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The World as Will and Representation, Vol. 1

(The World as Will and Representation #1)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  7,686 ratings  ·  155 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)
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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)

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Mark Flores
Nov 17, 2013 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
Tom Campbell
Jan 31, 2008 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
Jan 26, 2008 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
Griffin Wilson
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Of all philosophical systems (we may think of Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Hegel, Kant, Fichte, Marx, etc.) that I have engaged with which modern philosophy produced, I must say that, so far, I am the most impressed and inspired by the system of Mr Arthur Schopenhauer -- this work will surely go into my favorites, and is one I plan to read again (as a whole or in sections) with great care.

Briefly summarized, the work proceeds as follows
Book I: Epistemology/ Metaphysics -- wherein Schopenhauer pr
Mar 09, 2015 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.
“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
C. Quabela
Apr 10, 2011 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
Dec 02, 2007 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
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Schopenhauer is wrong when he says this is a difficult book, that it needs to be read twice, or it's necessary to have had read Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" in order to follow his arguments. The author writes such that if you don't understand what he's saying just wait awhile and he'll explain it to you later on in another section of the Volume. When I read books like this, I long for today's writers to be as entertaining, informative, and as challenging to my current beliefs as this book is ...more
Dec 21, 2013 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
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
May 04, 2013 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
Apr 19, 2008 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
Shannon McCue
Jun 01, 2007 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
Michael Kress
To date I have read many works on philosophy (although I have yet to read Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason), so I have some reference points to the comparative greatness of this volume. If you are interested in metaphysics, this is the book for you. Arthur Schopenhauer had an encyclopedic knowledge on this topic and The World as Will and Representation, Volume 1 leaves no stone unturned. The scope of this volume is enormous. After reading only a small portion of it, I had gained so much knowledge ...more
Scott Gates
Feb 14, 2008 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
Jun 03, 2012 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
Nov 24, 2012 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,
Null Ghostman
Oct 27, 2007 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
Sep 11, 2014 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
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. I loved the parts about the subjective nature of reality, art, and the relationship between love and suffering.
May 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
The most underrated philosopher in the West. His ability to unfold his one thought across many pages is amazing, which culminates in a kind of defense for mysticism . . . truly a rarity in his time.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a very short impression of a work that is quite detailed.It extends mostly on the philosophical theories of Kant and Plato and at the same time resonates well with the eastern philosophies in explaining how the world as idea is created in the mind of the subject.The book is easy to read and assimilate compared to the works of other philosophers I have read.Book one establishes the world as Idea quoting the Indian and Buddhist philosophies,Spinoza,Plato and Kant all the way.While he build ...more
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great for anyone interested in Plato, Kant, Stoic philosophy, philosophy of art, Christianity, Hinduism, and/or Buddhism.
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
After reading Kant and being impressed by his whole new philosophical system, there were some questions left open. I found Kant's system impressive, but it sounds just too convenient to postulate an extra - unknowable - world in which to place all the difficult philosophical issues (freedom, souls, god, etc.).

I read somewhere that Schopenhauer tried to improve Kant's system and that he created - in general - a more consistent and honest philosophical world system. I had read some loose material
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
Mike Blackwell
Of the philosophers I've read, Schopenhauer made the most sense to me. I mean this in two ways: I. His view of the world meshes with my own. II. He used words that I understood and constructed sentences that I could follow. I will began with point II.

Schopenhauer is a clear writer. He defines the words he is going to use, and then he uses them in the way he says he will. He uses imagery and analogy to illustrate his ideas. He states the same idea in multiple ways. He cites examples. This is in
Jul 17, 2012 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
Oct 09, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
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.
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Arthur Schopenhauer was born in the city of Danzig (then part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth; present day Gdańsk, Poland) and 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.

He was the son o

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