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Reading Schopenhauer

Reading Schopenhauer
July 04, 2008, 01:57:38 PM
In the introduction to 'The World as Will and Representation' Schopenhauer demands that I first read 'On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason' and Kant's major works, as well as recommending the Vedas and Upanishads. The only philosophy I have hitherto read is Plato's Republic and Nietzsche's Zarathustra. It may be sheer arrogance and delusion to quibble with Schopenhauer here, but I will still ask: how much of this recommended background reading is necessary? What are the necessary works by Kant?


Re: Reading Schopenhauer
July 04, 2008, 04:23:25 PM
Both philosophers later wrote concise introductions:

Immanuel Kant - Prolegomena to any Future Metaphyics

Arthur Schopenhauer - On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason

I found it useful to read both before tackling the major works; I also recommend reading the major works as an activity alone over a period of several days. Reading piecemeal will baffle you.

Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation is divided into two parts; the first is a Kantian exegesis of what he set forth in The Fourfold Root and the second book is a series of proofs and citations for contentious parts of the first book.

It may be useful to familiarize yourself with the historical-introductory material they are often responding to, as it reflects the shape of argument:

Aristotle - The Metaphysics

Plato - Phaedo

(There are others; these are designed to give flavor and form to the arguments, not their complete bulk.)

You've picked a good topic to tackle. It will not fail to push your mind to its limits and make you strive for new powers. Growth is the source of human happiness.