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Schopenhauer: 'The World as Will and Representation': Volume 1 (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Schopenhauer) Paperback – Illustrated, June 5, 2014
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--George Lăzăroiu, PhD, Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, New York, Analysis and Metaphysics
- Item Weight : 2.03 pounds
- Paperback : 696 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1107414776
- ISBN-13 : 978-1107414778
- Dimensions : 5.99 x 1.57 x 9.02 inches
- Publisher : Cambridge University Press; Illustrated edition (June 5, 2014)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
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UPDATE: I spent the 200 plus on a third party seller and it was the same thing, which I would best describe as an 'institutional copy'. for any and everyone just buy a soft cover of vol 1. the softcover is unassuming yet higher quality.
And as usual Amazon shipped in a paper envelope and seriously damaged the book, again.
If you aren't and want to get to the meat of his philosophy, you have come to the right place. This is his magnum opus, with the forthcoming second volume containing supplementary essays. This book unveils his metaphysical system, which forms the backbone of his thought. If you are merely seeking his various and well-known rants on art, women, noise, etc., then you are looking for the two-volume Parerga and Paralipomena, which has also been edited into myriad smaller books multitudinous times.
The World as Will and Representation would never survive such a butchering. Schopenhauer is massively misunderstood, misquoted, and quoted out of context. It is unfair to containerize his philosphy in short form, but I'll give an honest attempt.
He picks up where he feels Kant left off, with the world as representation, which is to say mental picture. It is a biological fact that our brains receive a "feed" of sensory data through the nerves, and build a picture from it, which is the world we know. The problem then becomes, what, if anything, is the real world, the "thing in itself," apart from being represented in the mind? Space, time, and cause/effect thus become merely the "program" that our minds use to build this representation, and we have no reason to believe that they are valid outside of it. Even science cannot penetrate this veil.
Schopenhauer's answer to the nature of the thing in itself is actually quite simple: our will. The desires and emotions we experience play out in time but not in space, and are the inner mechanism of causality. They are the direct line to ultimate reality, which he characterizes as an infinite striving. Applying this then to the rest of nature, he sees it in animals, plants, magnetism, gravity, and energy itself. Like white light through a prism the blind and indivisible will manifests itself through space and time as every single phenomenon in the universe, yourself included. Multiplicity is thus seen as an illusion, and death becomes a moot point.
And as for the translation? I don't speak German but whereas Payne's translation was perhaps more literary and fluid, this is more modern, more technical, and definitely more particular. I am very familiar with the older translation and I feel that this one is considerably more careful. Between that fact and the supplementary notes I do believe it is currently definitive.
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However, it is quite expensive so I suggest you maybe think about it. It is quite useful for a specialist. If you do want a cheaper version in English, be sure to take one that does have "Representation" in the title, and not "Idea" or "Presentation".