The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Different kinds of willing in Schopenhauer

Different kinds of willing in Schopenhauer
Different kinds of willing in Schopenhauer
Schopenhauer’s theory of the negation of the will has troubled interpreters ever since it was published. There are many seemingly unanswerable questions. How can the will deny itself? How can a will whose essence is to will life turn and will in the opposite direction, against life? If it is willing in any direction, how can willing have ceased? This paper is an attempt at a kind of reconstruction, which suggests how Schopenhauer could fulfil some of his aims while removing some of these difficulties. Schopenhauer asserts that the state of highest value, in which redemption from life is found, is one of “true will-lessness” or “the complete self-abolition and negation of the will”. But I shall argue that we should be sceptical of this assertion, and that a better theory results if we regard Schopenhauerian redemption as the abolition just of one kind of willing, namely willing directed towards the happiness of the individual “I”. I shall present three advantages of such a reconstruction. First, it takes account of passages in which Schopenhauer implicitly recognizes other kinds of willing that are not directed towards the happiness of the individual “I”. Second, it makes it easier to see how redemption and moral goodness can be closely related. Third, it arguably places Schopenhauer’s notion somewhat closer to the Indian models, in particular to Buddhism, that he claims to coincide with his own notion of redemption.
Cambridge University Press
Janaway, Christopher
61c48538-365f-416f-b6f7-dfa4d4663475
Norman, Judith
Welchman, Alistair
Janaway, Christopher
61c48538-365f-416f-b6f7-dfa4d4663475
Norman, Judith
Welchman, Alistair

Janaway, Christopher (2020) Different kinds of willing in Schopenhauer. In, Norman, Judith and Welchman, Alistair (eds.) Schopenhauer's World as Will and Representation: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press. (In Press)

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Schopenhauer’s theory of the negation of the will has troubled interpreters ever since it was published. There are many seemingly unanswerable questions. How can the will deny itself? How can a will whose essence is to will life turn and will in the opposite direction, against life? If it is willing in any direction, how can willing have ceased? This paper is an attempt at a kind of reconstruction, which suggests how Schopenhauer could fulfil some of his aims while removing some of these difficulties. Schopenhauer asserts that the state of highest value, in which redemption from life is found, is one of “true will-lessness” or “the complete self-abolition and negation of the will”. But I shall argue that we should be sceptical of this assertion, and that a better theory results if we regard Schopenhauerian redemption as the abolition just of one kind of willing, namely willing directed towards the happiness of the individual “I”. I shall present three advantages of such a reconstruction. First, it takes account of passages in which Schopenhauer implicitly recognizes other kinds of willing that are not directed towards the happiness of the individual “I”. Second, it makes it easier to see how redemption and moral goodness can be closely related. Third, it arguably places Schopenhauer’s notion somewhat closer to the Indian models, in particular to Buddhism, that he claims to coincide with his own notion of redemption.

Text
Janaway Different kinds of willing docx - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only
Request a copy

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 11 June 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446369
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446369
PURE UUID: d861cfbe-691e-47cd-9036-fc596462a08e
ORCID for Christopher Janaway: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9600-8837

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Feb 2021 17:31
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 02:49

Export record

Contributors

Editor: Judith Norman
Editor: Alistair Welchman

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×