Posts Tagged ‘Aurthur Schopenhauer’

HUMAN EXISTENCE IN ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER: A DIALECTICAL APPROACH

April 10, 2017

Author: Ukaegbu Paschal Ozioma
Department: Philosophy
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

Arthur Schopenhauer is a frontline German idealist. His metaphysics on human existence had attracted volumes of reactions from scholars down the centuries. Human existence has remained a metaphysical question yet to be resolved exhaustively. Why am I in this world? What is the meaning of life? Why suffering, hunger and death? These probing questions have disturbed the minds of most concerned scholars. Arthur Schopenhauer is not left out in this crusade. His major concern revolves round the human will in relation to the world. Exactly why he dramatically packaged his thought in his Magnum Opus, The World As Will and Representation. Summarily, Schopenhauer views human existence as meaningless and empty. This apparently sounds contradictory to the normal conception of life as sweet and valuable. This work is aimed at dissipating this strange thought of Schopenhauer and possibly striking a balance. We are convinced that dialectical method will bring us result since; it is the best method for contradictory assumptions and thoughts. Ultimately, metaphysics can never be known a priori or by means of the human intellect only. This is Schopenhauer’s view perhaps due to Kant’s influence. He maintains that the body’s subjective experience of the will was the key to metaphysics. There is this connection between the subjective experience of the will to the will’s objective experience and eventually the universal concept of the will. This dramatically represents Schopenhauer’s view. The universe known to the human perceiver, including the totality of the human organism is will objectified .This ‘will’ becomes representation and eventually is translated into perception. Schopenhauer’s philosophy values non existence and denial of being. This point is greatly reflected in his thought about suicide which till today remains the fabric of his writings especially as it relates to ethics. Consequently, the will –in-itself is compulsive, never satiated. It is readily attractive to appreciate Schopenhauer’s recommendation of intellectual aesthetic distraction which could be derived from art or music. These two sources can at least afford one the opportunity of temporal interludes where one contemplates freely and escapes the nagging demands of the insatiable will.

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