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Schopenhauer's 'Indian' Ethics

Schopenhauer's 'Indian' Ethics
Schopenhauer's 'Indian' Ethics
In On the Basis of Morals, the Upaniṣadic saying tat tvam asi, and the metaphysical position it alludes to, appear to be crucial for the intelligibility of Schopenhauer’s theory of morality. This paper asks: How close is Schopenhauer’s ethics to any Upaniṣadic or later Vedāntic position? Our answer depends on which of the following propositions we are prepared to accept: (1) that Schopenhauer sincerely holds an analogue of the brahman-theory: ultimate reality comprises a Oneness in which all phenomenally distinct individuals are identical; (2) that Schopenhauer’s ethics of compassion between phenomenally distinct individuals is consistent with a theory of ultimately real Oneness; (3) that advocating universal compassion on the basis of an ultimately real Oneness is not merely ‘pseudo-Vedānta’ (Hacker), but is present in some Indian traditions that invoke brahman; (4) that for Schopenhauer, as for Vedānta, will is not the ultimately real Oneness; it is rather a pervasive way in which that Oneness is manifest to cognition in phenomenally distinct individuals; (5) a theory of ultimately real Oneness provides an essential grounding for Schopenhauer’s ethics of compassion. The paper offers some reasons in favour of each of these claims.
173–92
Routledge
Janaway, Christopher
61c48538-365f-416f-b6f7-dfa4d4663475
Hassan, Patrick
Janaway, Christopher
61c48538-365f-416f-b6f7-dfa4d4663475
Hassan, Patrick

Janaway, Christopher (2021) Schopenhauer's 'Indian' Ethics. In, Hassan, Patrick (ed.) Schopenhauer's Moral Philosophy. London. Routledge, 173–92.

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Abstract

In On the Basis of Morals, the Upaniṣadic saying tat tvam asi, and the metaphysical position it alludes to, appear to be crucial for the intelligibility of Schopenhauer’s theory of morality. This paper asks: How close is Schopenhauer’s ethics to any Upaniṣadic or later Vedāntic position? Our answer depends on which of the following propositions we are prepared to accept: (1) that Schopenhauer sincerely holds an analogue of the brahman-theory: ultimate reality comprises a Oneness in which all phenomenally distinct individuals are identical; (2) that Schopenhauer’s ethics of compassion between phenomenally distinct individuals is consistent with a theory of ultimately real Oneness; (3) that advocating universal compassion on the basis of an ultimately real Oneness is not merely ‘pseudo-Vedānta’ (Hacker), but is present in some Indian traditions that invoke brahman; (4) that for Schopenhauer, as for Vedānta, will is not the ultimately real Oneness; it is rather a pervasive way in which that Oneness is manifest to cognition in phenomenally distinct individuals; (5) a theory of ultimately real Oneness provides an essential grounding for Schopenhauer’s ethics of compassion. The paper offers some reasons in favour of each of these claims.

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Schopenhauer's 'Indian' Ethics
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Accepted/In Press date: 24 August 2021
Published date: 2021

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 451919
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/451919
PURE UUID: 9b7acff0-02a7-48cf-a135-9815388757d5
ORCID for Christopher Janaway: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9600-8837

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Date deposited: 03 Nov 2021 17:33
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 02:49

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Editor: Patrick Hassan

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