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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.

“Kurt Cobain was, ladies and gentlemen, a worthless shred of human debris.” - Rush Limbaugh