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The Cambridge Companion to Schopenhauer (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy) Paperback – October 13, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0521629249 ISBN-10: 0521629241 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Philosophy
  • Paperback: 494 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (October 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521629241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521629249
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #846,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty and researchers." Choice

"Exposing the deep flaws as well as the merits of Schopenhauer's work, the text offers a valuable contribution to its understanding, while charitably passing over his renowned and unfortunate prejudices." The Review of Metaphysics

Book Description

Schopenhauer (1788-1860) is something of a maverick figure in the history of philosophy. He produced a unique theory of the world and human existence based upon his notion of will. This collection analyzes the related but distinct components of will from the point of view of epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, ethics, and the philosophy of psychoanalysis. New readers will find this the most convenient and accessible guide to Schopenhauer currently available. Advance students and specialists will find a conspectus of recent developments in the interpretation of Schopenhauer.

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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Kimsey on June 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you're new to Schopenhauer, this probably isn't the best place to start. Although most of these essays merit a read, some are utterly blighted by an academic pomposity & inscrutability that makes them all but unreadable.

Granted, some philosophers who were guilty of transgressions of style (such as Kant), were still truly deep thinkers. But there is no excuse for the academic wretchedness displayed in this gem from the book's first essay:"Such purported intimate knowledge of the ultimate reality behind or beneath the appearances seems to transgress the critical interdiction against seeking knowledge of the unknowable things in themselves and therefore to constitute a relapse into pre-Kantian dogmatism or transcendental realism, thus turning Schopenhauer's work into a puzzling conjunction of transcendental philosophy and transcendent metaphysics of the will." And this from a book that claims to purportedly "dispel the intimidation ... readers often feel when faced with the work of a difficult and challenging thinker"!

Along with such drivel, there is much that is good. All of Christopher Janaway's essays are excellently written, perceptive, and a pure joy to read. Along with Bryan Magee, I consider Janaway the most reliable authority on Schopenhauer.

Although Schopenhauer probably would have resented this, some of the best essays in the volume were written by women. I found the essays on Schopenhauer's Eastern influences by Moira Nicholls and the Nietzsche/Schopenhauer/Dionysus connection by Martha Nussbaum to be especially interesting & insightful.

If you're new to Arthur Schopenhauer, it would be best to start with Schopenhauer-A Very Short Introduction by Christopher Janaway, and then move on to Bryan Magee's The Philosophy of Schopenhauer. Then move on to The World as Will & Representation. It's truly a breeze to read when compared to Kant...or some of these essays.
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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jose R. Pardinas on January 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Why would anyone want to become acquainted with a philosopher as clear as Schopenhauer through the distorting lens of academic exegeses?

And distortion is what you are guaranteed to find given that Schopenhauer's bleakly profound message has been generally trivialized or dismissed by academics for many generations now. This despite the fact that, for instance, modern cosmology amply substantiates his pronouncements on the vanity of existence.

My advice is to follow Schopenhauer's own advice:
"A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones - for life is short."
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