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The Riddle of the WorldA Reconsideration of Schopenhauer's Philosophy$
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Barbara Hannan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195378948

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195378948.001.0001

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Three Major Themes of Schopenhauer's Philosophy

Three Major Themes of Schopenhauer's Philosophy

Transcendental Idealism, Panpsychism, and Determinism

(p.35) chapter two Three Major Themes of Schopenhauer's Philosophy
The Riddle of the World

Barbara Hannan (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the following are explained in detail and evaluated: (1) Schopenhauer's transcendental idealism; (2) Schopenhauer's metaphysics of Will, which may be described as a kind of animism or panpsychism; and (3) Schopenhauer's views on freedom and determinism, which are probably best described as compatibilist. Realism, anti-realism, and idealism are discussed. It is argued that anti-realism about x always presupposes realism about y, and that to be real is to be mind independent. A novel interpretation of the ontological argument is defended, according to which the argument proves not the existence of God, but the existence of mind-independent reality. Panpsychism, characterized as neutral monism or the idea that the mental/physical dichotomy is not ontologically deep, is defended. Schopenhauer's doctrine of the “Platonic Forms” is interpreted as emergentism—novel causal powers appear at different ontological levels. The idea that properties are causal powers is defended, and it is argued that this is the main idea behind Schopenhauer's metaphysics of Will. The chapter also gives an account of quantum indeterminacy and argues that such indeterminism does not defeat Schopenhauer's views on freedom and responsibility because determinism still prevails above the quantum level.

Keywords:   anti-realism, compatibilism, causal powers, emergence, idealism, mind-independent reality, ontological argument, quantum indeterminacy, realism, responsibility, transcendental idealism

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