Open Access Repository

The thing-in-itself and will in the thought of Schopenhauer


Downloads per month over past year

Nicholls, Moira 1995 , 'The thing-in-itself and will in the thought of Schopenhauer', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

PDF (Whole thesis)
whole_NichollsM...pdf | Download (15MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

| Preview


The central claim of Schopenhauer's philosophy is that the thing-in-itself is
will. After giving a brief overview of the way in which this claim has been
interpreted by other commentators I argue that it has at least six possible
interpretations. I assess the relative importance of each, both to Schopenhauer
himself and to the commentator attempting to construct the most consistent
account of Schopenhauees central doctrines.
I argue that Interpretations 1 and 2, according to which the thing-in-itself is
identical with the will or the will-to-live, are the most important to
Schopenhauer, while Interpretation 3 is the most consistent with his other
doctrines. According to Interpretation 3, while the thing-in-itself is will, it also
has other aspects, and I argue that these other aspects are the objects of
mystical awareness and salvation. According to Interpretation 4 the thing-initself
is unknown but is called will in the qualified sense that the will stands
nearest to the thing-in-itself, and according to Interpretation 5 the thing-in-itself
is called will but only metaphorically; I argue that these two interpretations are
less well supported than 1, 2 and 3. Finally, according to Interpretation 6, the
will is the metaphysical but non-noumenal essence of the phenomenal world,
and I argue that this is suggestive of a world-view that Schopenhauer might
well have embraced had his thought continued to develop.
Next, I turn to issues of justification. One, is Schopenhauer justified in
claiming that there is a thing-in-itself and that it is will? Two, is he justified in
claiming that we can have knowledge of the thing-in-itself and know it as will?
Three, is he justified in using language to talk about the thing-in-itself and
describe it as will? I argue that despite the inadequacies in Schopenhauer's
own arguments, other arguments provide some measure of support for his
claim that there is a thing-in-itself that we can know and describe as will. In
Appendices 1, 2 and 3, I consider how the possibility arises of multiple
interpretations of Schopenhauer's fundamental claim that the thing-in-itself is
will, my discussion focussing on some of the influences of Kant and Eastern
thought on his thinking, and some of the influences of Plato.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Nicholls, Moira
Keywords: Schopenhauer, Arthur, 1788-1860, Ding an sich, Will
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1995 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1995. Includes bibliographical references

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page