Schopenhauer’s Pessimism


Authors
Jordi Fernandez
University of Adelaide
Abstract
My purpose in this essay is to clarify and evaluate Arthur Schopenhauer's grounds for the view that happiness is impossible. I shall distinguish two of his arguments for that view and argue that both of them are unsound. Both arguments involve premises grounded on a problematic view, namely, that desires have no objects. What makes this view problematic is that, in each of the two arguments, it conflicts with Schopenhauer's grounds for other premises in the argument. I shall then propose a way of fixing both arguments. The solution involves substituting the view that desires have no objects with the view that we have a desire to have desires. The latter view, I shall argue, can do the grounding work that the former does in Schopenhauer's arguments but, unlike it, the view that we desire to desire is consistent with Schopenhauer's grounds for the rest of premises in those arguments
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
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Reprint years 2007
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2006.tb00552.x
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References found in this work BETA

The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.
The Philosophy of Schopenhauer.Bryan Magee - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
The Cambridge Companion to Schopenhauer.Christopher Janaway (ed.) - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
Schopenhauer's Pessimism and the Unconditioned Good.Mark Migotti - 1995 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 33 (4):643.

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Citations of this work BETA

Schopenhauer on the Aimlessness of the Will.Christopher Janaway - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (2):331-347.
Schopenhauer on Religious Pessimism.Dennis Vanden Auweele - 2015 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (1):53-71.

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Schopenhauer.Julian Young - 2005 - Routledge.
Studies in Pessimism;.Arthur Schopenhauer - 1893 - St. Clair Shores, Mich., Scholarly Press.
Schopenhauer’s Pessimism.Jordi Fernández - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):646-664.
The Pessimistic Spirit.Joshua Foa Dienstag - 1999 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 25 (1):71-95.
Complete Essays of Schopenhauer.Arthur Schopenhauer - 1942 - New York: Willey Book Company.
Schopenhauer's Pessimism and the Unconditioned Good.Mark Migotti - 1995 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 33 (4):643.

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