The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenhauer

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenhauer

Postby admin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:29 pm

The World As Will and Representation
by Arthur Schopenhauer
Translated from the German by E.F.J. Payne
In Two Volumes
© 1969 Dover Publications, Inc.
© 1958 by The Falcon's Wing Press




Table of Contents

• Translator's Introduction
• Preface to the First Edition
• Preface to the Second Edition
• Preface to the Third Edition
• Selected Bibliography
• Volume 1
o First Book: The World as Representation. First Aspect
o Second Book: The World as Will. First Aspect
o Third Book: The World as Representation. Second Aspect
o Fourth Book: The World as Will: Second Aspect
o Appendix: Criticism of the Kantian Philosophy


Table of Contents

• Volume 2
o Supplements to the First Book
o First Half: The Doctrine of the Representation of Perception
 I. On the Fundamental View of Idealism
 II. On the Doctrine of Knowledge of Perception or Knowledge of the Understanding
 III. On the Senses
 IV. On Knowledge a Priori
o Second Half: The Doctrine of the Abstract Representation or of Thinking
 V. On the Intellect Devoid of Reason
 VI. On the Doctrine of Abstract Knowledge, or Knowledge of Reason
 VII. On the Relation of Knowledge of Perception to Abstract Knowledge
 VIII. On the Theory of the Ludicrous
 IX. On Logic in General
 X. On the Science of Syllogisms
 XI. On Rhetoric
 XII. On the Doctrine of Science
 XIII. On the Methods of Mathematics
 XIV. On the Association of Ideas
 XV. On the Essential Imperfections of the Intellect
 XVI. On the Practical Use of Our Reason and on Stoicism
 XVII. On Man's Need for Metaphysics
o Supplements to the Second Book
 XVIII. On the Possibility of Knowing the Thing-in-Itself
 XIX. On the Primacy of the Will in Self-Consciousness
 XX. Objectification of the Will in the Animal Organism
 XXI. Retrospect and More General Consideration
 XXII. Objective View of the Intellect
 XXIII. On the Objectification of the Will in Nature without Knowledge
 XXIV. On Matter
 XXV. Transcendent Considerations on the Will as Thing-in-Itself
 XXVI. On Teleology
 XXVII. On Instinct and Mechanical Tendency
 XXVIII. Characterization of the Will-to-Live
o Supplements to the Third Book
 XXIX. On Knowledge of the Ideas
 XXX. On the Pure Subject of Knowing
 XXXI. On Genius
 XXXII. On Madness
 XXXIII. Isolated Remarks on Natural Beauty
 XXXIV. On the Inner Nature of Art
 XXXV. On the Aesthetics of Architecture
 XXXVI. Isolated Remarks on the Aesthetics of the Plastic and Pictorial Arts
 XXXVII. On the Aesthetics of Poetry
 XXXVIII. On History
 XXXIX. On the Metaphysics of Music
o Supplements to the Fourth Book
 XL. Preface
 XLI. On Death and Its Relation to the Indestructibility of Our Inner Nature
 XLII. Life of the Species
 XLIII. The Hereditary Nature of Qualities
 XLIV. The Metaphysics of Sexual Love
 Appendix to the Preceding Chapter
 XLV. On the Affirmation of the Will-to-Live
 XLVI. On the Vanity and Suffering of Life
 XLVII. On Ethics
 XLVIII. On the Doctrine of the Denial of the Will-to-Live
 XLIX. The Road to Salvation
 L. Epiphilosophy
o Index
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Re: The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenh

Postby admin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:30 pm

Translator's Introduction

Arthur Schopenhauer was born in the Hanseatic City of Danzig in 1788. His father was a well-to-do merchant of rugged independence and wide cultural interests, and his mother a woman of considerable intellectual gifts who in her day won fame as an authoress. At an early age, the son showed outstanding mental qualities, and soon embarked on an intensive study of the humanities, the empirical sciences, and philosophy at the Universities of Gottingen and Berlin. In 1813 he wrote his first work, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, a thesis which gained for him the degree of doctor of philosophy of Jena University, and in which he expounded his epistemology based on the Kantian doctrine of the ideality of space, time, and the categories.

From 1814 to 1818 Schopenhauer lived in Dresden, where his creative genius conceived and gave birth to a philosophical work which, for its depth and range of thought as well as for the clarity and brilliance of its style, was an outstanding achievement for so young a man. It was the more remarkable in that, during the forty-one years he was still to live after its publication, he did not consider it necessary to modify or recast in any way the basic idea underlying this work. Like Plato, he was deeply stirred by [x], by the wonder that impels men to philosophize, and he instinctively viewed the world with the objective eye of the genuine thinker. In his youth, he began to keep note-books in which from time to time throughout his life he recorded ideas as they occurred to him. Thus all such notes stemmed from the original fundamental conception round which the whole of his philosophical structure was built.

In 1844 a second edition of this main work was published in two volumes, the first of which was virtually a reprint of the first edition of 1819, whilst the second contained in fifty chapters supplementary discussions on the theme of the first. The encyclopaedic range of this supplementary volume is an indication of the depth and maturity of Schopenhauer's thought, and stamps it as one of the most eminent works in the whole province of philosophical literature. Like the first a quarter of a century earlier, this second edition evoked little or no response from the learned world of that time, which was still under the influence of Hegel and other post-Kantian philosophers. After 1851, when his last major work was published, Schopenhauer ultimately acquired fame, and the interest that was now awakened in his philosophy stimulated a demand for new editions of his works. In 1859, the year before his death, a third edition of Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung was published.

Schopenhauer himself has stated that his philosophy is the natural continuation and completion of the Kantian, for he has taken as the foundation of his own system of thought the ideality of space and time and the Kantian thing-in-itself as expounded in the Critique of Pure Reason.

In his essay On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, to which Schopenhauer frequently refers in this major work, he discusses in detail the intellectual nature of perception and shows that, from the meagre data supplied by our senses, our faculty of cognition creates immediately and automatically a mental picture of the external world in all its variegated wealth of detail. This mental picture is a "re-presentation" of the data of the senses, a Vorstellung of the intellect, and is something totally different from a mere figment of the imagination. Of the twelve Kantian categories, Schopenhauer rejects eleven as redundant, and retains only the category of causality. He then discusses the a priori nature of time, space, and causality, and shows that they are essentially the three innate functions of our intellect, inasmuch as they enter inevitably and inseparably into the framework of all possible experience, and are, in fact, the prerequisite of all knowledge of this. Our knowing consciousness, says Schopenhauer, is divisible solely into subject and object. To be object for the subject and to be our representation or mental picture are one and the same. All our representations are objects for the subject, and all objects of the subject are our representations. These stand to one another in a regulated connexion which in form is determinable a priori, and by virtue of this connexion nothing existing by itself and independent, nothing single and detached, can become an object for us. It is this connexion which is expressed by the principle of sufficient reason in general. All our representations are divisible into four classes which impart to the principle of sufficient reason its fourfold root. The first aspect of this principle is that of becoming, where it appears as the law of causality and is applicable only to changes. Thus if the cause is given, the effect must of necessity follow. The second aspect deals with concepts or abstract representations, which are themselves drawn from representations of intuitive perception, and here the principle of sufficient reason states that, if certain premisses are given, the conclusion must follow. The third aspect of the principle is concerned with being in space and time, and shows that the existence of one relation inevitably implies the other, thus that the equality of the angles of a triangle necessarily implies the equality of its sides and vice versa. Finally, the fourth aspect deals with actions, and the principle appears as the law of motivation, which states that a definite course of action inevitably ensues on a given character and motive. Thus the principle of sufficient reason deals only with our representation in the widest sense, that is to say, with the form in which things appear to us, not with that inscrutable metaphysical entity which appears through this form, and which Kant calls the "thing-in-itself." Because this "thing-in-itself" transcends the physical framework of time, space, and causality, and therefore of our cognitive functions, Kant regarded a knowledge of it as impossible. Schopenhauer admitted this up to a point, although, by identifying the Kantian thing-in-itself with the will in ourselves, he maintained that experience itself as a whole was capable of explanation; yet he did not imply by this that no problems remained unsolved.

The first volume of this work contains the basic idea of Schopenhauer's system divided into four books and followed by an appendix consisting of a masterly criticism of the Kantian philosophy which greatly facilitates the study of the three Critiques, and in which Schopenhauer readily acknowledges his indebtedness to his master, and just as readily subjects to a searching criticism those points in which he considers that Kant has gone astray. The picture emerging from a study of this first volume is that of an organically consistent structure of thought based on inner and outer experience, and culminating in three towers, in the metaphysics of nature, of art or aesthetics, and of morality.

The second volume supplements the discussions in each of the four books of the first, and represents the mature fruit of a lifetime's reflection on the many problems raised by the main theme of Schopenhauer's philosophy. The great all-embracing idea of the first volume with all its ramifications is further investigated, developed and corroborated in the second through the many references to art, life, and the empirical sciences. On the one hand, we discern the shrewdness of Schopenhauer's observation of the world and its many relations, a quality in which he is unique, and, on the other, we are struck by the psychological force and even fierceness with which he reveals the deepest recesses of the human heart. Many have complained that his philosophy is sombre and pessimistic, but an impartial examination will lead to the conclusion that it is neither more nor less pessimistic than the teachings of Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Christianity, all of which agree in preaching as the supreme goal deliverance from this earthly existence. [1] In the history of philosophy Schopenhauer's name will always be associated with a correct distinction between knowledge of perception and abstract knowledge, with a proper analysis of consciousness, of the so-called psyche, into will and intellect, with the correct interpretation and utilization of the Platonic Ideas, and finally with a true insight into the real nature of Christianity from both the religious and philosophical points of view.


It is universally acknowledged by all who have read Schopenhauer's works, even by those who do not share his views, that his prose is second to none in beauty of style and in power and lucidity of expression. Long periods are occasionally met with in his works, but there is never a doubt as to the precise meaning of what he wrote. He thought clearly and concisely, and expressed himself in clear and concise language. He was discriminating in the choice of words and expressions, and paid great attention even to punctuation. No translator can take liberties with his prose without adversely affecting the translation, which should aim at being as faithful as possible to the author's original work, and yet avoid being too literal and therefore unreadable. On the other hand, the translator must resist the temptation to "correct" and touch up his author under the mistaken impression that he is "improving" the work, a practice that was strongly condemned by Schopenhauer.

One of the difficulties in rendering a German philosophical work into English comes from the inability of the English language to reproduce adequately and accurately some of the philosophical terms and expressions of which there are so many in German. This language is an admirable medium for the precise expression of abstract philosophical ideas, and the translator must endeavour to keep as close as possible to the meaning of the original. It is pertinent to the matter to mention here one or two German words by way of showing that the translator's task is not always easy, despite the fact that Schopenhauer rarely resorted to the involved and long periods so characteristic of the style of many German philosophers.

Anschauung is used by Schopenhauer to describe what occurs when the eye perceives an external object as the cause of the sensation on the retina. "Perception" has been selected as the nearest English equivalent, although it may also be translated "intuition" in the sense of an immediate apprehension.

Wahrnehmung is used to convey the idea of perception through any or all of the five senses.

Vernehmen has no exact equivalent in English, and is philologically related to Vernunft, the faculty of reason peculiar to man which enables him to form concepts and words from the countless objects perceived in the world of experience. Vernehmen means more than mere sensuous hearing, and implies hearing by means of the faculty of reason.

Grund and Vernunft are almost always translated by the word "reason," yet the two German words differ widely in meaning. The context usually enables one to see in which sense the word "reason" is used.

Willkur means free will, free choice, arbitrary power, or caprice. The expression "free will" is likely to give rise to a misconception, since Schopenhauer uses the word to indicate will with the power of choice, will determined by motives, conscious will as opposed to blind impulse. Such will, however, is not absolutely free in the metaphysical sense, in as much as a will determined by motives cannot be free. Schopenhauer uses the expression liberum arbitrium indifferentiae to convey the meaning of a will that is absolutely free in the metaphysical sense before it has assumed the phenomenal form. He emphatically denies the existence of such a freedom in the world of phenomena.

Vorstellung is important, for it occurs in the German title of this work. Its primary meaning is that of "placing before," and it is used by Schopenhauer to express what he himself describes as an "exceedingly complicated physiological process in the brain of an animal, the result of which is the consciousness of a picture there." In the present translation "representation" has been selected as the best English word to convey the German meaning, a selection that is confirmed by the French and Italian versions of Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung. The word "idea" which is used by Haldane and Kemp in their English translation of this work clearly fails to bring out the meaning of Vorstellung in the sense used by Schopenhauer. Even Schopenhauer himself has translated Vorstellung as "idea" in his criticism of Kant's philosophy at the end of the first volume, although he states in his essay, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, that "idea" should be used only in its original Platonic sense. Moreover, confusion results in the translation of Haldane and Kemp from printer's errors in the use of "Idea" with a capital letter to render the German Idee in the Platonic sense and of "idea" for the translation of Vorstellung as used by Schopenhauer. In the present translation Idee has been rendered by the word "Idea" with a capital letter.

After the publication of each of his works, Schopenhauer was in the habit of recording in an interleaved copy additions and modifications for incorporation in future editions. In the last ten years of his life, he was engaged on these interleaved copies the blank pages of which were gradually filled with additions and amendments. In many instances these were completely edited and incorporated into the original text. In some cases, however, they were fragmentary and indefinite in form, whilst in others a brief reference was made to a passage in Schopenhauer's manuscript-books which formed the storehouse of his ideas and furnished essential material for all his works after 1819.

In his last years, Schopenhauer had considered the possibility of a complete edition of his works, but the rights of the six publishers ruled out the realization of such a plan during his lifetime. Not till 1873 was it possible for Julius Frauenstadt, the philosopher's literary executor, to publish an edition of the works which for many years remained the standard, a reprint of it appearing as recently as 1922.

Until Schopenhauer's works were out of copyright, scholars had to rely on Frauenstadt's edition as the standard, but with the suggestion that it contained a number of errors, attempts were made to replace it by a better and more reliable edition. By this time, however, editors no longer had at their disposal all the material that Frauenstadt had had as Schopenhauer's literary executor. After Frauenstadt's death in 1879, Schopenhauer's manuscript-books went to the Berlin Library, but by an oversight the interleaved copies of the works were sold and for many years were not accessible to scholars. Only gradually and by stages was it possible for them to complete their task of the textual criticism and emendation of Schopenhauer's works.

The first stage was the publication in 1891 of Eduard Grisebach's edition. At the time, scholars were surprised to learn from him that the edition of Frauenstadt contained many hundreds of errors, whereas his own gave not only the correct order of the works, in accordance with Schopenhauer's wishes, but also a text that had been compared with Schopenhauer's final editions and with the manuscript-books. However, it was not long before G. F. Wagner discovered that Grisebach himself had incorporated in his own edition many textual inaccuracies from the edition of Frauenstadt.

The second stage came when the interleaved copies of the works were again accessible to scholars. In 1911 Paul Deussen and his collaborators were able to begin their fine edition of Schopenhauer's works, and full advantage was taken of the possibility of obtaining an accurate text from the interleaved copies and the manuscript-books.

The third and final stage in the work of textual criticism and correction was taken up with an examination of the original manuscripts of most of the works. In 1937 Dr. Arthur Hubscher was able for the first time to use such manuscripts for the production of a new edition with a text representing the last word in accuracy. By carefully comparing these manuscripts with the traditional texts, he succeeded in eliminating many errors and inaccuracies from the earlier editions, and in producing a text that would have accorded with Schopenhauer's views. A reprint of this edition appeared between 1946 and 1950, and it is the text of this which has been used in making the present translation.

Reference has already been made to the only other English translation of Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, which was made by R. B. Haldane (later Lord Haldane) and J. Kemp between 1883 and 1886, and was freely consulted in the preparation of this new English version of Schopenhauer's main work. However, the interests of truth and the importance of this work in the history of philosophy require that attention be drawn to the many errors and omissions in their translation, over a thousand of which came to light when it was compared with the German text, and which seriously detract from its merit as a work of scholarship.

In conclusion, the translator would like to express his deep appreciation and gratitude to his many friends who, by their kindness and encouragement, have sustained him in the long task of translation, and in particular to his friend Dr. Arthur Hubscher of Munich, the President of the Schopenhauer-Gesellschaft and one of the most eminent living authorities on Schopenhauer and his philosophy, for his valuable advice always so generously given, and for the benefits of his wide scholarship in this field which have contributed so much to the work of translation.

LONDON, 1957.



1. Cf. "East-West Fire ... Schopenhauer's Optimism and the Lankavatara Sutra," C. A. Muses, 1955, passim.
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Re: The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenh

Postby admin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:32 pm

Preface to the First Edition

I propose to state here how this book is to be read, in order that it may be thoroughly understood. What is to be imparted by it is a single thought. Yet in spite of all my efforts, I have not been able to find a shorter way of imparting that thought than the whole of this book. I consider this thought to be that which has been sought for a very long time under the name of philosophy, and that whose discovery is for this very reason regarded by those versed in history as just as impossible as the discovery of the philosophers' stone, although Pliny had already said to them: Quam multa fieri non posse, priusquam sint facta, judicantur? (Historia naturalis, 7, 1). [1]

According as we consider under different aspects this one thought that is to be imparted, it appears as what has been called metaphysics, what has been called ethics, and what has been called aesthetics; and naturally it was bound to be all these, if it is what I have already acknowledged it to be.

A system of thought must always have an architectonic connexion or coherence, that is to say, a connexion in which one part always supports the other, though not the latter the former; in which the foundation-stone carries all the parts without being carried by them; and in which the pinnacle is upheld without upholding. On the other hand, a single thought, however comprehensive, must preserve the most perfect unity. If, all the same, it can be split up into parts for the purpose of being communicated, then the connexion of these parts must once more be organic, i.e., of such a kind that every part supports the whole just as much as it is supported by the whole; a connexion in which no part is first and no part last, in which the whole gains in clearness from every part, and even the smallest part cannot be fully understood until the whole has been first understood. But a book must have a first and a last line, and to this extent will always remain very unlike an organism, however like one its contents may be. Consequently, form and matter will here be in contradiction.

It is self-evident that in such circumstances, in order that the thought expounded may be fathomed, no advice can be given other than to read the book twice, and to do so the first time with much patience. This patience is to be derived only from the belief, voluntarily accorded, that the beginning presupposes the end almost as much as the end the beginning, and that every earlier part presupposes the later almost as much as the later the earlier. I say "almost," for it is by no means absolutely so; and whatever it was possible to do to give priority to that which is in any case explained by what follows, and generally whatever might contribute to the greatest possible comprehensibility and clearness, has been honestly and conscientiously done. Indeed, I might to a certain extent have succeeded, were it not that the reader, as is very natural, thinks when reading not merely of what is at the moment being said, but also of its possible consequences. Thus besides the many contradictions of the opinions of the day, and presumably of the reader also, that actually exist, as many others may be added that are anticipated and imaginary. That, then, which is mere misunderstanding, must show itself as lively disapproval, and it is the less recognized as misunderstanding because, while the laboriously attained clearness of explanation and distinctness of expression never leave one in doubt about the direct meaning of what is said, yet they cannot express its relations to all that remains. Therefore, as I have said, the first reading demands patience, derived from the confidence that with a second reading much, or all, will appear in quite a different light. Moreover, the earnest desire for fuller and even easier comprehension must, in the case of a very difficult subject, justify occasional repetition. The structure of the whole, which is organic and not like a chain, in itself makes it necessary sometimes to touch twice on the same point. This construction and the very close interconnexion of all the parts have not allowed of that division into chapters and paragraphs which I usually value so much, but have obliged me to be content with four principal divisions, four aspects, as it were, of the one thought. In each of these four books we have specially to guard against losing sight, among the details that must needs be discussed, of the principal thought to which they belong, and of the progress of the exposition as a whole. And thus is expressed the first, and like those that follow, absolutely necessary, demand on the reader, who is unfriendly towards the philosopher just because he is one himself.

The second demand is that the introduction be read before the book itself, although this is not a part of the book, but appeared five years previously under the title On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason: a Philosophical Essay. Without an acquaintance with this introduction and propaedeutic, it is quite impossible to understand the present work properly, and the subject-matter of that essay is always presupposed here as if it were included in the book. Moreover, if it had not preceded this work by several years, it would not be placed at the front of it as an introduction, but would be incorporated in the first book, since this book lacks what was said in the essay, and exhibits a certain incompleteness because of these omissions, which must always be made good by reference to that essay. However, my dislike of quoting myself, or of laboriously expressing once again in different words what had already been said adequately once, was so great that I preferred this course, despite the fact that I could now give the subject-matter of that essay a somewhat better presentation, particularly by clearing it of many conceptions which arose from my excessive preoccupation at that time with the Kantian philosophy, such as categories, outer and inner sense, and the like. But even there those conceptions occur only because I had as yet never really entered deeply into them, and therefore only as a secondary affair quite unconnected with the principal matter. For this reason, the correction of such passages in that essay will come about quite automatically in the reader's thoughts through his acquaintance with the present work. But only if through that essay we have fully recognized what the principle of sufficient reason is and signifies, where it is valid and where it is not, that it is not prior to all things, and that the whole world exists only in consequence of and in conformity to it, as its corollary so to speak; that rather it is nothing more than the form in which the object, of whatever kind it may be and always conditioned by the subject, is everywhere known in so far as the subject is a knowing individual; only then will it be possible to enter into the method of philosophizing which is here attempted for the first time, differing completely as it does from all previous methods.

But the same dislike to quote myself word for word, or to say exactly the same thing a second time in other and less suitable terms, after I had already made use of better ones, has been the cause of yet a second omission in book one of this work. For I have left out all that is to be found in the first chapter of my essay On Vision and Colours, which otherwise would have found its place here, word for word. Therefore an acquaintance with that short earlier work is also presupposed.

Finally, the third demand to be made on the reader might even be taken for granted, for it is none other than an acquaintance with the most important phenomenon which has appeared in philosophy for two thousand years, and which lies so close to us, I mean the principal works of Kant. Indeed, I find, as has already been said on other occasions, that the effect those works produce in the mind to which they really speak is very like that of an operation for cataract on a blind man. If we wish to continue the simile, my purpose can be described by saying that I wanted to put into the hands of those on whom that operation has been successful a pair of cataract spectacles, for the use of which that operation itself is the most necessary condition. Therefore, while I start in large measure from what was achieved by the great Kant, serious study of his works has nevertheless enabled me to discover grave errors in them. I had to separate these and show them to be objectionable, in order that I might presuppose and apply what is true and excellent in his doctrine, pure and clarified of them. But in order not to interrupt and confuse my own exposition by frequent polemics against Kant, I have put this into a special appendix. And just as, according as I have said, my work presupposes an acquaintance with the Kantian philosophy, so too does it presuppose an acquaintance with that appendix. Therefore, in this respect, it would be advisable to read the appendix first, the more so as its subject-matter has special reference to book one of the present work. On the other hand, it could not from the nature of the case be avoided that even the appendix should refer now and again to the main text. The result of this is simply that the appendix, as well as the main part of the work, must be read twice.

Kant's philosophy is therefore the only one with which a thorough acquaintance is positively assumed in what is to be here discussed. But if in addition to this the reader has dwelt for a while in the school of the divine Plato, he will be the better prepared to hear me, and the more susceptible to what I say. But if he has shared in the benefits of the Vedas, access to which, opened to us by the Upanishads, is in my view the greatest advantage which this still young century has to show over previous centuries, since I surmise that the influence of Sanskrit literature will penetrate no less deeply than did the revival of Greek literature in the fifteenth century; if, I say, the reader has also already received and assimilated the divine inspiration of ancient Indian wisdom, then he is best of all prepared to hear what I have to say to him. It will not speak to him, as to many others, in a strange and even hostile tongue; for, did it not sound too conceited, I might assert that each of the individual and disconnected utterances that make up the Upanishads could be derived as a consequence from the thought I am to impart, although conversely my thought is by no means to be found in the Upanishads.


But most readers have already grown angry with impatience, and have burst into a reproach kept back with difficulty for so long. Yet how can I dare to submit a book to the public under demands and conditions of which the first two are presumptuous and quite immodest, and this at a time when there is so general an abundance of characteristic ideas that in Germany alone such ideas are made common property through the press every year, in three thousand substantial, original, and absolutely indispensable works, as well as in innumerable periodicals, and even daily papers; at a time when in particular there is not the slightest deficiency of wholly original and profound philosophers, but in Germany alone there are more of them living simultaneously than several successive centuries have had to show? How are we to reach the end, asks the indignant reader, if we must set to work on a book with so much trouble and detail?

As I have not the least thing to say in reply to such reproaches, I hope only for some gratitude from such readers for having warned them in time, so that they may not waste an hour on a book which it would be useless for them to read unless they complied with the demands I make, and which is therefore to be left alone, especially as on other grounds one could wager a great deal that it can say nothing to them, but on the contrary will always be only paucorum hominum, and must therefore wait in calm and modesty for the few whose unusual mode of thought might find it readable. For apart from its intricacies, difficulties, and the efforts it demands of the reader, what cultured man of this age, whose knowledge has almost reached the magnificent point where the paradoxical and the false are all one and the same to him, could bear to meet on almost every page thoughts which directly contradict what he himself has nevertheless established once for all as true and settled? And then how unpleasantly disappointed will many a man find himself, when he comes across no mention of what he thinks he must look for just in this place, because his way of speculating coincides with that of a great philosopher still living. [2] This man has written truly pathetic books, and his single trifling weakness is that he regards as fundamental inborn ideas of the human mind everything that he learnt and approved before his fifteenth year. Who could endure all this? Therefore, my advice is simply to put the book aside.

I am afraid, however, that even so I shall not be let off. The reader who has got as far as the preface and is put off by that, has paid money for the book, and wants to know how he is to be compensated. My last refuge now is to remind him that he knows of various ways of using a book without precisely reading it. It can, like many another, fill a gap in his library, where, neatly bound, it is sure to look well. Or he can lay it on the dressing-table or tea-table of his learned lady friend. Or finally he can review it; this is assuredly the best course of all, and the one I specially advise.


And so, after allowing myself the joke to which in this generally ambivalent life hardly any page can be too serious to grant a place, I put my book forth in profound seriousness, confident that, sooner or later, it will reach those to whom alone it can be addressed. For the rest, I am resigned in patience to the fact that the same fate will befall it in full measure which has always fallen to the lot of truth in every branch of knowledge, in the most important branch most of all. To truth only a brief celebration of victory is allowed between the two long periods during which it is condemned as paradoxical, or disparaged as trivial. The author of truth also usually meets with the former fate. But life is short, and truth works far and lives long: let us speak the truth.

Dresden, August 1818

Preface to the Second Edition

Not to my contemporaries or my compatriots, but to mankind I consign my now complete work, confident that it will not be without value to humanity, even if this value should be recognized only tardily, as is the inevitable fate of the good in whatever form. It can have been only for mankind, and not for the quickly passing generation engrossed with its delusion of the moment, that my mind, almost against my will, has pursued its work without interruption throughout a long life. As time has passed, not even lack of sympathy has been able to shake my belief in its value. I constantly saw the false and the bad, and finally the absurd and the senseless, [3] standing in universal admiration and honour, and I thought to myself that, if those who are capable of recognizing the genuine and right were not so rare that we can spend some twenty years looking about for them in vain, those who are capable of producing it might not be so few that their works afterwards form an exception to the transitoriness of earthly things. In this way, the comforting prospect of posterity, which everyone who sets himself a high aim needs to fortify him, would then be lost. Whoever takes up and seriously pursues a matter that does not lead to material advantage, ought not to count on the sympathy of his contemporaries. But for the most part he will see that in the meantime the superficial aspect of such matter becomes current in the world and enjoys its day; and this is as it should be. For the matter itself also must be pursued for its own sake, otherwise there can be no success, since every purpose or intention is always dangerous to insight. Accordingly, as the history of literature testifies throughout, everything of value needs a long time to gain authority, especially if it is of the instructive and not of the entertaining sort; and meanwhile the false flourishes. For to unite the matter with the superficial aspect of the matter is difficult, if not impossible. Indeed, this is just the curse of this world of want and need, that everything must serve and slave for these. Therefore it is not so constituted that any noble and sublime endeavour, like that after light and truth, can thrive in it unhindered, and exist for its own sake. But even when such an endeavour has once been able to assert itself, and the idea of it is thus introduced, material interests and personal aims will at once take possession of it to make it their tool or their mask. Accordingly, after Kant had brought philosophy once more into repute, it was bound to become very soon the tool of political aims from above, and of personal aims from below: though, to be accurate, not philosophy, but its double that passes for it. This should not even surprise us, for the incredibly great majority of men are by their nature absolutely incapable of any but material aims; they cannot even comprehend any others. Accordingly, the pursuit of truth alone is a pursuit far too lofty and eccentric for us to expect that all or many, or indeed even a mere few, will sincerely take part in it. But if we see, as we do for instance in Germany at the moment, a remarkable activity, a general bustling, writing, and talking on matters of philosophy, then it may be confidently assumed that, in spite of all the solemn looks and assurances, only real, not ideal, aims are the actual primum mobile, [4] the concealed motive, of such a movement; that is, that it is personal, official, ecclesiastical, political, in short material interests which are here kept in view, and that in consequence mere party ends set in such vigorous motion the many pens of pretended philosophers. Thus intentions, not intelligence, are the guiding star of these disturbers; and truth is certainly the last thing thought of in this connexion. It finds no partisans; on the contrary, it can pursue its way as silently and unheeded through such philosophical contention and tumult as through the winter night of the darkest century, involved in the most rigid faith of the Church, where it was communicated only as esoteric doctrine to a few adepts, or even entrusted only to parchment. In fact, I might say that no time can be more unfavourable to philosophy than that in which it is shamefully misused as a political means on the one hand, and a means of livelihood on the other. Or are we to believe that, with such effort and turmoil, the truth, by no means their aim, will also come to light? 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.

Now, if governments make philosophy the means to their political ends, then scholars see in professorships of philosophy a trade that nourishes the outer man just as does any other. They therefore crowd after them in the assurance of their good way of thinking, in other words, of the purpose or intention to serve those ends. And they keep their word; not truth, not clarity, not Plato or Aristotle, but the aims and ends they were appointed to serve are their guiding star; and these at once become the criterion both of what is true, valuable, and worthy of consideration, and of its opposite. Therefore whatever does not comply with these aims, be it even the most important and extraordinary thing in their department, is either condemned, or, where this seems precarious, suppressed by being unanimously ignored. Look only at their concerted indignation at pantheism; will any simpleton believe that this proceeds from conviction? How could philosophy, degraded to become a means of earning one's bread, generally fail to degenerate into sophistry? Just because this is bound to happen, and the rule "I sing the song of him whose bread I eat" has held good at all times, the making of money by philosophy was among the ancients the characteristic of the sophist. We have still to add that, since everywhere in this world nothing is to be expected, nothing can be demanded, and nothing is to be had for money except mediocrity, we have to put up with this here also. Accordingly, in all the German universities we see the cherished mediocrity straining to bring about from its own resources, and indeed in accordance with a prescribed standard and aim, the philosophy that still does not exist at all; a spectacle at which it would be almost cruel to mock.

While philosophy has long been obliged to serve to such an extent generally as a means to public ends on the one hand, and to private ends on the other, I have followed my course of thought, undisturbed by this fact, for more than thirty years. This I have done simply because I was obliged to, and could not do otherwise, from an instinctive impulse which, however, was supported by the confidence that anything true that a man conceives, and anything obscure that he elucidates, will at some time or other be grasped by another thinking mind, and impress, delight, and console it. To such a man we speak, just as those like us have spoken to us, and have thus become our consolation in this wilderness of life. Meanwhile, the matter is pursued on its own account and for its own sake. Now it is a strange thing as regards philosophical meditations that only that which a man has thought out and investigated for himself is afterwards of benefit to others, and not that which was originally destined for those others. The former is conspicuously nearest in character to perfect honesty, for we do not try to deceive ourselves, or offer ourselves empty husks. In this way, all sophistication and all idle display of words are then omitted, and as a result every sentence that is written at once repays the trouble of reading. Accordingly, my writings bear the stamp of honesty and openness so distinctly on their face, that they are thus in glaring contrast to those of the three notorious sophists of the post-Kantian period. I am always to be found at the standpoint of reflection, in other words, of rational deliberation and honest information, never at that of inspiration, called intellectual intuition or even absolute thought; its correct names would be humbug and charlatanism. Therefore, working in this spirit, and meanwhile constantly seeing the false and the bad held in general acceptance, indeed humbug [5] and charlatanism [6] in the highest admiration, I long ago renounced the approbation of my contemporaries. It is impossible that an age which for twenty years has extolled a Hegel, that intellectual Caliban, as the greatest of philosophers so loudly that the echo was heard throughout Europe, could make the man who looked at this eager for its approbation. No longer has it any crowns of honour to bestow; its applause is prostituted, its censure signifies nothing. I mean what I say here, as is obvious from the fact that, if I had in any way aspired to the approbation of my contemporaries, I should have had to strike out twenty passages that wholly contradict all their views, and indeed must in part be offensive to them. But I should reckon it a crime on my part to sacrifice even a single syllable to that approbation. My guiding star has in all seriousness been truth. Following it, I could first aspire only to my own approval, entirely averted from an age that has sunk low as regards all higher intellectual efforts, and from a national literature demoralized but for the exceptions, a literature in which the art of combining lofty words with low sentiments has reached its zenith. Of course, I can never escape from the errors and weaknesses necessarily inherent in my nature as in that of everyone else, but I shall not increase them by unworthy accommodations.

Now, as regards this second edition, in the first place I am glad that after twenty-five years I find nothing to retract; my fundamental convictions have been confirmed, at any rate as far as I myself am concerned. Accordingly, the alterations in the first volume, which contains only the text of the first edition, nowhere touch what is essential, but relate to matters of only secondary importance. For the most part, indeed, they consist of very short explanatory additions inserted here and there. The criticism of the Kantian philosophy alone has received important corrections and lengthy additions, for these could not be brought into a supplementary book, like those that have been received in the second volume by each of the four books representing my own teaching. In the case of these, I have chosen the latter form of enlargement and improvement, because the twenty-five years that have elapsed since they were written have produced so marked a change in my method of presentation, and in the tone of my exposition, that it would not do to amalgamate the contents of the second volume with those of the first into one whole, as both would inevitably have suffered from such a fusion. I therefore present the two works separately, and in the earlier exposition, even in many places where I should now express myself quite differently, I have altered nothing. This I have done because I wanted to guard against spoiling the work of my earlier years by the carping criticism of old age. What might need correction in this respect will set itself right in the reader's mind with the aid of the second volume. Both volumes have, in the full sense of the word, a supplementary relation to each other, in so far as this is due to one age in man's life being, in an intellectual regard, the supplement of another. We shall therefore find that not only does each volume contain what the other does not, but also that the merits of the one consist precisely in what is wanting in the other. If therefore the first half of my work excels the second half in what can be vouchsafed only by the fire of youth and the energy of first conception, then the second will surpass the first in the maturity and complete elaboration of the ideas, which belongs only to the fruit of a long life, and of its application and industry. For when I had the strength originally to grasp the fundamental idea of my system, to pursue it at once into its four branches, to return from these to the unity of their stem, and then to make a clear presentation of the whole, I could not yet be in a position to work through all the parts of the system with that completeness, thoroughness, and fulness which are attained only by many years of meditation on it. Such meditation is required to test and illustrate the system by innumerable facts, to support it by proofs of the most varied nature, to throw a clear light on it from all sides, and then to place in bold contrast the different points of view, to separate the manifold materials clearly and present them in a systematic order. Therefore, although it was certainly bound to be more pleasant for the reader to have the whole of my work in one piece, instead of its consisting as now of two halves to be brought together in use, let him reflect that this would have required my achieving at one period of my life what is possible only in two, since for this I should have had to possess at one period of life the qualities which nature has divided between two quite different periods. Accordingly, the necessity for presenting my work in two halves supplementing each other is to be compared to the necessity by which an achromatic object-glass, since it cannot be made out of one piece, is produced by making it up out of a convex lens of crown-glass and a concave lens of flint-glass, the combined effect of which above all achieves what was intended. On the other hand, the reader will find some compensation for the inconvenience of using two volumes at the same time in the variety and relief afforded from the treatment of the same subject by the same mind, in the same spirit, but in very different years. For the reader who is not yet acquainted with my philosophy, however, it is generally advisable to read first of all through the first volume without dragging in the supplements, and to use these only on a second reading. For otherwise it would be too difficult for him to grasp the system in its continuity, as only in the first volume is it presented as such, while in the second the principal doctrines are established individually in greater detail, and developed more completely. Even the reader who might not decide on a second reading of the first volume will find it better to read through the second volume by itself, and only after the first volume. This he can do in the ordinary sequence of its chapters, which certainly stand to one another in a looser connexion, and the gaps in this will be completely filled by recollection of the first volume, if the reader has really grasped that. Moreover, he will everywhere find reference to the corresponding passages of the first volume. For this purpose, in the second edition of the first volume I have furnished with numbers the paragraphs which in the first edition were divided only by lines.

I have already explained in the preface to the first edition that my philosophy starts from Kant's, and therefore presupposes a thorough knowledge of it; I repeat this here. For Kant's teaching produces a fundamental change in every mind that has grasped it. This change is so great that it may be regarded as an intellectual rebirth. It alone is capable of really removing the inborn realism which arises from the original disposition of the intellect. Neither Berkeley nor Malebranche is competent to do this, for these men remain too much in the universal, whereas Kant goes into the particular. And this he does in a way which is unexampled either before or after him, and one which has quite a peculiar, one might say immediate, effect on the mind. In consequence of this, the mind undergoes a fundamental undeceiving, and thereafter looks at all things in another light. But only in this way does a man become susceptible to the more positive explanations that I have to give. On the other hand, the man who has not mastered the Kantian philosophy, whatever else he may have studied, is, so to speak, in a state of innocence; in other words, he has remained in the grasp of that natural and childlike realism in which we are all born, and which qualifies one for every possible thing except philosophy. Consequently, such a man is related to the other as a person under age is to an adult. That nowadays this truth sounds paradoxical, as it certainly would not have done in the first thirty years after the appearance of the Critique of Reason, is due to the fact that there has since grown up a generation that does not really know Kant. It has never done more than peruse him hastily and impatiently, or listen to an account at second-hand; and this again is due to its having, in consequence of bad guidance, wasted its time on the philosophemes of ordinary, and hence officious and intrusive, heads, or even of bombastic sophists, which have been irresponsibly commended to it. Hence the confusion in the first conceptions, and generally the unspeakable crudity and clumsiness that appear from under the cloak of affectation and pretentiousness in the philosophical attempts of the generation thus brought up. But the man who imagines he can become acquainted with Kant's philosophy from the descriptions of others, labours under a terrible mistake. On the contrary, I must utter a serious warning against accounts of this kind, especially those of recent times. In fact in the most recent years in the writings of the Hegelians I have come across descriptions of the Kantian philosophy which really reach the incredible. How could minds strained and ruined in the freshness of youth by the nonsense of Hegelism still be capable of following Kant's profound investigations? They are early accustomed to regard the hollowest of verbiage as philosophical thoughts, the most miserable sophisms as sagacity, and silly craziness as dialectic; and by accepting frantic word-combinations in which the mind torments and exhausts itself in vain to conceive something, their heads are disorganized. They do not require any Critique of Reason or any philosophy; they need a medicina mentis, first as a sort of purgative, un petit cours de senscommunologie, [7] and after that one must see whether there can still be any talk of philosophy with them. Thus the Kantian doctrine will be sought in vain elsewhere than in Kant's own works; but these are instructive throughout, even where he errs, even where he fails. In consequence of his originality, it is true of him in the highest degree, as indeed of all genuine philosophers, that only from their own works does one come to know them, not from the accounts of others. For the thoughts of those extraordinary minds cannot stand filtration through an ordinary head. Born behind the broad, high, finely arched brows from under which beaming eyes shine forth, they lose all power and life, and no longer appear like themselves, when moved into the narrow lodging and low roofing of the confined, contracted, and thick-walled skulls from which peer out dull glances directed to personal ends. In fact, it can be said that heads of this sort act like uneven mirrors in which everything is twisted and distorted, loses the symmetry of its beauty, and represents a caricature. Only from their creators themselves can we receive philosophical thoughts. Therefore the man who feels himself drawn to philosophy must himself seek out its immortal teachers in the quiet sanctuary of their works. The principal chapters of anyone of these genuine philosophers will furnish a hundred times more insight into their doctrines than the cumbersome and distorted accounts of them produced by commonplace minds that are still for the most part deeply entangled in the fashionable philosophy of the time, or in their own pet opinions. But it is astonishing how decidedly the public prefers to grasp at those descriptions at second-hand. In fact, an elective affinity seems to be at work here by virtue of which the common nature is drawn to its like, and accordingly will prefer to hear from one of its kind even what a great mind has said. Perhaps this depends on the same principle as the system of mutual instruction according to which children learn best from other children.


Now one more word for the professors of philosophy. I have always felt compelled to admire not only the sagacity, the correct and fine tact with which, immediately on its appearance, they recognized my philosophy as something quite different from, and indeed dangerous to, their own attempts, or in popular language as something that did not suit their purpose; but also the sure and astute policy by virtue of which they at once found out the only correct procedure towards it, the perfect unanimity with which they applied this, and finally the determination with which they have remained faithful to it. This procedure, which incidentally commended itself also by the ease with which it can be carried out, consists, as is well known, in wholly ignoring and thus in secreting -- according to Goethe's malicious expression, which really means suppressing what is of importance and of significance. The effectiveness of this silent method is enhanced by the corybantic shouting with which the birth of the spiritual children of those of the same mind is reciprocally celebrated, shouting which forces the public to look and to notice the important airs with which they greet one another over it. Who could fail to recognize the purpose of this procedure? Is there then nothing to be said against the maxim primum vivere, deinde philosophari? [8] The gentlemen want to live, and indeed to live by philosophy. To philosophy they are assigned with their wives and children, and in spite of Petrarch's povera e nuda vai filosofia, [9] they have taken a chance on it. Now my philosophy is certainly not so ordered that anyone could live by it. It lacks the first indispensable requisite for a well-paid professorial philosophy, namely a speculative theology, which should and must be the principal theme of all philosophy-in spite of the troublesome Kant with his Critique of Reason; although such a philosophy thus has the task of for ever talking about that of which it can know absolutely nothing. In fact, my philosophy does not allow of the fiction which has been so cleverly devised by the professors of philosophy and has become indispensable to them, namely the fiction of a reason that knows, perceives, or apprehends immediately and absolutely. One need only impose this fiction on the reader at the very beginning, in order to drive in the most comfortable manner in the world, in a carriage and four so to speak, into that region beyond all possibility of experience, wholly and for ever shut off from our knowledge by Kant. In such a region, then, are to be found, immediately revealed and most beautifully arranged, precisely those fundamental dogmas of modern, Judaizing, optimistic Christianity. My meditative philosophy, deficient in these essential requisites, lacking in consideration and the means of subsistence, has for its pole star truth alone, naked, unrewarded, unbefriended, often persecuted truth, and towards this it steers straight, looking neither to the right nor to the left. Now what in the world has such a philosophy to do with that alma mater, the good, substantial university philosophy, which, burdened with a hundred intentions and a thousand considerations, proceeds on its course cautiously tacking, since at all times it has before its eyes the fear of the Lord, the will of the ministry, the dogmas of the established Church, the wishes of the publisher, the encouragement of students, the goodwill of colleagues, the course of current politics, the momentary tendency of the public, and Heaven knows what else? Or what has my silent and serious search for truth in common with the yelling school disputations of the chairs and benches, whose most secret motives are always personal aims? On the contrary, the two kinds of philosophy are fundamentally different. Therefore with me there is no compromise and there is no fellowship, and no one derives any advantage from me, except perhaps the man who is looking for nothing but the truth; none, therefore, of the philosophical parties of the day, for they all pursue their own aims. I, however, have only insight and discernment to offer, which suit none of those aims, because they are simply not modelled on any of them. But if my philosophy itself were to become susceptible to the professor's chair, there would have to be a complete change in the times. It would be a fine thing, then, if such a philosophy, by which no one can live at all, were to gain light and air, not to mention universal regard! Consequently, this had to be guarded against, and all had to oppose it as one man. But a man has not so easy a game with disputing and refuting; moreover, these are precarious and uncertain means, for the very reason that they direct public attention to the matter, and reading my works might ruin the public's taste for the lucubrations of the professors of philosophy. For the man who has tasted the serious will no longer relish the comic, especially when it is of a tedious nature. Therefore the system of silence, so unanimously resorted to, is the only right one, and I can only advise them to stick to it, and go on with it as long as it works -- in other words, until ignoring is taken to imply ignorance; then there will still just be time to come round. Meanwhile, everyone is at liberty to pluck a little feather here and there for his own use, for the superfluity of ideas at home is not usually very oppressive. Thus the system of ignoring and of maintaining silence can last for a good while, at any rate for the span of time that I may yet have to live; in this way much is already gained. If in the meantime an indiscreet voice here and there has allowed itself to be heard, it is soon drowned by the loud talking of the professors who, with their airs of importance, know how to entertain the public with quite different things. But I advise a somewhat stricter observance of the unanimity of procedure, and, in particular, supervision of the young men, who at times are terribly indiscreet. For even so, I am unable to guarantee that the commended procedure will last for ever, and I cannot be answerable for the final result. It is a ticklish question, the steering of the public, good and docile as it is on the whole. Although we see the Gorgiases and Hippiases nearly always at the top; although as a rule the absurd culminates, and it seems impossible for the voice of the individual ever to penetrate through the chorus of foolers and the fooled, still there is left to the genuine works of all times a quite peculiar, silent, slow, and powerful influence; and as if by a miracle, we see them rise at last out of the turmoil like a balloon that floats up out of the thick atmosphere of this globe into purer regions. Having once arrived there, it remains at rest, and no one can any longer draw it down again.

Frankfurt a. M., February 1844

Preface to the Third Edition

The true and the genuine would more easily obtain a footing in the world, were it not that those incapable of producing it were at the same time pledged not to let it gain ground. This circumstance has already hindered and retarded, if indeed it has not stifled, many a work that should be of benefit to the world. For me the consequence of this has been that, although I was only thirty years of age when the first edition of this book appeared, I live to see this third edition not until my seventy-second year. Nevertheless, I find consolation for this in the words of Petrarch: Si quis tota die currens, pervenit ad vesperam, satis est (De Vera Sapientia, p. 140). [10] If I also have at last arrived, and have the satisfaction at the end of my life of seeing the beginning of my influence, it is with the hope that, according to an old rule, it will last the longer in proportion to the lateness of its beginning.

In this third edition the reader will miss nothing that is contained in the second, but will receive considerably more, since, by reason of the additions made to it, it has, though in the same type, 136 pages more than its predecessor.

Seven years after the appearance of the second edition, I published the two volumes of the Parerga and Paralipomena. What is to be understood by the latter name consists of additions to the systematic presentation of my philosophy, which would have found their rightful place in these volumes. At that time, however, I had to fit them in where I could, as it was very doubtful whether I should live to see this third edition. They will be found in the second volume of the aforesaid Parerga, and will be easily recognized from the headings of the chapters.

Frankfurt a. M., September 1859.



1. "How many things are considered impossible until they are actually done!" [Tr.]

2. F. H. Jacobi.

3. The Hegelian philosophy.

4. "First motive." [Tr.]

5. Fichte and Schelling.

6. Hegel.

7. "A short course in common sense." [fr.]

8. "First live, then philosophize." [Tr.]

9. "Philosophy, thou goest poor and nude!" [Tr.]

10. "If anyone who wanders all day arrives towards evening, it is enough." [Tr.]
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Re: The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenh

Postby admin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:33 pm

Selected Bibliography


German Editions:

Schopenhauers samtliche Werke. Ed. Paul Deussen. 13 vols. Munich: R. Piper, 1911-42.

Schopenhauers samtliche Werke. Ed. Arthur Hubscher. 7 vols. Wiesbaden: F. A. Brockhaus, 1946-50.

Schopenhauers handschriftlicher Nachlass.Ed. Arthur Hubscher. 5 vols. Frankfurt am Main: Waldemar Kramer, 1966-- (vols. 1, 2 and 5 already published).


On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. On the Will in Nature. Trans. E. F. J. Payne (to be published by Open Court Publishing Co. in one volume).

On the Freedom of the Will. Trans. Konstantin Kolenda. Library of Liberal Arts, Bobbs-Merrill, New York, 1960.

On the Basis of Morality. Trans. E. F. J. Payne. Library of Liberal Arts, Bobbs-Merrill, New York, 1965.

Selected Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer. Trans. and ed. E. Belfort Bax. G. Bell & Sons, London, 1926.

The Pessimist's Handbook: A Collection of Popular Essays. Trans. T. Bailey Saunders. Ed. Hazel Barnes. Bison Books, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1964.


Beer, Margrieta. Schopenhauer. London: T. C. & E. C. Jack, 1914.

Copleston, Frederick. Arthur Schopenhauer: Philosopher of Pessimism. London: Burns, Oates and Washbourne, 1947.

Deussen, Paul. The Elements of Metaphysics. London: Macmillan & Co., 1894.

Doring, W. O. Schopenhauer. Hamburg: Hansischer Gildenverlag, 1947.

Gardiner, Patrick. Schopenhauer. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1963.

Hubscher, A. Arthur Schopenhauer: Mensch und Philosoph in seinen Briefen. Wiesbaden: F. A. Brockhaus, 1960.

--. Schopenhauer: Biographie eines Weltbildes. Stuttgart: Reclam, 1967.

--. Schopenhauer-Bildnisse: Eine lkonographie. Frankfurt am Main: Waldemar Kramer, 1968.

Pfeiffer, K. Arthur Schopenhauer: Personlichkeit und Werk. Leipzig: A. Kroner, 1925.

Saltus, Edgar E. The Philosophy of Disenchantment. New York: Belford Co., 1885 (New York: AMS Press, Inc.).

Schmidt, K. O. Das Erwachen aus dem Lebens-Traum. Pfullingen: Baum Verlag, 1957.

Taylor, Richard. The Will to Live. New York: Anchor Books, 1962.

Wagner, G. F. Schopenhauer-Register. Stuttgart: Fr. Frommann, 1960.

Whittaker, Thomas. Schopenhauer. London: Constable, 1920.

Zimmern, Helen. Arthur Sclwpenhauer: His Life and His Philosophy. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1876.

Zint, Hans. Schopenhauer als Erlebnis. Munich: E. Reinhardt, 1954.
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Re: The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenh

Postby admin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:42 pm

Part 1 of 6


The Representation subject to the Principle of Sufficient Reason: The Object of Experience and of Science.

Sors de l'enfance, ami, reveille-toi!
-- Jean-Jacques Rousseau

("Quit thy childhood, my friend, and wake up." [Tr.])


"The world is my representation": this is a truth valid with reference to every living and knowing being, although man alone can bring it into reflective, abstract consciousness. If he really does so, philosophical discernment has dawned on him. It then becomes clear and certain to him that he does not know a sun· and an earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels an earth; that the world around him is there only as representation, in other words, only in reference to another thing, namely that which represents, and this is himself. If any truth can be expressed a priori, it is this; for it is the statement of that form of all possible and conceivable experience, a form that is more general than all others, than time, space, and causality, for all these presuppose it. While each of these forms, which we have recognized as so many particular modes of the principle of sufficient reason, is valid only for a particular class of representations, the division into object and subject, on the other hand, is the common form of all those classes; it is that form under which alone any representation, of whatever kind it be, abstract or intuitive, pure or empirical, is generally possible and conceivable. Therefore no truth is more certain, more independent of all others, and less in need of proof than this, namely that everything that exists for knowledge, and hence the whole of this world, is only object in relation to the subject, perception of the perceiver, in a word, representation. Naturally this holds good of the present as well as of the past and future, of what is remotest as well as of what is nearest; for it holds good of time and space themselves, in which alone all these distinctions arise. Everything that in any way belongs and can belong to the world is inevitably associated with this being-conditioned by the subject, and it exists only for the subject. The world is representation.

This truth is by no means new. It was to be found already in the sceptical reflections from which Descartes started. But Berkeley was the first to enunciate it positively, and he has thus rendered an immortal service to philosophy, although the remainder of his doctrines cannot endure. Kant's first mistake was the neglect of this principle, as is pointed out in the Appendix. On the other hand, how early this basic truth was recognized by the sages of India, since it appears as the fundamental tenet of the Vedanta philosophy ascribed to Vyasa, is proved by Sir William Jones in the last of his essays: "On the Philosophy of the Asiatics" (Asiatic Researches, vol. IV, p. 164): "The fundamental tenet of the Vedanta school consisted not in denying the existence of matter, that is, of solidity, impenetrability, and extended figure (to deny which would be lunacy), but in correcting the popular notion of it, and in contending that it has no essence independent of mental perception; that existence and perceptibility are convertible terms." These words adequately express the compatibility of empirical reality with transcendental ideality.

Thus in this first book we consider the world only from the abovementioned angle, only in so far as it is representation. The inner reluctance with which everyone accepts the world as his mere representation warns him that this consideration, quite apart from its truth, is nevertheless one-sided, and so is occasioned by some arbitrary abstraction. On the other hand, he can never withdraw from this acceptance. However, the one-sidedness of this consideration will be made good in the following book through a truth that is not so immediately certain as that from which we start here. Only deeper investigation, more difficult abstraction, the separation of what is different, and the combination of what is identical can lead us to this truth. This truth, which must be very serious and grave if not terrible to everyone, is that a man also can say and must say: "The world is my will."

But in this first book it is necessary to consider separately that side of the world from which we start, namely the side of the knowable, and accordingly to consider without reserve all existing objects, nay even our own bodies (as we shall discuss more fully later on), merely as representation, to call them mere representation. That from which we abstract here is invariably only the will, as we hope will later on be clear to everyone. This will alone constitutes the other aspect of the world, for this world is, on the one side, entirely representation, just as, on the other, it is entirely will. But a reality that is neither of these two, but .an object in itself (into which also Kant's thing-in-itself has unfortunately degenerated in his hands), is the phantom of a dream, and its acceptance is an ignis fatuus in philosophy.


That which knows all things and is known by none is the subject. It is accordingly the supporter of the world, the universal condition of all that appears, of all objects, and it is always presupposed; for whatever exists, exists only for the subject. Everyone finds himself as this subject, yet only in so far as he knows, not in so far as he is object of knowledge. But his body is already object, and therefore from this point of view we call it representation. For the body is object among objects and is subordinated to the laws of objects, although it is immediate object. [1] Like all objects of perception, it lies within the forms of all knowledge, in time and space through which there is plurality. But the subject, the knower never the known, does not lie within these forms; on the contrary, it is always presupposed by those forms themselves, and hence neither plurality nor its opposite, namely unity, belongs to it. We never know it, but it is precisely that which knows wherever there is knowledge.

Therefore the world as representation, in which aspect alone we are here considering it, has two essential, necessary, and inseparable halves. The one half is the object, whose forms are space and time, and through these plurality. But the other half, the subject, does not lie in space and time, for it is whole and undivided in every representing being. Hence a single one of these beings with the object completes the world as representation just as fully as do the millions that exist. And if that single one were to disappear, then the world as representation would no longer exist. Therefore these halves are inseparable even in thought, for each of the two has meaning and existence only through and for the other; each exists with the other and vanishes with it. They limit each other immediately; where the object begins, the subject ceases. The common or reciprocal nature of this limitation is seen in the very fact that the essential, and hence universal, forms of every object, namely space, time, and causality, can be found and fully known, starting from the subject, even without the knowledge of the object itself, that is to say, in Kant's language, they reside a priori in our consciousness. To have discovered this is one of Kant's chief merits, and it is a very great one. Now in addition to this, I maintain that the principle of sufficient reason is the common expression of all these forms of the object of which we are a priori conscious, and that therefore all that we know purely a priori is nothing but the content of that principle and what follows therefrom; hence in it is really expressed the whole of our a priori certain knowledge. In my essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason I have shown ia detail how every possible object is subordinate to it, that is to say, stands in a necessary relation to other objects, on the one hand as determined, on the other as determining. This extends so far that the entire existence of all objects, in so far as they are objects, representations, and nothing else, is traced back completely to this necessary relation of theirs to one another, consists only in that relation, and hence is entirely relative; but more of this later. I have further shown that this necessary relation, expressed in general by the principle of sufficient reason, appears in other forms corresponding to the classes into which objects are divided according to their possibility; and again that the correct division of those classes is verified by these forms. Here I constantly assume that what was said in that essay is known and present to the reader, for had it not already been said there, it would have its necessary place here.


The main difference among all our representations is that between the intuitive and the abstract. The latter constitutes only one class of representations, namely concepts; and on earth these are the property of man alone. The capacity for these which distinguishes him from all animals has at all times been called reason (Vernunft). [2] We shall consider further these abstract representations by themselves, but first of all we shall speak exclusively of the intuitive representation. This embraces the entire visible world, or the whole of experience, together with the conditions of its possibility. As we have said, it is one of Kant's very important discoveries that these very conditions, these forms of the visible world, in other words, the most universal element in its perception, the common property of all its phenomena, time and space, even by themselves and separated from their content, can be not only thought in the abstract, but also directly perceived. This perception or intuition is not some kind of phantasm, borrowed from experience through repetition, but is so entirely independent of experience that, on the contrary, experience must be thought of as dependent on it, since the properties of space and time, as they are known in a priori perception or intuition, are valid for all possible experience as laws. Everywhere experience must turn out in accordance with these laws. Accordingly, in my essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason, I have regarded time and space, in so far as they are perceived pure and empty of content, as a special class of representations existing by itself. Now this quality of those universal forms of intuition, discovered by Kant, is certainly very important, the quality, that is, that they are perceivable in themselves and independently of experience, and are knowable by their entire conformity to law, on which rests mathematics with its infallibility. Not less remarkable, however, is the quality of time and space that the principle of sufficient reason, which determines experience as the law of causality and of motivation, and thought as the law of the basis of judgements, appears in them in quite a special form, to which I have given the name ground of being. In time this is the succession of its moments, and in space the position of its parts, which reciprocally determine one another to infinity.

Anyone who has clearly seen from the introductory essay the complete identity of the content of the principle of sufficient reason, in spite of all the variety of its forms, will also be convinced of the importance of the knowledge of the simplest of its forms as such for an insight into his own inmost nature. We have recognized this simplest form to be time. In time each moment is, only in so far as it has effaced its father the preceding moment, to be again effaced just as quickly itself. Past and future (apart from the consequences of their content) are as empty and unreal as any dream; but present is only the boundary between the two, having neither extension nor duration. In just the same way, we shall also recognize the same emptiness in all the other forms of the principle of sufficient reason, and shall see that, like time, space also, and like this, everything that exists simultaneously in space and time, and hence everything that proceeds from causes or motives, has only a relative existence, is only through and for another like itself, i.e., only just as enduring. In essence this view is old; in it Heraclitus lamented the eternal flux of things; Plato spoke with contempt of its object as that which for ever becomes, but never is; Spinoza called it mere accidents of the sole substance that alone is and endures; Kant opposed to the thing-in-itself that which is known as mere phenomenon; finally, the ancient wisdom of the Indians declares that "it is Maya, the veil of deception, which covers the eyes of mortals, and causes them to see a world of which one cannot say either that it is or that it is not; for it is like a dream, like the sunshine on the sand which the traveller from a distance takes to be water, or like the piece of rope on the ground which he regards as a snake." (These similes are repeatedly found in innumerable passages of the Vedas and Puranas.) But what all these meant, and that of which they speak, is nothing else but what we are now considering, namely the world as representation subordinated to the principle of sufficient reason.


He who has recognized the form of the principle of sufficient reason, which appears in pure time as such, and on which all counting and calculating are based, has thereby also recognized the whole essence of time. It is nothing more than that very form of the principle of sufficient reason, and it has no other quality or attribute. Succession is the form of the principle of sufficient reason in time, and succession is the whole essence and nature of time. Further, he who has recognized the principle of sufficient reason as it rules in mere, purely perceived space, has thereby exhausted the whole nature of space. For this is absolutely nothing else but the possibility of the reciprocal determinations of its parts by one another, which is called position. The detailed consideration of this, and the formulation of the results flowing from it into abstract conceptions for convenient application, form the subject-matter of the whole of geometry. Now in just the same way, he who has recognized that form of the principle of sufficient reason which governs the content of those forms (of time and space), their perceptibility, i.e., matter, and hence the law of causality, has thereby recognized the entire essence and nature of matter as such; for matter is absolutely nothing but causality, as anyone sees immediately the moment he reflects on it. Thus its being is its acting; it is not possible to conceive for it any other being. Only as something acting does it fill space and time; its action on the immediate object (which is itself matter) conditions the perception in which alone it exists. The consequence of the action of every material object on another is known only in so far as the latter now acts on the immediate object in a way different from that in which it acted previously; it consists in this alone. Thus cause and effect are the whole essence and nature of matter; its being is its acting. (Details of this are to be found in the essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason, § 21, p. 77.) The substance of everything material is therefore very appropriately called in German Wirklichkeit, [3] a word much more expressive than Realitat. That on which it acts, again, is always matter; thus its whole being and essence consist only in the orderly and regular change produced by one part of it in another; consequently, its being and essence are entirely relative, according to a relation that is valid only within its limits, and hence just like time and space.

Time and space, however, each by itself, can be represented in intuition even without matter; but matter cannot be so represented without time and space. The form inseparable from it presupposes space, and its action, in which its entire existence consists, always concerns a change, and hence a determination of time. But time and space are not only, each by itself, presupposed by matter, but a combination of the two constitutes its essential nature, just because this, as we have shown, consists in action, in causality. All the innumerable phenomena and conditions of things that can be conceived could thus lie side by side in endless space without limiting one another, or even follow one another in endless time without disturbing one another. Thus a necessary relation of these phenomena to one another, and a rule determining them according to this relation, would then not be at all needful, or even applicable. Thus, in the case of all juxtaposition in space and of all change in time, so long as each of these two forms by itself, and without any connexion with the other, had its course and duration, there would be no causality at all, and as this constitutes the real essence of matter, there would also be no matter. But the law of causality receives its meaning and necessity only from the fact that the essence of change does not consist in the mere variation of states or conditions in themselves. On the contrary, it consists in the fact that, at the same place in space, there is now one condition or state and then another, and at one and the same point of time there is here this state and there that state. Only this mutual limitation of time and space by each other gives meaning, and at the same time necessity, to a rule according to which change must take place. What is determined by the law of causality is therefore not the succession of states in mere time, but that succession in respect of a particular space, and not only the existence of states at a particular place, but at this place at a particular time. Thus change, i.e., variation occurring according to the causal law, always concerns a particular part of space and a particular part of time, simultaneously and in union. Consequently, causality unites space and time. But we found that the whole essence of matter consists in action, and hence in causality; consequently, space and time must also be united in this, in other words, matter must carry within itself simultaneously the properties and qualities of time and those of space, however much the two are opposed to each other. It must unite within itself what is impossible in each of those two independently, the unstable flight of time with the rigid unchangeable persistence of space; from both it has infinite divisibility. Accordingly, through it we find coexistence first brought about. This could not be either in mere time, that knows no juxtaposition, or in mere space, that knows no before, after, or now. But the coexistence of many states constitutes in fact the essence of reality, for through it permanence or duration first becomes possible. Permanence is knowable only in the change of that which exists simultaneously with what is permanent; but also only by means of what is permanent in variation does variation receive the character of change, i.e., of the alteration of quality and form in spite of the persistence of substance, i.e., of matter. [4] In mere space, the world would be rigid and immovable, with no succession, no change, no action; but with action arises also the representation of matter. Again, in mere time everything would be fleeting, with no persistence, no juxtaposition, and therefore no coexistence, consequently no permanence or duration, and thus also once more no matter. Only through the combination of time and space arises matter, that is to say, the possibility of coexistence, and so of duration; and again, through duration the possibility of persistence of substance with change of states and conditions. [5] As matter has its essential nature in the union of time and space, it bears in all respects the stamp of both. It shows its origin from space partly through the form that is inseparable from it, and particularly through its persistence (substance), (since variation belongs to time alone, but in it alone and for it nothing is permanent). The a priori certainty of persistence or substance is therefore to be wholly and entirely derived from that of space. [6] Matter reveals its origin from time in quality (accident), without which it never appears, and which is positively always causality, action on other matter, and hence change (a concept of time). The conformity to law of this action, however, always has reference to space and time simultaneously, and only thus has meaning. The legislative force of causality relates solely and entirely to the determination as to what kind of state or condition must appear at this time and in this place. On this derivation of the basic determinations of matter from the forms of our knowledge, of which we are a priori conscious, rests our knowledge a priori of the sure and certain properties of matter. These are space-occupation, i.e., impenetrability, i.e., effectiveness, then extension, infinite divisibility, persistence, i.e., indestructibility, and finally mobility. On the other hand, gravity, notwithstanding its universality, is to be attributed to knowledge a posteriori, although Kant in his Metaphysical Rudiments of Natural Science (p. 71: Rosenkranz's edition, p. 372) asserts that it is knowable a priori.

But as the object in general exists only for the subject as the representation thereof, so does every special class of representations exist only for an equally special disposition in the subject, which is called a faculty of knowledge. The subjective correlative of time and space in themselves, as empty forms, was called by Kant pure sensibility, and this expression may be retained, as Kant was the pioneer here, although it is not quite suitable; for sensibility presupposes matter. The subjective correlative of matter or of causality, for the two are one and the same, is the understanding, and it is nothing more than this. To know causality is the sole function of the understanding, its only power, and it is a great power embracing much, manifold in its application, and yet unmistakable in its identity throughout all its manifestations. Conversely, all causality, hence all matter, and consequently the whole of reality, is only for the understanding, through the understanding, in the understanding. The first, simplest, ever-present manifestation of understanding is perception of the actual world. This is in every way knowledge of the cause from the effect, and therefore all perception is intellectual. Yet one could never arrive at perception, if some effect were not immediately known, and thus served as the starting-point. But this is the action or effect on animal bodies. To this extent these bodies are the immediate objects of the subject; through them the perception of all other objects is brought about. The changes experienced by every animal body are immediately known, that is to say, felt; and as this effect is referred at once to its cause, there arises the perception of the latter as an object. This relation is no conclusion in abstract concepts, it does not happen through reflection, it is not arbitrary, but is immediate, necessary, and certain. It is the cognitive method of the pure understanding, without which perception would never be attained; there would remain only a dull, plant-like consciousness of the changes of the immediate object which followed one another in a wholly meaningless way, except in so far as they might have a meaning for the will either as pain or pleasure. But as with the appearance of the sun the visible world makes its appearance, so at one stroke does the understaading through its one simple function convert the dull meaningless sensation into perception. What the eye, the ear, or the hand experiences is not perception; it is mere data. Only by the passing of the understanding from the effect to the cause does the world stand out as perception extended in space, varying in respect of form, persisting through all time as regards matter. For the understanding unites space and time in the representation of matter, that is to say, of effectiveness. This world as representation exists only through the understanding, and also only for the understanding. In the first chapter of my essay On Vision and Colours, I have explained how the understanding produces perception out of the data furnished by the senses; how by comparing the impressions received by the different senses from the same object the child learns perception; how this alone throws light on so many phenomena of the senses, on single vision with two eyes, on double vision in the case of squinting, or in the case where we look simultaneously at objects that lie behind one another at unequal distances, and on every illusion produced by a sudden alteration in the organs of sense. But I have treated this important subject much more fully and thoroughly in the second edition of my essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason (§ 21). All that is said there has its necessary place here, and therefore ought really to be said again. But as I am almost as reluctant to quote myself as to quote others, and as I am unable to explain the subject better than it is explained there, I refer the reader to that essay instead of repeating it, and here assume that it is known.

The process by which children, and persons who are born blind and have been operated on, learn to see; single vision of whatever is perceived with two eyes; double vision and double touch, occurring when the organs of sense are displaced from their usual position; the upright appearance of objects, whereas their image in the eye is inverted; the attributing of colour to external objects, whereas it is merely an inner function, a division, through polarization, of the activity of the eye; and finally also the stereoscope; all these are solid and irrefutable proofs that all perception is not only of the senses, but of the intellect; in other words, pure knowledge through the understanding of the cause from the effect. Consequently, it presupposes the law of causality, and on the knowledge of this depends all perception, and therefore all experience, by virtue of its primary and entire possibility. The converse, namely that knowledge of the causal law results from experience, is not the case; this was the scepticism of Hume, and is first refuted by what is here said. For the independence of the knowledge of causality from all experience, in other words, its a priori character, can alone be demonstrated from the dependence of all experience on it. Again, this can be done only by proving, in the manner here indicated, and explained in the passages above referred to, that the knowledge of causality is already contained in perception generally, in the domain of which all experience is to be found, and hence that it exists wholly a priori in respect of experience, that it does not presuppose experience, but is presupposed thereby as a condition. But this cannot be demonstrated in the manner attempted by Kant, which I criticize in the essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason (§ 23).


Now we must guard against the grave misunderstanding of supposing that, because perception is brought about through knowledge of causality, the relation of cause and effect exists between object and subject. On the contrary, this relation always occurs only between immediate and mediate object, and hence always only between objects. On this false assumption rests the foolish controversy about the reality of the external world, a controversy in which dogmatism and scepticism oppose each other, and the former appears now as realism, now as idealism. Realism posits the object as cause, and places its effect in the subject. The idealism of Fichte makes the object the effect of the subject. Since, however -- and this cannot be sufficiently stressed -- absolutely no relation according to the principle of sufficient reason subsists between subject and object, neither of these two assertions could ever be proved, and scepticism made triumphant attacks on both. Now just as the law of causality already precedes, as condition, perception and experience, and thus cannot be learnt from these (as Hume imagined), so object and subject precede all knowledge, and hence even the principle of sufficient reason in general, as the first condition. For this principle is only the form of every object, the whole nature and manner of its appearance; but the object always presupposes the subject, and hence between the two there can be no relation of reason and consequent. My essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason purports to achieve just this: it explains the content of that principle as the essential form of every object, in other words, as the universal mode and manner of all objective existence, as something which pertains to the object as such. But the object as such everywhere presupposes the subject as its necessary correlative, and hence the subject always remains outside the province of the validity of the principle of sufficient reason. The controversy about the reality of the external world rests precisely on this false extension of the validity of the principle of sufficient reason to the subject also, and, starting from this misunderstanding, it could never understand itself. On the one hand, realistic dogmatism, regarding the representation as the effect of the object, tries to separate these two, representation and object, which are but one, and to assume a cause quite different from the representation, an object-in-itself independent of the subject, something that is wholly inconceivable; for as object it presupposes the subject, and thus always remains only the representation of the subject. Opposed to this is scepticism, with the same false assumption that in the representation we always have only the effect, never the cause, and so never real being; that we always know only the action of objects. But this, it supposes, might have no resemblance whatever to that being, and would indeed generally be quite falsely assumed, for the law of causality is first accepted from experience, and then the reality of experience is in turn supposed to rest on it. Both these views are open to the correction, firstly, that object and representation are the same thing; that the true being of objects of perception is their action; that the actuality of the thing consists exactly in this; and that the demand for the existence of the object outside the representation of the subject, and also for a real being of the actual thing distinct from its action, has no meaning at all, and is a contradiction. Therefore knowledge of the nature of the effect of a perceived object exhausts the object itself in so far as it is object, i.e., representation, as beyond this there is nothing left in it for knowledge. To this extent, therefore, the perceived world in space and time, proclaiming itself as nothing but causality, is perfectly real, and is absolutely what it appears to be; it appears wholly and without reserve as representation, hanging together according to the law of causality. This is its empirical reality. On the other hand, all causality is only in the understanding and for the understanding. The entire actual, i.e., active, world is therefore always conditioned as such by the understanding, and without this is nothing. Not for this reason only, but also because in general no object without subject can be conceived without involving a contradiction, we must absolutely deny to the dogmatist the reality of the external world, when he declares this to be its independence of the subject. The whole world of objects is and remains representation, and is for this reason wholly and for ever conditioned by the subject; in other words, it has transcendental ideality. But it is not on that account falsehood or illusion; it presents itself as what it is, as representation, and indeed as a series of representations, whose common bond is the principle of sufficient reason. As such it is intelligible to the healthy understanding, even according to its innermost meaning, and to the understanding it speaks a perfectly clear language. To dispute about its reality can occur only to a mind perverted by oversubtle sophistry; such disputing always occurs through an incorrect application of the principle of sufficient reason. This principle combines all representations, of whatever kind they be, one with another; but it in no way connects these with the subject, or with something that is neither subject nor object but only the ground of the object; an absurdity, since only objects can be the ground of objects, and that indeed always. If we examine the source of this question about the reality of the external world more closely, we find that, besides the false application of the principle of sufficient reason to what lies outside its province, there is in addition a special confusion of its forms. Thus that form, which the principle of sufficient reason has merely in reference to concepts or abstract representations, is extended to representations of perception, to real objects, and a ground of knowing is demanded of objects that can have no other ground than one of becoming. Over the abstract representations, the concepts connected to judgements, the principle of sufficient reason certainly rules in such a way that each of these has its worth, its validity, its whole existence, here called truth, simply and solely through the relation of the judgement to something outside it, to its ground of knowledge, to which therefore there must always be a return. On the other hand, over real objects, the representations of perception, the principle of sufficient reason rules as the principle not of the ground of knowing, but of becoming, as the law of causality. Each of them has paid its debt to it by having become, in other words, by having appeared as effect from a cause. Therefore a demand for a ground of knowledge has no validity and no meaning here, but belongs to quite another class of objects. Thus the world of perception raises no question or doubt in the observer, so long as he remains in contact with it. Here there is neither error nor truth, for these are confined to the province of the abstract, of reflection. But here the world lies open to the senses and to the understanding; it presents itself with naive truth as that which it is, as representation of perception that is developed in the bonds of the law of causality.
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Re: The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenh

Postby admin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:42 pm

Part 2 of 6

So far as we have considered the question of the reality of the external world, it always arose from a confusion, amounting even to a misunderstanding, of the faculty of reason itself, and to this extent the question could be answered only by explaining its subject-matter. After an examination of the whole nature of the principle of sufficient reason, of the relation between object and subject, and of the real character of sense-perception, the question itself was bound to disappear, because there was no longer any meaning in it. But this question has yet another origin, quite different from the purely speculative one so far mentioned, a really empirical origin, although the question is always raised from a speculative point of view, and in this form has a much more comprehensible meaning than it had in the former. We have dreams; may not the whole of life be a dream? or more exactly: is there a sure criterion for distinguishing between dream and reality, between phantasms and real objects? The plea that what is dreamt has less vividness and distinctness than real perception has, is not worth considering at all, for no one has held the two up to comparison; only the recollection of the dream could be compared with the present reality. Kant answers the question as follows: "The connexion of the representations among themselves according to the law of causality distinguishes life from the dream." But even in the dream every single thing is connected according to the principle of sufficient reason in all its forms, and this connexion is broken only between life and the dream and between individual dreams. Kant's answer might therefore run as follows: the long dream (life) has complete connexion in itself according to the principle of sufficient reason; but it has no such connexion with the short dreams, although each of these has within itself the same connexion; thus the bridge between the former and the latter is broken, and on this account the two are distinguished. To institute an inquiry in accordance with this criterion as to whether something was dreamt or really took place would, however, be very difficult, and often impossible. For we are by no means in a position to follow link by link the causal connexion between any experienced event and the present moment; yet we do not on that account declare that it is dreamt. Therefore in real life we do not usually make use of that method of investigation to distinguish between dream and reality. The only certain criterion for distinguishing dream from reality is in fact none other than the wholly empirical one of waking, by which the causal connexion between the dreamed events and those of waking life is at any rate positively and palpably broken off. An excellent proof of this is given by the remark, made by Hobbes in the second chapter of Leviathan, that we easily mistake dreams for reality when we have unintentionally fallen asleep in our clothes, and particularly when it happens that some undertaking or scheme occupies all our thoughts, and engrosses our attention in our dreams as well as in our waking moments. In these cases, the waking is almost as little observed as is the falling asleep; dream and reality flow into one another and become confused. Then, of course, only the application of Kant's criterion is left. If subsequently, as is often the case, the causal connexion with the present, or the absence of such connexion, cannot possibly be ascertained, then it must remain for ever undecided whether an event was dreamt or whether it really occurred. Here indeed the close relationship between life and the dream is brought out for us very clearly. We will not be ashamed to confess it, after it has been recognized and expressed by many great men. The Vedas and Puranas know no better simile for the whole knowledge of the actual world, called by them the web of Maya, than the dream, and they use none more frequently. Plato often says that men live only in the dream; only the philosopher strives to be awake. Pindar says (Pyth. viii, 135): [x] ; (umbrae somnium homo),7 and Sophocles:


-- Ajax, 125.

(Nos enim, quicunque vivimus, nihil aliud esse comperio, quam simulacra et levem umbram.) [8] Beside which Shakespeare stands most worthily:

"We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."

-- The Tempest, Act IV, Sc. 1.

Finally, Calderon was so deeply impressed with this view, that he sought to express it in a kind of metaphysical drama, Life a Dream ('La Vida es Sueno').

After these numerous passages from the poets, I may now be permitted to express myself by a metaphor. Life and dreams are leaves of one and the same book. The systematic reading is real life, but when the actual reading hour (the day) has come to an end, and we have the period of recreation, we often continue idly to thumb over the leaves, and turn to a page here and there without method or connexion. We sometimes turn up a page we have already read, at others one still unknown to us, but always from the same book. Such an isolated page is, of course, not connected with a consistent reading and study of the book, yet it is not so very inferior thereto, if we note that the whole of the consistent perusal begins and ends also on the spur of the moment, and can therefore be regarded merely as a larger single page.

Thus, although individual dreams are marked off from real life by the fact that they do not fit into the continuity of experience that runs constantly through life, and waking up indicates this difference, yet that very continuity of experience belongs to real life as its form, and the dream can likewise point to a continuity in itself. Now if we assume a standpoint of judgement external to both, we find no distinct difference in their nature, and are forced to concede to the poets that life is a long dream.

To return from this 'entirely independent empirical origin of the question of the reality of the external world to its speculative origin, we have found that this lay firstly in the false application of the principle of sufficient reason, namely between subject and object, and then again in the confusion of its forms, since the principle of sufficient reason of knowing was extended to the province where the principle of sufficient reason of becoming is valid. Yet this question could hardly have occupied philosophers so continuously, if it were entirely without any real content, and if some genuine thought and meaning did not lie at its very core as its real source. Accordingly, from this it would have to be assumed that, first by entering reflection and seeking its expression, it became involved in those confused and incomprehensible forms and questions. This is certainly my opinion, and I reckon that the pure expression of that innermost meaning of the question which it was unable to arrive at, is this: What is this world of perception besides being my representation? Is that of which I am conscious only as representation just the same as my own body, of which I am doubly conscious, on the one hand as representation, on the other as will? The clearer explanation of this question, and its answer in the affirmative, will be the content of the second book, and the conclusions from it will occupy the remaining part of this work.


Meanwhile for the present, in this first book we are considering everything merely as representation, as object for the subject. And our own body, which is the starting-point for each of us in the perception of the world, we consider, like all other real objects, merely from the side of knowableness, and accordingly it is for us only a representation. Now the consciousness of everyone, which is already opposed to the explanation of other objects as mere representations, is in even greater opposition when his own body is said to be mere representation. Thus it happens that to everyone the thing-in-itself is known immediately in so far as it appears as his own body, and only mediately in so far as it is objectified in the other objects of perception. But the course of our investigation renders necessary this abstraction, this one-sided method of consideration, this forcible separation of two things that essentially exist together. Therefore this reluctance must for the time being be suppressed, and set at rest by the expectation that the following considerations will make up for the one-sidedness of this one, towards a complete knowledge of the nature of the world.

Here, therefore, the body is for us immediate object, in other words, that representation which forms the starting-point of the subject's knowledge, since it itself with its immediately known changes precedes the application of the law of causality, and thus furnishes this with the first data. The whole essence of matter consists, as we have shown, in its action. But there are cause and effect only for the understanding, which is nothing but the subjective correlative of these. The understanding, however, could never attain to application, if there were not something else from which it starts. Such a something is the mere sensation, the immediate consciousness of the changes of the body, by virtue of which this body is immediate object. Accordingly the possibility of knowing the world of perception is to be found in two conditions; the first is, if we express it objectively, the ability of bodies to act on one another, to bring about changes in one another. Without that universal property of all bodies no perception would be possible, even by means of the sensibility of animal bodies. If, however, we wish to express this same first condition subjectively, we say that the understanding first of all makes perception possible, for the law of causality, the possibility of effect and cause, springs only from the understanding, and is valid also for it alone; hence the world of perception exists only for it and through it. The second condition, however, is the sensibility of animal bodies, or the quality possessed by certain bodies of being directly objects of the subject. The mere changes sustained from without by the sense-organs through the impression specifically appropriate to them can themselves be called representations, in so far as such impressions stimulate neither pain nor pleasure, in other words, have no immediate significance for the will, and yet are perceived, i.e. exist only for knowledge. To this extent, therefore, I say that the body is immediately known, is immediate object. The conception of object, however, is not to be taken here in the fullest sense, for through this immediate knowledge of the body, which precedes the application of the understanding and is mere sensation, the body itself does not exist really as object, but first the bodies acting on it. For all knowledge of an object proper, in other words, of a representation of perception in space, exists only through and for the understanding, and thus not before, but only after, the application of the understanding. Therefore the body as object proper, in other words, as representation of perception in space, is first known indirectly, like all other objects, through the application of the law of causality to the action of one of its parts on another, as by the eye seeing the body, or the hand touching it. Consequently the form of our own body does not become known to us through mere ordinary feeling, but only through knowledge, only in the representation; in other words, only in the brain does our own body first present itself as an extended, articulate, organic thing. A person born blind receives this representation only gradually through data afforded him by touch. A blind man without hands would never get to know his form, or at most would infer and construct it gradually from the impression on him of other bodies. Therefore, if we call the body immediate object, we are to be understood as implying this restriction.

Moreover, it follows from what has been said that all animal bodies are immediate objects, in other words starting-points in the perception of the world for the subject that knows all, and, for this very reason, is never known. Knowledge, therefore, with movement consequent on motives conditioned by it, is the proper characteristic of animal life, just as movement consequent on stimuli is the characteristic of the plant. But that which is unorganized has no movement other than that produced by causes proper in the narrowest sense. I have discussed all this at length in the essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason (second ed., § 20), in the Ethics (first essay, iii), and in my Vision and Colours (§ i), to which therefore I refer the reader.

It follows from what has been said that all animals, even the most imperfect, have understanding, for they all know objects, and this knowledge as motive determines their movements. The understanding is the same in all animals and in all men; everywhere it has the same simple form, that is to say, knowledge of causality, transition from effect to cause and from cause to effect, and nothing else. But the degree of its acuteness and the extent of its sphere of knowledge vary enormously, with many different gradations, from the lowest degree, which knows only the causal relation between the immediate object and indirect ones, and hence is just sufficient to perceive a cause as object in space by passing from the impression experienced by the body to the cause of this impression, up to the higher degrees of knowledge of the causal connexion among merely indirect objects. Such knowledge extends to the understanding of the most complicated concatenations of causes and effects in nature; for even this last degree of knowledge still belongs always to the understanding, not to the faculty of reason. The abstract concepts of reason can only serve to handle what is immediately understood, to fix and arrange this, but never to bring about understanding itself. Every force and law of nature, every case in which such forces and laws are manifested, must first be known immediately by the understanding, must be intuitively apprehended, before it can pass into reflected consciousness in abstracto for the faculty of reason. Hooke's discovery of the law of gravitation, and the reference of so many important phenomena to this one law, were intuitive, immediate apprehension through the understanding, and this was also confirmed by Newton's calculations. The same may be said also of Lavoisier's discovery of acids and their important role in nature, and of Goethe's discovery of the origin of physical colours. All these discoveries are nothing but a correct immediate return from the effect to the cause, which is at once followed by recognition of the identity of the natural force which manifests itself in all causes of the same kind. This complete insight is an expression, differing merely in degree, of the same single function of the understanding, by which an animal perceives as object in space the cause affecting its body. Therefore all those great discoveries are, just like perception and every manifestation of understanding, an immediate insight, and as such the work of an instant, an apercu, a sudden idea. They are not the product of long chains of abstract reasoning; these, on the contrary, serve to fix the immediate knowledge of the understanding for the faculty of reason by setting down such knowledge in the abstract concepts of such reason, in other words, to make it clear, to be in a position to point it out and explain it to others. That keenness of the understanding in apprehending the causal relations of objects indirectly known finds its application not only in natural science (all the discoveries of which are due to it), but also in practical life, where it is called good sense or prudence. But in its first application it is better called acuteness, penetration, sagacity. Strictly speaking, good sense or prudence signifies exclusively understanding in the service of the will. However, the boundaries of these concepts are never to be drawn sharply, for it is always one and the same function of the same understanding at work in every animal when perceiving objects in space. In its greatest keenness, it accurately investigates in natural phenomena the unknown cause from th.:: given effect, and thus provides the faculty of reason with the material for conceiving general rules as laws of nature. Again, it invents complicated and ingenious machines by applying known causes to intended effects. Or, applied to motivation, it sees through and frustrates subtle intrigues and machinations, or suitably arranges even the motives and the men susceptible to each of them, sets them in motion at will as machines are set in motion by levers and wheels, and directs them to its ends. Want of understanding is called in the proper sense stupidity, and it is just dulness in applying the law of causality, incapacity for the immediate apprehension of the concatenations of cause and effect, of motive and action. A stupid person has no insight into the connexion of natural phenomena, either when they appear of their own accord or when they are intentionally controlled, in other words made to serve machines. For this reason, he readily believes in magic and miracles. A stupid man does not notice that different persons, apparently independent of one another, are in fact acting together by agreement; he is therefore easily mystified and puzzled. He does not observe the concealed motives of proffered advice, expressed opinions, and so on. But it is invariably only one thing that he lacks, namely keenness, rapidity, ease in applying the law of causality, in other words, power of the understanding. The greatest and, in this respect, the most instructive example of stupidity that I ever came across was that of a totally imbecile boy of about eleven years of age in an asylum. He certainly had the faculty of reason, for he spoke and comprehended, but in understanding he was inferior to many animals. When I came, he noticed an eye-glass which I was wearing round my neck, and in which the windows of the room and the tops of the trees beyond them were reflected. Every time he was greatly astonished and delighted with this, and was never tired of looking at it with surprise. This was because he did not understand this absolutely direct causation of reflection.

As the degree of acuteness of understanding varies a great deal as between men, so does it vary even more as between the different species of animals. In all species, even those nearest to the plant, there exists as much understanding as is sufficient for passing from the effect in the immediate object to the mediate object as cause, and hence for perception, for the apprehension of an object. For it is just this that makes them animals, since it gives them the possibility of movement consequent on motives, and thus of seeking, or at any rate of grasping, nourishment. Plants, on the other hand, have only movement consequent on stimuli, the direct influence of which they must await or else droop; they cannot go after them or grasp them. In the most accomplished animals we marvel at their great sagacity, such as the dog, the elephant, the monkey, or the fox, whose cleverness has been described by Buffon in so masterly a way. In these most sagacious animals we can determine pretty accurately what the understanding is capable of without the aid of reason, that is to say, without the aid of abstract knowledge in concepts. We cannot find this out in ourselves, because in us understanding and the faculty of reason are always mutually supported. Therefore we find that the manifestations of understanding in animals are sometimes above our expectation, sometimes below it. On the one hand, we are surprised at the sagacity of that elephant which, after crossing many bridges on his journey through Europe, once refused to go on one, over which he saw the rest of the party of men and horses crossing as usual, because it seemed to him too lightly built for his weight. On the other hand, we wonder that the intelligent orang-utans, warming themselves at a fire they have found, do not keep it going by replenishing it with wood; a proof that this requires a deliberation that does not come about without abstract concepts. It is quite certain that the knowledge of cause and effect, as the universal form of the understanding, is a priori inherent in animals, because for them as for us it is the preliminary condition of all knowledge of the external world through perception. If we still want a special proof of this, let us observe, for example, how even a quite young dog does not venture to jump from the table, however much he wants to, because he foresees the effect of the weight of his body, without, however, knowing this particular case from experience. Meanwhile, in judging the understanding of animals, we must guard against ascribing to it a manifestation of instinct, a quality that is entirely different from it as well as from the faculty of reason; yet it often acts very analogously to the combined activity of these two. The discussion of this, however, does not belong here, but will find its place in the second book, when we are considering the harmony or so-called teleology of nature. The twenty-seventh chapter of the supplementary volume is expressly devoted to it.

Lack of understanding was called stupidity; deficiency in the application of the faculty of reason to what is practical we shall later recognize as foolishness; deficiency in power of judgement as silliness; finally, partial or even complete lack of memory as madness. But we shall consider each of these in its proper place. That which is correctly known through the faculty of reason is truth, namely an abstract judgement with sufficient ground or reason (essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason, § 29 seqq.); that which is correctly known by understanding is reality, namely correctly passing from the effect in the immediate object to its cause. Error is opposed to truth as deception of reason; illusion is opposed to reality as deception of understanding. The detailed discussion of all this is to be found in the first chapter of my essay On Vision and Colours. Illusion comes about when one and the same effect can be brought to pass by two entirely different causes, one of which operates very frequently, the other very rarely. The understanding, having no datum for determining which cause operates in a given case, since the effect is identical, always presupposes the ordinary cause, and because the activity of the understanding is not reflective and discursive, but direct and immediate, such false cause stands before us as perceived object, which is just the false illusion. I have shown, in the essay referred to, how in this way double sight and double touch occur, when the organs of sense are brought into an unusual position, and I have thus given an irrefutable proof that perception exists only through the understanding and for the understanding. Examples of such deception of understanding, or illusion, are the stick that seems broken when dipped in water, the images of spherical mirrors appearing with convex surface somewhat behind them, with concave surface well before them. To this class of examples also belongs the apparently greater extension of the moon at the horizon than at the zenith. This is not optical, for, as the micrometer proves, the eye apprehends the moon at the zenith at an even greater angle of vision than at the horizon. It is the understanding that assumes the cause of the feebler brightness of the moon and of all stars at the horizon to be their greater distance, treating them like earthly objects in accordance with atmospheric perspective. Therefore it regards the moon at the horizon as very much larger than at the zenith, and at the same time also considers the vault of heaven to be more extended, and hence flattened out, at the horizon. The same estimation, falsely applied according to atmospheric perspective, leads us to suppose that very high mountains, whose summits are visible to us only in pure transparent air, are nearer than they really are, to the detriment of their height; as for example, Mont Blanc seen from Salenche. All such deceptive illusions stand before us in immediate perception which cannot be removed by any arguments of reason. Such arguments can prevent merely error, that is to say, a judgement without sufficient ground or reason, by forming an opposite judgement that is true; for instance, knowing in the abstract that the cause of the weaker light of the moon and stars in the case cited is not the greater distance, but the cloudier atmosphere at the horizon. But the illusion remains unshakable in all the cases mentioned, in spite of all abstract knowledge; for the understanding is completely and totally different from the faculty of reason, a cognitive faculty that has been added to man alone; and indeed the understanding is in itself irrational, even in man. Reason can always only know; perception remains free from its influence, and belongs to the understanding alone.


With regard to the whole of our discussion so far, we must still note the following. We started neither from the object nor from the subject, but from the representation, which contains and presupposes them both; for the division into object and subject is the first, universal, and essential form of the representation. We therefore first considered this form as such; then (though here we refer mainly to the introductory essay) the other forms subordinate to it, namely time, space, and causality. These belong only to the object, yet because they are essential to the object as such, and as the object again is essential to the subject as such, they can be found also from the subject, in other words, they can be known a priori, and to this extent are to be regarded as the boundary common to both. But they can all be referred to one common expression, the principle of sufficient reason, as is shown in detail in the introductory essay.

This procedure distinguishes our method of consideration wholly and entirely from every philosophy ever attempted. All previous systems started either from the object or from the subject, and therefore sought to explain the one from the other, and this according to the principle of sufficient reason. We, on the other hand, deny the relation between object and subject to the dominion of this principle, and leave to it only the object. One might regard the philosophy of identity, which has arisen and become generally known in our day, as not coming within the contrast above mentioned, in so far as it makes its real first starting-point neither object nor subject, but a third thing, namely the Absolute, knowable through reason-intuition, which is neither object nor subject, but the identity of the two. As I am completely lacking in all reason-intuition, I shall not venture to speak of the aforesaid revered identity and of the Absolute. Yet, since I take my stand merely on the manifestoes of the reason-intuiters, which are open to all, even to profane persons like us, I must observe that the aforesaid philosophy cannot be excepted from the above-mentioned antithesis of two errors. For it does not avoid those two opposite errors, in spite of the identity of subject and object, which is not thinkable, but is merely intellectually intuitable, or is to be experienced through our being absorbed in it. On the contrary, it combines them both in itself, since it is itself divided into two branches; first, transcendental idealism, that is Fichte's doctrine of the ego; and consequently, according to the principle of sufficient reason, the object can be produced from the subject or spun out of it; and secondly, the philosophy of nature, which likewise represents the subject as coming gradually out of the object by the application of a method called construction, about which very little is clear to me, though enough to know that it is a process according to the principle of sufficient reason in various forms. I renounce the deep wisdom itself contained in that construction, for as I wholly lack reason-intuition. all those expositions which presuppose it must be to me like a book with seven seals. To such a degree is this the case that, strange to relate, with those doctrines of deep wisdom it always seems to me as if I were listening to nothing but atrocious and what is more extremely wearisome humbug.

The systems that start from the object have always had the whole world of perception and its order as their problem, yet the object which they take as their starting-point is not always this world or its fundamental element, namely matter. On the contrary, a division of these systems can be made in accordance with the four classes of possible objects set out in the introductory essay. Thus it can be said that Thales and the Ionians, Democritus, Epicurus, Giordano Bruno, and the French materialists started from the first of those classes, or from the real world. Spinoza (because of his conception of substance, as merely abstract and existing only in his definition), and before him the Eleatics, started from the second class, or from the abstract concept. The Pythagoreans and the Chinese philosophy of the I Ching started from the third class, namely from time, and consequently from numbers. Finally, the scholastics, teaching a creation out of nothing through the act of will of an extramundane personal being, started from the fourth class, namely from the act of will, motivated by knowledge.

The objective method can be developed most consistently and carried farthest when it appears as materialism proper. It regards matter, and with it time and space, as existing absolutely, and passes over the relation to the subject in which alone all this exists. Further, it lays hold of the law of causality as the guiding line on which it tries to progress, taking it to be a self-existing order or arrangement of things, veritas aeterna, and consequently passing over the understanding, in which and for which alone causality is. It tries to find the first and simplest state of matter, and then to develop all the others from it, ascending from mere mechanism to chemistry, to polarity, to the vegetable and the animal kingdoms. Supposing this were successful, the last link of the chain would be animal sensibility, that is to say knowledge; which, in consequence, would then appear as a mere modification of matter, a state of matter produced by causality. Now if we had followed materialism thus far with clear notions, then, having reached its highest point, we should experience a sudden fit of the inextinguishable laughter of the Olympians. As though waking from a dream, we should all at once become aware that its final result, produced so laboriously, namely knowledge, was already presupposed as the indispensable condition at the very first starting-point, at mere matter. With this we imagined that we thought of matter, but in fact we had thought of nothing but the subject that represents matter, the eye that sees it, the hand that feels it, the understanding that knows it. Thus the tremendous petitio principit [9] disclosed itself unexpectedly, for suddenly the last link showed itself as the fixed point, the chain as a circle, and the materialist was like Baron von Munchhausen who, when swimming in water on horseback, drew his horse up by his legs, and himself by his upturned pigtail. Accordingly, the fundamental absurdity of materialism consists in the fact that it starts from the objective; it takes an objective something as the ultimate ground of explanation, whether this be matter in the abstract simply as it is thought, or after it has entered into the form and is empirically given, and hence substance, perhaps the chemical elements together with their primary combinations. Some such thing it takes as existing absolutely and in itself, in order to let organic nature and finally the knowing subject emerge from it, and thus completely to explain these; whereas in truth everything objective is already conditioned as such in manifold ways by the knowing subject with the forms of its knowing, and presupposes these forms; consequently it wholly disappears when the subject is thought away. Materialism is therefore the attempt to explain what is directly given to us from what is given indirectly. Everything objective, extended, active, and hence everything material, is regarded by materialism as so solid a basis for its explanations that a reduction to this (especially if it should ultimately result in thrust and counter-thrust) can leave nothing to be desired. All this is something that is given only very indirectly and conditionally, and is therefore only relatively present, for it has passed through the machinery and fabrication of the brain, and hence has entered the forms of time, space, and causality, by virtue of which it is first of all presented as extended in space and operating in time. From such an indirectly given thing, materialism tries to explain even the directly given, the representation (in which all this exists), and finally even the will, from which rather are actually to be explained all those fundamental forces which manifest themselves on the guiding line of causes, and hence according to law. To the assertion that knowledge is a modification of matter there is always opposed with equal justice the contrary assertion that all matter is only modification of the subject's knowing, as the subject's representation. Yet at bottom, the aim and ideal of all natural science is a materialism wholly carried into effect. That we here recognize this as obviously impossible confirms another truth that will result from our further consideration, namely the truth that all science in the real sense, by which I understand systematic knowledge under the guidance of the principle of sufficient reason, can never reach a final goal or give an entirely satisfactory explanation. It never aims at the inmost nature of the world; it can never get beyond the representation; on the contrary, it really tells us nothing more than the relation of one representation to another.

Every science invariably starts from two principal data, one of which is always the principle of sufficient reason in some form as organon; the other is its special object as problem. Thus, for example, geometry has space as problem, the ground of being in space as organon. Arithmetic has time as problem, and the ground of being in time as organon. Logic has as problem the combinations of concepts as such, the ground of knowledge as organon. History has the past deeds of men as a whole as its problem, and the law of motivation as organon. Now natural science has matter as problem, and the law of causality as organon. Accordingly, its end and aim on the guiding line of causality is to refer all possible states of matter to one another and ultimately to a single state, and again to derive these states from one another, and ultimately from a single state. Thus in natural science two states stand opposed as extremes, the state of matter where it is the least direct object of the subject, and the state where it is the most direct object, in other words, the most dead and crude matter, the primary element, as one extreme, and the human organism as the other. Natural science as chemistry looks for the first; as physiology for the second. But as yet the two extremes have not been reached, and only between the two has something been gained. Indeed, the prospect is fairly hopeless. The chemists, assuming that the qualitative division of matter is not, like the quantitative, an endless process, are always trying to reduce the number of their elements, of which there are still about sixty; and even if they eventually reached two, they would want to reduce these two to one. For the law of homogeneity leads to the assumption of a first chemical state of matter which belongs only to matter as such, and which preceded all others, these being not essential to matter as such, but only accidental forms and qualities. On the other hand, it cannot be seen how this state could ever experience a chemical change, if there did not exist a second state to affect it. Thus the same dilemma here appears in the chemical realm that Epicurus met with in the mechanical, when he had to state how the first atom departed from the original direction of its motion. In fact this contradiction, developing entirely of itself and not to be avoided or solved, might quite properly be set up as a chemical antinomy. Just as an antinomy is to be found in the first of the two extremes sought in natural science, so will there appear in the second a counterpart corresponding to it. There is also little hope of reaching this other extreme of natural science, for we see more and more clearly that what is chemical can never be referred to what is mechanical, and that what is organic can never be referred to what is chemical or electrical. But those who today once more take this old misleading path will soon slink back silent and ashamed, as all their predecessors have done. This will be discussed in more detail in the next book. The difficulties mentioned here only casually, confront natural science in its own province. Regarded as philosophy, it would be materialism; but, as we have seen, it carries death in its heart even at its birth, because it passes over the subject and the forms of knowledge that are presupposed just as much with the crudest matter from which it would like to start, as with the organism at which it wants to arrive. For "No object without subject" is the principle that renders all materialism for ever impossible. Suns and planets with no eye to see them and no understanding to know them can of course be spoken of in words, but for the representation these words are a sideroxylon, an iron-wood. [10] On the other hand the law of causality, and the consideration and investigation of nature which follow on it, lead us necessarily to the certain assumption that each more highly organized state of matter succeeded in .time a cruder state. Thus animals existed before men, fishes before land animals, plants before fishes, and the inorganic before that which is organic; consequently the original mass had to go through a long series of changes before the first eye could be opened. And yet the existence of this whole world remains for ever dependent on that first eye that opened, were it even that of an insect. For such an eye necessarily brings about knowledge, for which and in which alone the whole world is, and without which it is not even conceivable. The world is entirely representation, and as such requires the knowing subject as the supporter of its existence. That long course of time itself, filled with innumerable changes, through which matter rose from form to form, till finally there came into existence the first knowing animal, the whole of this time itself is alone thinkable in the identity of a consciousness. This world is the succession of the representations of this consciousness, the form of its knowing, and apart from this loses all meaning, and is nothing at all. Thus we see, on the one hand, the existence of the whole world necessarily dependent on the first knowing being, however imperfect it be; on the other hand, this first knowing animal just as necessarily wholly dependent on a long chain of causes and effects which has preceded it, and in which it itself appears' as a small link. These two contradictory views, to each of which we are led with equal necessity, might certainly be called an antinomy in our faculty of knowledge, and be set up as the counterpart to that found in the first extreme of natural science. On the other hand, Kant's fourfold antinomy will be shown to be a groundless piece of jugglery in the criticism of his philosophy that is appended to the present work. But the contradiction that at last necessarily presents itself to us here finds its solution in the fact that, to use Kant's language, time, space, and causality do not belong to the thing-in-itself, but only to its appearance or phenomenon, of which they are the form. In my language, this means that the objective world, the world as representation, is not the only side of the world, but merely its external side, so to speak, and that the world has an entirely different side which is its innermost being, its kernel, the thing-in-itself. This we shall consider in the following book, calling it 'will' after the most immediate of its objectifications. But the world as representation, with which alone we are dealing here, certainly begins only with the opening of the first eye, and without this medium of knowledge it cannot be, and hence before this it did not exist. But without that eye, in other words, outside of knowledge, there was no before, no time. For this reason, time has no beginning, but all beginning is in time. Since, however, it is the most universal form of the knowable, to which all phenomena are adapted by means of the bond of causality, time with its whole infinity in both directions is also present in the first knowledge. The phenomenon which fills this first present must at the same time be known as causally connected with, and dependent on, a series of phenomena stretching infinitely into the past, and this past itself is just as much conditioned by this first present as, conversely, this present is by that past. Accordingly, the past, out of which the first present arises, is, like it, dependent on the knowing subject, and without this it is nothing. It happens of necessity, however, that this first present does not manifest itself as the first, in other words, as having no past for its mother, and as being the beginning of time; but rather as the consequence of the past according to the principle of being in time, just as the phenomenon filling this first present appears as the effect of previous states filling that past according to the law of causality. Anyone who likes mythological interpretations may regard the birth of Chronos ([x]), the youngest of the Titans, as the description of the moment here expressed, when time appears, although it is beginningless. As he castrates his father, the crude productions of heaven and earth cease, and the races of gods and men now occupy the scene.

This explanation at which we have arrived by following materialism, the most consistent of the philosophical systems that start from the object, helps at the same time to make clear the inseparable and reciprocal dependence of subject and object, together with the antithesis between them which cannot be eliminated. This knowledge leads us to seek the inner nature of the world, the thing-in-itself, no longer in either of those two elements of the representation, but rather in something entirely different from the representation, in something that is not encumbered with such an original, essential, and therefore insoluble antithesis.

Opposed to the system we have discussed, which starts from the object to make the subject result from it, is the system that starts from the subject and tries to produce the object therefrom. The first has been frequent and general in all philosophy hitherto; the second, on the other hand, affords us only a single example, and that a very recent one, namely the fictitious philosophy of J. G. Fichte. In this respect, therefore, he must be considered, however little genuine worth and substance his teaching had in itself. Taken on the whole, it was a mere piece of humbug, yet it was delivered with an air of the profoundest seriousness, with a reserved tone and keen ardour, and was defended with eloquent polemic against weak opponents, so that it was able to shine, and to seem to be something. But genuine earnestness, which, inaccessible to all external influences, keeps its goal, truth, steadily in view, was completely lacking in Fichte, as in all philosophers who like him adapt themselves to circumstances. For him, of course, it could not be otherwise. The philosopher always becomes such as the result of a perplexity from which he tries to disengage himself. This is Plato's [x], [11] which he calls a [x]. [11] But what distinguishes ungenuine from genuine philosophers is that this perplexity comes to the latter from looking at the world itself, to the former merely from a book, a philosophical system which lies in front of them. This was also the case with Fichte, for he became a philosopher merely over Kant's thing-in-itself, and had it not been for this would most probably have concerned himself with quite different things with much greater success, for he possessed considerable rhetorical talent. If he had penetrated only to some extent the meaning of the Critique of Pure Reason, the book that made him a philosopher, he would have understood that its principal teaching was in spirit as follows. The principle of sufficient reason is not, as all scholastic philosophy asserts, a veritas aeterna; in other words, it does not possess an unconditioned validity before, outside, and above the world, but only a relative and conditioned one, valid only in the phenomenon. It may appear as the necessary nexus of space or time, or as the law of causality, or as the law of the ground of knowledge. Therefore the inner nature of the world, the thing-in-itself, can never be found on the guiding line of this principle, but everything to which it leads is always itself also dependent and relative, always only phenomenon, not thing-in-itself. Further, this principle does not concern the subject, but is only the form of objects, which are for this very reason not things-in-themselves. With the object the subject exists forthwith, and with the subject the object; hence the object cannot be added to the subject or the subject to the object, merely as a consequent to its ground or reason. But Fichte did not take up the least fragment of all this. The only thing that interested him in the matter was setting out from the subject, which Kant had chosen in order to show the falsity of the previous setting out from the object, which had thus become the thing-in-itself. Fichte, however, took this setting out from the subject to be the chief thing, and, like all imitators, imagined that if he were to outdo Kant in this, he would also surpass him. Now in this direction he repeated the mistakes which the previous dogmatism had made in the opposite direction, and which had thus been the cause of Kant's Critique. Thus in the main nothing was changed, and the old fundamental mistake, the assumption of a relation of reason or ground and consequent between object and subject, remained just the same as before. Hence the principle of sufficient reason retained as before an unconditioned validity, and the thing-in-itself was now shifted into the subject of knowing instead of into the object as previously. The complete relativity of both subject and object, indicating that the thing-in-itself, or the inner nature of the world, is to be sought not in them, but outside both them and every other thing that exists only relatively, still remained unknown. Just as though Kant had never existed, the principle of sufficient reason is for Fichte just what it was for all the scholastics, namely an aeterna veritas. Just as eternal fate reigned over the gods of the ancients, so over the God of the scholastics reigned those aeternae veritates, in other words, metaphysical, mathematical and metalogical truths, in the case of some even the validity of the moral law. These veritates alone depended on nothing, but through their necessity both God and the world existed. Therefore with Fichte, by virtue of the principle of sufficient reason as such a veritas aeterna, the ego is the ground of the world or of the non-ego, the object, which is just its consequent, its product. He has therefore taken good care not to examine further, or to check the principle of sufficient reason. But if I am to state the form of that principle, under the guidance of which Fichte makes the non-ego result from the ego as the web from the spider, I find that it is the principle of sufficient reason of being in space. For it is only in reference to this that those tortuous deductions of the way in which the ego produces and fabricates out of itself the non-ego, forming the subject-matter of the most senseless and consequently the most tedious book ever written, acquire a kind of sense and meaning. This philosophy of Fichte, not otherwise even worth mention, is therefore of interest to us only as the real opposite of the old and original materialism, making a belated appearance. Materialism was the most consistent system starting from the object, as this system was the most consistent starting from the subject. Materialism overlooked the fact that, with the simplest object, it had at once posited the subject as wen; so Fichte too overlooked the fact that with the subject (let him give it whatever title he likes) he posited the object, since no subject is thinkable without object. He also overlooked the fact that all deduction a priori, indeed all demonstration in general, rests on a necessity, and that all necessity is based simply and solely on the principle of sufficient reason, since to be necessary and to follow from a given ground or reason are convertible terms. [12] But the principle of sufficient reason is nothing but the universal form of the object as such; hence it presupposes the object, but is not valid before and outside it; it can first produce the object, and cause it to appear in accordance with its legislative force. Therefore, generally speaking, starting from the subject has in common with starting from the object the same defect as explained above, namely that it assumes in advance what it professes to deduce, that is to say, the necessary correlative of its point of departure.
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Re: The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenh

Postby admin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:43 pm

Part 3 of 6

Now our method of procedure is toto genere different from these two opposite misconceptions, since we start neither from the object nor from the subject, but from the representation, as the first fact of consciousness. The first, essential, fundamental form of this is the division into object and subject; again, the form of the object is the principle of sufficient reason in its different aspects. Each of these rules its own class of representations so much that, as has been shown, with the knowledge of that aspect or form the nature of the whole class is known also, since this (as representation) is nothing but this aspect or form itself. Thus time itself is nothing but the ground of being in it, i.e., succession; space is nothing but the principle of being in it, i.e., position; matter is nothing but causality; the concept (as will appear at once) is nothing but reference to the ground of knowledge. This complete and universal relativity of the world as representation according to its most general form (subject and object) as well as to the form that is subordinate thereto (principle of sufficient reason) suggests to us, as we have said, that we look for the inner nature of the world in quite another aspect of it which is entirely different from the representation. The next book will demonstrate this in a fact that is just as immediately certain to every living being.

However, there must first be considered that class of representations which belongs to man alone. The substance of these is the concept, and their subjective correlative is the faculty of reason, just as the subjective correlatives of the representations so far considered were understanding and sensibility, which are also to be attributed to every animal. [13]


As from the direct light of the sun to the borrowed reflected light of the moon, so do we pass from the immediate representation of perception, which stands by itself and is its own warrant, to reflection, to the abstract, discursive concepts of reason (Vernunft), which have their whole content only from that knowledge of perception, and in relation to it. As long as our attitude is one of pure perception, all is clear, firm, and certain. For there are neither questions nor doubts nor errors; we do not wish to go farther, we cannot go farther; we have rest in perceiving, and satisfaction in the present moment. Perception by itself is enough; therefore what has sprung purely from it and has remained true to it, like the genuine work of art, can never be false, nor can it be refuted through any passing of time, for it gives us not opinion, but the thing itself. With abstract knowledge, with the faculty of reason, doubt and error have appeared in the theoretical, care and remorse in the practical. If in the representation of perception illusion does at moments distort reality, then in the representation of the abstract error can reign for thousands of years, impose its iron yoke on whole nations, stifle the noblest impulses of mankind; through its slaves and dupes it can enchain even the man it cannot deceive. It is the enemy against which the wisest minds of all times have kept up an unequal struggle, and only what these have won from it has become the property of mankind. Therefore it is a good thing to draw attention to it at once, since we are now treading the ground where its province lies. Although it has often been said that we ought to pursue truth, even when no use for it can be seen, since its use may be indirect and appear when not expected, I find I must add here that we should be just as anxious to discover and eradicate every error, even when no harm from it can be seen, because this harm may be very indirect, and appear one day when not expected; for every error carries a poison within itself. If it is the mind, if it is knowledge, that makes man lord of the earth, then no errors are harmless, still less venerable and holy. And for the consolation of those who devote their strength and life in any way or concern to the noble and difficult struggle against error, I cannot refrain from adding here that, so long as truth does not exist, error can play its game, just as owls and bats do at night. But we may sooner expect that owls and bats will drive the sun back into the east than that any truth that is known and expressed clearly and fully will again be supplanted, so that the old error may once more occupy its extensive position undisturbed. This is the power of truth, whose conquest is difficult and laborious; but when victory for it is once gained, it can never be wrested away again.

Besides the representations so far considered, namely those which according to their construction could be referred to time, space, and matter, if we see them with reference to the object, or to pure sensibility and understanding (i.e., knowledge of causality) if we see them with reference to the subject, yet another faculty of knowledge has appeared in man alone of all the inhabitants of the earth; an entirely new consciousness has arisen, which with very appropriate and significant accuracy is called reflection. For it is in fact a reflected appearance, a thing derived from this knowledge of perception, yet it has assumed a fundamentally different nature and character. It is not acquainted with the forms of perception, and in its regard even the principle of sufficient reason, which rules over every object, has an entirely different form. It is only this new consciousness at a higher potential, this abstract reflex of everything intuitive in the non-perceptive conception of reason, that endows man with that thoughtfulness which so completely distinguishes his consciousness from that of the animal, and through which his whole behaviour on earth turns out so differently from that of his irrational brothers. He far surpasses them in power and in suffering. They live in the present alone; he lives at the same time in the future and the past. They satisfy the need of the moment; he provides by the most ingenious preparations for his future, nay, even for times that he cannot live to see. They are given up entirely to the impression of the moment, to the effect of the motive of perception; he is determined by abstract concepts independent of the present moment. He therefore carries out considered plans, or acts in accordance with maxims, without regard to his surroundings, and to the accidental impressions of the moment. Thus, for example, he can with composure take cunning measures for his own death, dissemble to the point of inscrutableness, and take his secret with him to the grave. Finally, he has an actual choice between several motives, for only in abstracto can such motives, simultaneously present in consciousness, afford knowledge with regard to themselves that the one excludes the other, and thus measure against one another their power over the will. Accordingly, the motive that prevails, in that it decides the matter, is the deliberate decision of the will, and it makes known as a sure indication the character of the will. The animal, on the contrary, is determined by the present impression; only the fear of present compulsion can restrain his desires, until at last this fear has become custom, and as such determines him; this is training. The animal feels and perceives; man, in addition, thinks and knows; both will. The animal communicates his feelings and moods by gesture and sound; man communicates thought to another, or conceals it from him, by language. Speech is the first product and the necessary instrument of his faculty of reason. Therefore in Greek and Italian speech and reason are expressed by the same word, ([x]) il discorso. Vernunft (reason) comes from vernehmen, which is not synonymous with hearing, but signifies the awareness of ideas communicated by words. Only by the aid of language does reason bring about its most important achievements, namely the harmonious and consistent action of several individuals, the planned cooperation of many thousands, civilization, the State; and then, science, the storing up of previous experience, the summarizing into one concept of what is common, the communication of truth, the spreading of error, thoughts and poems, dogmas and superstitions. The animal learns to know death only when he dies, but man consciously draws every hour nearer his death; and at times this makes life a precarious business, even to the man who has not already recognized this character of constant annihilation in the whole of life itself. Mainly on this account, man has philosophies and religions, though it is doubtful whether that which we rightly esteem above all else in his conduct, namely voluntary rectitude and nobility of feeling, have ever been the fruit of them. On the other hand, there are on this path, as certain creations belonging to them alone and as productions of reason, the strangest and oddest opinions of the philosophers of different schools, and the most extraordinary, and sometimes even cruel, customs of the priests of different religions.

It is the unanimous opinion of all times and of all nations that all these manifestations, so manifold and so far-reaching, spring from a common principle, from that special power of the mind which man possesses as distinct from the animal, and which has been called Vernunft, reason, [x], ratio. All men also know quite well how to recognize the manifestations of this faculty, and to say what is rational and what is irrational, where reason appears in contrast to man's other faculties and qualities, and finally what can never be expected even from the cleverest animal, on account of its lack of this faculty. The philosophers of all times speak on the whole with one voice about this universal knowledge of reason, and moreover stress some particularly important manifestations of it, such as the control of the emotions and passions, the capacity to make conclusions and to lay down general principles, even those that are certain prior to all experience, and so on. Nevertheless, all their explanations of the real nature of reason are irresolute, vague, not sharply defined, diffuse, without unity or a central point, stressing one or another manifestation, and hence often at variance among themselves. Besides this, many start from the contrast between reason and revelation, a contrast wholly foreign to philosophy, and serving only to add to the confusion. It is very remarkable that hitherto no philosopher has referred all these manifold expressions of reason strictly to one simple function which could be recognized in all of them, from which they could all be explained, and which would accordingly constitute the real inner nature of reason. It is true that the eminent Locke in his Essay on the Human Understanding (Book II, chap. xi, § § 10 and 11) very rightly states that abstract, universal concepts are the characteristic that distinguishes animal from man, and that Leibniz in complete agreement repeats this in the Nouveaux essais sur l'entendement humain (Book II, chap. xi, §§ 10 and 11). But when Locke (Book IV, chap. xvii, § § 2 and 3) comes to the real explanation of reason, he entirely loses sight of that simple main characteristic, and also falls into an irresolute, indefinite, incomplete account of piecemeal and derivative manifestations of it. In the corresponding passage of his work, Leibniz also behaves in just the same way, only with more confusion and vagueness. In the Appendix I have discussed in detail how much Kant confused and falsified the conception of the nature of reason. But he who will take the trouble to go through in this respect the mass of philosophical writings that have appeared since Kant, will recognize that, just as the mistakes of princes are expiated by whole nations, so do the errors of great minds extend their unwholesome influence over whole generations, centuries even, growing and propagating, and finally degenerating into monstrosities. All this can be deduced from the fact that, as Berkeley says, "Few men think; yet all will have opinions." [13A].

The understanding has one function alone, namely immediate knowledge of the relation of cause and effect; and perception of the actual world, as well as all sagacity, good sense, and the inventive gift, however manifold their application may be, are quite obviously nothing but manifestations of that simple function. Reason also has one function, the formation of the concept, and from this single function are explained very easily and automatically all those phenomena, previously mentioned, that distinguish man's life from that of the animal. Everything that has been called rational or irrational everywhere and always points to the application or nonapplication of that function. [14]


The concepts form a peculiar class, existing only in the mind of man, and differing entirely from the representations of perception so far considered. Therefore we can never attain to a perceptive, a really evident knowledge of their nature, but only to an abstract and discursive one. It would therefore be absurd to demand that they should be demonstrated in experience, in so far as we understand by this the real external world that is simply representation of perception, or that they should be brought before the eyes or the imagination like objects of perception. They can only be conceived, not perceived, and only the effects that man produces through them are objects of experience proper. Such effects are language, deliberate and planned action and science, and what results from all these. As object of external experience, speech is obviously nothing but a very complete telegraph communicating arbitrary signs with the greatest rapidity and the finest difference of shades of meaning. But what do these signs mean? How are they. interpreted? While another person is speaking, do we at once translate his speech into pictures of the imagination that instantaneously flash upon us and are arranged, linked, formed, and coloured according to the words that stream forth, and to their grammatical inflexions? What a tumult there would be in our heads while we listened to a speech or read a book! This is not what happens at all. The meaning of the speech is immediately grasped, accurately and clearly apprehended, without as a rule any conceptions of fancy being mixed up with it. It is reason speaking to reason that keeps within its province, and what it communicates and receives are abstract concepts, non-perceptive representations, formed once for all and relatively few in number, but nevertheless embracing, containing, and representing all the innumerable objects of the actual world. From this alone is to be explained the fact that an animal can never speak and comprehend, although it has in common with us the organs of speech, and also the representations of perception. But just because words express this quite peculiar class of representations, whose subjective correlative is reason, they are for the animal without sense and meaning. Thus language, like every other phenomenon that we ascribe to reason, and like everything that distinguishes man from the animal, is to be explained by this one simple thing as its source, namely concepts, representations that are abstract not perceptive, universal not individual in time and space. Only in single cases do we pass from concepts to perception, or form phantasms as representatives of concepts in perception, to which, however, they are never adequate. These have been specially discussed in the essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason (§ 28), and so I will not repeat this here. What is there said can be compared with what Hume says in the twelfth of his Philosophical Essays (p. 244), and Herder in the Metacritic -- otherwise a bad book (Part I, p. 274). The Platonic Idea that becomes possible through the union of imagination and reason is the main subject of the third book of the present work.

Now although concepts are fundamentally different from representations of perception, they stand in a necessary relation to them, and without this they would be nothing. This relation consequently constitutes their whole nature and existence. Reflection is necessarily the copy or repetition of the originally presented world of perception, though a copy of quite a special kind in a completely heterogeneous material. Concepts, therefore, can quite appropriately be called representations of representations. Here too the principle of sufficient reason has a special form. The form under which the principle of sufficient reason rules in a class of representations also always constitutes and exhausts the whole nature of this class, in so far as they are representations, so that, as we have seen, time is throughout succession and nothing else, space is throughout position and nothing else, matter is throughout causality and nothing else. In the same way, the whole nature of concepts, or of the class of abstract representations, consists only in the relation expressed in them by the principle of sufficient reason. As this is the relation to the ground of knowledge, the abstract representation has its whole nature simply and solely in its relation to another representation that is its ground of knowledge. Now this of course can again be a concept or an abstract representation in the first instance, and even this again may have only such an abstract ground of knowledge. However, this does not go on ad infinitum, but the series of grounds of knowledge must end at last with a concept which has its ground in knowledge of perception. For the whole world of reflection rests on the world of perception as its ground of knowledge. Therefore the class of abstract representations is distinguished from the others, for in the latter the principle of sufficient reason always requires only a relation to another representation of the same class, but in the case of abstract representations it requires in the end a relation to a representation from another class.

Those concepts which, as just mentioned, are related to knowledge of perception not directly, but only through the medium of one or even several other concepts, have been called by preference abstracta, and on the other hand those which have their ground directly in the world of perception have been called concreta. This last name, however, fits the concepts denoted by it only in quite a figurative way, for even these too are always abstracta, and in no way representations of perception. These names have originated only from a very indistinct awareness of the difference they indicate; yet they can remain, with the explanation given here. Examples of the first kind, and hence abstracta in the fullest sense, are concepts such as "relation," "virtue," "investigation," "beginning," and so on. Examples of the latter kind, or those figuratively called concreta, are the concepts "man," "stone," "horse," and so on. If it were not somewhat too pictorial a simile, and thus one that verges on the facetious, the latter might very appropriately be called the ground floor and the former the upper storeys of the edifice of reflection. [15]

It is not, as is often said to be the case, an essential characteristic of a concept that it includes much under it, in other words, that many representations of perception, or even abstract representations, stand to it in the relation of ground of knowledge, that is to say, are thought through it. This is only a derived and secondary characteristic of a concept, and does not always exist in fact, although it must always do so potentially. This characteristic arises from the fact that the concept is a representation of a representation, in other words, has its whole nature only in its relation to another representation. But as it is not this representation itself. the latter indeed frequently belonging to quite a different class of representations, in other words, being of perception, it can have temporal, spatial, and other determinations, and in general many more relations that are not thought in the concept at all. Thus several representations differing in unessential points can be thought through the same concept, that is to say, subsumed under it. But this power of embracing several things is not an essential characteristic of the concept, but only an accidental one. Thus there can be concepts through which only a single real object is thought, but which are nevertheless abstract and general representations, and by no means particular representations of perception. Such, for example, is the concept one has of a definite town, known to one only from geography. Although this one town alone is thought through it, yet there might possibly be several towns differing in a few particulars, to all of which it is suited. Thus a concept has generality not because it is abstracted from several objects, but conversely because generality, that is to say, non-determination of the particular, is essential to the concept as abstract representation of reason; different things can be thought through the same concept.

From what has been said it follows that every concept, just because it is abstract representation, not representation of perception, and therefore not a completely definite representation, has what is called a range, an extension, or a sphere, even in the case where only a single real object corresponding to it exists. We usually find that the sphere of any concept has something in common with the spheres of others, that is to say, partly the same thing is thought in it which is thought in those others, and conversely in those others again partly the same thing is thought which is thought in the first concept; although, if they are really different concepts, each, or at any rate one of the two, contains something the other does not. In this relation every subject stands to its predicate. To recognize this relation means to judge. The presentation of these spheres by figures in space is an exceedingly happy idea. Gottfried Ploucquet, who had it first, used squares for the purpose. Lambert, after him, made use of simple lines placed one under another. Euler first carried out the idea completely with circles. On what this exact analogy between the relations of concepts and those of figures in space ultimately rests, I am unable to say. For logic, however, it is a very fortunate circumstance that all the relations of concepts can be made plain in perception, even according to their possibility, i.e., a priori, through such figures in the following way:

(1) The spheres of two concepts are equal in all respects, for example, the concept of necessity and the concept of following from a given ground or reason; in the same way, the concept of Ruminantia and that of Bisulca (ruminating and cloven-hoofed animals); likewise that of vertebrates and that of red-blooded animals (though there might be some objection to this by reason of the Annelida): these are convertible concepts. Such concepts, then, are represented by a single circle that indicates either the one or the other.

(2) The sphere of one concept wholly includes that of another:


(3) A sphere includes two or several which exclude one another, and at the same time fill the sphere:


(4) Two spheres include each a part of the other:


(5) Two spheres lie within a third, yet do not fill it:


This last case applies to all concepts whose spheres have nothing immediately in common, for a third one, although often very wide, will include both.

All combinations of concepts may be referred to these cases, and from them can be derived the whole theory of judgements, of their conversion, contraposition, reciprocation, disjunction (this according to the third figure). From them may also be derived the properties of judgements, on which Kant based the pretended categories of the understanding, though with the exception of the hypothetical form, which is not a combination of mere concepts, but of judgements; and with the exception of modality, of which the Appendix gives a detailed account, as it does of all the properties of judgements that are the basis of the categories. Of the possible concept-combinations mentioned it has further to be remarked that they can also be combined with one another in many ways, e.g., the fourth figure with the second. Only if one sphere which wholly or partly contains another is in turn included wholly or partly within a third, do these together represent the syllogism in the first figure, that is to say, that combination of judgements by which it is known that a concept wholly or partly contained in another is also contained in a third, which in turn contains the first. Also the converse of this, the negation, whose pictorial representation can, of course, consist only in the two connected spheres not lying within a third sphere. If many spheres are brought together in this way, there arise long chains of syllogisms. This schematism of concepts, which has been fairly well explained in several textbooks, can be used as the basis of the theory of judgements, as also of the whole syllogistic theory, and in this way the discussion of both becomes very easy and simple. For all the rules of this theory can be seen from it according to their origin, and can be deduced and explained. But it is not necessary to load the memory with these rules, for logic can never be of practical use, but only of theoretical interest for philosophy. For although it might be said that logic is related to rational thinking as thorough-bass is to music, and also as ethics is to virtue, if we take it less precisely, or as aesthetics is to art, it must be borne in mind that no one ever became an artist by studying aesthetics, that a noble character was never formed by a study of ethics, that men composed correctly and beautifully long before Rameau, and that we do not need to be masters of thorough-bass in order to detect discords. Just as little do we need to know logic in order to avoid being deceived by false conclusions. But it must be conceded that thorough-bass is of great use in the practice of musical composition, although not for musical criticism. Aesthetics and ethics also, though in a much less degree, may have some use in practice, though a mainly negative one, and hence they too cannot be denied all practical value; but of logic not even this much can be conceded. It is merely knowing in the abstract what everyone knows in the concrete. Therefore we no more need to call in the aid of logical rules in order to construct a correct argument, than to do so to guard against agreeing with a false one. Even the most learned logician lays these rules altogether aside in his actual thinking. This is to be explained as follows. Every science consists of a system of general, and consequently abstract, truths, laws, and rules referring to some species of objects. The particular case which subsequently occurs under these laws is then determined each time in accordance with this universal knowledge that is valid once for all, because such application of the universal is infinitely easier than investigation from the very beginning of each individual case as it occurs. The universal abstract knowledge, once gained, is always nearer at hand than the empirical investigation of the particular thing. But with logic it is just the reverse. It is the universal knowledge of the reason's method of procedure, expressed in the form of rules. Such knowledge is reached by self-observation of the faculty of reason, and abstraction from all content. But that method of procedure is necessary and essential to reason; hence reason will not in any case depart from it, the moment it is left to itself. It is therefore easier and more certain to let reason proceed according to its nature in each particular case, than to hold before it knowledge of that case which is first abstracted from this procedure in the form of a foreign law given from outside. It is easier because, although in all the other sciences the universal rule is more within our reach than is the investigation of the particular case taken by itself, with the use of reason, on the contrary, its necessary procedure in the given case is always more within our reach than is the universal rule abstracted from it; for that which thinks within us is indeed this very faculty of reason itself. It is surer, because it is easier for an error to occur in such abstract knowledge or in its application than for a process of reason to take place which would run contrary to its essence and nature. Hence arises the strange fact that, whereas in other sciences we test the truth of the particular case by the rule, in logic, on the contrary, the rule must always be tested by the particular case. Even the most practised logician, if he notices that in a particular case he concludes otherwise than as stated by the rule, will always look for a mistake in the rule rather than in the conclusion he actually draws. To seek to make practical use of logic would therefore mean to seek to derive with unspeakable trouble from universal rules what is immediately known to us with the greatest certainty in the particular case. It is just as if a man were to consult mechanics with regard to his movements, or physiology with regard to his digestion; and one who has learnt logic for practical purposes is like a man who should seek to train a beaver to build its lodge. Logic is therefore without practical use; nevertheless it must be retained, because it has philosophical interest as special knowledge of the organization and action of the faculty of reason. It is rightly regarded as an exclusive, self-subsisting, self-contained, finished, and perfectly safe branch of knowledge, to be scientifically treated by itself alone and independently of everything else, and also to be taught at the universities. But it has its real value first in the continuity of philosophy as a whole with the consideration of knowledge, indeed of rational or abstract knowledge. Accordingly, the exposition of logic should not so much take the form of a science directed to what is practical, and should not contain merely bare rules laid down for the conversion of judgements, syllogisms, and so on, but should rather be directed to our knowing the nature of the faculty of reason and of the concept, and to our considering in detail the principle of sufficient reason of knowledge. For logic is a mere paraphrase of this principle, and is in fact really only for the case where the ground that gives truth to judgements is not empirical or metaphysical, but logical or metalogical. Therefore with the principle of sufficient reason of knowing must be mentioned the three remaining fundamental laws of thought, or judgements of metalogical truth, so closely related to it, out of which the whole technical science of the faculty of reason gradually grows. The nature of thought proper, that is to say, of the judgement and syllogism, can be shown from the combination of the concept-spheres according to the spatial schema in the way above mentioned, and from this all the rules of the judgement and syllogism can be deduced by construction. The only practical use we can make of logic is in an argument, when we do not so much demonstrate to our opponent his actual false conclusions as his intentionally false ones, through calling them by their technical names. By thus pushing the practical tendency into the background, and stressing the connexion of logic with the whole of philosophy as one of its chapters, knowledge of it should not become less prevalent than it is now. For at the present time everyone who does not wish to remain generally uncultured or to be reckoned one of the ignorant and dull mob, must have studied speculative philosophy. For this nineteenth century is a philosophical one; though by this we do not mean that it possesses philosophy or that philosophy prevails in it, but rather that it is ripe for philosophy and is therefore absolutely in need of it. This is a sign of a high degree of refinement, indeed a fixed point on the scale of the culture of the times. [16]

However little practical use logic may have, it cannot be denied that it was invented for practical purposes. I explain its origin in the following way. As the pleasure of debate developed more and more among the Eleatics, the Megarics, and the Sophists, and gradually became almost a passion, the confusion in which nearly every debate ended was bound to make them feel the necessity for a method of procedure as a guide, and for this a scientific dialectic had to be sought. The first thing that had to be observed was that the two disputing parties must always be agreed on some proposition to which the points in dispute were to be referred. The beginning of the methodical procedure consisted in formally stating as such these propositions jointly acknowledged, and putting them at the head of the inquiry. These propositions were at first concerned only with the material of the inquiry. It was soon observed that, even in the way in which the debaters went back to the jointly acknowledged truth, and sought to deduce their assertions from it, certain forms and laws were followed, about which, although without any previous agreement, there was never any dispute. From this it was seen that these must be the peculiar and essentially natural method of reason itself, the formal way of investigating. Now although this was not exposed to doubt and disagreement, some mind, systematic to the point of pedantry, nevertheless hit upon the idea that it would look fine, and would be the completion of methodical dialectic, if this formal part of all debating, this procedure of reason itself always conforming to law, were also expressed in abstract propositions. These would then be put at the head of the inquiry, just like those propositions jointly acknowledged and concerned with the material of the inquiry, as the fixed canon of debate, to which it would always be necessary to look back and to refer. In this way, what had hitherto been followed as if by tacit agreement or practised by instinct would be consciously recognized as law, and given formal expression. Gradually, more or less perfect expressions for logical principles were found, such as the principles of contradiction, of sufficient reason, of the excluded middle, the dictum de omni et nullo, and then the special rules of syllogistic reasoning, as for example Ex meris particularibus aut negativis nihil sequitur; a rationato ad rationem non valet consequentia; [17] and so on. That all this came about only slowly and very laboriously, and, until Aristotle, remained very incomplete, is seen in part from the awkward and tedious way in which logical truths are brought out in many of Plato's dialogues, and even better from what Sextus Empiricus tells us of the controversies of the Megarics concerning the easiest and simplest logical laws, and the laborious way in which they made such laws plain and intelligible (Sextus Empiricus, Adversus Mathematicos, 1. 8, p. 112 seqq.). Aristotle collected, arranged, and corrected all that had been previously discovered, and brought it to an incomparably higher state of perfection. If we thus consider how the course of Greek culture had prepared for and led up to Aristotle's work, we shall be little inclined to give credit to the statement of Persian authors reported to us by Sir William Jones, who was much prejudiced in their favour, namely that Callisthenes found among the Indians a finished system of logic which he sent to his uncle Aristotle (Asiatic Researches, Vol. IV, p. 163). It is easy to understand that in the dreary Middle Ages the Aristotelian logic was bound to be extremely welcome to the argumentative spirit of the scholastics, which, in the absence of real knowledge, feasted only on formulas and words. It is easy to see that this logic, even in its mutilated Arabic form, would be eagerly adopted, and soon elevated to the centre of all knowledge. Although it has since sunk from its position of authority, it has nevertheless retained up to our own time the credit of a self-contained, practical, and extremely necessary science. Even in our day the Kantian philosophy, which really took its foundation-stone from logic, has awakened a fresh interest in it. In this respect, that is to say, as a means to knowing the essential nature of reason, it certainly merits such interest.


Correct and exact conclusions are reached by our accurately observing the relation of the concept-spheres, and admitting that one sphere is wholly contained in a third only when a sphere is completely contained in another, which other is in turn wholly contained in the third. On the other hand, the art of persuasion depends on our subjecting the relations of the concept-spheres to a superficial consideration only, and then determining these only from one point of view, and in accordance with our intentions, mainly in the following way. If the sphere of a concept under consideration lies only partly in another sphere, and partly also in quite a different sphere, we declare it to be entirely in the first sphere or entirely in the second, according to our intentions. For example, when passion is spoken of, we can subsume this under the concept of the greatest force, of the mightiest agency in the world, or under the concept of irrationality, and this under the concept of powerlessness or weakness. We can continue this method, and apply it afresh with each concept to which the argument leads us. The sphere of a concept is almost invariably shared by several others, each of which contains a part of the province of the first sphere, while itself including something more besides. Of these latter concept-spheres we allow only that sphere to be elucidated under which we wish to subsume the first concept, leaving the rest unobserved, or keeping them concealed. On this trick all the arts of persuasion, all the more subtle sophisms, really depend; for the logical sophisms, such as mentiens, velatus, cornutus, [18] and so on, are obviously too clumsy for actual application. I am not aware that anyone hitherto has traced the nature of all sophistication and persuasion back to this ultimate ground of their possibility, and demonstrated this in the peculiar property of concepts, that is to say, the cognitive method of reason. As my discussion has led me to this, I will elucidate the matter, easy though it is to understand, by means of a schema in the accompanying diagram. This shows how the concept-spheres in many ways overlap one another, and thus enable us freely to pass arbitrarily from each concept to others in one direction or another. I do not want anyone to be led by this diagram into attaching more importance to this short incidental discussion than it has in its own right. I have chosen as an illustrative example the concept of travelling. Its sphere overlaps into the province of four others, to each of which the persuasive talker can pass at will. These again overlap into other spheres, several of them into two or more simultaneously; and through these the persuasive talker takes whichever way he likes, always as if it were the only way, and then ultimately arrives at good or evil, according to what his intention was. In going from one sphere to another, it is only necessary always to maintain direction from the centre (the given chief concept) to the circumference, and not go backwards. The manner of clothing such a sophistication in words can be continuous speech or even the strict syllogistic form, as the hearer's weak side may suggest. The nature of most scientific arguments, particularly of philosophical demonstrations, is not at bottom very different from this. Otherwise how would it be possible for so much at different periods to be not only erroneously assumed (for error itself has a different source), but demonstrated and proved, and then later found to be fundamentally false, such as, for example, the philosophy of Leibniz and Wolff, Ptolemaic astronomy, Stahl's chemistry, Newton's theory of colours, and so on? [19]


Through all this, the question becomes more and more pressing how certainty is to be attained, how judgements are to be established, in what knowledge and science consist; for, together with language and deliberate action, we extol these as the third great advantage conferred on us by the faculty of reason.

Reason is feminine in nature; it can give only after it has received. Of itself alone, it has nothing but the empty forms of its operation. There is absolutely no other perfectly pure rational knowledge than the four principles to which I have attributed metalogical truth, the principles of identity, of contradiction, of the excluded middle, and of sufficient reason of knowledge. For even the rest of logic is not perfectly pure rational knowledge, since it presupposes the relations and combinations of the spheres of concepts. But concepts in general exist only after previous representations of perception, and in the reference to these lies their whole nature; consequently, they presuppose these representations. As this assumption, however, does not extend to the definite content of concepts, but only to their general existence, logic can, on the whole, pass for a pure science of reason. In all the other sciences reason obtains its content from the representations of perception; in mathematics from the relations of space and time presented in intuition or perception prior to all experience; in pure natural science, that is to say, in what we know about the course of nature prior to all experience, the content of the science results from the pure understanding, i.e., from the a priori knowledge of the law of causality and of that law's connexion with those pure intuitions or perceptions of space and time. In all the other sciences everything that is not borrowed from the sources just mentioned belongs to experience. To know means generally to have within the power of the mind, ready to reproduce at will, such judgements as have their sufficient ground of knowledge in something outside them, in other words, such judgements as are true. Thus only abstract knowledge is rational knowledge (Wissen), and this is therefore conditioned by the faculty of reason, and, strictly speaking, we cannot say of the animals that they rationally know anything, although they have knowledge of perception, as well as recollection of it, and, on this very account, imagination; this, moreover, is proved by their dreaming. We attribute to them consciousness, and although the name (Bewusstsein) is derived from wissen (to know rationally), the concept of consciousness coincides with that of representation in general, of whatever kind it may be. Thus to the plant we attribute life, but not consciousness. Rational knowledge (Wissen) is therefore abstract consciousness, fixing in concepts of reason what is known generally in another way.


Now in this respect, the true opposite of rational knowledge (Wissen) is feeling (Gefuhl), which we must therefore discuss at this point. The concept denoted by the word feeling has only a negative content, namely that something present in consciousness is not a concept, not abstract knowledge of reason. However, be it what it may, it comes under the concept of feeling. Thus the immeasurably wide sphere of this concept includes the most heterogeneous things, and we do not see how they come together so long as we have not recognized that they all agree in this negative respect of not being abstract concepts. For the most varied, indeed the most hostile, elements lie quietly side by side in this concept; e.g., religious feeling, feeling of sensual pleasure, moral feeling, bodily feeling such as touch, pain, feeling for colours, for sounds and their harmonies and discords, feeling of hatred, disgust, self-satisfaction, honour, disgrace, right and wrong, feeling of truth, aesthetic feeling, feeling of power, weakness, health, friendship, and so on. Between them there is absolutely nothing in common except the negative quality that they are not abstract knowledge of reason. But this becomes most striking when even a priori knowledge of perception of spatial relations, and moreover knowledge of the pure understanding, are brought under this concept, and generally when it is said of all knowledge, of all truth, of which we are at first conscious only intuitively, but which we have not yet formulated into abstract concepts, that we feel it. To make this clear, I will quote some examples from recent books, because they are striking proofs of my explanation. I remember having read in the introduction to a German translation of Euclid that we ought to make all beginners in geometry draw the figures first before proceeding to demonstrate, since they would then feel geometrical truth, before the demonstration brought them complete knowledge. In the same way F. Schleiermacher speaks in his Kritik der Sittenlehre of logical and mathematical feeling (p. 339), and also of the feeling of the sameness or difference of two formulas (p. 342). Further, in Tennemann's Geschichte der Philosophie (Vol. I, p. 361), it says: "It was felt that the false conclusions were not right, but yet the mistake could not be discovered." Now so long as we do not consider this concept of feeling from the right point of view, and do not recognize this one negative characteristic that alone is essential to it, that concept is always bound to give rise to misunderstandings and disputes on account of the excessive width of its sphere, and of its merely negative and very limited content, determined in an entirely one-sided way. As we have in German the almost synonymous word Empfindung (sensation), it would be useful to take over this for bodily feelings as a subspecies. Undoubtedly the origin of this concept of feeling, out of all proportion to the others, is the following. All concepts, and concepts only, are denoted by words; they exist only for the faculty of reason and proceed therefrom; hence with them we are already at a one-sided point of view. But from such a point of view, what is near appears distinct and is set down as positive; what is more distant coalesces, and is soon regarded only as negative. Thus each nation calls all others foreign; the Greeks called all other men barbarians. The Englishman calls everything that is not England or English continent and continental; the believer regards all others as heretics or heathens; the nobleman considers all others as roturiers; to the student all others are Philistines, and so on. Reason itself, strange as it may sound, renders itself guilty of the same one-sidedness, indeed, one may say of the same crude ignorance from pride, since it classifies under the one concept of feeling every modification of consciousness which does not belong directly to its own method of representation, in other words, which is not abstract concept. Hitherto it has had to atone for this by misunderstandings and confusions in its own province, because its own method of procedure had not become clear to it through thorough self-knowledge, for even a special faculty of feeling was put forward, and theories of it were constructed.
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Re: The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenh

Postby admin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:44 pm

Part 4 of 6


I have said that all abstract knowledge, i.e., all knowledge of reason, is rational knowledge (Wissen), and I have just explained that the concept of feeling is the contradictory opposite of this. But, as reason always brings again before knowledge only what has been received in another way, it does not really extend our knowledge, but merely gives it another form. Thus it enables one to know in the abstract and in general what was known intuitively and in the concrete. But this is far more important than appears at first sight when thus expressed. For all safe preservation, all communicability, all sure and far-reaching application of knowledge to the practical, depend on its having become a rational knowledge (Wissen), an abstract knowledge. Intuitive knowledge is always valid only of the particular case, extends only to what is nearest, and there stops, since sensibility and understanding can really comprehend only one object at a time. Therefore every continuous, coordinated, and planned activity must start from fundamental principles, i.e. from an abstract knowledge, and must be guided in accordance therewith. Thus, for example, knowledge which the understanding has of the relation of cause and effect is in itself much more complete, profound, and exhaustive than what can be thought of it in the abstract. The understanding alone knows from perception, directly and completely, the mode of operation of a lever, a block and tackle, a cog-wheel, the support of an arch, and so on. But on account of the property of intuitive knowledge just referred to, namely that it extends only to what is immediately present, the mere understanding is not sufficient for constructing machines and buildings. On the contrary, reason must put in an appearance here; it must replace intuitions and perceptions with abstract concepts, take those concepts as the guide of action, and, if they are right, success will be attained. In the same way, we know perfectly in pure perception the nature and conformity to law of a parabola, hyperbola, and spiral, but for this knowledge to be reliably applied in real life it must first have become abstract knowledge. Here, of course, it loses its character of intuition or perception, and acquires instead the certainty and definiteness of abstract knowledge. Thus the differential calculus does not really extend our knowledge of curves; it contains nothing more than what was already present in the mere pure perception of them. But it alters the kind of knowledge; it converts the intuitive into an abstract knowledge that is so extremely important for application. Here another peculiarity of our faculty of knowledge comes under discussion, and one that could not be observed previously, until the difference between knowledge of perception and abstract knowledge was made perfectly clear. It is that the relations of space cannot directly and as such be translated into abstract knowledge, but only temporal quantities, that is to say numbers, are capable of this. Numbers alone can be expressed in abstract concepts exactly corresponding to them; spatial quantities cannot. The concept thousand is just as different from the concept ten as are the two temporal quantities in perception. We think of a thousand as a definite multiple of ten into which we can resolve it at will for perception in time, in other words, we can count it. But between the abstract concept of a mile and that of a foot, without any representation from perception of either, and without the help of number, there is no exact distinction at all corresponding to these quantities themselves. In both we think only of a spatial quantity in general, and if they are to be adequately distinguished, we must either avail ourselves of intuition or perception in space, and hence leave the sphere of abstract knowledge, or we must think the difference in numbers. If, therefore, we want to have abstract knowledge of space-relations, we must first translate them into time-relations, that is, numbers. For this reason, arithmetic alone, and not geometry, is the universal theory of quantity, and geometry must be translated into arithmetic if it is to be communicable, precisely definite, and applicable in practice. It is true that a spatial relation as such may also be thought in the abstract, for example "The sine increases with the angle," but if the quantity of this relation is to be stated, number is required. This necessity for space with its three dimensions to be translated into time with only one dimension, if we wish to have an abstract knowledge (i.e., a rational knowledge, and no mere intuition or perception) of space-relations -- this necessity it is that makes mathematics so difficult. This becomes very clear when we compare the perception of curves with their analytical calculation, or even merely the tables of the logarithms of trigonometrical functions with the perception of the changing relations of the parts of a triangle expressed by them. What vast tissues of figures, what laborious calculations, would be required to express in the abstract what perception here apprehends perfectly and with extreme accuracy at a glance, namely how the cosine diminishes while the sine increases, how the cosine of one angle is the sine of another, the inverse relation of the increase and decrease of the two angles, and so on! How time, we might say, with its one dimension must torture itself, in order to reproduce the three dimensions of space! But this was necessary if we wished to possess space-relations expressed in abstract concepts for the purpose of application. They could not go into abstract concepts directly, but only through the medium of the purely temporal quantity, number, which alone is directly connected to abstract knowledge. Yet it is remarkable that, as space is so well adapted to perception, and, by means of its three dimensions, even complicated relations can be taken in at a glance, whereas it defies abstract knowledge, time on the other hand passes easily into abstract concepts, but offers very little to perception. Our perception of numbers in their characteristic element, namely in mere time, without the addition of space, scarcely extends as far as ten. Beyond this we have only abstract concepts, and no longer perceptive knowledge of numbers. On the other hand, we connect with every numeral and with all algebraical signs precise and definite abstract concepts.

Incidentally, it may here be remarked that many minds find complete satisfaction only in what is known through perception. What they look for is reason or ground and consequent of being in space presented in perception. A Euclidean proof, or an arithmetical solution of spatial problems, makes no appeal to them. Other minds, on the contrary, want the abstract concepts of use solely for application and communication. They have patience and memory for abstract principles, formulas, demonstrations by long chains of reasoning, and calculations whose symbols represent the most complicated abstractions. The latter seek preciseness, the former intuitiveness. The difference is characteristic.

Rational or abstract knowledge has its greatest value in its communicability, and in its possibility of being fixed and retained; only through this does it become so invaluable for practice. Of the causal connexion of the changes and motions of natural bodies a man can have an immediate, perceptive knowledge in the mere understanding, and can find complete satisfaction in it, but it is capable of being communicated only after he has fixed it in concepts. Even knowledge of the first kind is sufficient for practice, as soon as a man puts it into execution entirely by himself, in fact when he carries it out in a practical action, while the knowledge from perception is still vivid. But such knowledge is not sufficient if a man requires the help of another, or if he needs to carry out on his own part some action manifested at different times and therefore needing a deliberate plan. Thus, for example, an experienced billiard-player can have a perfect knowledge of the laws of impact of elastic bodies on one another, merely in the understanding, merely for immediate perception, and with this he manages perfectly. Only the man who is versed in the science of mechanics, on the other hand, has a real rational knowledge of those laws, that is to say, a knowledge of them in the abstract. Even for the construction of machines such a merely intuitive knowledge of the understanding is sufficient, when the inventor of the machine himself executes the work, as is often seen in the case of talented workmen without any scientific knowledge. On the other hand, as soon as several men and their coordinated activity occurring at different times are necessary for carrying out a mechanical operation, for completing a machine or a building, then the man controlling it must have drafted the plan in the abstract, and such a cooperative activity is possible only through the assistance of the faculty of reason. But it is remarkable that, in the first kind of activity, where one man alone is supposed to execute something in an uninterrupted course of action, rational knowledge, the application of reason, reflection, may often be even a hindrance to him. For example, in the case of billiards-playing, fencing, tuning an instrument, or singing, knowledge of perception must directly guide activity; passage through reflection makes it uncertain, since it divides the attention, and confuses the executant. Therefore, savages and uneducated persons, not very accustomed to thinking, perform many bodily exercises, fight with animals, shoot with bows and arrows and the like, with a certainty and rapidity never reached by the reflecting European, just because his deliberation makes him hesitate and hang back. For instance, he tries to find the right spot or the right point of time from the mean between two false extremes, while the natural man hits it directly without reflecting on the wrong courses open to him. Likewise, it is of no use for me to be able to state in the abstract in degrees and minutes the angle at which I have to apply my razor, if I do not know it intuitively, in other words, if I do not know how to hold the razor. In like manner, the application of reason is also disturbing to the person who tries to understand physiognomy; this too must occur directly through the understanding. We say that the expression, the meaning of the features, can only be felt, that is to say, it cannot enter into abstract concepts. Every person has his own immediate intuitive method of physiognomy and pathognomy, yet one recognizes that signatura rerum more clearly than does another. But a science of physiognomy in the abstract cannot be brought into existence to be taught and learned, because in this field the shades of difference are so fine that the concept cannot reach them. Hence abstract rational knowledge is related to them as a mosaic is to a picture by a van der Werft or a Denner. However fine the mosaic may be, the edges of the stones always remain, so that no continuous transition from one tint to another is possible. In the same way, concepts, with their rigidity and sharp delineation, however finely they may be split by closer definition, are always incapable of reaching the fine modifications of perception, and this is the very point of the example I have taken here from physiognomy. [20]

This same property in concepts which makes them similar to the stones of a mosaic, and by virtue of which perception always remains their asymptote, is also the reason why nothing good is achieved through them in art. If the singer or virtuoso wishes to guide his recital by reflection, he remains lifeless. The same is true of the composer, the painter, and the poet. For art the concept always remains unproductive; in art it can guide only technique; its province is science. In the third book we shall inquire more closely into the reason why all genuine art proceeds from knowledge of perception, never from the concept. Even in regard to behaviour, to personal charm in mixing with people, the concept is only of negative value in restraining the uncouth outbursts of egoism and brutality, so that politeness is its commendable work. What is attractive, gracious, prepossessing in behaviour, what is affectionate and friendly, cannot have come from the concept, otherwise "We feel intention and are put out of tune." All dissimulation is the work of reflection, but it cannot be kept up permanently and without interruption; nemo potest personam diu terre fictam, [21] says Seneca in his book De Clementia; for generally it is recognized, and loses its effect. Reason is necessary in the high stress of life where rapid decisions, bold action, quick and firm comprehension are needed, but if it gains the upper hand, if it confuses and hinders the intuitive, immediate discovery of what is right by the pure understanding, and at the same time prevents this from being grasped, and if it produces irresolution, then it can easily ruin everything.

Finally, virtue and holiness result not from reflection, but from the inner depth of the will, and from its relation to knowledge. This discussion belongs to an entirely different part of this work. Here I may observe only this much, that the dogmas relating to ethics can be the same in the reasoning faculty of whole nations, but the conduct of each individual different, and also the converse. Conduct, as we say, happens in accordance with feelings, that is to say, not precisely according to concepts, but to ethical worth and quality. Dogmas concern idle reason; conduct in the end pursues its own course independently of them, usually in accordance not with abstract, but with unspoken maxims, the expression of which is precisely the whole man himself. Therefore, however different the religious dogmas of nations may be, with all of them the good deed is accompanied by unspeakable satisfaction, and the bad by infinite dread. No mockery shakes the former; no father confessor's absolution delivers us from the latter. But it cannot be denied that the application of reason is necessary for the pursuit of a virtuous way of living; yet it is not the source of this, but its function is a subordinate one; to preserve resolutions once formed, to provide maxims for withstanding the weakness of the moment, and to give consistency to conduct. Ultimately, it achieves the same thing also in art, where it is not capable of anything in the principal matter, but assists in carrying it out, just because genius is not at a man's command every hour, and yet the work is to be completed in all its parts and rounded off to a whole. [22]


All these considerations of the advantages, as well as the disadvantages, of applying reason should help to make it clear that, although abstract rational knowledge is the reflex of the representation from perception, and is founded thereon, it is by no means so congruent with it that it could everywhere take its place; on the contrary, it never corresponds wholly to this representation. Hence, as we have seen, many human actions are performed by the aid of reason and deliberate method, yet some are better achieved without their application. This very incongruity of knowledge from perception and abstract knowledge, by virtue of which the latter always only approximates to the former as a mosaic approximates to a painting, is the cause of a very remarkable phenomenon. Like reason, this phenomenon is exclusively peculiar to human nature, and all the explanations of it which have so frequently been attempted up to now are insufficient. I refer to laughter. On account of this origin of the phenomenon, we cannot refrain from speaking about it here, although once more it interrupts the course of our discussion. In every case, laughter results from nothing but the suddenly perceived incongruity between a concept and the real objects that had been thought through it in some relation; and laughter itself is just the expression of this incongruity. It often occurs through two or more real objects being thought through one concept, and the identity of the concept being transferred to the objects. But then a complete difference of the objects in other respects makes it strikingly clear that the concept fitted them only from a one-sided point of view. It occurs just as often, however, that the incongruity between a single real object and the concept under which, on the one hand, it has been rightly subsumed, is suddenly felt. Now the more correct the subsumption of such actualities under the concept from one standpoint, and the greater and more glaring their incongruity with it from the other, the more powerful is the effect of the ludicrous which springs from this contrast. All laughter therefore is occasioned by a paradoxical, and hence unexpected, subsumption, it matters not whether this is expressed in words or in deeds. This in brief is the correct explanation of the ludicrous.

I shall not pause here to relate anecdotes as examples of this, for the purpose of illustrating my explanation; for this is so simple and easy to understand that it does not require them, and everything ludicrous that the reader calls to mind can likewise furnish a proof of it. But our explanation is at once confirmed and elucidated by setting forth two species of the ludicrous into which it is divided, and which result from this very explanation. Either we have previously known two or more very different real objects, representations of perception or intuition, and arbitrarily identified them through the unity of a concept embracing both; this species of the ludicrous is called wit. Or, conversely, the concept first of all exists in knowledge, and from it we pass to reality and to operation on reality, to action. Objects in other respects fundamentally different, but all thought in that concept, are now regarded and treated in the same way, until, to the astonishment of the person acting, their great difference in other respects stands out; this species of the ludicrous is called folly. Therefore everything ludicrous is either a flash of wit or a foolish action, according as one proceeded from the discrepancy of the objects to the identity of the concept, or the reverse; the former always arbitrary, the latter always unintentional and forced from without. Apparently to reverse the starting-point, and to mask wit as folly, is the art of the jester and clown. Such a person, well aware of the diversity of the objects, unites them with secret wit under one concept, and then, starting from this concept, obtains from the subsequently discovered diversity of the objects the surprise he had himself prepared. It follows from this short but adequate theory of the ludicrous that, setting aside the last case of the jester, wit must always show itself in words, folly usually in actions, though also in words when it merely expresses an intention instead of actually carrying it out, or again when it shows itself in mere judgements and opinions.

Pedantry also is a form of folly. It arises from a man's having little confidence in his own understanding, and therefore not liking to leave things to its discretion, to recognize directly what is right in the particular case. Accordingly, he puts his understanding entirely under the guardianship of his reason, and makes use thereof on all occasions; in other words, he wants always to start from general concepts, rules, and maxims, and to stick strictly to these in life, in art, and even in ethical good conduct. Hence that clinging to the form, the manner, the expression and the word that is peculiar to pedantry, and with it takes the place of the real essence of the matter. The incongruity between the concept and reality soon shows itself, as the former never descends to the particular case, and its universality and rigid definiteness can never accurately apply to reality's fine shades of difference and its innumerable modifications. Therefore the pedant with his general maxims almost always comes off badly in life, and shows himself foolish, absurd, and incompetent. In art, for which the concept is unproductive, he produces lifeless, stiff, abortive mannerisms. Even in regard to ethics, the intention to act rightly or nobly cannot be carried out in all cases in accordance with abstract maxims, since in many instances the infinitely nice distinctions in the nature of the circumstances necessitate a choice of right, proceeding directly from the character. For the application of merely abstract maxims sometimes gives false results, because they only half apply; sometimes it cannot be carried out, because such maxims are foreign to the individual character of the person acting, and this can never be entirely hidden; hence inconsistencies follow. We cannot entirely exonerate Kant from the reproach of causing moral pedantry, in so far as he makes it a condition of the moral worth of an action that it be done from purely rational abstract maxims without any inclination or momentary emotion. This reproach is also the meaning of Schiller's epigram Gewissensskrupel. When we speak, especially in political matters, of doctrinaires, theorists, savants, and so forth, we mean pedants, that is to say, persons who well know the things in the abstract, but not in the concrete. Abstraction consists in thinking away the closer and more detailed definitions, but it is precisely on these that very much depends in practice.

To complete the theory, we still have to mention a spurious kind of wit, the play upon words, the calembour, the pun, to which can be added the equivocation, l'equivoque, whose chief use is in the obscene (smut, filth). Just as wit forces two very different real objects under one concept, so the pun brings two different concepts under one word by the use of chance or accident. The same contrast again arises, but much more insipidly and superficially, because it springs not from the essential nature of things, but from the accident of nomenclature. In the case of wit, the identity is in the concept, the difference in the reality; but in the case of the pun, the difference is in the concepts and the identity in the reality to which the wording belongs. It would be a somewhat far-fetched comparison to say that the pun is related to wit as the hyperbola of the upper inverted cone is to that of the lower. But the misunderstanding of the word, or the quid pro quo, is the unintended calembour, and is related thereto exactly as folly is to wit. Hence even the man who is hard of hearing, as well as the fool, must afford material for laughter, and bad writers of comedy often use the former instead of the latter to raise a laugh.

I have here considered laughter merely from the psychical side; with regard to the physical side, I refer to the discussion on the subject in Parerga (vol. II, chap. 6, § 96), p. 134 (first edition). [23]


By all these various considerations it is hoped that the difference and the relation between the cognitive method of reason, rational knowledge, the concept, on the one hand, and the immediate knowledge in purely sensuous, mathematical perception or intuition and in apprehension by the understanding on the other, has been brought out quite clearly. Further, there have been also the incidental discussions on feeling and laughter, to which we were almost inevitably led by a consideration of that remarkable relation of our modes of cognition. From all this I now return to a further discussion of science as being, together with speech and deliberate action, the third advantage which the faculty of reason confers on man. The general consideration of science which here devolves upon us will be concerned partly with its form, partly with the foundation of its judgements, and finally with its content.

We have seen that, with the exception of the basis of pure logic, all rational knowledge has its origin not in reason itself, but, having been otherwise gained as knowledge of perception, it is deposited in reason, since in this way it has passed into quite a different method of cognition, namely the abstract. All rational knowledge, that is to say, knowledge raised to consciousness in the abstract, is related to science proper as a part to the whole. Every person has obtained a rational knowledge about many different things through experience, through a consideration of the individual things presented to him; but only the person who sets himself the task of obtaining a complete knowledge in the abstract about some species of objects aspires to science. Only by a concept can he single out this species; therefore at the head of every science there is a concept through which the part is thought from the sum-total of all things, and of which that science promises a complete knowledge in the abstract. For example, the concept of spatial relations, or of the action of inorganic bodies on one another, or of the nature of plants and animals, or of the successive changes of the surface of the globe, or of the changes of the human race as a whole, or of the structure of a language, and so on. If science wished to obtain the knowledge of its theme by investigating every individual thing thought through the concept, till it had thus gradually learnt the whole, no human memory would suffice, and no certainty of completeness would be obtainable. It therefore makes use of that previously discussed property of concept-spheres of including one another, and it goes mainly to the wider spheres lying generally within the concept of its theme. When it has determined the relations of these spheres to one another, all that is thought in them is also determined in general, and can now be more and more accurately determined by separating out smaller and smaller concept-spheres. It thus becomes possible for a science to embrace its theme completely. This path to knowledge which it follows, namely that from the general to the particular, distinguishes it from ordinary rational knowledge. Systematic form is therefore an essential and characteristic feature of science. The combination of the most general concept-spheres of every science, in other words, the knowledge of its main principles, is the indispensable condition for mastering it. How far we want to go from these to the more special propositions is a matter of choice; it does not increase the thoroughness but the extent of learning. The number of the main principles to which all the rest are subordinated varies greatly as between the different sciences, so that in some there is more subordination, in others more coordination; and in this respect the former make greater claims on the power of judgement, the latter on memory. It was known even to the scholastics [24] that, because the syllogism requires two premisses, no science can start from a single main principle that cannot be deduced further; on the contrary, it must have several, at least two, of these. The strictly classificatory sciences, such as zoology, botany, even physics and chemistry, in so far as these latter refer all inorganic action to a few fundamental forces, have the most subordination. History, on the other hand, has really none at all, for the universal in it consists merely in the survey of the principal periods. From these, however, the particular events cannot be deduced; they are subordinate to them only according to time, and are coordinate with them according to the concept. Therefore history, strictly speaking, is rational knowledge certainly, but not a science. In mathematics, according to Euclid's treatment, the axioms are the only indemonstrable first principles, and all demonstrations are in gradation strictly subordinate to them. This method of treatment, however, is not essential to mathematics, and in fact every proposition again begins a new spatial construction. In itself, this is independent of the previous constructions, and can actually be known from itself, quite independently of them, in the pure intuition of space, in which even the most complicated construction is just as directly evident as the axiom is. But this will be discussed in more detail later. Meanwhile, every mathematical proposition always remains a universal truth, valid for innumerable particular cases. A graduated process from the simple to the complicated propositions that are to be referred to them is also essential to mathematics; hence mathematics is in every respect a science. The completeness of a science as such, that is to say, according to form, consists in there being as much subordination and as little coordination of the principles as possible. Scientific talent in general, therefore, is the ability to subordinate the concept-spheres according to their different determinations, so that, as Plato repeatedly recommends, science may not be formed merely by something universal and an immense variety of things placed side by side directly under it, but that knowledge may step down gradually from the most universal to the particular through intermediate concepts and divisions, made according to closer and closer definitions. According to Kant's expressions, this means complying equally with the law of homogeneity and with the law of specification. From the fact that this constitutes real scientific completeness, it follows that the aim of science is not greater certainty, for even the most disconnected single piece of knowledge can have just as much certainty; its aim is rather facility of rational knowledge through its form and the possibility, thus given, of completing such knowledge. It is for this reason a prevalent but perverted opinion that the scientific character of knowledge consists in greater certainty; and just as false is the assertion, following from this, that mathematics and logic alone are sciences in the proper sense, because only in them, on account of their wholly a priori nature, is there irrefutable certainty of knowledge. This last advantage cannot be denied them, but it does not give them a special claim to the nature of science. For that is to be found not in certainty, but in the systematic form of knowledge, established by the gradual descent from the universal to the particular. This way of knowledge from the universal to the particular, peculiar to the sciences, makes it necessary that in them much is established by deduction from previous propositions, that is by proofs. This has given rise to the old error that only what is demonstrated is perfectly true, and that every truth requires a proof. On the contrary, every proof or demonstration requires an undemonstrated truth, and this ultimately supports it or again its own proofs. Therefore a directly established truth is as preferable to a truth established by a proof as spring water is to piped water. Perception, partly pure a priori, as establishing mathematics, partly empirical a posteriori, as establishing all the other sciences, is the source of all truth and the basis of all science. (Logic alone is to be excepted, which is based not on knowledge of perception, but on reason's direct knowledge of its own laws.) Not the demonstrated judgements or their proofs, but judgements drawn directly from perception and founded thereon instead of on any proof, are in science what the sun is to the world. All light proceeds from them, and, illuminated thereby, the others in turn give light. To establish the truth of such primary judgements directly from perception, to raise such foundations of science from the immense number of real things, is the work of the power of judgement. This consists in the ability to carryover into abstract consciousness correctly and exactly what is known in perception; and judgement accordingly is the mediator between understanding and reason. Only outstanding and extraordinary strength of judgement in an individual can actually advance the sciences, but anyone who has merely a healthy faculty of reason is able to deduce propositions from propositions, to demonstrate, to draw conclusions. On the other hand, to lay down and fix in appropriate concepts for reflection what is known through perception, so that, firstly, what is common to many real objects is thought through one concept, and secondly, their points of difference are thought through just as many concepts; this is done by the power of judgement. From this what is different is known and thought as different, in spite of a partial agreement; and what is identical is known and thought as identical, in spite of a partial difference, all according to the purpose and consideration that actually exist in each case. This too is the work of judgement. Want of judgement is silliness. The silly person fails to recognize, now the partial or relative difference of what is in one respect identical, now the identity of what is relatively or partially different. Moreover, to this explanation of the power of judgement Kant's division of it into reflecting and subsuming judgement can be applied, according as it passes from the objects of perception to the concept, or from the concept to the objects of perception, in both cases always mediating between knowledge of the understanding through perception and reflective knowledge of reason. There can be no truth that could be brought out absolutely through syllogisms alone, but the necessity of establishing truth merely through syllogisms is always only relative, indeed subjective. As all proofs are syllogisms, we must first seek for a new truth not a proof, but direct evidence, and only so long as this is wanting is the proof to be furnished for the time being. No science can be capable of demonstration throughout any more than a building can stand in the air. All its proofs must refer to something perceived, and hence no longer capable of proof, for the whole world of reflection rests on, and is rooted in, the world of perception. All ultimate, i.e., original, evidence is one of intuitive perception, as the word already discloses. Accordingly, it is either empirical or based on the perception a priori of the conditions of possible experience. In both cases, therefore, it affords only immanent, not transcendent knowledge. Every concept has its value and its existence only in reference to a representation from perception, although such reference may be very indirect. What holds good of the concepts holds good also of the judgements constructed from them, and of all the sciences. Therefore it must be possible in some way to know directly, even without proofs and syllogisms, every truth that is found through syllogisms and communicated by proofs. This is most difficult certainly in the case of many complicated mathematical propositions which we reach only by chains of syllogisms; for example, the calculation of the chords and tangents to all arcs by means of deductions from the theorem of Pythagoras. But even such a truth cannot rest essentially and solely on abstract principles, and the spatial relations at the root of it must also be capable of being so displayed for pure intuition a priori, that their abstract expression is directly established. But shortly we shall discuss demonstration in mathematics in detail.
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Re: The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenh

Postby admin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:44 pm

Part 5 of 6

It may be that people often speak in a lofty tone about sciences which rest entirely on correct conclusions from sure premisses, and are therefore incontestably true. But through purely logical chains of reasoning, however true the premisses may be, we shall never obtain more than an elucidation and exposition of what already lies complete in the premisses; thus we shall only explicitly expound what was already implicitly understood therein. By these esteemed sciences are meant especially the mathematical, in particular astronomy. But the certainty of astronomy arises from the fact that it has for its basis the intuition or perception of space, given a priori, and hence infallible. All spatial relations, however, follow from one another with a necessity (ground of being) that affords a priori certainty, and they can with safety be derived from one another. To these mathematical provisions is added only a single force of nature, namely gravity, operating exactly in proportion to the masses and to the square of the distance; and finally we have the law of inertia, a priori certain, because it follows from the law of causality, together with the empirical datum of the motion impressed on each of these masses once for all. This is the whole material of astronomy, which, by both its simplicity and its certainty, leads to definite results that are very interesting by virtue of the magnitude and importance of the objects. For example, if I know the mass of a planet and the distance from it of its satellite, I can infer with certainty the latter's period of revolution according to Kepler's second law. But the basis of this law is that at this distance only this velocity simultaneously chains the satellite to the planet, and prevents it from falling into it. Hence only on such a geometrical basis, that is to say, by means of an intuition or perception a priori, and moreover under the application of a law of nature, can we get very far with syllogisms, since here they are, so to speak, merely bridges from one perceptive apprehension to another. But it is. not so with merely plain syllogisms on the exclusively logical path. The origin of the first fundamental truths of astronomy is really induction, in other words, the summarizing into one correct and directly founded judgement of what is given in many perceptions. From this judgement hypotheses are afterwards formed, and the confirmation of these by experience, as induction approaching completeness, gives the proof for that first judgement. For example, the apparent motion of the planets is known empirically; after many false hypotheses about the spatial connexion of this motion (planetary orbit), the correct one was at last found, then the laws followed by it (Kepler's laws), and finally the cause of these laws (universal gravitation). The empirically known agreement of all observed cases with the whole of the hypotheses and with their consequences, hence induction, gave them complete certainty. The discovery of the hypothesis was the business of the power of judgement which rightly comprehended the given fact, and expressed it accordingly; but induction, in other words perception of many kinds, confirmed its truth. But this truth could be established even directly through a single empirical perception, if we could freely pass through universal space, and had telescopic eyes. Consequently, even here syllogisms are not the essential and only source of knowledge, but are always in fact only a makeshift.

Finally, in order to furnish a third example from a different sphere, we will observe that even the so-called metaphysical truths, that is, such as are laid down by Kant in the Metaphysical Rudiments of Natural Science, do not owe their evidence to proofs. We know immediately what is a priori certain; this, as the form of all knowledge, is known to us with the greatest necessity. For instance, we know immediately as negative truth that matter persists, in other words, that it can neither come into being nor pass away. Our pure intuition or perception of space and time gives the possibility of motion; the understanding gives in the law of causality the possibility of change of form and quality, but we lack the forms for conceiving an origin or disappearance of matter. Therefore this truth has at all times been evident to all men everywhere, and has never been seriously doubted; and this could not be the case if its ground of knowledge were none other than the very difficult and hair-splitting proof of Kant. But in addition, I have found Kant's proof to be false (as explained in the Appendix), and I have shown above that the permanence of matter is to be deduced not from the share that time has in the possibility of experience, but from that which space has. The real foundation of all truths which in this sense are called metaphysical, that is, of abstract expressions of the necessary and universal forms of knowledge, can be found not in abstract principles, but only in the immediate consciousness of the forms of representation, manifesting itself through statements a priori that are apodictic and in fear of no refutation. But if we still want to furnish a proof of them, this can consist only in our showing that what is to be proved is already contained in some undoubted truth as a part or a presupposition of it. Thus, for example, I have shown that all empirical perception implies the application of the law of causality. Hence knowledge of this is a condition of all experience, and therefore cannot be given and conditioned through experience, as Hume asserted. Proofs are generally less for those who want to learn than for those who want to dispute. These latter obstinately deny directly established insight. Truth alone can be consistent in all directions; we must therefore show such persons that they admit under one form and indirectly what under another form and directly they deny, i.e. the logically necessary connexion between what is denied and what is admitted.

Moreover, it is a consequence of the scientific form, namely subordination of everything particular under something general, and then under something more and more general, that the truth of many propositions is established only logically, namely through their dependence on other propositions, and hence through syllogisms which appear simultaneously as proofs. But we should never forget that this entire form is a means only to facilitating knowledge, not to greater certainty. It is easier to know the nature of an animal from the species to which it belongs, and so on upwards from the genus, family, order, and class, than to examine the animal itself which is given to us on each occasion. But the truth of all propositions deduced by syllogisms is always only conditioned by, and ultimately dependent on, a truth that rests not on syllogisms, but on perception or intuition. If this perception were always as much within our reach as deduction through a syllogism is, it would be in every way preferable. For every deduction from concepts is exposed to many deceptions on account of the fact, previously demonstrated, that many different spheres are linked and interlocked, and again because their content is often ill-defined and uncertain. Examples of this are the many proofs of false doctrines and sophisms of every kind. Syllogisms are indeed perfectly certain as regards form, but very uncertain through their matter, namely the concepts. For on the one hand the spheres of these are often not defined with sufficient sharpness, and on the other they intersect one another in so many different ways, that one sphere is partly contained in many others, and therefore we can pass arbitrarily from it to one or another of these, and again to others, as we have already shown. Or, in other words, the minor and also the middle term can always be subordinated to different concepts, from which we choose at will the major term and the middle, whereupon the conclusion turns out differently. Consequently, immediate evidence is everywhere far preferable to demonstrated truth, and the latter is to be accepted only when the former is too remote, and not when it is just as near as, or even nearer than, the latter. Therefore we saw above that actually with logic, where in each individual case immediate knowledge lies nearer at hand than derived scientific knowledge, we always conduct our thinking only in accordance with immediate knowledge of the laws of thought, and leave logic unused. [25]


Now if with our conviction that perception is the first source of all evidence, that immediate or mediate reference to this alone is absolute truth, and further that the shortest way to this is always the surest, as every mediation through concepts exposes us to many deceptions; if, I say, we now turn with this conviction to mathematics, as it was laid down in the form of a science by Euclid, and has on the whole remained down to the present day, we cannot help finding the path followed by it strange and even perverted. We demand the reduction of every logical proof to one of perception. Mathematics, on the contrary, is at great pains deliberately to reject the evidence of perception peculiar to it and everywhere at hand, in order to substitute for it logical evidence. We must look upon this as being like a man who cuts off his legs in order to walk on crutches, or the prince in Triumph der Empfindsamkeit who flees from the beautiful reality of nature to enjoy a theatrical scene that imitates it. I must now call to mind what I said in the sixth chapter of the essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which I assume to be quite fresh and present in the reader's memory. Here then I link my observations on to this without discussing afresh the difference between the mere ground of knowledge of a mathematical truth which can be given logically, and the ground of being, which is the immediate connexion of the parts of space and time, to be known only from perception. It is only insight into the ground of being which gives true satisfaction and thorough knowledge. The mere ground of knowledge, on the other hand, always remains on the surface, and can give us a rational knowledge that a thing is as it is, but no rational knowledge why it is so. Euclid chose this latter way to the obvious detriment of the science. For example, at the very beginning, he ought to show once for all how in the triangle angles and sides reciprocally determine one another, and are the reason or ground and consequent of each other, in accordance with the form which the principle of sufficient reason has in mere space, and which there, as everywhere, provides the necessity that a thing is as it is, because another thing, quite different from it, is as it is. Instead of thus giving us a thorough insight into the nature of the triangle, he posits a few disconnected, arbitrarily chosen propositions about the triangle, and gives a logical ground of knowledge of them through a laborious logical proof furnished in accordance with the principle of contradiction. Instead of an exhaustive knowledge of these space-relations, we therefore obtain only a few arbitrarily communicated results from them, and are in the same position as the man to whom the different effects of an ingenious machine are shown, while its inner connexion and mechanism are withheld from him. We are forced by the principle of contradiction to admit that everything demonstrated by Euclid is so, but we do not get to know why it is so. We therefore have almost the uncomfortable feeling that we get after a conjuring trick, and in fact most of Euclid's proofs are remarkably like such a trick. The truth almost always comes in by the back door, since it follows per accidens from some minor circumstance. Frequently, an apagogic proof shuts all doors one after the other, and leaves open only one, through which merely for that reason we must now pass. Often, as in the theorem of Pythagoras, lines are drawn without our knowing why. It afterwards appears that they were traps, which shut unexpectedly and take prisoner the assent of the learner, who in astonishment has then to admit what remains wholly unintelligible to him in its inner connexion. This happens to such an extent that he can study the whole of Euclid throughout without gaining real insight into the laws of spatial relations, but instead of these, he learns by heart only a few of their results. This really empirical and unscientific knowledge is like that of the doctor who knows disease and remedy, but not the connexion between the two. But all this is what results when we capriciously reject the method of proof and evidence peculiar to one species of knowledge, and forcibly introduce instead of it a method that is foreign to its nature. In other respects, however, the way in which this is carried out by Euclid deserves all the admiration that for so many centuries has been bestowed on him. The method has been followed so far, that his treatment of mathematics has been declared to be the pattern for all scientific presentation. Men tried even to model all the other sciences on it, but later gave this up without really knowing why. In our view, however, this method of Euclid in mathematics can appear only as a very brilliant piece of perversity. When a great error concerning life or science is pursued intentionally and methodically, and is accompanied by universal assent, it is always possible to demonstrate the reason for this in the philosophy that prevails at the time. The Eleatics first discovered the difference, indeed more often the antagonism, between the perceived, [x], and the conceived, [x], [26] and used it in many ways for their philosophemes, and also for sophisms. They were followed later by the Megarics, Dialecticians, Sophists, New Academicians, and Sceptics; these drew attention to the illusion, that is, the deception of the senses, or rather of the understanding which converts the data of the senses into perception, and often causes us to see things to which the faculty of reason positively denies reality, for example, the stick broken in the water, and so on. It was recognized that perception through the senses was not to be trusted unconditionally, and it was hastily concluded that only rational logical thinking established truth, although Plato (in the Parmenides), the Megarics, Pyrrho, and the New Academicians showed by examples (in the way later adopted by Sextus Empiricus) how syllogisms and concepts were also misleading, how in fact they produced paralogisms and sophisms that arise much more easily, and are far harder to unravel, than the illusion in perception through the senses. But this rationalism, which arose in opposition to empiricism, kept the upper hand, and Euclid modelled mathematics in accordance with it. He was therefore necessarily compelled to found the axioms alone on the evidence of perception ([x]), and all the rest on syllogisms ([x]). His method remained the prevailing one throughout all the centuries, and was bound so to remain, so long as there was no distinction between pure intuition or perception a priori and empirical perception. Indeed, Euclid's commentator Proclus appears to have fully recognized this distinction, as he shows in the passage translated by Kepler into Latin in his book De Harmonia Mundi. But Proclus did not attach enough weight to the matter; he raised it in too detached a manner, remained unnoticed, and achieved nothing. Therefore only after two thousand years will Kant's teaching, destined to bring about such great changes in all the knowledge, thought, and action of European nations, cause such a change in mathematics also. For only after we have learnt from this great mind that the intuitions or perceptions of space and time are quite different from empirical perception, entirely independent of any impression on the senses, conditioning this and not conditioned by it, i.e., are a priori, and hence not in any way exposed to sense-deception -- only then can we see that Euclid's logical method of treating mathematics is a useless precaution, a crutch for sound legs. We see that such a method is like a wanderer who, mistaking at night a bright firm road for water, refrains from walking on it, and goes over the rough ground beside it, content to keep from point to point along the edge of the supposed water. Only now can we affirm with certainty that that which presents itself to us as necessary in the perception of a figure does not come from the figure on the paper, perhaps very imperfectly drawn, or from the abstract concept that we think with it, but immediately from the form of all knowledge, of which we are conscious a priori. This is everywhere the principle of sufficient reason; here, as form of perception, i.e., space, it is the principle of the ground of being; but the evidence and validity of this are just as great and immediate as that of the principle of the ground of knowledge, i.e., logical certainty. Thus we need not and should not leave the peculiar province of mathematics in order to trust merely logical certainty, and prove mathematics true in a province quite foreign to it, namely in the province of concepts. If we stick to the ground peculiar to mathematics, we gain the great advantage that in it the rational knowledge that something is so is one with the rational knowledge why it is so. The method of Euclid, on the other hand, entirely separates the two, and lets us know merely the first, not the second. Aristotle says admirably in the Posterior Analytics (I, 27): [x]. (Subtilior autem et praestantior ea est scientia, qua QUOD aliquid sit, et CUR sit una simulque intelligimus, non separatim QUOD, et CUR sit.) [27] In physics we are satisfied only when the knowledge that something is thus is combined with the knowledge why it is thus. It is no use for us to know that the mercury in the Torricellian tube stands at a height of thirty inches, if we do not also know that it is kept at this height by the counterbalancing weight of the atmosphere. But are we in mathematics to be satisfied with the qualitas occulta of the circle that the segments of any two intersecting chords always form equal rectangles? That this is so is of course proved by Euclid in the 35th proposition of the third book, but why it is so remains uncertain. In the same way, the theorem of Pythagoras teaches us a qualitas occulta of the right-angled triangle; the stilted, and indeed subtle, proof of Euclid forsakes us at the why, and the accompanying simple figure, already known to us, gives at a glance far more insight into the matter, and firm inner conviction of that necessity, and of the dependence of that property on the right angle, than is given by his proof.


Even in the case when unequal sides contain the right angle, as generally with every possible geometrical truth, it must be possible to reach such a conviction based on perception, because its discovery always started from such a perceived necessity, and only afterwards was the proof thought out in addition. Thus we need only an analysis of the process of thought in the first discovery of a geometrical truth, in order to know its necessity intuitively or perceptively. It is generally the analytic method that I desire for the expounding of mathematics, instead of the synthetic method Euclid made use of. But of course with complicated mathematical truths this will entail very great, though not insuperable, difficulties. Here and there in Germany men are beginning to alter the exposition of mathematics, and to follow more this analytic path. The most positive work in this direction has been done by Herr Kosack, instructor in mathematics and physics at the Nordhausen Gymnasium, who added to the programme for the school examination of 6 April 1852 a detailed attempt to deal with geometry in accordance with my main principles.

To improve the method of mathematics, it is specially necessary to give up the prejudice that demonstrated truth has any advantage over truth known through perception or intuition, or that logical truth, resting on the principle of contradiction, has any advantage over metaphysical truth, which is immediately evident, and to which also belongs the pure intuition of space.

What is most certain yet everywhere inexplicable is the content of the principle of sufficient reason, for this principle in its different aspects expresses the universal form of all our representations and knowledge. All explanation is a tracing back to this principle, a demonstration in the particular case of the connexion of representations expressed generally through it. It is therefore the principle of all explanation, and hence is not itself capable of explanation; nor is it in need of one, for every explanation presupposes it, and only through it obtains any meaning. None of its forms is superior to another; it is equally certain and incapable of demonstration as principle of ground of being, or of becoming, or of acting, or of knowing. The relation of reason or ground to consequent is a necessary one in anyone of its forms; indeed, it is in general the origin of the concept of necessity, as its one and only meaning. There is no other necessity than that of the consequent when the reason or ground is given; and there is no reason or ground that does not entail necessity of the consequent. Just as surely, then, as the consequent expressed in the conclusion flows from the ground of knowledge given in the premisses, so does the ground of being in space condition its consequent in space. If I have recognized through perception the relation of these two, then this certainty is just as great as any logical certainty. But every geometrical proposition is just as good an expression of such a relation as is one of the twelve axioms. It is a metaphysical truth, and, as such, is just as immediately certain as is the principle of contradiction itself, which is a metalogical truth, and is the general foundation of all logical demonstration. Whoever denies the necessity, intuitively presented, of the space-relations expressed in any proposition, can with equal right deny the axioms, the following of the conclusion from the premisses, or even the principle of contradiction itself, for all these relations are equally indemonstrable, immediately evident, and knowable a priori. Therefore, if anyone wishes to derive the necessity of space-relations, knowable in intuition or perception, from the principle of contradiction through a logical demonstration, it is just the same as if a stranger wished to enfeoff an estate to the immediate owner thereof. But this is what Euclid has done. Only his axioms is he compelled to leave resting on immediate evidence; all the following geometrical truths are logically proved, namely, under the presupposition of those axioms, from the agreement with the assumptions made in the proposition, or with an earlier proposition, or even from the contradiction between the opposite of the proposition and the assumptions, or the axioms, or the earlier propositions, or even itself. But the axioms themselves have no more immediate evidence than any other geometrical proposition has, but only greater simplicity by their smaller content.

When an accused person is examined, his statements are taken down in evidence, in order to judge of their truth from their agreement and consistency. But this is a mere makeshift, and we ought not to put up with it if we can investigate the truth of each of his statements directly and by itself, especially as he might consistently lie from the beginning. But it is by this first method that Euclid investigated space. He did indeed start from the correct assumption that nature must be consistent everywhere, and therefore also in space, its fundamental form. Therefore, since the parts of space stand to one another in the relation of reason or ground to consequent, no single determination of space can be other than it is without being in contradiction with all the others. But this is a very troublesome, unsatisfactory, and roundabout way, which prefers indirect knowledge to direct knowledge that is just as certain; which further separates the knowledge that something is from the knowledge why it is, to the great disadvantage of science; and which finally withholds entirely from the beginner insight into the laws of space, and indeed renders him unaccustomed to the proper investigation of the ground and inner connexion of things. Instead of this, it directs him to be satisfied with a mere historical knowledge that a thing is as it is. But the exercise of acuteness, mentioned so incessantly in praise of this method, consists merely in the fact that the pupil practises drawing conclusions, i.e., applying the principle of contradiction, but specially that he exerts his memory in order to retain all those data whose agreement and consistency are to be compared.

Moreover, it is worth noting that this method of proof was applied only to geometry and not to arithmetic. In arithmetic, on the contrary, truth is really allowed to become clear through perception alone, which there consists in mere counting. As the perception of numbers is in time alone, and therefore cannot be represented by a sensuous schema like the geometrical figure, the suspicion that perception was only empirical, and hence subject to illusion, disappeared in arithmetic. It was only this suspicion that was able to introduce the logical method of proof into geometry. Since time has only one dimension, counting is the only arithmetical operation, to which all others can be reduced. Yet this counting is nothing but intuition or perception a priori, to which we do not hesitate to refer, and by which alone everything else, every calculation, every equation, is ultimately verified. For example, we do not prove that (7 + 9) x 8 - 2 [divided by] 3 = 42, but refer to pure intuition in time, to counting; thus we make each individual proposition an axiom. Instead of the proofs that fill geometry, the whole content of arithmetic and algebra is thus a mere method for the abbreviation of counting. As mentioned above, our immediate perception of numbers in time does not extend to more than about ten. Beyond this an abstract concept of number, fixed by a word, must take the place of perception; thus perception is no longer actually carried out, but is only quite definitely indicated. Yet even so, through the important expedient of the order of ciphers, enabling larger numbers always to be represented by the same small ones, an intuitive or perceptive evidence of every sum or calculation is made possible, even where so much use is made of abstraction that not only the numbers, but indefinite quantities and whole operations are thought only in the abstract, and are indicated in this respect, such as √r-b, so that they are no longer performed, but only symbolized.

With the same right and certainty we could enable truth to be established in geometry, just as in arithmetic, solely through pure intuition a priori. In fact, it is always this necessity, known from perception according to the principle of the ground or reason of being, which gives geometry its great evidence, and on which the certainty of its propositions rests in the consciousness of everyone. It is certainly not the stilted logical proof, which is always foreign to the matter, is generally soon forgotten without detriment to conviction, and could be dispensed with entirely, without diminishing the evidence of geometry. For geometry is quite independent of such proof, which always proves only what we are already through another kind of knowledge fully convinced of. To this extent it is like a cowardly soldier who gives another wound to an enemy killed by someone else, and then boasts that he himself killed him. [28]

As a result of all this, it is hoped there will be no doubt that the evidence of mathematics, which has become the pattern and symbol of all evidence, rests essentially not on proofs, but on immediate intuition or perception. Here, as everywhere, that is the ultimate ground and source of all truth. Yet the perception forming the basis of mathematics has a great advantage over every other perception, and hence over the empirical. Thus as it is a priori, and consequently independent of experience which is always given only partially and successively, everything is equally near to it, and we can start either from the reason or ground or from the consequent, as we please. Now this endows it with a complete certainty and infallibility, for in it the consequent is known from the ground or reason, and this knowledge alone has necessity. For example, the equality of the sides is known as established through the equality of the angles. On the other hand, all empirical perception and the greater part of all experience proceed only conversely from the consequent to the ground. This kind of knowledge is not infallible, for necessity belongs alone to the consequent in so far as the ground is given, and not to knowledge of the ground from the consequent, for the same consequent can spring from different grounds. This latter kind of knowledge is always only induction, i.e., from many consequents pointing to one ground, the ground is assumed as certain; but as all the cases can never be together, the truth here is never unconditionally certain. Yet all knowledge through sensuous perception and the great bulk of experience have only this kind of truth. The affection of a sense induces the understanding to infer the cause from the effect, but since the conclusion from what is established (the consequent) to the ground is never certain, illusion, which is deception of the senses, is possible, and often actual, as was said previously. Only when several or all of the five senses receive affections pointing to the same cause does the possibility of illusion become small. Even then it still exists, for in certain cases, such as with counterfeit coins, the whole sensitive faculty is deceived. All empirical knowledge, and consequently the whole of natural science, is in the same position, leaving aside its pure (or as Kant calls it metaphysical) part. Here also the causes are known from the effects; therefore all natural philosophy rests on hypotheses which are often false, and then gradually give way to others that are more correct. Only in the case of intentionally arranged experiments does knowledge proceed from the cause to the effect, in other words, does it go the sure and certain way; but these experiments are themselves undertaken only in consequence of hypotheses. For this reason, no branch of natural science, such as physics, or astronomy, or physiology, could be discovered all at once, as was possible with mathematics or logic, but it required and requires the collected and compared experiences of many centuries. Only empirical confirmation of many kinds brings the induction on which the hypothesis rests so near to completeness that in practice it takes the place of certainty. It is regarded as being no more detrimental to the hypothesis, its source, than is the incommensurability of straight and curved lines to the application of geometry, or perfect exactness of the logarithm, which is incapable of attainment, to arithmetic. For just as the squaring of the circle, and the logarithm, are brought infinitely near to correctness through infinite fractions, so also through manifold experience induction, i.e., knowledge of the ground from the consequents, is brought to mathematical evidence, i.e., to knowledge of the consequent from the ground, not indeed infinitely, but yet so close that the possibility of deception becomes so small that we can neglect it. But yet the possibility is there; for example, the conclusion from innumerable cases to all cases, i.e., in reality to the unknown ground on which all depend, is a conclusion of induction. Now what conclusion of this kind seems more certain than the one that all human beings have their heart on the left side? Yet there are extremely rare and quite isolated exceptions of persons whose heart is on the right side. Sense-perception and the science of experience have therefore the same kind of evidence. The advantage that mathematics, pure natural science, and logic as knowledge a priori have over them rests merely on the fact that the formal element of knowledge, on which all that is a priori is based, is given as a whole and at once. Here, therefore, we can always proceed from the ground to the consequent, but in the other kind of knowledge often only from the consequent to the ground. In other respects, the law of causality, or the principle of sufficient reason of becoming, which guides empirical knowledge, is in itself just as certain as are those other forms of the principle of sufficient reason followed by the abovementioned sciences a priori. Logical proofs from concepts or syllogisms have the advantage of proceeding from the ground to the consequent, just as has knowledge through a priori perception; thus in themselves, that is to say, according to their form, they are infallible. This has been largely instrumental in bringing proofs generally into such great repute. But this infallibility of theirs is relative; they subsume merely under the main principles of science. It is these, however, that contain the whole material truth of science, and they cannot again be merely demonstrated, but must be founded on perception. In the few mentioned a priori sciences this perception is pure, but otherwise it is always empirical, and is raised to the universal only through induction. If, therefore, in the sciences of experience the particular is proved from the general, the general nevertheless has again obtained its truth only from the particular; it is only a granary of accumulated stocks, not a soil that is itself productive.

So much for the establishment of truth. Of the source and possibility of error, many explanations have been attempted since Plato's metaphorical solutions of the dovecot, where the wrong pigeon is caught, and so on (Theaetetus [197 fl.], p. 167 et seqq.). Kant's vague, indefinite explanation of the origin of error by means of the diagram of diagonal motion is found in the Critique of Pure Reason (p. 294 of the first edition, and p. 350 of the fifth). As truth is the relation of a judgement to its ground of knowledge, it is certainly a problem how the person judging can really believe he has such a ground and yet not have it, that is to say how error, the deception of the faculty of reason, is possible. I find this possibility wholly analogous to that of illusion, or deception of the understanding, previously explained. My opinion is (and this gives that explanation its place here) that every error is a conclusion from the consequent to the ground, which indeed is valid when we know that the consequent can have that ground and absolutely no other; otherwise it is not. The person making the error either assigns to the consequent a ground it cannot possibly have, wherein he shows actual want of understanding, i.e., deficiency in the ability to know immediately the connexion between cause and effect. Or, as is more often the case, he attributes to the consequent a ground that is indeed possible, yet he adds to the major proposition of his conclusion from the consequent to the ground that the aforesaid consequent arises always only from the ground mentioned by him. He could be justified in doing this only by a complete induction, which, however, he assumes without having made it. This "always" is therefore too wide a concept, and should be replaced by sometimes or generally. The conclusion would thus turn out to be problematical, and as such would not be erroneous. That the man who errs should proceed in the way mentioned is due either to haste or too limited a knowledge of what is possible, for which reason he does not know the necessity of the induction to be made. Error therefore is wholly analogous to illusion. Both are conclusions from the consequent to the ground; the illusion, brought about always according to the law of causality, by the mere understanding, and thus immediately, in perception itself; the error, brought about according to all the forms of the principle of sufficient reason, by our rational faculty, and thus in thought proper, yet most frequently according to the law of causality, as is proved by the three following examples, which may be regarded as types or representatives of the three kinds of error. (1) The illusion of the senses (deception of the understanding) gives rise to error (deception of reason); for example, if we mistake a painting for a high relief, and actually take it to be such; it happens through a conclusion from the following major premiss: "If dark grey here and there passes through all shades into white, the cause is always the light striking unequally projections and depressions, ergo-." (2) "If money is missing from my safe, the cause is always that my servant has a skeleton key, ergo-." (3) "If the solar image, broken through the prism, i.e., moved up or down, now appears elongated and coloured instead of round and white as previously, then the cause is always that in light there are differently coloured, and at the same time differently refrangible, homogeneous light-rays that, moved apart by their different refrangibility, now give an elongated, and at the same time variously coloured, image, ergo -- bibamus!" It must be possible to trace every error to such a conclusion, drawn from a major premiss that is often only falsely generalized, hypothetical, and the result of assuming a ground to the consequent. Only some mistakes in calculation are to be excepted, which are not really errors, but mere mistakes. The operation stated by the concepts of the numbers has not been carried out in pure intuition or perception, in counting, but another operation instead.
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Re: The World As Will and Representation, by Arthur Schopenh

Postby admin » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:45 pm

Part 6 of 6

As regards the content of the sciences generally, this is really always the relation of the phenomena of the world to one another according to the principle of sufficient reason, and on the guiding line of the Why, which has validity and meaning only through this principle. Explanation is the establishment of this relation. Therefore, explanation can never do more than show two representations standing to each other in the relation of that form of the principle of sufficient reason ruling in the class to which they belong. If it has achieved this, we cannot be further asked the question why, for the relation demonstrated is that which simply cannot be represented differently, in other words, it is the form of all knowledge. Therefore we do not ask why 2 + 2 = 4, or why the equality of the angles in a triangle determines the equality of the sides, or why any given cause is followed by its effect, or why the truth of a conclusion is evident from the truth of the premisses. Every explanation not [29] leading back to such a relation of which no Why can further be demanded, stops at an accepted qualitas occulta; but this is also the character of every original force of nature. Every explanation of natural science must ultimately stop at such a qualitas occulta, and thus at something wholly obscure. It must therefore leave the inner nature of a stone just as unexplained as that of a human being; it can give as little account of the weight, cohesion, chemical properties, etc. of the former, as of the knowing and acting of the latter. Thus, for example, weight is a qualitas occulta, for it can be thought away, and hence it does not follow from the form of knowledge as something necessary. Again, this is the case with the law of inertia, which follows from the law of causality; hence a reference to this is a perfectly adequate explanation. Two things are absolutely inexplicable, in other words, do not lead back to the relation expressed by the principle of sufficient reason. The first of these is the principle of sufficient reason itself in all its four forms, because it is the principle of all explanation, which has meaning only in reference to it; the second is that which is not reached by this principle, but from which arises that original thing in all phenomena; it is the thing-in-itself, knowledge of which is in no wise subject to the principle of sufficient reason. Here for the present we must rest content not to understand this thing-in-itself, for it can be made intelligible only by the following book, where we shall also take up again this consideration of the possible achievements of the sciences. But there is a point where natural science, and indeed every science, leaves things as they are, since not only its explanation of them, but even the principle of this explanation, namely the principle of sufficient reason, does not go beyond this point. This is the real point where philosophy again takes up things and considers them in accordance with its method, which is entirely different from the method of science. In the essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason, § 51, I have shown how in the different sciences the main guiding line is one form or another of this principle; in fact, the most appropriate classification of the sciences might perhaps be made in accordance therewith. But, as I have said, every explanation given in accordance with this guiding line is merely relative. It explains things in reference to one another, but it always leaves unexplained something that it presupposes. In mathematics, for example, this is space and time; in mechanics, physics, and chemistry, it is matter, qualities, original forces, laws of nature; in botany and zoology, it is the difference of species and life itself; in history, it is the human race with all its characteristics of thought and will. In all these it is the principle of sufficient reason in the form appropriate for application in each case. Philosophy has the peculiarity of presupposing absolutely nothing as known; everything to it is equally strange and a problem; not only the relations of phenomena, but also those phenomena themselves, and indeed the principle of sufficient reason itself, to which the other sciences are content to refer everything. In philosophy, however, nothing would be gained by such a reference, for one link of the series is just as foreign and strange to it as another. Moreover, that kind of connexion is itself just as much a problem for philosophy as what is joined together by that connexion, and this again is as much a problem after the combination thus explained as before it. For, as we have said, just what the sciences presuppose and lay down as the basis and limit of their explanation is precisely the real problem of philosophy, which consequently begins where the sciences leave off. Proofs cannot be its foundation, for these deduce unknown principles from others that are known; but to it everything is equally unknown and strange. There can be no principle in consequence of which the world with all its phenomena would first of all exist; therefore it is not possible, as Spinoza wished, to deduce a philosophy that demonstrates ex firmis principiis. Philosophy is also the most universal rational knowledge (Wissen), whose main principles, therefore, cannot be deductions from another principle still more universal. The principle of contradiction establishes merely the agreement of concepts, and does not itself give concepts. The principle of sufficient reason explains connexions and combinations of phenomena, not the phenomena themselves. Therefore, philosophy cannot start from these to look for a causa efficiens or a causa finalis of the whole world. The present philosophy, at any rate, by no means attempts to say whence or for what purpose the world exists, but merely what the world is. But here the Why is subordinated to the What, for it already belongs to the world, as it springs merely from the form of its phenomenon, the principle of sufficient reason, and only to this extent has it meaning and validity. Indeed, it might be said that everyone knows without further help what the world is, for he himself is the subject of knowing of which the world is representation, and so far this would be true. But this knowledge is a knowledge of perception, is in the concrete. The task of philosophy is to reproduce this in the abstract, to raise to a permanent rational knowledge successive, variable perceptions, and generally all that the wide concept of feeling embraces and describes merely negatively as not abstract, distinct, rational knowledge. Accordingly, it must be a statement in the abstract of the nature of the whole world, of the whole as well as of all the parts. However, in order not to be lost in an endless multitude of particular judgements, it must make use of abstraction, and think everything individual in the universal, and its differences also in the universal. It will therefore partly separate, partly unite, in order to present to rational knowledge the whole manifold of the world in general, according to its nature, condensed and summarized into a few abstract concepts. Yet through these concepts, in which it fixes the nature of the world, the whole individual as well as the universal must be known, and hence the knowledge of both must be closely bound up. Therefore, aptitude for philosophy consists precisely in what Plato put it in, namely in knowing the one in the many and the many in the one. Accordingly, philosophy will be a sum of very universal judgements, whose ground of knowledge is immediately the world itself in its entirety, without excluding anything, and hence everything to be found in human consciousness. It will be a complete recapitulation, so to speak, a reflection of the world in abstract concepts, and this is possible only by uniting the essentially identical into one concept, and by relegating the different and dissimilar to another. Bacon already set philosophy this task, when he said: ea demum vera est philosophia, quae mundi ipsius voces fidelissime reddit, et veluti dictante mundo conscripta est, et nihil aliud est, quam ejusdem SIMULACRUM ET REFLECTIO, neque addit quidquam de proprio, sed tantum iterat et resonat (De Augmentis Scientiarum, 1. 2, c. 13). [30] However, we take this in a more extended sense than Bacon could conceive at that time.

The agreement which all aspects and parts of the world have with one another, just because they belong to one whole, must also be found again in this abstract copy of the world. Accordingly, in this sum-total of judgements one could to a certain extent be derived from another, and indeed always reciprocally. Yet in addition to this they must first exist, and therefore be previously laid down as immediately established through knowledge of the world in the concrete, the more so as all direct proofs are more certain than those that are indirect. Their harmony with one another, by virtue of which they flow together even into the unity of one thought, and which springs from the harmony and unity of the world of perception itself, their common ground of knowledge, will therefore not be used as the first thing for establishing them, but will be added only as confirmation of their truth. This problem itself can become perfectly clear only by its solution. [31]


After fully considering reason as a special faculty of knowledge peculiar to man alone, and the achievements and phenomena brought about by it and peculiar to human nature, it now remains for me to speak of reason in so far as it guides man's actions, and in this respect can be called practical. But what is here to be mentioned has for the most part found a place elsewhere, namely in the Appendix to this work, where I have had to dispute the existence of the so-called practical reason of Kant. This he represents (certainly very conveniently) as the immediate source of all virtue, and as the seat of an absolute (i.e., fallen from heaven) imperative. Later in the Grundprobleme der Ethik I have furnished the detailed and thorough refutation of this Kantian principle of morality. Here, therefore, I have but little to say about the actual influence of reason, in the true sense of the word, on conduct. At the beginning of our consideration of reason we remarked in general terms how the action and behaviour of man differ from those of the animal, and that this difference is to be regarded as solely the result of the presence of abstract concepts in consciousness. The influence of these on our whole existence is so decisive and significant that it places us to a certain extent in the same relation to the animals as that between animals that see and those without eyes (certain larvae, worms, and zoophytes). Animals without eyes know only by touch what is immediately present to them in space, what comes in contact with them. Animals that see, on the other hand, know a wide sphere of what is near and distant. In the same way, the absence of reason restricts the animals to representations of perception immediately present to them in time, in other words to real objects. We, on the other hand, by virtue of knowledge in the abstract, comprehend not only the narrow and actual present, but also the whole past and future together with the wide realm of possibility. We survey life freely in all directions, far beyond what is present and actual. Thus what the eye is in space and for sensuous knowledge, reason is, to a certain extent, in time and for inner knowledge. But just as the visibility of objects has value and meaning only by its informing us of their tangibility, so the whole value of abstract knowledge is always to be found in its reference to knowledge of perception. Therefore, the ordinary natural man always attaches far more value to what is known directly and through perception than to abstract concepts, to what is merely thought; he prefers empirical to logical knowledge. But those are of the opposite way of thinking who live more in words than in deeds, who have seen more on paper and in books than in the actual world, and who in their greatest degeneracy become pedants and lovers of the mere letter. Only from this is it conceivable how Leibniz, Wolff, and all their successors could go so far astray as to declare, after the example of Duns Scotus, knowledge of perception to be merely a confused abstract knowledge! To Spinoza's honour I must mention that his more accurate sense, on the contrary, declared all common concepts to have arisen from the confusion of what was known through perception (Ethics II, prop. 40, schol. 1). It is also a result of that perverted way of thinking that in mathematics the evidence peculiar to it was rejected, in order to accept and admit only logical evidence; that generally all knowledge that was not abstract was included under the broad name of feeling, and disparaged; finally, that the Kantian ethics declared the pure, good will, asserting itself on knowledge of the circumstances and leading to right and benevolent action, as mere feeling and emotion, to be worthless and without merit. Such ethics would concede moral worth only to actions arising from abstract maxims.

The universal survey of life as a whole, an advantage which man has over the animal through his faculty of reason, is also comparable to a geometrical, colourless, abstract, reduced plan of his way of life. He is therefore related to the animal as the navigator, who by means of chart, compass, and quadrant knows accurately at any moment his course and position on the sea, is related to the uneducated crew who see only the waves and skies. It is therefore worth noting, and indeed wonderful to see, how man, besides his life in the concrete, always lives a second life in the abstract. In the former he is abandoned to all the storms of reality and to the influence of the present; he must struggle, suffer, and die like the animal. But his life in the abstract, as it stands before his rational consciousness, is the calm reflection of his life in the concrete, and of the world in which he lives; it is precisely that reduced chart or plan previously mentioned. Here in the sphere of calm deliberation, what previously possessed him completely and moved him intensely appears to him cold, colourless, and, for the moment, foreign and strange; he is a mere spectator and observer. In respect of this withdrawal into reflection, he is like an actor who has played his part in one scene, and takes his place in the audience until he must appear again. In the audience he quietly looks on at whatever may happen, even though it be the preparation of his own death (in the play); but then he again goes on the stage, and acts and suffers as he must. From this double life proceeds that composure in man, so very different from the thoughtlessness of the animal. According to previous reflection, to a mind made up, or to a recognized necessity, a man with such composure suffers or carries out in cold blood what is of the greatest, and often most terrible, importance to him, such as suicide, execution, duels, hazardous enterprises of every kind fraught with danger to life, and generally things against which his whole animal nature rebels. We then see to what extent reason is master of the animal nature, and we exclaim to the strong: [x] ! (ferreum certe tibi cor!) [Iliad, xxiv, 521.] [32] Here it can really be said that the faculty of reason manifests itself practically, and thus practical reason shows itself, wherever action is guided by reason, where motives are abstract concepts, wherever the determining factors are not individual representations of perception, or the impression of the moment which guides the animal. But I have explained at length in the Appendix, and illustrated by examples, that this is entirely different from, and independent of, the ethical worth of conduct; that rational action and virtuous action are two quite different things; that reason is just as well found with great wickedness as with great kindness, and by its assistance gives great effectiveness to the one as to the other; that it is equally ready and of service for carrying out methodically and consistently the noble resolution as well as the bad, the wise maxim as well as the imprudent. All this inevitably follows from the nature of reason, which is feminine, receptive, retentive, and not self-creative. What is said in the Appendix would be in its proper place here, yet on account of the polemic against Kant's so-called practical reason it had to be relegated to that Appendix, to which therefore I refer.

The most perfect development of practical reason in the true and genuine sense of the word, the highest point to which man can attain by the mere use of his faculty of reason, and in which his difference from the animal shows itself most clearly, is the ideal represented in the Stoic sage. For the Stoic ethics is originally and essentially not a doctrine of virtue, but merely a guide to the rational life, whose end and aim is happiness through peace of mind. Virtuous conduct appears in it, so to speak, only by accident, as means, not as end. Therefore the Stoic ethics is by its whole nature and point of view fundamentally different from the ethical systems that insist directly on virtue, such as the doctrines of the Vedas, of Plato, of Christianity, and of Kant. The aim of Stoic ethics is happiness: [x] (virtutes omnes finem habere beatitudinem) it says in the description of the Stoa by Stobaeus (Eclogae, 1. II, c. 7, p. 114, and also p. 138). Yet the Stoic ethics teaches that happiness is to be found with certainty only in inward calm and in peace of mind ([x]), and this again can be reached only through virtue. The expression that virtue is the highest good means just this. Now if of course the end is gradually lost sight of in the means, and virtue is commended in a way that betrays an interest entirely different from that of one's own happiness, in that it too clearly contradicts this, then this is one of the inconsistencies by which in every system the directly known truth, or, as they say, the felt truth, leads us back on to the right path, violating all syllogistic argument. For instance, we clearly see this in the ethics of Spinoza, which deduces a pure doctrine of virtue from the egoistical suum utile quaerere through palpable sophisms. According to this, as I have understood the spirit of the Stoic ethics, its source lies in the thought whether reason, man's great prerogative, which, through planned action and its result, indirectly lightens the burdens of life so much for him, might not also be capable of withdrawing him at once and directly, i.e., through mere knowledge, either completely or nearly so, from the sorrows and miseries of every kind that fill his life. They held it to be not in keeping with the prerogative of reason that a being endowed with it and comprehending and surveying by it an infinity of things and conditions, should yet be exposed to such intense pain, such great anxiety and suffering, as arise from the tempestuous strain of desiring and shunning, through the present moment and the events that can be contained in the few years of a life so short, fleeting, and uncertain. It was thought that the proper application of reason was bound to raise man above them, and enable him to become invulnerable. Therefore Antisthenes said: [x] (aut mentem parandam, aut laqueum. Plutarch, De Stoicorum Repugnantia, c. 14) ;33 in other words, life is so full of troubles and vexations that we must either rise above it by means of corrected ideas, or leave it. It was seen that want and suffering did not result directly and necessarily from not having, but only from desiring to have and yet not having; that this desiring to have is therefore the necessary condition under which alone not having becomes privation and engenders pain. [x] (non paupertas dolorem efficit, sed cupiditas), Epictetus, fragm. 25. [34] Moreover, it was recognized from experience that it is merely the hope, the claim, which begets and nourishes the wish. Therefore neither the many unavoidable evils common to all, nor the unattainable blessings, disquiet and trouble us, but only the insignificant more or less of what for man is avoidable and attainable. Indeed, not only the absolutely unavoidable or unattainable, but also what is relatively so, leaves us quite calm; hence the evils that are once attached to our individuality, or the good things that must of necessity remain denied to it, are treated with indifference, and in consequence of this human characteristic every wish soon dies and so can beget no more pain, if no hope nourishes it. It follows from all this that all happiness depends on the proportion between what we claim and what we receive. It is immaterial how great or small the two quantities of this proportion are, and the proportion can be established just as well by diminishing the first quantity as by increasing the second. In the same way, it follows that all suffering really results from the want of proportion between what we demand and expect and what comes to us. But this want of proportion is to be found only in knowledge, [35] and through better insight it could be wholly abolished. Therefore Chrysippus said: [x] (Stobaeus, Eclogae, 1. II, c. 7; [Ed. Heeren], p. 134), [36] in other words, we should live with due knowledge of the course of things in the world. For whenever a man in any way loses self-control, or is struck down by a misfortune, or grows angry, or loses heart, he shows in this way that he finds things different from what he expected, and consequently that he laboured under a mistake, did not know the world and life, did not know how at every step the will of the individual is crossed and thwarted by the chance of inanimate nature, by contrary aims and intentions, even by the malice inspired in others. Therefore either he has not used his reason to arrive at a general knowledge of this characteristic of life, or he lacks the power of judgement, when he does not again recognize in the particular what he knows in general, and when he is therefore surprised by it and loses his self-contro1. [37] Thus every keen pleasure is an error, an illusion, since no attained wish can permanently satisfy, and also because every possession and every happiness is only lent by chance for an indefinite time, and can therefore be demanded back in the next hour. But every pain rests on the disappearance of such an illusion; thus both originate from defective knowledge. Therefore the wise man always holds himself aloof from jubilation and sorrow, and no event disturbs his [x].

In conformity with this spirit and aim of the Stoa, Epictetus begins with it and constantly returns to it as the kernel of his philosophy, that we should bear in mind and distinguish what depends on us and what does not, and thus should not count on the latter at all. In this way we shall certainly remain free from all pain, suffering, and anxiety. Now what depends on us is the will alone, and here there gradually takes place a transition to a doctrine of virtue, since it is noticed that, as the external world that is independent of us determines good and bad fortune, so inner satisfaction or dissatisfaction with ourselves proceeds from the will. But later it was asked whether we should attribute the names bonum et malum to the two former or to the two latter. This was really arbitrary and a matter of choice, and made no difference. But yet the Stoics argued incessantly about this with the Peripatetics and Epicureans, and amused themselves with the inadmissible comparison of two wholly incommensurable quantities and with the contrary and paradoxical judgements arising therefrom, which they cast at one another. An interesting collection of these is afforded us from the Stoic side by the Paradoxa of Cicero.

Zeno, the founder, seems originally to have taken a somewhat different course. With him the starting-point was that a man, in order to attain the highest good, that is to say, bliss through peace of mind, should live in harmony with himself. ([x]) . -- Consonanter vivere: hoc est secundum unam rationem et concordem sibi vivere. Stobaeus, Ecl., 1. II, c. 7, p. 132. Also: [x] . Virtutem esse animi afjectionem secum per totam vitam consentientem, ibid., p. 104). [38] Now this was possible only by a man determining himself entirely rationally according to concepts, not according to changing impressions and moods. But as only the maxims of our conduct, not the consequences or circumstances, are in our power, to be capable of always remaining consistent we must take as our object only the maxims, not the consequences and circumstances, and thus the doctrine of virtue is again introduced.

But the moral principle of Zeno -- to live in harmony with oneself -- seemed even to his immediate successors to be too formal and empty. They therefore gave it material content by the addition "to live in harmony with nature" ([x]), which, as Stobaeus mentions loc. cit., was first added by Cleanthes, and which greatly extended the matter through the wide sphere of the concept and the vagueness of the expression. For Cleanthes meant the whole of nature in general, but Chrysippus meant human nature in particular (Diogenes Laertius, vii, 89). That which was alone adapted to the latter was then supposed to be virtue, just as the satisfaction of animal impulses was adapted to animal natures; and thus ethics was again forcibly united to a doctrine of virtue, and had to be established through physics by hook or by crook. For the Stoics everywhere aimed at unity of principle, as with them God and the world were not two different things.

Taken as a whole, Stoic ethics is in fact a very valuable and estimable attempt to use reason, man's great prerogative, for an important and salutary purpose, namely to raise him by a precept above the sufferings and pains to which all life is exposed:

"Qua ratione queas traducere leniter aevum:
Ne te semper inops agitet vexetque cupido,
Ne pavor et rerum mediocriter utilium spes," [39]

-- (Horace, Epist. I, xviii, 97.)

and in this way to make him partake in the highest degree of the dignity belonging to him as a rational being as distinct from the animal. We can certainly speak of a dignity in this sense, but not in any other. It is a consequence of my view of Stoic ethics that it had to be mentioned here with the description of what the faculty of reason is, and what it can achieve. But, however much this end is to a certain extent attainable through the application of reason and through a merely rational ethic, and although experience shows that the happiest are indeed those purely rational characters commonly called practical philosophers -- and rightly so, because just as the real, i.e., theoretical, philosopher translates life into the concept, so they translate the concept into life -- nevertheless we are still very far from being able to arrive at something perfect in this way, from being actually removed from all the burdens and sorrows of life, and led to the blissful state by the correct use of our reason. On the contrary, we find a complete contradiction in our wishing to live without suffering, a contradiction that is therefore implied by the frequently used phrase "blessed life." This will certainly be clear to the person who has fully grasped my discussion that follows. This contradiction is revealed in this ethic of pure reason itself by the fact that the Stoic is compelled to insert a recommendation of suicide in his guide to the blissful life (for this is what his ethics always remains). This is like the costly phial of poison to be found among the magnificent ornaments and apparel of oriental despots, and is for the case where the sufferings of the body, incapable of being philosophized away by any principles and syllogisms, are paramount and incurable. Thus its sole purpose, namely blessedness, is frustrated, and nothing remains as a means of escape from pain except death. But then death must be taken with unconcern, just as is any other medicine. Here a marked contrast is evident between the Stoic ethics and all those other ethical systems mentioned above. These ethical systems make virtue directly and in itself the aim and object, even with the most grievous sufferings, and will not allow a man to end his life in order to escape from suffering. But not one of them knew how to express the true reason for rejecting suicide, but they laboriously collected fictitious arguments of every kind. This true reason will appear in the fourth book in connexion with our discussion. But the above-mentioned contrast reveals and confirms just that essential difference to be found in the fundamental principle between the Stoa, really only a special form of eudaemonism, and the doctrines just mentioned, although both often agree in their results, and are apparently related. But the abovementioned inner contradiction, with which the Stoic ethics is affected even in its fundamental idea, further shows itself in the fact that its ideal, the Stoic sage as represented by this ethical system, could never obtain life or inner poetical truth, but remains a wooden, stiff lay-figure with whom one can do nothing. He himself does not know where to go with his wisdom, and his perfect peace, contentment, and blessedness directly contradict the nature of mankind, and do not enable us to arrive at any perceptive representation thereof. Compared with him, how entirely different appear the overcomers of the world and voluntary penitents, who are revealed to us, and are actually produced, by the wisdom of India; how different even the Saviour of Christianity, that excellent form full of the depth of life, of the greatest poetical truth and highest significance, who stands before us with perfect virtue, holiness, and sublimity, yet in a state of supreme suffering. [40]



1. On the Principle of Sufficient Reason, 2nd ed., § 22.

2. Only Kant has confused this conception of reason, and in this connexion I refer to the Appendix as well as to my Grundprobleme der Ethik, "Grundlage der Moral," § 6, pp. 148-154 of the first edition (pp. 146-151 of the second).

3. Mira in quibusdam rebus verborum proprietas est, et consuetudo sermonis antiqui quaedam efficacissimis notis signat. Seneca, Epist. 81.

"The appropriateness of expression for many things is astonishing, and the usage of language, handed down from the ancients, expresses many things in the most effective manner." [Tr.]

4. It is explained in the Appendix that matter and substance are one.

5. This shows the ground of the Kantian explanation of matter "that it is what is movable in space," for motion consists only in the union of space and time.

6. Not, as Kant holds, from the knowledge of time, as is explained in the Appendix.

7. "Man is the dream of a shadow." [Tr.]

8. "I see that we who are alive are nothing but deceptive forms and a fleeting shadow-picture." [Tr.]

9. "Begging of the question." [Tr.]

10. A word coined by Schopenhauer from two Greek words to express a contradiction or absurdity. [Tr.]

11. "Astonishment -- a very philosophical emotion." [Theaetetus, 155D. Tr.]

12. On this see The Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, second edition, § 49.

13. To these first seven paragraphs belong the first four chapters of the first book of supplements.

13A. [Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, no. 2, Tr.]

14. With this paragraph are to be compared §§ 26 and 27 of the second edition of the essay On the Principle of Sufficient Reason.

15. Cf. chaps. 5 and 6 of volume 2.

16. Cf. chaps. 9 and 10 of volume 2.

17. "From merely particular or negative premisses nothing follows." "A conclusion from the consequent to the ground is not valid." [Tr.]

18. "lying, veiled, horned [dilemma]." [Tr.]

19. Cf. chap. 11 of volume 2.

20. I am therefore of the opinion that the science of physiognomy cannot go any further with certainty than to lay down a few quite general rules. For example, intellectual qualities are in the forehead and the eye; ethical qualities, manifestations of the will, are to be read in the mouth and the lower half of the face. Forehead and eye elucidate each other; either of them seen without the other can be only half understood. Genius is never without a high, broad, finely arched brow, but such a brow is often without genius. Intellect may be inferred from a clever appearance the more certainly, the uglier the face is, and stupidity the more certainly from a stupid appearance, the more beautiful a face is, because beauty, as fitness and appropriateness to the type of humanity, carries in and by itself the expression of mental clearness; the opposite is the case with ugliness, and so on.

21. "No one can wear a mask for long." "Dissimulation soon reverts to its own nature." [Tr.]

22. Cf. chap. 7 of volume 2.

23. Cf. chap. 8 of volume 2.

24. Suarez, Disputationes metaphysicae, disp. III, sect. 3, tit. 3.

25. Cf. chap. 12 of volume 2.

26. We must not think here of Kant's misuse of these Greek expressions which is condemned in the Appendix.

27. "But more accurate and preferable to mere knowledge is that knowledge which not only says that something is, but also why it is so, and not that knowledge which teaches separately the That and the Why." [Tr.]

28. Spinoza, who always boasts of proceeding more geometrico, has actually done so more than he himself knew. For what to him was certain and settled from an immediate perceptive apprehension of the nature of the world, he tries to demonstrate logically and independently of this knowledge. But of course he arrives at the intended result predetermined by him, only by taking as the starting-point concepts arbitrarily made by him (substantia, causa sui, and so on), and by allowing himself in the demonstration al1 the freedom of choice for which the nature of the wide concept-spheres affords convenient opportunity. Therefore, what is true and excel1ent in his doctrine is in his case, as in that of geometry, quite independent of the proofs. Cf. chap. 13 of volume 2.

29. Translator's note: Dr Arthur Hubscher of the Schopenhauer Society of Germany is of the opinion that "not" should be deleted. In a letter he states that "im Text selbst habe ich das 'nicht' nicht gestrichen. Es steht in allen van Schopenhauer besorgten Ausgaben. Die Handschrift besitzen wir nicht. Ich nehme an, dass es sich um einen Fluchtigkeitsfehler Schopenhauers handelt, wie sie ofter bei ihm vorkommen .... In diesem Falle scheint mir die Sache nicht ganz eindeutig entschieden zu sein, so dass ich in den Textbestand nicht eingreifen wollte."

30. "That philosophy only is the true one which reproduces most faithfully the statements of nature, and is written down, as it were, from nature's dictation, so that it is nothing but a copy and a reflection of nature, and adds nothing of its own, but is merely a repetition and echo." [Tr.]

31. Cf. chap. 17 of volume 2.

32. "Truly hast thou a heart of iron!" [Tr.]

33. "We must procure either understanding or a rope (for hanging ourselves)."

34. "It is not poverty that pains, but strong desire." [Tr.]

35. Omnes perturbationes judicio censent fieri et opinione. Cicero, Tusc., iv, 6. ("All dejected moods, so they teach, rest on judgement and opinion." [Tr.]) [x] (Perturbant homines non res ipsae, sed de rebus opiniones.) Epictetus, c. V. ("It is not things that disturb men, but opinions about things," [Tr.])

36. "We must live according to the experience of what usually happens in nature." [Tr.]

37. [x] . (Haec est causa mortalibus omnium malorum, non posse communes notiones aptare singularibus.) Epictetus, Dissert. III, 26. ("For this is the cause of all evil for men, namely that they are not able to apply universal concepts to particular cases." [Tr.])

38. "To live in harmony, i.e., according to one and the same principle and in harmony with oneself." [Tr.]

"Virtue consists in the agreement of the soul with itself during the whole of life." [Tr.]

39. "That thou mayest be able to spend thy life smoothly, Let not everpressing desire torment and vex thee, Or fear or hope for things of little worth." [Tr.]

40. Cf. chap. 16 of volume 2.
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