The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1
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The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  3,975 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Volume 1 of the definitive English translation of one of the most important philosophical works of the 19th century, the basic statement in one important stream of post-Kantian thought. Corrects nearly 1,000 errors and omissions in the older Haldane-Kemp translation. For the first time, this edition translates and locates all quotes and provides full index.
Paperback, 534 pages
Published June 1st 1966 by Dover Publications (first published 1818)
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Mark Flores
Two years ago, while reading a philosophy textbook, I’ve learned that for German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz, our world is “the best of all possible worlds.” This is because God, who is good and omnipotent, chose to create our world of all the possible worlds. But contrary to that, the textbook pointed out, another German philosopher will say one hundred years later that our world is instead “the worst of all possible worlds.” I found that funny then, being young and innocent, and somewhat a b...more
Tom Campbell
Jan 31, 2008 Tom Campbell rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in human nature.
Recommended to Tom by: An undergrad philosophy professor
It is fair to suggest that Schopenhauer recorded the first and still unsurpassed critigue of human nature. A hundred years ago, he was vastly influential. Joseph Conrad, Thomas Mann, Leo Tolstoy, Nietzsche and Freud had read him extensively. Today he is scarcely read because few modern thinkers realize the importance of his recorded thoughts. Schopenhauer maintained that we humans are at one with other animals in our inner-most essence. Some of us may think that we are separated as distinct indi...more
Schopenhauer's Philosophy is like the long winter months, an incubation period where all our doubts freeze over, giving way to a more primordial vision of things, as if the winter itself had become an unending reality, and not simply the necessary contrast that, as the inevitable thaw sets in, reminds us how glorious the summer sun is.
I found this book to be very dated and limited by its Kantian/Platonic/Cartesian framework (e.g., causality, principal of sufficient reason, the subject/object distinction, etc.), which Nietszche and Heidegger later broke down. Also, I was already familiar on a summary level with his major ideas and didn't enjoy reading his detailed (and tedious in my opinion) arguments on how he arrived there. I think it might be interesting to critique his work from a modern viewpoint to add some interesting s...more
Peter Mcloughlin
Schopenhauer is probably the best writers of German romanticism and post Kantian philosophy. Even in translation into English the text is not at all hard to follow unlike say Hegel or even Kant himself. He takes the idea of Kant's that we are not directly in touch with reality out there (the thing in itself) but the representations of itself. Schopenhauer calls this thing in itself of reality (Kant's Nuomena) the will and all of its many forms represented in our minds (Kant's Phenomena) as the w...more
Mar 19, 2008 Zac rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who love philosophy
Shelves: philosophy
Schopenhauer rocks my world! This book blew me away. Its so good, I'm going to read it all again. Schopenhauer starts with Kantian notions of our limits of reason (that the in-itself of objects is unknown to us), mixes in some eastern philosophy, and finally tops it off with some platonic idealism. Unlike Kant, Schopenhauer thinks we have access to the "in-itself" of the world. This in-itself is the will, the blind striving behind everything.

The best parts of this volume, however, are when he co...more
a book to be digested. in the preface the author "boasts" that he couldn't convey his solitary idea in fewer words. i was forever looking for a superfluous word or sentence while reading the book to point out . could find none so far. the style is beautiful and majestic. he is a seer. for example he repudiates the concept of an "ether" almost a century before it was actually disproved by the michelson-morley experiment. he also tells of the impossibility of a "theory of everything" to which we s...more
To begin, I’ve never been a big fan of Kant. The way in which he subordinates thought to universals and imperatives has always come off as repugnant to me. Nevertheless his fundamental of the phenomenal and noumenal have struck me as just right. I could never really reconcile my aversion to him though. Schopenhauer’s critique of Kant, for this reason, I found as liberating. Schopenhauer does away with all that which I had found objectionable in such an elegant and compelling manner, his accusati...more
John Doe
Schopenhauer is my favorite German philosopher. German philosophers are known for being "difficult" to read. But that is not so with Schopenhauer. He is, at times, rather long winded. But we forgive him for that because his prose and his arguments are so beautiful.

It has been awhile and I don't remember all of the details. I just remember really liking it, I wonder if it how it would hold up if I read it again.
The thesis of Schopenhauer's doctoral dissertation concerned the four aspects, discovered by him, of which only two are very certain, the physical and the moral, of the principle of sufficient reason - nihil est sine ratione cur potius sit quam non sit. The general nature of this principle, and indeed its fundamental quality for all thought, renders it easy to misinterpret, so that grounds and consequences have been almost constantly confused in the history of philosophy with causes and effects,...more
This book is fascinating. It is like watching a train wreck that never ends.

Leave it to a man with an ego as large as the great outdoors to write a book about The Will being the fundamental object in creation.

In the process of developing his view he began by telling the reader not to bother reading his book if the reader is not prepared to read both volumes twice, along with his doctoral thesis, and the works of Kant and of Plato. That was the minimum reading list. He would also like for the re...more
Nathaniel G
It's amazing to see a 19th century German philosopher so directly influenced by Vedanta Hindu philosophy, almost straight out of the Upanishads. There is a heavy pessimistic accent to the metaphysical system he expounds (which is very much a creation of his own), with a model very much influenced by Kant but replacing the noumenal realm with will and the phenomenal with "mere representation," but outside of that his ideas, especially on ethics, renunciation as the highest ethical position, and h...more
Schopenauer kind of epitomizes my favorite kind of philospher, the guy who does what he does more out of a desire to know and understand than for anything else. Sure he's a crotchety old bastard who insults people he doesn't agree with, and his hero-worship of Kant is only acceptable because of the way he later flays the shit out of Kant's categories, but underneath everything like that there really seems to be an honest will to understand existence. There are some problems, I thought, such as s...more
Thomas Chong
I have always been a fan of Kant and the post-Kantian German Idealists from the first time I read The Prolegomena. In this post-Kantian systemization, Schopenhauer explains that the will is what Kant refers to as the noumena. Good stuff
Muzaffer kotoz
أختلف معه في الكثير و الكثير ، لم أحب نبرة التكبر المبالغ فيها
لكن متى كانت هذه قياسات حكم على العظماء ، يكفيه عقله
Dec 21, 2012 David is currently reading it
I'll be dead before I finish this......... But, it puts one in a certain state of mind.......
Scott Gates
As the young philosopher below concisely put it, you can think of Schop’s will as Kant’s noumena and his representation as Kant’s phenomena. Will and representation has analogues in Plato as well, the former being what is, the latter being what we see. So Schop places himself in the long line of canonical metaphysicians. As usual with philosophy, it’s okay if you miss one of his points because he’ll repeat the exact same idea at least fifteen more times (along with prolix, meandering examples)....more
Dillon Floughton
AHHHHHHHHH, Schopenhauer is a genius! What incredible wit and explanation he gives to the convoluted and obscure investigations of metaphysics. He essentially touts monism, saying that all that we perceive and experience is but mere representation of the Will, the will being this monistic element that is present in all things. The most genius thing that he has done is that he does not refute any natural law, not any scientific advance of mankind in order to prove his point. The laws of nature in...more
Mai ţineţi minte filmul The Matrix în care Morpheus îi oferă lui Neo şansa alegerii dintre adevăr şi iluzie? Ei bine, acelaşi lucru îl face şi Schopenhauer.

Mi-aş fi dorit să nu aleg pilula albastră a adevărului. Viaţa mea era mai simplă: „cel ce îşi înmulţeşte ştiinţa îşi sporeşte suferinţa” zice Ecleziastul.

Schopenhauer este un maestru al vorbelor: îţi modifică în aşa fel percepţia asupra realităţii(?) (îţi ridică de pe ochi vălul Mayei, al iluziei cum zice el) încât nu mai poţi fi inocent vreo...more
Alex Obrigewitsch
Though I don't always agree with Schopenhauer(more usually than I do), one must admit the importance of this text as far as a so-called "History of Philosophy" is concerned.
If you enjoy philosophy or thinking, read this book.
Also, it is possibly the easiest philosophy book to read that I have yet come across. Schop didn;'t use language like a nail and hammer to get his ideas across to you.
Very tedious at the beginning (but I suppose that's simply the nature of philosophy)-- it took me five minutes to read each page-- but it gets much more interesting in the third and fourth parts, especially the fourth part. Like anything written this long ago, some of it is mental masturbation. However, it is still an interesting read and Schopenhauer's thoughts on death were fascinating. Some parts of this book foreshadow evolutionary psychology... and Schopenhauer lived before Darwin! I didn't...more
I picked a bit at this, and I'll probably go back into it eventually to gain a better understanding on his critique of Kant. It's a pretty good read- he tends to be repetitive so skimming the tome is basically mandatory. I would not recommend it if you tend to get emotionally involved with your readings. He doesn't say too many kind things about the human race and tends to be rather pessimistic about life. To sum it all up- life is suffering, people all strive towards suffering, and the only way...more
Hanan Kat
One of my absolute favorite books from Schopenhauer... Saddest day of my life was when I lost it when relocating to another city.
Paul Duggan
When I took my philosophy degree many years ago, I studied Schopenhauer through secondary sources. Now I know why.

Even though his philosophical insights are important as they form a basis of Existentialism and are heavily influenced bu Buddhism, reading this translation is a heavy slog.

I'll go back to the secondary sources, thank you.
Elise Ashby
Don't be put off by its formidable and miserable appearance, this book is certainly pessimistic, but in an engaging and at times hilarious way. As my lecturer said 'nothing gets Schopenhauer off more than complaining about the world!'. The book is saturated with his personality, which despite some casual sexism and anti-semitism, is overall strangely likable. I didn't agree with everything he had to say (I'm not sure anyone does), but this book is full of insight, to the point where at times it...more
This is one of the first texts I read after making the decision to major in philosophy. In his personal life Schopenhauer was a clown prince, but his writing was excellent and his thought moving, if not sublime, in some places.

Schop was a contemporary of Kant and somewhat jealous of the philosophical don's popularity. Kant, who was a dry and often dull writer, had a reputation for being a great speaker and his lectures were often packed to standing room only. Schop made an arrogant move by sche...more
May 03, 2014 Mia marked it as to-read
mentioned in Too Loud a Solitude
Schopenhauer's magnum opus and a powerful, sublime work of post-Kantian metaphysics. One of the most compelling and thoughtful works of philosophy I've ever had the pleasure to read.

"Rather do we freely acknowledge that what remains after the entire abolition of the will is for all those who are still full of will certainly nothing; but, conversely, to those in whom the will has turned and has denied itself, this our world, which is so real, with all its suns and milky-ways - is nothing."
Schopenhauer tried to base his philosophy on Immanuel Kant's theorem that metaphysics cannot be considered a science since it cannot inherently be proven through nature. In that course, he failed for a variety of reasons. However, he lays out many good thoughts. One interesting side note is that I learned that his life view had early been shaped by the anger he felt at his mother (and women in general) for pushing him down the stairs when he was young, permanently injuring him.
While some see Schopenhauer as inconsistent in his writings, he has had a huge effect on psychoanalysis and the works of Freud (even if Freud denied reading Schopenhauer until his old age. In fact, writings (The Interpretation of Dreams) from long before Freud claims to have read Schopenhauer contain detailed references to him. Anyway, Schopenhauer influenced many of my favorite thinkers: Nietzsche, Popper, Tolstoy, Borges, Wagner, and Wittgenstein.
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  • Philosophical Investigations
  • Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist
  • A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
  • Untimely Meditations
  • Either/Or: A Fragment of Life
  • The Ego and Its Own
  • Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
  • Matter and Memory
  • A Treatise of Human Nature
  • Critique of Practical Reason (Texts in the History of Philosophy)
  • The Philosophy of History
  • Word and Object
  • Philosophical Essays
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • Phenomenology of Perception
  • Nietzsche and Philosophy (European Perspectives)
  • Truth and Method
  • Basic Writings: Ten Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time
Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher best known for his work The World as Will and Representation. Schopenhauer attempted to make his career as an academic by correcting and expanding Immanuel Kant's philosophy concerning the way in which we experience the world.

More about Arthur Schopenhauer...
Essays and Aphorisms The World as Will and Representation, Vol 2 The Art of Always Being Right The Wisdom of Life On the Suffering of the World

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“What give all that is tragic, whatever its form, the characteristic of the sublime, is the first inkling of the knowledge that the world and life can give no satisfaction, and are not worth our investment in them. The tragic spirit consists in this. Accordingly it leads to resignation.” 25 likes
“Truth is no harlot who throws her arms round the neck of him who does not desire her; on the contrary, she is so coy a beauty that even the man who sacrifices everything to her can still not be certain of her favors.” 21 likes
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