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The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1 by [Schopenhauer, Arthur]
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The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1 Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Length: 577 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)

From the Back Cover

Arthur Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung is one of the most important philosophical works of the nineteenth century, the basic statement of one important stream of post-Kantian thought. It is without question Schopenhauer's greatest work. Conceived and published before the philosopher was 30 and expanded 25 years later, it is the summation of a lifetime of thought.
For 70 years, the only unabridged English translation of this work was the Haldane-Kemp collaboration. In 1958, a new translation by E. F. J. Payne appeared that decisively supplanted the older one. Payne's translation is superior because it corrects nearly 1,000 errors and omissions in the Haldane-Kemp translation, and it is based on the definitive 1937 German edition of Schopenhauer's work prepared by Dr. Arthur Hübscher. Payne's edition is the first to translate into English the text's many quotations in half a dozen languages. It is thus the most useful edition for the student or teacher.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2530 KB
  • Print Length: 577 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (April 24, 2012)
  • Publication Date: April 24, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,148 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 3, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are clever enough to shave away the nagging scientific details which have expired with time (as they all do), as well as the great philosopher's personal opinions, you will find this to be one of the greatest works ever written. For me, it was the end of philosophy; good answers to the questions I have always wrestled. An important thing to remember about Schopenhauer is that, as far as I know, he is the last great system-builder, the last philosopher in the traditional sense, who set out to create an entire picture of the world. His concept of the will, when fully grasped, is powerful and very simple. He is simply saying that there is one reality within all phenomenon, a "blind, irresistible urge" in his words, manifesting itself as the world. It is a mind-blowing concept: that the hungers and desires that push and pull you along are actually the stirrings of the same "force" (for lack of a better word) that also reveals itself in such phenomenon as gravity, magnetism, and the very energy that composes all matter; and that this restless and indestructible power is your true being. The downside is that it is insatiable and forever striving, with no goal being final, and satisfaction an eternal delusion.

The hardest part of this book to grasp is Schopenhauer's acceptance of transcendental idealism, which states that you only know the world through your five senses and your brain, and that therefore the objects you think you know directly have been conditioned by the process of perception, and are not things-in-themselves (this was Immanuel Kant's contribution to philosophy). It is not quite as difficult as it reads, and it may sound rather mystical until a proper understanding of what he is talking about strikes you unexpectedly one day.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Imagine this. You are in your car at 3 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. It's hot. You're painfully lonely, you have no friends to speak of. The sun is beating on your face. You have absolutely nothing to do. You feel the pressure of time and consciousness. You hear an advertisement on the radio about another blow-out sale in a nearby mall. You want to scream. Sound familiar? This is when a nice cup of Arthur Schopenhauer is in order.

I first learned about Schopenhauer when I was in a rather low point in my life and was looking for a consolation in the philosophy section of a bookstore. There I stumbled across The Consolations of Philosophy, which had a section about Schopenhauer and his basic outlook on the human condition. I never had a problem with pessimism and in fact always looked for someone great to defend it. Anyway, I slowly started preparing myself for the first volume. I had no philosophical background, just an immense desire to understand Schopenhauer's point of view since I knew then it would become my metaphysical backbone.

One of the challenges was that English is my second language and I feared that philosophy in English will exact too big a demand on my language skills. But the realization that with Schopenhauer lay the answers to my angst was enough to commit to this project.

I first read The Philosophy of Schopenhauer, which I understood for the most part and became even more intrigued. I definitely gained some philosophical muscle and so I plunged into volume one shortly after.
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Format: Paperback
Schopenhauer proves that a German philosopher does not have to be nearly unintelligible to appear profound. Unlike Hegel and Heidegger, Schopenhauer does not hide behind ambiguous words or phrases. To the reader, Schopenhauer's views are as profound as they are clear. Starting where Kant left off, he gives new meaning to the word will; he makes will the thing in itself. Both volumes are essential reading. The first offers his entire system. From epistemology to metaphysics, to a great essay on where his philosophy differs from Kant's, the first volume is the foundation for the second. The second volume is classic Schopenhauer; this is the acid-tongued curmudgeon most people think of when they bother to think of him at all. The sections on death and the metaphysics of sexual love are mind-blowing. As it is expressed in his masterpiece, The World as Will and Representation, Schopenhauer's genius and originality of thinking tower over the views of most thinkers being pushed in universities today.
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Schopenhauer stands out as one of the most gifted writers in the history of philosophy. This book is long, but every paragraph is packed with insight. The only time he ever gets long-winded is when he is tearing into something or somebody that bothers him. Other than that, the book offers a profoundly pessimistic, insightful, witty, and sophisticated worldview that has influenced me profoundly.
Volume two is a commentary that he wrote years later to flesh out the ideas developed in the first volume, and is every bit as insightful. We only have so much time to read, however, and volume one is a consistent whole. I do not recommend Safranski's biography, however, because it is incredibly melodramatic and wordy. I couldn't finish it.
I believe that most people would find Schopenhauer's worldview to be paralyzing and unbearable; however, if you have a melancholy or brooding temperament, you will feel as if you have finally come home after all those years of disillusionment. As Schopenhauer frankly puts it: aging is a process of exchanging hope for insight.
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