The Art of Willing: The Impact of Kant’s Aesthetics on Schopenhauer’s Conception of the Will

In Stefano Bacin, Alfredo Ferrarin, Claudio La Rocca & Margit Ruffing (eds.), Kant und die Philosophie in weltbürgerlicher Absicht. Akten des XI. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. Boston: de Gruyter. pp. 627-638 (2013)
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Abstract

Much has been written about Schopenhauer’s use of Kant’s aesthetics as well as Schopenhauer’s adherence to and departures from Kant’s theoretical philosophy, not least by Schopenhauer himself. The hypothesis I propose in this paper combines these two research trajectories in a novel way: I wish to argue that Schopenhauer’s main theoretical innovation, the doctrine of the will, can be regarded as the development of an aspect of Kant’s aesthetic theory, specifically that the intransitive, goalless striving of the will in Schopenhauer is the intellectual air to Kant's understanding of the mental processes required for the appreciation of beauty as 'conforming to law without a law'.

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Alistair Welchman
University of Texas at San Antonio

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