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Schopenhauer's Encounter with Indian ThoughtRepresentation and Will and Their Indian Parallels$
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Stephen Cross

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824837358

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824837358.001.0001

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Schopenhauer: The Will in Its General Forms (Ideas)

Schopenhauer: The Will in Its General Forms (Ideas)

(p.120) Chapter Ten Schopenhauer: The Will in Its General Forms (Ideas)
Schopenhauer's Encounter with Indian Thought

Stephen Cross

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines the general forms or ideas underlying Arthur Schopenhauer’s doctrine of the will. Behind the individual forms assumed by the will are more fundamental forms that are likened by Schopenhauer to the Ideas of Plato. According to Schopenhauer, he uses the word “Idea” (Idee) not in the manner of Immanuel Kant (that is, to mean anything that is not an object of experience), but “always in its old original, Platonic significance.” In Schopenhauer’s view, and despite their considerable apparent differences, the thing-in-itself of Kant’s philosophy and the Platonic Ideas are closely related concepts. He argues that Plato and Kant shared a common intent and were inspired by essentially the same worldview. This chapter expounds on Schopenhauer’s conception of the fundamental forms assumed by the will and the role they play in his doctrine as a whole by discussing the Ideas in relation to phenomena, the will, and the natural world.

Keywords:   will, Arthur Schopenhauer, Plato, Immanuel Kant, thing-in-itself, Platonic Ideas, phenomena, natural world

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