUND for these notions!), how is this Will able to CAUSALLY determine all the phenomena? Our intellect and motivation are just phenomena, objects of the Will. We can learn, gather knowledge about ourselves and the world, and this might offer the Will new routes by which to objectify itself - but the ultimate aim, the strife, of the Will - objectification - doesn't change. This means that, for Schopenhauer at least, the Will determines our behaviour; it is the ultimate ground for our behaviour. But I have yet to see an explanation of the mechanism by which this supposed Will determines us, since this presupposes a causal mechanism - which is prohibited by the definition of the Will itself. This is a critical problem that Kant couldn't solve, and Schopenhauer seems to try to avoid it completely - and this is an accomplishment, for a book spanning 1200 pages. But since the Will is such a central element in his philosophy - or rather: the central element - we shouldn't skip over it too quickly. It requires a solution, or else it means a refutation of his system. To end this review, I'd like to mention that the chapters on books 1 and 2 were interesting; the chapters on book 3 were superficial (to say the least) and the chapters on book 4 were variably useful and superficial. Like I said in my review on the original work: after reading Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung I cannot really recommend it to anyone. It is a long and often tiresome (due to the repetitions and span of the books) work, it is outdated and it is just not that interesting. If you want to know a new, total system of philosophy just for the sake of it, or to understand 19th century philosophy (e.g. Nietzsche), read Schopenhauer. But then read these 1200 pages - please know what you ask for.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gary Beauregard Bottomley

    Volume I provided a coherent schema of all of Schopenhauer’s philosophy with a consistent system and with no mutually exclusive contradictory thoughts. Volume II amplifies and simplifies the thoughts laid out in the first Volume and can actually be read and understood without first having read Volume I. I’ve noticed Audible has the third volume now available and I will definitely listen to that sometime in the future. This volume is not as coherent the first volume was. That’s not a criticism. I Volume I provided a coherent schema of all of Schopenhauer’s philosophy with a consistent system and with no mutually exclusive contradictory thoughts. Volume II amplifies and simplifies the thoughts laid out in the first Volume and can actually be read and understood without first having read Volume I. I’ve noticed Audible has the third volume now available and I will definitely listen to that sometime in the future. This volume is not as coherent the first volume was. That’s not a criticism. It’s obvious that Schopenhauer wants to explain his masterpiece to others because he believes rightly that he gave the fish the proper bait but they had refused to nibble at it. He’s blaming the fish, but in this volume he’s making the bait easier to digest. (Nietzsche said a similar thing in ‘Ecce Homo’ about ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ and to read parts of this book one instantly sees what inspired the early Nietzsche and even at times the later Nietzsche). There are many asides with in this volume. My first sentence above is a reworking of what Schopenhauer said in this volume about the ‘laws of thought’ and how they are all just variations of the law of the excluded middle. He really despises Hegel and there were about 10 or so insults (‘that kind of thinking only belongs in the insane asylum’, etc.) he directed at Hegel, and he disliked all of the German Idealist except for Kant. Kant’s ‘thing in itself’, the phenomena after space, time (successive events), and relative background is taken away is what Schopenhauer means by ‘will’ (to live), he’ll say. A baby has will but it doesn’t know what it wills (he said that multiple times). Our intellect is a slave to our will (that’s obviously a Hume sentiment, but Schopenhauer tends more towards Locke overall). Our will is our ‘inclinations, emotions, passions’ and feelings, that which makes up our character and is the unchanging part of the individual, he will say. He lays all these thoughts out in order to elucidate what he was saying in Volume I. Our unchangeable self makes up our will, he says. Kant will say ‘thought without content is empty, and intuitions without concepts are blind’. Schopenhauer bridges the ‘thought’ and ‘content’ with our ‘perception’. Perception is the glue that binds. Intellect (‘the head’) needs the will (‘the heart’) not the other way around. Our ideas are trumped by our feelings. There is the primal scream of the instinct that Schopenhauer calls for and he is clearly laying a foundation for Nietzsche. Also, Schopenhauer will expand on the cynics, skeptics and stoics schools presented in his first Volume, and his description of the stoics led to Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence of the now. (Nietzsche embraces the now while Schopenhauer knows our memories are convoluted with our memories about our memories (see Proust or just think about the madeleine you once ate!)). Freud claims to not have been influenced by Schopenhauer, but that’s hard to believe after reading this Volume or the previous Volume, because Schopenhauer clearly articulates what Freud will say before Freud! (Leibnitz, who gets quoted in this Volume multiple times, originated the unconscious mind with his ‘petit conception’, and Kant expands, but Schopenhauer runs with it until Freud owns it). Schopenhauer mentions how important Descartes is to modern philosophy. He also tells the reader where Descartes went wrong and contrasts Parmenides’ ‘the one’, i.e. thinking equals being and fits that into his ‘will as representation’. The mind/body dichotomy is a step towards the atomization of the world (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Heidegger all despise that way of thinking too). Schopenhauer thinks he has solved the problem by making ‘will’ ontological, the foundation of all metaphysics. Kant makes experience ontic. Hegel makes experience ontologocial. Our ‘will’ (to live) leads to our experiences. Schopenhauer definitely prefers the Kantian formulation. He ended the first Volume with Grace being the key to understanding and even dissing Pelagius in the process. Pelagius (and Erasmus) believed that prayers and praying would make a difference in the universe even with an All Powerful Necessary God. He ends Volume II with Grace too and how it’s necessary in order to give us freedom (it’s a literal end in the sense he saved it for the final paragraph). The German Idealist and Romantics were almost all Pelagiusians in spirit or at least thought time and our memories about our memories would act as Grace for us. Schopenhauer is most definitely not in that school of thought. Of all the philosophers who have a complete system, Schopenhauer is one of the easiest to follow. This Volume is his effort to make his system even more understandable.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    It has been a long time since I read Schopenhauer, but I remember I used to laugh at some of his aphorisms. His comments about women notwithstanding, The World as Will and Idea (sic) is a truly important book in the history of modern thought. Modern philosophy should take it more seriously simply because of all the problems it raises. I read this, I think, the summer after I had completed a graduate course in Hegel's Phenomenology. Schopenhauer was not much studied and there wasn't a course which It has been a long time since I read Schopenhauer, but I remember I used to laugh at some of his aphorisms. His comments about women notwithstanding, The World as Will and Idea (sic) is a truly important book in the history of modern thought. Modern philosophy should take it more seriously simply because of all the problems it raises. I read this, I think, the summer after I had completed a graduate course in Hegel's Phenomenology. Schopenhauer was not much studied and there wasn't a course which included it (other than the plebian survey courses) and I became thoroughly engrossed in it over the summer. Oddly enough I recall I was reading Whitehead at the same time, ostensibly for the same reasons and found him much better than I had anticipated...but he is for another time. First of all, I cannot understand why "Vorstellung" was ever changed from "Idea" to "Representation." I first saw this in a mid 60's translation. I think this is highly misleading. If anything it ought to be changed to "Conception" or "Presentation." I cannot figure how any translator thought that "Representation" was a better translation than "Idea." In English one ought to be as familiar with the derivations of words as we are their meaning and the idea of "presenting something again" seems a needless error. After rereading book 2 recently, I was impressed as to the derivation of so much 20th century thought in him. While it is true that he didn't solve so many problems as he perhaps thought (destroying most of Kant was perhaps a serious mistake) I began thinking about the origins of consciousness, especially in Husserl and Heidegger. Schopenhauer's will seems much like Plato's demi-urge but with a greater part to play in things. I found his arguments about eternity somewhat compelling, although I would hardly equate the fear of death with what went on before one was born. Although both of the same type of mysteries, you aren't usually afraid of what you have already lived through right? S's efforts to prove that Christianity was derived from Indian beliefs just seems rather silly and primitive today, although there are some modern critics who make their living at doing such things. One might, without being unreasonable, ask for a bit more evidence... of which there is none, but only pretty theories. Still Schopenhauer not only brings eastern philosophy into the picture, but he suggests that certain issues of eternity and indestructibility of the will become not only linear but circular. It is a great shame that his concept of will seems to have occluded the difference between its existence and the impossibility of knowing its existence. If he had pushed a bit harder on epistemology, perhaps we should be studying this book in courses along with the First Critique and The Phenomenology of Mind (or Spirit).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Deniz

    This is THE book that every intellectual should read. I'm going to insert some quotes that fascinated me the most: "Whoever in his thinking takes note of his own age will influence only a few." (from Seneca) "Just as in sight or vision we have recognized the sense of the understanding, and in hearing that of the faculty of reason, so smell might be called the sense of memory, because it recalls to our mind more directly than anything else the specific impression of an event or an environment, even This is THE book that every intellectual should read. I'm going to insert some quotes that fascinated me the most: "Whoever in his thinking takes note of his own age will influence only a few." (from Seneca) "Just as in sight or vision we have recognized the sense of the understanding, and in hearing that of the faculty of reason, so smell might be called the sense of memory, because it recalls to our mind more directly than anything else the specific impression of an event or an environment, even from the most remote past." (This reminded me Proust) "Since scholasticism, really in fact since Plato and Aristotle, philosophy has been for the most part a continued misuse of universal concepts, such as, for example, substance, ground, cause, the good, perfection, necessity, possibility, and very many others. A tendency of minds to operate with such abstract and too widely comprehended concepts has shown itself at almost all times. Ultimately it may due to a certain indolence of the intellect, which finds it too onerous to be always controlling thought through perception. Gradually such unduly wide concepts are then used algebraical symbols, and cast about here and there like them. In this way philosophizing degenerates into a mere combining, a kind of lengthy reckoning, which (like all reckoning and calculating) employs and requires only the lower faculties. In fact, there ultimately results from this a mere display of words, the most monstrous example of which is afforded us by mind-destroying Hegelism, where it is carried to the extent of pure nonsense. But scholasticism also often degenerated into word-juggling. ... But philosophy, down to the time of Locke and Kant, really pursued the path prepared by the scholastics; these two men at last turned their attention to the origin of concepts. " "...imperfection of the intellect depends the rhapsodical and often fragmentary nature of the course of our thoughts... and from this arises the inevitable distraction of our thinking." "Kant's propositon: 'The I think must accompany all our representations,' is insufficient, for the "I" is an unknown quantity, in other words, it is itself a mystery and a secret. What gives unity and sequence to consciousness, since, by pervading all the representations of consciousness, it is its substratum, its permanent supporter, cannot itself be conditioned by consciousness, and therefore cannot be a representation. (This train of thought, and many others, leads to Freud) "A second, though not a numerous, class of persons, who derive their livelihood from men's need of metaphysics is constituted by those who live on philosophy. Among the Greeks they were called sophists; among the moderns they are called professors of philosophy." "The merely practical man, therefore, uses his intellect for that for which nature destined it, namely for comprehending the relations of things partly to one another, partly to the will of the knowing individual. The genius, on the other hand, uses his intellect contrary to its destiny, for comprehending the objective nature of things." "There is only one inborn error, and that is the notion that we exist in order to be happy. ... So long as we persist in this inborn error, and indeed even become confirmed in through optimistic dogmas, the world seems to us full of contradictions. ... Now, while the thoughtless person feels himself vexed and annoyed hereby merely in real life, in the case of the person who thinks, there is added to the pain in reality the theoretical perplexity as to why a world and a life that exist so that he may be happy in them,answer their purpose so badly." "We may still try to put the blame for our individual unhappiness now on the circumstances, now on the other people, now on our own bad luck or even lack of skill, and we may know quite well how all these have worked together to bring it about, but this in no way alters the result, that we have missed the real purpose of life, which in fact consist in being happy. The consideration of this then often proves to be very depressing, especially when life is already drawing to an end; hence the countenances of almost all elderly persons wear the expression of what is called disappointment."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Taha Amrani

    Wallowing into sadness and sorrow can get very addictive at times. Reading through Schopenhauer gives you a well-needed break from all the mumbo jumbo politically correct the mainstream always tries to push. Gives you perspective by allowing you to see yourself in the third person which feels remarkable, to say the least. His pessimistic standpoints face up to the unpleasant realities of our lives, the realities that most of us chose to ignore on a daily basis. Think of what we are for a second; S Wallowing into sadness and sorrow can get very addictive at times. Reading through Schopenhauer gives you a well-needed break from all the mumbo jumbo politically correct the mainstream always tries to push. Gives you perspective by allowing you to see yourself in the third person which feels remarkable, to say the least. His pessimistic standpoints face up to the unpleasant realities of our lives, the realities that most of us chose to ignore on a daily basis. Think of what we are for a second; Species condemned to a life of restlessly striving for things, then we suffer at different levels throughout this process of striving with no guarantee we actually gonna get what is it we striving for, then even if we do get what we want, the absolute best case scenario is we get a temporary alleviation of this otherwise constant state of suffering that we exist in. According to Schopenhauer, we can’t even call this state of getting what we want “happiness”, all we have access to is just a very short-term temporary respite from suffering, only to have this new state of affairs normalized and at some point, we’ll find something new to desire, strive towards it and begin the whole process of suffering all over again. Wherever we are right now is not good enough, something needs to be changed to bring about the world we are actually going to be satisfied with. To exist is to exist in a constant state of dissatisfaction about where we’re currently at. This desiring engine inside of us becomes fuel for dissatisfaction and suffering that we seem to can’t escape from, basically, we are the enemy of ourselves. *Always has been* *gun shooting at head*. Arthur’s solution to achieve any level of peace is to develop mastery over this engine that is constantly desiring things, one strategy is to approach these desires with an attitude of negation. But that is not a very fun way of living now, is it? Unless you’re a monk at a monastery, completely demolishing your desires is as impossible as me getting any taller. That is why you read Nietzsche and learn the Amor Fati. Bingo. Constant want is necessarily related to pain and suffering because satisfaction is impossible. but It seems as though there is no point in a life where we aren't striving after something. Suffering is as necessary as breathing, for a life empty of suffering is not worth living. The person who doesn’t suffer is already dead. This conception of life might lead one to be kinder to others. If life is suffering, then we're all fellow sufferers in need of care and compassion from one another. Final note, the reader must be reminded that Arthur, although a pessimist, actually played the flute…daily after dinner… A big plate of suffering and a glass of rose wine please/10

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paige McLoughlin

    Older mellower Schopenhauer than volume one but still pretty dark.

  9. 5 out of 5

    MJD

    More conversational in tone than the first volume, but at the same time not lacking in intellectual vigor. Another way of putting it is that volume 1 had more of a professorial tone of Kant, and volume 2 has more of the down to earth tone of Schopenhauer's essays. I also think that it bears mentioning that while of course this volume is better read as a whole with volume 1 and Schopenhauer's other works as he intended, it seems to me that the individual chapters could be read on their own as self More conversational in tone than the first volume, but at the same time not lacking in intellectual vigor. Another way of putting it is that volume 1 had more of a professorial tone of Kant, and volume 2 has more of the down to earth tone of Schopenhauer's essays. I also think that it bears mentioning that while of course this volume is better read as a whole with volume 1 and Schopenhauer's other works as he intended, it seems to me that the individual chapters could be read on their own as self-contained essays if you so choose.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rob McLean

    My #2 fav book of all time. It's a complex read and it's very long, but Schopenhauer is a brain among brains. A very bleak and depressing look at existence and the originator of the phrase "The world is hell", Schopenhauer can be a tough pill to swallow. But his understanding of religions, eastern mysticism, philosophy and science make him a must read in understanding the things that drive me to do what they do. My #2 fav book of all time. It's a complex read and it's very long, but Schopenhauer is a brain among brains. A very bleak and depressing look at existence and the originator of the phrase "The world is hell", Schopenhauer can be a tough pill to swallow. But his understanding of religions, eastern mysticism, philosophy and science make him a must read in understanding the things that drive me to do what they do.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Katz

    German Idealism at its most profound. That Schopenhauer rejected worldly activity in his idea of the Will shows us how much modern society had impacted on this generation of thinkers, to the extent they tried desperately to avoid its influence. An excellent work for anyone wanting to see how the old and new worlds collided in the 19th century.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alex Lee

    There is much to admire about Schopenhauer, mostly regarding the range of his thoughts. Schopenhauer may be dated but you see here that he tries to encompass as much of the new empirical sciences as much as possible, to make it subservient, direct from principle causes, as much as possible. This is an impressive amount of calibration as the thickness of this book presents. But this is also hypocritical; far warning from Schopenhauer's hero Kant should have meant something, when one tries to cali There is much to admire about Schopenhauer, mostly regarding the range of his thoughts. Schopenhauer may be dated but you see here that he tries to encompass as much of the new empirical sciences as much as possible, to make it subservient, direct from principle causes, as much as possible. This is an impressive amount of calibration as the thickness of this book presents. But this is also hypocritical; far warning from Schopenhauer's hero Kant should have meant something, when one tries to calibrate ideas to a supreme teleology. In a sense, this is Schopenhauer as an old man missing Kant's lesson from Critique of Judgement. Schopenhauer, here, insists on solidifying the sense of the Idea he holds prime, making it the centerpiece of everything. In that sense, this volume 2 is really less philosophical than volume 1, as this volume is only "application". So when you get a sense of why he is saying what he is saying it becomes a fairly boring book to read. Considering that much of Schopenhauer's data is dated, there is only historic interest here... unless you sought to find clues to the intricacies of Schopenhauer's method, there isn't much here to be gained since a contemporary application of Schopenhauer would be aligned on different contingencies not on some 19th century natural philosophy. With this, we can see why Schopenhauer, despite his early promises as a young man, is only a 2nd rate philosopher.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nour Elhuda Zuraiki

    If you have read the first book, then this second book is like the first book but explained in more details I actually enjoyed reading this one more, since all the foundations established in the first book were a bit hard to comprehend at the start, this book therefore goes over them again from a slight different angle. However I wrote the review for Volume 1 after reading both volumes so just to be clear, Schopenhauer, in Volume 2 goes more into details about his pessimistic view that’s resulte If you have read the first book, then this second book is like the first book but explained in more details I actually enjoyed reading this one more, since all the foundations established in the first book were a bit hard to comprehend at the start, this book therefore goes over them again from a slight different angle. However I wrote the review for Volume 1 after reading both volumes so just to be clear, Schopenhauer, in Volume 2 goes more into details about his pessimistic view that’s resulted from the non-stoppable and unsatisfied will inside us which manifests itself in your world as a form of appearance or (representation). Now if we were to apply the Will that Schopenhauer talks about to pessimism, we will get that the Will inside you is striving to survive, in the Darwinian sense so essentially your self-interestedly striving against the Will of others which in turns will results in the suffering we see in the world today. Reading this volume might leave you in a dark area of depression but if you’re like me and enjoy being there then go for it, also I believe to completely understand Schopenhauer’s philosophy we’re ought to read all four volumes, I’ve only read the first two but I heard that the third volume gives you hope so I will be reading it after few months once the first two volumes settle down clearly in my mind. PS: I haven’t explained much in details here about the content of the book as I didn’t want to repeat myself, I’d advise you to read my review for the first volume as it refers to some content of the second volume.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Taka

    GOOD-- I've slain the beast at last. Finished Schopenhauer's magnum opus in two magnum-sized volumes. The second volume consists of "supplementary" essays to the first volume and it's a hodgepodge of explanations that marshal together a breathtakingly wide range of disciplines, from physiology and chemistry to Buddhism and Christian mysticism, not to mention all the Greek and Latin classics as well as modern philosophy (Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant, Locke, Hume, etc.) in support of his own philosophy. GOOD-- I've slain the beast at last. Finished Schopenhauer's magnum opus in two magnum-sized volumes. The second volume consists of "supplementary" essays to the first volume and it's a hodgepodge of explanations that marshal together a breathtakingly wide range of disciplines, from physiology and chemistry to Buddhism and Christian mysticism, not to mention all the Greek and Latin classics as well as modern philosophy (Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant, Locke, Hume, etc.) in support of his own philosophy. And along the way, Schopenhauer, this truly erudite curmudgeon per excellence (that he hates Hegel and his homies is hilariously and endlessly repeated) covers pretty much everything philosophy can conceivably cover, from the more traditional topics like logic and ethics to the more unorthodox, like the theory of laughter, eugenics, and the evolution of human sexuality that in a way anticipates Darwinian explanations. I give it only 3 stars (i.e. "I liked it") because despite the astonishing variety of topics presented, there really isn't much in this volume that you can't find in the first volume. And yes, in this sense, it really is a "supplement": he uses this volume to elucidate and collect supporting evidence for the position he sets forth in his first volume. So the fact that there's nothing much new in this volume makes total sense and should be a given, but I do wonder—contrary to Schopenhauer's view that our character is unalterable and that we discover all our basic thoughts by the age of 35—if Schopenhauer did not change his view in the 40 years since he first articulated his philosophy, because as far as I can see, his fundamental views do not change in both volumes that are published 25 years apart from each other. Perhaps his character was unalterable. Perhaps he was himself one of the geniuses he so reverently portrays. In any case, his thorough consistency is his virtue and his vice, and even though I have my grievances, I'm glad I've read this volume.

  15. 5 out of 5

    X 937

    These three volumes are priceless in that they reveal so much about the white, Victorian mindset that shaped our current failed civilization that it is difficult to dismiss them, despite their utter speciousness. I had a philosophy professor who once told me that "philosophy is in its infancy." After reading these three exhausting tomes, I can understand why. There is SO MUCH wrong with Schopenhauer's world view, that I can't tell where to begin. But, I think I can sum it up best like this: the These three volumes are priceless in that they reveal so much about the white, Victorian mindset that shaped our current failed civilization that it is difficult to dismiss them, despite their utter speciousness. I had a philosophy professor who once told me that "philosophy is in its infancy." After reading these three exhausting tomes, I can understand why. There is SO MUCH wrong with Schopenhauer's world view, that I can't tell where to begin. But, I think I can sum it up best like this: the weakness of this manifesto is the weakness of ALL pre-twentieth-century philosophy (and much after it). That is to say that it is a loose collection of rhetorical statements of sentiment and belief with no logical structure to speak of. This is a huge problem because philosophers have known about syllogistic logic for thousands of years. Schopenhauer himself even claims to have gained complete mastery over logic in all its forms (as he claims to have gained mastery over just about all other intellectual persuits -- dude was a professional braggart). In a post-logic, post-science world, it is simply unacceptable to bend the facts of your argument towards the will of your religious belief system. Make no mistake about it: Schopenhauer was a devout Christian. And, like any good Christian, he picks and chooses his logic to support the particular whims of the congregation he serves. In this way, he is more of a preacher than a philosopher. However, that is presuming that there is such a thing as a logical philosopher. And, as far as I can tell, in my many years reading philosophy, those are few and far between. The real advent of reason-based philosophy occurred in the twentieth century, after philosophy was forced to admit that it had nothing of value to say about neurology, psychology, sociology, or physics: all subjects it used to concern itself with almost exclusively. Schopenhauer illustrates this fact in painful detail as he propounds on nearly all subjects of human learning. He is at his most ridiculous when he repeatedly attacks Isaac Newton's theory of gravity. But these volumes are filled with similar instances where history has not been so kind to either Schopenhauer or Western Philosophy itself. These tomes are filled with so much disproved bunkus, so much misogyny and naked-faced white supremacy, that it is hard to find anything of value in them at all. Perhaps the most offensive thing about this series is Schopenhauer's constant insistence on his own greatness. He never mentions one of his own essays without first calling it "my prize essay". He never discusses another philosopher's work without demeaning it or referring to it in a condescending tone. He boasts obsessively. The only writer he appears to have any compliments for at all, other than himself, is the great and greatly-contradictory Immanuel Kant, who he praises and razes with equal vigor. The gall of Schopenhauer as a writer becomes doubly infuriating when you finish the book and realize that his "world as will and representation" schema is nothing but a disjointed, contrived attempt at make the developments of science and industry more palatable for the mystical Christian mindset of his aristocratic, benighted, white supremacist audience. The idea itself is so lacking in cohesion as to make it almost as nonsensical as the Hegelian dialectic that he takes such joy in vituperating. As a philosopher, Schopenhauer has nothing cogent to say. So what then is the value of this series? The value is primarily historical: Schopenhauer bends the rules of logic to force the growing uncertainty of scientific revelation into a neat and tidy hierarchy that white aristocrats can support without fear. At the top of his hierarchy is the Victorian philosopher, who poses no threat to either the peerage or the church and soothes their agitated conscience by reassuring them that all other non-European peoples of the world are savages with only the notable exception of Indians, who he venerates and tries (unsuccessfully) to unite with Christianity while conveniently ignoring the devastating effects of contemporary colonial efforts in that country and others like it. The real value of this series is that it shows you how Victorians really thought. And those thoughts are backwards, racist, unchallenging, incoherent, and disgustingly obsequious. But, in this one regard, the series is a wild success. I can think of no other collection of essays that more exhaustively accounts the various bigotries of European culture than World As Idea And Representation. If you want to know why the world is such a messed up place, if you want to know why white supremacy is so widespread, this book will lay it all out for you over and over again, in a thousand unhappy facets. For me, Schopenhauer typifies a consistently ignoble tendency of human nature: the obsessive need to twist the facts of human experience to meet our own worldview, regardless of how inconsistent the results are, regardless of the atrocities that must be ignored in order to do so. This is, ultimately, the real legacy of Western Philosophy. It is one long attempt at justifying the self-interest of the ruling class. If there is any hope for human progress going forward, we MUST learn to use logic and reason to develop ALL of our philosophical theories. And, we MUST learn that philosophy has it's limits. If this book doesn't convince you of this crucial humbling fact, I'm afraid nothing else will! And shame on all of us so-called lovers of wisdom for not learning this lesson! A philosopher has no business telling the world how the human mind works. There are numerous scientific fields that do a much better job of that, thank you. Likewise, a philosopher has no business pontificating on the essential nature of reality. Physicists have been doing that much more rigorously for much longer and with much greater success than anyone else. When a philosopher speaks, he or she must humble themselves and learn to allow logic and reason to limit and control their ideas at every turn. Philosophy should not be about your own unique brand of genius and it's ability to synthesize systems of staggering brilliance: let the physicists do that. If we want to bring philosophy out of its infancy, perhaps we need to go back to the roots of philosophy: the syllogism. Perhaps we need to treat philosophy with the method and rigor of a mathematician and confine ourselves to questions of ethics and human governance bounded at all times by the empirical evidence backing our premises and the logically-valid conclusions that MUST follow discretely from them. Lest we embarrass ourselves, and underline our own uselessness yet again, by producing yet another narcissistic, cowardly soothsaying blowhard like Arthur Schopenhauer!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michael Baranowski

    Even better than the amazing Volume 1 - Schopenhauer had the benefit of decades of thought and experience in writing what he calls a 'supplement' to the main work, but which can be read by itself. In fact, I'd probably recommend this over Volume 1 (if you had to read only one of them), though that would absolutely *kill* Schopenhauer, who felt that one must read all of his works multiple times in order to fully understand and appreciate them. (I'm not saying he's wrong, but life is short and the Even better than the amazing Volume 1 - Schopenhauer had the benefit of decades of thought and experience in writing what he calls a 'supplement' to the main work, but which can be read by itself. In fact, I'd probably recommend this over Volume 1 (if you had to read only one of them), though that would absolutely *kill* Schopenhauer, who felt that one must read all of his works multiple times in order to fully understand and appreciate them. (I'm not saying he's wrong, but life is short and there are a lot of great books out there.)

  17. 5 out of 5

    ZaRi

    Spinoza says that if a stone which has been projected through the air, had consciousness, it would believe that it was moving of its own free will. I add this only, that the stone would be right. The impulse given it is for the stone what the motive is for me, and what in the case of the stone appears as cohesion, gravitation, rigidity, is in its inner nature the same as that which I recognise in myself as will, and what the stone also, if knowledge were given to it, would recognise as will.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lee Fitzsimmons

    A beautiful mind gone bad...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

    A strange character but his ramblings are interesting and were historically influential.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Frednieman

    i have nothing to talk

  21. 5 out of 5

    Haythem Bastawy

    http://hbastawy.com/2015/10/03/review... http://hbastawy.com/2015/10/03/review...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian

    I will read it again as soon as winter settles in on my shoes.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette Devereux

    Read his work about 5 years ago and although heavy immensely interesting. He is a powerful philosopher.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tangchia Chen

    Know your world and life with your inner sight of mind

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alfred Evans

    doesn't really add much to schopenhaeurs metaphysics or epistemology as found in vol 1. supplements to the third and fourth book are better as they are more of an application of his thought. doesn't really add much to schopenhaeurs metaphysics or epistemology as found in vol 1. supplements to the third and fourth book are better as they are more of an application of his thought.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joe Sabet

    Amazing book that successfully builds and elaborates on the first volume. As i was reading this book, I couldn’t help but feel privy to a secret about this life we live. His blend of Eastern and Western thought is refreshing, original, and brilliant. Positives: - Very clear most of the time, and convincing to a high degree - Gets you thinking about ultimate reality - He writes eloquently about the arts and proposes an appealing and novel take on genius - His pessimistic writing strikes a chord and Amazing book that successfully builds and elaborates on the first volume. As i was reading this book, I couldn’t help but feel privy to a secret about this life we live. His blend of Eastern and Western thought is refreshing, original, and brilliant. Positives: - Very clear most of the time, and convincing to a high degree - Gets you thinking about ultimate reality - He writes eloquently about the arts and proposes an appealing and novel take on genius - His pessimistic writing strikes a chord and is cogent Negatives: - Strong bonds in life, especially seen in parent-child relationships and friendships, are in my opinion not sufficiently covered. I haven’t looked into this, but something makes me believe he never had a child of his own. I’ve always thought life is a struggle, but his take is that the toil is not worth the reward for most. I would assume most would disagree not because of their inner-will, but because they value their bonds in life. - Suicide: I don’t believe he covers this subject nearly enough. He has said there’s no subject without object, and vice versa, so suicide would effectively end it all. Why not end it all? His writing on suicide is spread too far and thin. - No account of psychedelics, which I think is a major oversight. Just imagine a man of his intellect taking something that just might support or even change his philosophy. Psychedelics have been known to offer profound experiences, through history. - He spends too much time denouncing followers of Spinoza and pantheism, but I assume these were just more discussed back then.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marco Dellorusso

    Volume 2 of Schopenhauer's masterpiece contains supplementary essays pertaining to each of the 4 books of Vol 1. Definitely read Vol 1 beforehand (at least books 3 and 4), as this was written years later, and expands on the philosophy of the first volume. Schopenhauer writes with a mind-blowing level of depth and insight into the inner nature of existence, the one will-to-live, a blind irrational force which seeks to objectify itself through the phenomenal world... All our suffering is rooted in Volume 2 of Schopenhauer's masterpiece contains supplementary essays pertaining to each of the 4 books of Vol 1. Definitely read Vol 1 beforehand (at least books 3 and 4), as this was written years later, and expands on the philosophy of the first volume. Schopenhauer writes with a mind-blowing level of depth and insight into the inner nature of existence, the one will-to-live, a blind irrational force which seeks to objectify itself through the phenomenal world... All our suffering is rooted in the fact that we fail to perceive the underlying reality beneath time, space, and causality, which are forms of knowledge conditioned by the human mind. We are therefore constantly fluctuating between desire and aversion. This is simply one of the greatest achievements in literature, and a travesty it isn't more well known or highly regarded.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Scott Holstad

    You know, proof I'm not all that. Simply occasionally stupid. I read Schopenhauer's original The World as Will and Representation for the first time in high school, then again as an undergrad, later in rad school and I think I've read it about six times. So I recall hearing about this one some ago and apparently promptly forgot, because I never read it. Well, I have many diverse interests and I often will return to a genre I burned myself out on much later, and this has been partially the case w You know, proof I'm not all that. Simply occasionally stupid. I read Schopenhauer's original The World as Will and Representation for the first time in high school, then again as an undergrad, later in rad school and I think I've read it about six times. So I recall hearing about this one some ago and apparently promptly forgot, because I never read it. Well, I have many diverse interests and I often will return to a genre I burned myself out on much later, and this has been partially the case with philosophy over the past couple of years. Just for the hell of, nothing to do with any jobs, etc. And I ran across this and then remembered I had promised myself I'd read it, so I picked up a copy, did a slow burn through it and recently finished it feeling somewhat satisfied. An improvement over the first one? Yep. Recommended? Oh yeah.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Erwin Blonde

    I will not go into the details of the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, he is my favorite philosopher and there would not be any study in Philosophy for me without Schopenhauer, that said I would advice to those who start an interest in AS not to read his opus magnus and start somewhere else, wit the parerga and paralipomena or one of his essays. And this: don't belief all the stories about women hating and people hating, read a good biography first, Safranski or a smaller one from the Oxford M I will not go into the details of the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, he is my favorite philosopher and there would not be any study in Philosophy for me without Schopenhauer, that said I would advice to those who start an interest in AS not to read his opus magnus and start somewhere else, wit the parerga and paralipomena or one of his essays. And this: don't belief all the stories about women hating and people hating, read a good biography first, Safranski or a smaller one from the Oxford Master's series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Esther Greenwood

    Much of this is absolute garbage because of his poor grasp on science and insistence on discussing it, such as his theories of genetic inheritance. He appears to have moved towards a more conservative point of view as he aged. But aside from this he did expand upon some of the better ideas from the first volume, and the first half of this volume holds better than the second. Schopenhauer's essays are more worth reading than The World as Will and Representation. Much of this is absolute garbage because of his poor grasp on science and insistence on discussing it, such as his theories of genetic inheritance. He appears to have moved towards a more conservative point of view as he aged. But aside from this he did expand upon some of the better ideas from the first volume, and the first half of this volume holds better than the second. Schopenhauer's essays are more worth reading than The World as Will and Representation.

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