Schopenhauer on Inner Awareness and World-Understanding

British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-23 (forthcoming)
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I argue against a prevailing interpretation of Schopenhauer’s account of inner awareness and world-understanding. Because scholars have typically taken on board the assumption that inner awareness is non-representational, they have concerned themselves in the main with how to transfer this immediate cognition of will in ourselves and apply it to our understanding of the world–as–representation. Some scholars propose that the relation of the world-as-will to the world-as-representation is to be understood in figurative or metaphorical terms. I disagree because, for Schopenhauer, inner awareness reveals a genuine philosophical truth. Some scholars also suggest that it is only via analogical transference that one can interpret the world as having the same inner nature as oneself. I disagree and point out the downside of this suggestion. I use both textual evidence and general philosophical considerations to demonstrate that inner awareness, for Schopenhauer, has a representational dimension. Overlooking this point has led scholars to misconstrue how inner awareness relates to world-understanding. I provide an alternative interpretation against figurative and analogical readings. I propose that, for Schopenhauer, we cognize partially a priori that all things are merely different expressions of the same activity that we are acquainted with in inner awareness.

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Vasfi Onur Özen
College of Saint Mary

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Schopenhauer. [REVIEW]Julian Young - 1984 - International Studies in Philosophy 16 (1):111-112.
Did Schopenhauer neglect the 'neglected alternative' objection?Sandra Shapshay - 2011 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 93 (3):321-348.

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