Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1” as Want to Read:
The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1 (The World as Will and Representation #1)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  6,173 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 534 pages
Published June 1st 1966 by Dover Publications (first published 1818)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Ken Hi Weiqing,

I am actually in a similar position as you. From what others have told me, I think WWR is quite easy to read, even without prior knowledge…more
Hi Weiqing,

I am actually in a similar position as you. From what others have told me, I think WWR is quite easy to read, even without prior knowledge of Kant's ideas. However, having read Kant first, you will find WWR more rewarding.

Here is a good reddit post with a better explanation:

I am currently reading "Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics" and "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals". I believe these are the most accessible of Kant's works, and every other book seems too difficult for a beginner. Both books are around 100 pages each and are quite easy to get through.

If you are planning to read Prolegomena though, I would suggest first reading David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, which Prolegomena is written in response to. Enquiry is also around 100 pages and is very easy to get through.

Anyway, not sure if I have fully answered your question, but hopefully this is helpful to you.

Good luck!

(p.s. nice reading list you have!)(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mark Flores
Mar 30, 2015 Mark Flores rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Mar 07, 2014 James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
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.
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
Jan 18, 2016 peiman-mir5 rezakhani rated it it was amazing
Shelves: فلسفه
بی نظیر ... بی نظیر و باز هم بی نظیر
اگر از خوندن کلمات خسته کننده و غلمبه فلاسفه خسته شدید.. برای درک بهتر فلسفه و اخلاق، من شوپنهاور رو پیشنهاد میکنم. از دیدگاه من، شوپنهاور بزرگترین فیلسوفی بود که در حقش کم لطفی شد.شاید توجه زیادی به هگل یکی از دلایل باشه.. نمیدونم
Tom Campbell
Jan 31, 2008 Tom Campbell rated it it was amazing
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
Abdulla Awachi
Feb 18, 2016 Abdulla Awachi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
أنهيت بعد طول التأمل و الوقفات العديدة المجلد الأول من كتاب الفيلسوف الألماني الرائع آرتور شوبنهاور " العالم إرادةً و تمثلاً" و ينقسم الكتاب لمجلدين رئيسين ، يستعرض في المجلد الأول فكرة العالم تمثلاً ثم في الثاني العالم إرادة.

في العالم تمثلاً ، يستهل شوبنهاور كتابه بالتنويه على ضرورة أن يلم القارىء بالفلسفة الكانتية التي وضعها الفيلسوف كانت في ثلاث كتب رئيسية و هي " نقد العقل المحض" الذي يعتبر العمل الرئيس لكانت ثم " نقد العقل العملي" و أتبعهما ب"نقد ملكة الحكم" ، و بعد هذ التنويه و الاشارة لهذه
Zahra Taher
طوال قراءتي لكتاب شوبنهاور هذا كانت تراود ذهني جملة مصطفى صادق الرافعي: إن دقة الفهم للحياة يفسدها
وما يفعله شوبنهاور هو السعي إلى فهم الحياة و نقل هذا الفهم إلى البشرية، ولا يمكن لمن يقرأ كتابه الأشهر هذا إلا أن يشعر أنه أمام إنسان ذو بصيرة وعقل راجح، وبالرغم من وسمه بفيلسوف التشاؤم إلا أن قراءته بدقة تجعل تسمية أخرى هي الأجدر به فهو "فيلسوف الحياة" ولعل كل ذلك الحديث عن تشاؤمه ما هو إلا نتيجة لحرصه على كشف أسباب الشقاء في حياة البشر و تبصرتهم بها، مَن يريد أن يعرفها على أية حال؟ لكنه لا يفعل ذل
John Doe
Feb 27, 2012 John Doe rated it it was amazing
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.
Ameera H.  Al-mousa
أجد لذة في قراءة نصوص شوبنهاور ذات الطابع الفلسفي الأدبي ، وخلاصة محتوى هذا الكتاب في كون العالم تتمثل في ذات الإنسان ، الذات التى يتمثل لها العالم بدراية سابقة .
Mar 19, 2008 Zac rated it it was amazing
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
“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 favours.”

Tucked inside these wise, few lines is the sine qua non of any pursuit in this world: The necessity of absolute devotion; and the humility that even such allegiance does not entitle one to any recompense whatsoever. History shows that even the most powerful minds are undermined by
May 15, 2016 Bettie☯ marked it as onhold
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

Translated From The German By R. B. Haldane, M.A. and J. Kemp, M.A.

Opening: “The world is my idea:”—this is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and knows, though man alone can bring it into reflective and abstract consciousness. If he really does this, he has attained to philosophical wisdom. It then becomes clear and certain to him that what he knows is not a sun and an earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels an earth; that
Nov 20, 2008 Prash rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 27, 2016 illias rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Whenever you feel happy and think the world is all rainbows and unicorns, I suggest reading something from Arthur Schopenhauer to get a reality p*mp slap. While you are at it, I suggest doing it with a reader's guide.
Dec 15, 2014 Phil rated it it was amazing
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
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
Shannon McCue
Jun 01, 2007 Shannon McCue rated it really liked it
i'm interested in schopenhauer.

i don't buy everything (that would be scary) but... i like it.

sorry i'm so inarticulate
Mar 07, 2014 Jesse rated it it was amazing
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
Mark Sacha
One thing that stands to Schopenhauer's credit is that he writes wonderfully for a philosopher, it seeming to be creed within that profession to convey all ideas, no matter how simple or complex, in space gibberish. Arthur even defines his terms for you. Which of course doesn't mean that everything here is crystal clear - excepting the ad hominem attacks on his contemporaries and the typical 19th century nastiness of then-unexceptional bigotry - but at least it makes it easier to follow the line ...more
William Marsolek
Mar 25, 2015 William Marsolek rated it it was amazing
I read the first three sections right as spring started. By the time I finished the fourth--it snowed again. The book is laid out like this--what one person called a symphony with four movements. At first, it was difficult to take him seriously. I figured his character was too impatient to give a full picture of Kant so lazily was content to reduce the 12 categories down to the principle of sufficient reason. I was ready to cast him aside to a dusty corner on my bookshelf as a poor interpreter o ...more
Jan 30, 2015 ehk2 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the greatest books of I've read, if not the greatest. I loved every second spent on its each and every page. It's eloquently written, it's accessible but needs effort (a background and familiarity with Kant's theories, especially to delve into the appendix in which Schopenhauer presents his detailed criticisms against Kant).

Reading Schopenhauer is like listening to the wisest person in history. But that is not surely refreshing. In line with his theory, he does not present rules,
Sep 13, 2012 InYourFaceNewYorker rated it really liked it
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
Apr 02, 2009 Clint rated it it was amazing
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
Scott Gates
Apr 28, 2008 Scott Gates rated it liked it
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
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
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
N. Goldman
Jan 08, 2008 N. Goldman rated it liked it
Shelves: unfinished
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
Jul 17, 2012 joycesu rated it liked it
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
Sep 16, 2014 Andrew added it
Shelves: philosophy
I read a few Schopenhauer essays and aphorisms in college. I remember vaguely admiring them.

The World as Will and Representation is a different beast. A behemoth it took me two weeks to fight my way through, through his (inconsistent but interesting) epistemology, his (nowadays silly-seeming, but still interesting as a historical note) metaphysics, his (ever so romantic, but sadly dated) aesthetics, and his (little bitch) ethics. A challenging philosopher, a necessary bridge to Nietzsche, Heideg
Jackson Cyril
The first two sections of the book are a bit difficult to understand. Schopenhauer's metaphysics derives much from Kant and my ignorance of Kant's metaphysics made it difficult for me to understand his first two books. That being said, the last book is magnificent; this being the part of the book where Schopenhauer expounds his philosophy, which I think everyone is familiar with.
Thomas Chong
Jul 30, 2008 Thomas Chong rated it it was amazing
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Culture and Value
  • The Philosophy of Schopenhauer
  • Untimely Meditations
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • Critique of Judgment
  • A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
  • The Sickness Unto Death (Kierkegaard's Writings, Vol 19)
  • Nietzsche and Philosophy (European Perspectives)
  • Naming and Necessity
  • Philosophical Essays
  • Schopenhauer and the Wild Years of Philosophy
  • Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature
  • A Treatise of Human Nature
  • Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist
  • The Essence of Christianity
  • Matter and Memory
  • Word and Object
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...

Other Books in the Series

The World as Will and Representation (2 books)
  • The World as Will and Representation, Vol 2

Share This Book

“The life of every individual, viewed as a whole and in general, and when only its most significant features are emphasized, is really a tragedy; but gone through in detail it has the character of a comedy.” 91 likes
“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.” 35 likes
More quotes…