Born on February 22nd, 1788 with Dantzig, Arthur is the fruit of the marriage celebrated in 1785 between Johanna Henriette Trosiener which was then 19 years old and of Henri Floris Schopenhauer which had 38 of them. Before even its birth, this last wanted to make a tradesman of it just like him because of ease and the freedom which the commercial pursuits get, as well as the exercise that it gives to all intellectual faculties. He wanted to also make a citizen of the world of it. For this reason, it called it Arthur, this first name being, except for some nuances, the same one in all the languages.
In 1793, the Schopenhauer family flees in front of the Prussian occupation to be established in the free city of Hamburg. His/her single sister, Adele, were born in 1797. The same year, Henri starts to deal with the education of his son so that he embraces the commercial pursuits. According to him, two means are necessary to reach that point: the study of the languages and voyages. Thus, in 1797, Arthur (9 years) spends two years to the Havre in a correspondent of its father where he learns French. Of return to Hamburg, it continues its commercial studies but does not miss an occasion to follow his/her father during his displacements (Hanover, Cassel, Weimar, Prague, Dresden, Leipzig, Berlin). With the promise of a voyage in Europe, if it completed its formation, Arthur was diverted its passion incipient for the literary studies. Indeed, he liked to read the poets and applied to the Latin . The voyage began in May 1803 (Arthur was thus 15 years old) and was completed in the month of September 1804. With final, it will have remained with London (sufficient to speak English a long time usually), with Paris, in the South of France, with Lyon, in Savoy, Suisse, then finally in Bavaria and Austria.
Of return of voyage, and become employed commercial, its work is repugnant to him and the commitment which it had undertaken with respect to his father corrodes it. But did his/her father die some time afterwards, the April 20th 1806, while falling or while throwing himself (suicide?) of an attic in the channel which passed behind the house. Following this disastrous event, Johanna Schopenhauer sold the goodwill and settled with Weimar to devote itself to its literary tastes. It holds at it a living room of the where Goethe comes regularly. It becomes even a novelist with success. As for Arthur, he undertook finally traditional studies with the Gymnasium (College) of Gotha, then with Weimar in his mother where he meets there Goethe for the very first time. Thus, Schopenhauer became traditional given, nourished Greek and Latin poets.
After the traditional studies which had familiarized it with the Antiquité, it is registered in 1809 at the university of Goettingue (Göttingen). It is 21 years old. Among its professors, it counted the philosopher Schulze, antidogmatic, who feared to see degenerating the idealism transcendantal in absolute idealism. This last was the first philosophical director of Schopenhauer. He advised to him to study initially Kant and Plato and to join then to it Aristote and Spinoza, which consisted for him, the acquired funds and the essential matter of philosophical work.
Lastly, it completed its university career with Berlin, university in which it spent three six-month periods (of 1811 to 1813). What pushed it in this city, it was its desire to hear Fichte for which it had conceived an admiration a priori which did not resist the test. What moved away it from Fichte, it was the dogmatism of the bottom and the oratorical character of the form. The course of Schleiermacher on the history of philosophy to the Moyen-âge left it indifferent. But it was impassioned for the lessons of Boeckh on Plato, and more still for those of Wolf (not to be confused with Christian von Wolf Leibnizien celebrates it) on Aristophane and Horace, poet Latin who became one of his favorite authors. Its formation is completed in 1813 at the 25 years age. It thus leaves Berlin to start to deal with its thesis of doctorate, which will be its first important work.
In 1813, it supports its thesis whose title is the Quadruple Root of the principle of sufficient reason at the university of Iéna. The same year, it meets Goethe with Weimar with which it discusses the theory of the colors. It will make, in 1815, its own test on this topic, On the sight and the colors , published in 1816. He discovers, these years, Hindu philosophy, thanks to the orientalist Friedrich Majer and the reading of the Upanishads . In 1814, it is scrambled with his/her mother and only moves in with Dresden.
In 1819, it is part-time lecturer at the university of Berlin where taught Hegel which it criticizes vigorously and which occupied all the philosophical attention in the Germany of the 19th century besides (it chooses to make course per same hour as Hegel). He will resign at the end of six months, for lack of students. It publishes for first time in 1819 Le Monde like will and like representation (then 2nd edition in 1844, and 3rd in 1859) where the principle is that “the singular will of an individual has only one existence illusory, it of all shares is immersed in the infinite and absurd play of a reality which exceeds it and ends up destroying it. ”. The first two editions are leading failures. After its resignation, it profits to travel and goes from it to Italy.
It makes a depression in 1823. In 1825, it arrives at living of its revenues and goes back to Berlin and tries to start again its university career. It leaves this city in 1831 for Frankfurt, then Mannheim. It turns over to Frankfurt in 1833. It is rewarded in 1839 by the royal Société for sciences for Norway for its report On freedom for the human will , which it will join to its On the base of morals to publish them under the name of the Two Fundamental problems of ethics in 1841. He writes Parerga and Paralipomena in 1851. It is only towards the end of its life that the importance of its work is recognized, and that the attention of the philosophers is almost entirely diverted philosophy of Hegel.
Schopenhauer was of constitution robust, but its health started to worsen in 1860. He died of an heart attack, following a pneumonia, in September 1860 at the 72 years age in Francfort-sur-le-Main, where he is buried.
Situation of its philosophy
SourcesThe philosophy of Schopenhauer takes as a starting point those of Emmanuel Kant, Plato and the Indian religions (the Védanta and the Bouddhisme, that Europe had just discovered thanks to the translations of Anquetil-Duperron).
" the writings of Kant, very as much as the crowned books of the Hindus and Plato, were, after the live performance of nature, my more invaluable inspirers. " ( in MVR, Appendix: " Critical of philosophy kantienne" , p.521)
PositionThe philosophy of Schopenhauer can be attached to a atheistic idealism , but holds a place separately. Schopenhauer refers to Plato and places of heir to Kant, but also in opposition of all theKantian ones of its time. It never misses indeed, an occasion to ridicule the ideas of Fichte, Hegel and Schelling, which it excludes from the filiation of Kantian philosophy.
InfluencesThis philosophy had an important influence on certain writers, philosophers or artists of the 19th century and the 20th century: Guy of Maupassant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Richard Wagner, Leon Tolstoï, Sigmund Freud, Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, in a general way the Décadentisme, Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann, Fedor Dostoïevski, Henri Bergson, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Andre Gide, Emile Michel Cioran, like nowadays Michel Houellebecq. Its pessimistic vision and Absurde of the world also precede the Existentialisme.
Presentation of its philosophy
The world as a representation and according to the principle of reasonFor Schopenhauer, the world is our Représentation ( Vorstellung , translation more exact: presentation, which is presented in front), and that suppose an original distinction between a subject and an object: the subject is what knows (it for what there is representation) and who by là-même cannot be known (what can be close to the concept of Néant at Heidegger but at the latter the subject is due in an opening to be it, and not to the will that it is):
It is by such a distinction that the intuition of an object is possible in time and space (forms of the sensitivity) in accordance with the principle of reason which is for Schopenhauer - which is opposed thus to Kant - the true basic principle a priori , which makes possible science, philosophy being the appearance of the reflexive conscience - reason - of this truth of the representation for a subject, truth which is not necessary to science and which she is unaware of in general:
Schopenhauer divides the analysis of the representation in two parts of which it also specifies the bonds in a theory clearly empirist, but strongly moderate by the apriority of certain knowledge: representations of the intuition (in space and time, as a framework a priori regulated by causality), and the representations abstract, the concepts, which belong to the reason and depend on the experiment.
For the subject which has a representation, times and space are indissolubly dependant (time ago without space, and reciprocally), and allow the existence of the matter, not as a Substance, but as an activity: reality is this activity whose we have the intuition of the effects ( Wirklichkeit , reality, of wirken , to act, to have effect) and it exhausts all empirical reality: in other words, there is not to seek " Truth " representation: by considering it as such and according to a fundamental form a priori of the Entendement (principle of reason or causality) it is such as it is given, and let us know we it entirely according to this form: the object is the representation. The representation is thus not an appearance, it is real. But, although it is not an appearance, the Réalité is hardly distinguished from the Rêve but by its duration and the interruptions which we notice at the time of our alarm clock (however, the birth and death can be close to these brutal interruptions). According to the image of Schopenhauer, the waked up life is a book which one reads page by page, the dream is this same book whose one divides into sheets some pages.
Knowledge of representation passes, in this theory, exclusively by sensitivity, in time and space, and is built by understanding which learns us to pay to each effect cause (when this construction is taken in defect, when we then report for example a usual cause for a purpose which can sometimes have another cause, occurs the illusion). Causality (principle of reason) is thus applied by Schopenhauer to the representation of a subject, and not to the relation of the subject and object, since this last relation is supposed by this form a priori which is the principle of reason. That mainly excludes that the subject is the effect of the object or, contrary, that the object is the effect of a subject.
We thus learn how to see, to touch, and we learn how for example to know our body: our representation starts by developing according to the law of causality, which is not for Schopenhauer a human privilege, but characterizes on the contrary the animality. It is while rising with the concepts of the reason, i.e. with the knowledge which organizes the intuitions via the reason, that the man is distinguished from the other animals and their is higher.
By the use of the Reason, the man thus manages to constitute a science, i.e. an organic system of Concept S which it is possible to communicate by the language. The human reason is thus this faculty which enables us to produce concepts. But it does not have therefore the absolute superiority on the sensory intuition. Indeed:
- on the one hand, science is impossible without the experiment (concerning sciences a posteriori which always proceeds by induction and which must thus carry out experiments which themselves suppose assumptions); in this direction, the reason does not bring anything to the intuition, it is a representation of representation ; but, so it is false, for Schopenhauer, to say that the reason brings us, contrary to the intuition, with a greater certainty thanks to the reasoning on concepts: any concept is indeed certain only insofar as it joined, in one way or another, the experiment;
- in addition, the intuition is in itself a form of knowledge (although limited if one compares it with the reason, because the reason enables us to envisage, build complex machines, to organize the things and to act jointly, etc) which is being more precise than science in certain cases, like the Art, the action, and even the Mathématiques whose perhaps seized truth in an obvious way thanks to the forms a priori of space and time (this intuition being then higher than the hard demonstrations which certainly prove and show it how, but does not explain the why ). The application of the reason to art amounts plating general information on a made field of innumerable nuances. This distinction makes it possible Schopenhauer to outline a theory of the Rire and some defects such as the stupidity, the silliness, etc by considering the dysfunctions which can meet in the relations of the understanding and the reason (thus, the application of the reason to art forms it part of the comic pedantry, category in which Schopenhauer inserts Kantian morals which functions by general precepts without taking account of the character):
- the laughter is caused by voluntary confusion several objects under the same concept (what raises of the spirit) or by involuntary confusion of two concepts for the same thing ( buffoonery );
- the silliness is the difficulty for the reason of distinguishing the differences or the resemblances in the intuition.
Lastly, this design of the reason implies the possibility of the error whose extent is considerable (it can thus reign during centuries on whole people), contrary to the intuition which offers to us, put besides some cases of illusions, the obviousness of the representation of the object: the error, as in the case of the illusion, is a hasty generalization of the effect to the cause, where it would be necessary to proceed by a careful induction.
This analysis of the representation from the point of view of knowledge (of causality) being made, Schopenhauer will propose another analysis according to the will of it. The inner face of the representation is indeed according to him the Volonté, by which we have a knowledge as immediate as possible of reality: " the world is my représentation" , but is also " my volonté". This idea of a " face intern" is taken again literally by Nietzsche, but on other bases, since he will refuse to suppose a unicity of the will beyond the representation and to place the essential activity of the man as a will beyond the experiment.
Will, basic principle
Reality beyond the Phénomène S (the Thing in oneself) is not for Schopenhauer, as for Kant, a recognizable reality: the idea even of such a knowledge is contradictory, because it would mean a knowledge independent of the very conditions of knowledge, in other words principle of reason; on the other hand, Schopenhauer sees in the will the most immediate expression of one in oneself, because the subject which knows is also an object of knowledge (though it cannot with strictly speaking to know itself). By the intuition of the will in the subject, we have the intuition of a purely temporal phenomenon (independent of space), which makes it possible to see the purest form there that we can have of reality in oneself. The Will, whose each thing in this world is an expression according to the principle of reason. However, contrary to Kant (in any case, such as Schopenhauer seems to include/understand it), Schopenhauer does not make concept of thing in oneself something of which there would be demonstration as an object or phenomenon: the object is for the subject, in the representation; so the thing in oneself is related neither to the object nor on the subject, but constitutes a third term which allows, according to Schopenhauer to reject at the same time the philosophy of the object (in particular the Matérialisme that it analyzes lengthily to show contradictions) and the philosophy of the subject (which is represented by Fichte and that it describes as philosophy to laugh ), i.e. all philosophies which rest on the idea of a causality between the subject and the object.
Body with the will
The will comes from this manner of placing itself where the scientific explanations cannot arrive: the fact of being escapes causality indeed, and science can then resort only to occult qualities (revolved of Newton for example). However, to reach in this design, Schopenhauer the body reintroduces, this reality which we cannot deny, and of which it had initially made abstraction to more easily expose its theory of the representation. The body is thus according to him the most immediate reality which we can seize of the will.
Will and ideas
The will is one, but of a unit without relation with the multiple (it is not in space). It is immutable and eternal (it is not in time). In oneself not being determined by the principle of reason, it is without reason ( grundlos ), i.e. inconditionnée and blind man: it can thus be the subject of no science; the knowledge relative to this will is properly philosophy, to see higher: the fact that the representation becomes considered, which leads to the design because of being will.
Diagram to include/understand
Will (nowhere, in any time) ------------------------------ | | ideas (which make it possible to define laws between the demonstrations) | | | ------------------------------ ------------------------------ sphere of the demonstrations and of the representations for the subject (without causal link with the will) | | individuations (time, space, causality = matter, activity, force)
Schopenhauer explains the individuation (the space-time existence) from two complementary points of view. On the one hand, the individuation occurs by subordination of the lower than the superior, in other words physicochemical elements with more complex degrees of organization; in addition, the individuation supposes the realization of an idea, in other words of a teleological principle which, from our point of view, is repeated inlassablement (the same effect follows the same cause today as two thousand years ago), whereas he remains eternal and is nothing affected by his so many demonstrations is they.
The individuation is the expression of the Will determined in a particular point and time, the individual, who, so and contrary to the Will, is not necessarily itself a blind expression of will: in the man, for example, the will being presented in a determined way, it appears in a rational way (in other words according to always an understandable causality) which explains the illusion of the free-referee bus we think of being able to determine us ourselves to be what we want, whereas the fact of being such given will remains a fact gross unchangeable. The individuals believe capacity to have a free will, but always act according to the principle of reason which determines the Will which is with deepest of themselves; each choice which one will be able to do will thus always be guided by a particular form which the Will adopts.
the renouncement or the esthetic emotion can however enable us to be detached from the Will (not which will be examined in a forthcoming section).
The fight for the domination
The individuation, in particular because it includes/understands a process of subordination, founds a comprehension of the world in which the will nourishes itself . The Will is indeed confronted with itself via the individual units, while being always one. This permanent confrontation is the world in which we live. We other human are indeed in perpetual fight the ones the others, and in perpetual fight against what expresses the Will by a branch other than ours. It is this struggle for the life which generates the suffering which ceases only temporarily, to leave the place to the trouble.
It is important to approach the philosophy of Schopenhauer to distinguish well the term Volonté , which indicates the central concept of its philosophy, from the will of which we can speak the every day for the actions to undertake. The field of the Will schopenhauerienne is not limited to alive, but includes all the changes which can take place in the universe.
Will and time
It is often allotted to Schopenhauer the adoption of a cyclic concept of time, but it of it is nothing. It is probable that is due to the concept of the Eternal return developed by his disciple Friedrich Nietzsche, with the sympathy of Schopenhauer to the Bouddhisme, and also with a metaphor of the § 54 of the Monde like Will and Représentation (MVR) . This one presents the time like the contact point between a line and a circle which turns, but that in the objective to show that the present is only one point motionless, like the east a knife which one sharpens on a stone grinding stone. The infinity of time according to Schopenhauer is expressed better by the following metaphor in the § 54 of MVR : “ time resembles an irresistible current, and the present at a shelf, against which the flood breaks, but without carrying it ”.
Moreover, the frequent idea at Schopenhauer, that the things are renewed and repeated always identical to themselves, such as for example the events of the history, contributes to maintain this idea cyclic time. This repetition in continuity does not come from a cyclic aspect of time for the philosopher, but of the iterative aspect in the manifestation of the Volonté , which is always confronted with itself and in perpetual conflict. For Schopenhauer, only the present exists: “ Above all, which should well be included/understood, it is that the clean form of the manifestation of wanting, it is the present , the present alone, not the future, nor the past; those have existence only like concepts, relative with knowledge, and because she obeys the principle of sufficient reason. ” (§ 54, MVR ).
LifeThe life is a objectivation of the will, which by the individuation, gives the alive forms that we know. The living beings, results of this individuation, are in permanent fight the ones against the others, in the suffering which the life generates. The position of Schopenhauer with respect to the Théories of the evolution is rather curious, insofar as certain contradictions there are detected. Schopenhauer is indeed in favor of the description of the biological phenomena which Lamarck makes, but does not adhere to its assumption, primarily for metaphysics causes. As at its sour and ironic practice, it puts this " erreur" with the account of L ` “state delayed of metaphysics in France” , which safeguards its admiration for Lamarck in addition. The problem comes primarily because of seeing individually the living beings like things in oneself, whereas the thing in oneself is the Will, it only and as a whole. Nevertheless, its texts are strewn with remarks in close relationship with the theory of the evolution ( “the things occurred exactly like if a knowledge like life and of its external conditions had preceded the installation by this structure” ; “the residence of the prey determined the figure of the prosecutor” ). This enables us to say, with Jean Lefranc, that certain of its texts announce the struggle for life Darwinism. During the publication in 1859, little before its death, of the Origin of the species , Schopenhauer sees there only a “variation on the theory of Lamarck” . Its idea is made for a long time on Lamarckisme and it is indeed impossible for him, taking into account knowledge of its time, to agree with this new theory of the evolution. In the light of the current assumptions, in particular those of Richard Dawkins and Cairns-Smith, certain contradictions between the Darwinism and the Will schopenhauerienne are null and void, like the unit of living and the distinction between life and inert matter, which makes them perfectly compatible.
The behavior of the animals and the men, who are the higher objectivations of the Will, is entirely governed by the suffering, which is perceived positively. The Plaisir S are only fugacious illusions, appeasings with the hollow of the Désir S and worries uninterrupted. They only appear contrasts about it with a state of suffering, and do not constitute a real data for the beings moving. The Bonheur is a rest of the spirit but a transitory rest since it is unceasingly disturbed by the appearance of new desires whose inassouvissement an obstacle with happiness constitutes. Because all the beings suffer, the suffering is the truth of the world, and the truth of the human condition.
In Le Monde like will and representation , one can read, at the beginning of the chapter devoted to the metaphysics of the love: “No topic can equalize that one in interest, because it relates to the happiness and the misfortune of the species, and consequently refers to all the others” .
“Instead of being astonished, writes Schopenhauer, that a philosopher also once endorses for this constant topic of all the poets, one should rather be surprised of what an object which generally plays a so remarkable part in the human life up to now was so to speak ever taken into account by the philosophers”
The importance of this topic is included/understood if one starts from this that, for Schopenhauer, the will constitutes the bottom of the things. If the world is the objectivation of the will, so by him, it arrives at the knowledge of what it wants, namely this world itself or, as well, life such that it is carried out there, it will be admitted that will and want-food are only one and even thing.
However, the love is it by what the life appears ici-bas. Life, the experiment teaches us that it is primarily suffering, violence, despair. This misery of the living beings, misery that clearness us constrained to recognize, does not answer any final goal: originally, the will is blind, without rest, possible satisfaction.
Admittedly, nature works towards well, in each species, an end, which is not other than the conservation of this one. But this conservation, this perpetuation, does not answer itself any end: each generation will remake what the preceding one did: it will be hungry, will be nourished, reproduced. “Thus goes the world, summarizes Martial Guéroult, by the hunger and the love” . The only thing which reigns, it is the inextinguishable desire of living at all costs, the blind love of the existence, without representation of any finality.
Thus, at Schopenhauer, the love is presented initially in the form of this blind dash which results in perpetuating the suffering by perpetuating the species. The generating act is the hearth of the evil. In a discussion with Challemel-Lacour, in 1859, Schopenhauer known as: “the love, it is the enemy. Make, if that is appropriate to you, a luxury and a pastime, treat it as an artist; the Genius of the species is an industrialist who wants to only produce. It has only one thought, thought positive and without poetry, it is the duration of mankind. ” . To yield to the love, it is to develop misfortune, to dedicate an infinity of other beings to misery. This directly explains the feeling of shame and sadness which follows, at the mankind, the sex act. The topic of the love at Schopenhauer is thus to put in connection with the horror in front of the life: it initially seems an object of fear.
Passion in love and sexual inclination
Passion in love and the sexual instinct, for Schopenhauer, are only one and even thing. With those which are dominated by this passion, writes it, “My design of the love will appear too physical, too material, so metaphysical and transcendent that it is at the bottom” .
For the traditional opposition between the spirit and the body, Schopenhauer substitutes an opposition between intellect and the will. However it is necessary to recognize, in sexuality, an expression of the primacy of the want-food on intellect, primacy who implies that “the definitely conscious thoughts are only surface” , intellect, and that our major thoughts remain partly obscure, though they are, actually, more determining, more fundamental to us. These major thoughts are consisted the will, and the will, like want-food, therefore want-himself-to reproduce, implies, in its gasoline, sexuality.
By thus affirming the obscure character for the conscience of the thoughts related to sexuality, Schopenhauer outlines a theory of one me not-conscious - but still it is not a question of a theory of unconscious, with the direction where will hear Freud. It is starting from this not-conscious bottom, i.e. starting from the sexuality, which should be included/understood the existence, at the human being, of intellect: “of the external and physiological point, the genitals are the root, the head the top” .
The sexual instinct is the fundamental instinct, “the appetite of the appetites” : by him, it is the species which continues via the individual, “it is the desire which constitutes the being even of the man” . “the sexual instinct, still writes it, is cause of the war and goal of peace: he is the base of serious action, object of joke, inexhaustible source of witty remark, key of all allusions, explanation of any dumb sign, any not formulated proposal, any furtive glance; it is that the principal business of all the men is treated in secrecy and wraps greater possible ignorance openly” . “the man is a sexual instinct which shaped” . It is thus from him that any passion in love should be included/understood. Any love hides, under its demonstrations, of most vulgar with the more sublimes, the same one to want to live, the same genius of the species.
However, will one say, is not there, between the sexual instinct and the feeling in love, an essential difference, since first is likely to be appeased with any individual, while the second goes towards an individual in particular?
Schopenhauer does not deny such a distinction at all. It makes even individualization of the choice in love the central problem with psychology in love. The choice of the lovers is the essential characteristic of the human love. That does not mean, for as much, that one cannot explain this choice by the genius of the species. The individual preference, and even the force of passion, must be included/understood starting from the interest of the species for the composition of the future generation. “Any inclination in love is only one sexual instinct more clearly determined, more individualized” . “That such determined child is procreated, here is the true goal, though ignored interested parties, of any love story” . It is in the generating act that appears most directly, i.e. without intervention of knowledge, the want-food.
However, the love, the reproduction, are only it by what the evil, misery, are perpetuated in the world. Passion in love is thus in the center of the unceasingly reiterated tragedy which the history of the world constitutes. The tragedy is all the more large as while procreating, the individual obscurely takes conscience of its clean dead: it is nothing, only the species counts, and the species is made only other individuals who, like, know the suffering to him and distresses. The aspirations of the lovers, Schopenhauer writing, “tend to perpetuate this distress and these miseries which would find soon their term, if they did not make failure there as their similar did it already front them” .
Clearness, and the feeling of pity whose man is likely with regard to the other living beings, force to put a term at these sufferings, while renonçant with procreation.
PityPrecisely, the term of love can get along, either within the meaning of sexual instinct or of passion in love, but within the meaning of universal compassion in front of the universal suffering of which we are pilot. Pity, indeed, is the only moral virtue which makes truly direction. It is in the charity which is, as well, love of the humanity, which the moral phenomenon appears with the most force and of clearness. Pity is then defined an entirely spontaneous interior feeling.
But this assertion is not without posing problem: is such a feeling only possible? “How, Schopenhauer request, a suffering which is not mienne, which does not touch me me , can it become following the example clean mienne , a reason for me and to incite me to act? ”
Actually, the feeling of pity is explained by the unit of the will beyond the multiplicity of the individuals: will of ego, in as well as will, is recognized identical to that of others in only one and even to precisely be.
Which are the practical and ethical consequences of this feeling of pity, of love for humanity (but also for the animals)? In other words, that can I make, with the Juste, vis-a-vis the suffering of others? At the bottom, an individual can with difficulty relieve the sufferings of another. For Schopenhauer, the participation in the suffering of others finds its completion only in the stamping from the suffering of the world by the abolition of the want-food, by the negation of this one in asceticism, negation which can lead in a state of bliss.
From where the exhortation, at Schopenhauer, with the restriction of the desires, but also the praise of the esthetic and intellectual pleasures. The total abnegation of the want-food implies initially the negation of the body, therefore of the sexuality, which is the most direct expression of the will. The refusal to perpetuate the suffering of humanity implies a refusal of procreation thus: the mortification of the will passes, consequently, by the celibacy, voluntary chastity. In other words, pity - i.e. love for humanity -, finds its higher form of achievement in the renouncement of sexuality and the feeling in love.
The philosophy of Schopenhauer of the love thus leads, on the one hand, with the identification of the sexual instinct and passion in love (this one being only one individualized sexual instinct), and on the other hand, with a radical opposition between the love-charity and the love-passion .
The illusion in love
Schopenhauer is, could us say, the philosopher who destroys in us any form of hope, in particular by qualifying “illusions” what the common direction regards as a good. With the number of these illusions, the philosopher arranges the love, in which he sees a “trick of the genius of the species”. The design of the love like instinct serving the interests of the species, and a fortiori those of Wanting, contributes to make of Schopenhauer, certainly a “pessimistic” philosopher, but more especially an original philosopher. “Any inclination in love, indeed, for éthérées that are its paces, takes root only in the sexual instinct, and is even only one sexual instinct more clearly determined, more specialized and, rigorously speaking, more individualized” (Metaphysical of the love/Métaphysique of death, Schopenhauer, Edition 10/18, 1964, p.41). We should indeed understand that the man, as a objectivation individuée of Wanting, will keep in mind only his own interests, or at least what he judges being his interests, where the animal obeys blindly and in an immediate way to the interests of the species. But, far from escaping the “dictatorship from the species”, this last, without realizing some, remains completely subjected to Wanting and its perpetuation. And what makes it possible to reconcile at the same time the private interests of the individual and those of the species, it is other thing only the feeling in love. In this direction, the love, passion, indicate the “instruments” of Wanting subjecting the individual to the prolongation of the species. When a feeling in love is done day in me, it is neither more nor less than the want-food which wakes up and which testifies, in a disguised way, of its aspiration to be prolonged in the form of a new existence. The idea can be formulated better only by Schopenhauer itself: “when the individual must be spent and even make sacrifices in favor of the persistence and the constitution of the species, the importance of the objective cannot be made perceptible with its intellect adapted to the only individual ends, so that it acts as conformity with him. This is why nature can in fact achieve its goal only by inculcating in the individual an illusion, thanks to which it will look at as a good for itself what is not such makes some only for the species” (idem, p.50); Passion in love is thus a kind of “veil” hiding with the individual that what he thinks of being his personal interests is actually those of the species. It would be in this direction interesting to clarify a true “theory of the plot” at Schopenhauer. The plot, it is that one To want, genuine gasoline of the universe, which, for perdurer in the existence, subjects the whole of its demonstrations to the perpetuation of the species by the means of the sexual instinct. And it is because in the man, the egoistic interests take precedence over those of the species, that To want it will use of a “stratagem” so that private interests and generals are confused. Thus, we can study passion in love according to two points of view: according to the individual prospect, the men seek their own pleasure in the company of being it liked thus that in the sexual pleasure; from the more general point of view of the species, the love between two beings indicates the means To want it to satisfy its tendency first and essential, namely the will to live. It is what makes it possible Schopenhauer to speak about the feeling in love like true “illusion”, of a “instinct” (p.50), or of a “mask” (p.54). Passion in love is thus only the effect of surface of an unconscious want-food which controls us right through and opposite which we represent only means. Schopenhauer is delivered in addition, in the Metaphysics of the love, with a true “psychology of the desires”; while trying up to what point to show the choices (of a nature physical and psychic) which push us towards such being and not another testify to this want-food which seeks in others, not the best lover, but the best reproducer, Schopenhauer tightens to reveal us that what speaks in us in similar case, it is not the spirit but the instinct. To want, let us include/understand well, does not seek it to reproduce purely and simply, but it tends, with the wire of the generations, to do it with the best possible constitution. We are not far, here, of a theory schopenhauerienne of the evolution. In a particular inclination for such being, Schopenhauer speaks about “unconscious considerations” which would be at the origin of the choice (p.59). What research nature (or To want it) via our unconscious and rigorously definite choices, it is anything else only its own balance. Like the philosopher itself says it, “while in love ones speak pathetically about the harmony with their hearts, the bottom of the business relates to the being to be procreated and its perfection” (idem, p.64). Such is thus the trick of the genius of the species to which we all are subjected, we who however aspire more than all to the indeterminism and freedom.
It is without any doubt with the reading of the Metaphysics of the love (especially starting from the p.57) that Freud could write: “of eminent philosophers can be quoted for (my) precursors, before very other the large Schopenhauer thinker, whose “unconscious will” is equivalent to the psychic instincts of the psychoanalysis. It is this same thinker, moreover, who, in words of an unforgettable strength, recalled to the men the always underestimated importance their sexual aspirations” (Tests of psychoanalysis applied, Paris, Gallimard, 1973, p.147). The feeling in love is other thing only the sexual instinct in power; and the sexual instinct translates the concrete tendency of Wanting to remain in the existence. It is to say that passion in love indicates this trick that To want it bracket with beings whose conscious interests are only egoistic. Thus I will believe myself free to seek at the same time the company to be it liked and the satisfaction generated by the sexual pleasure, whereas actually, by such an attitude, I constitute myself as a slave of Wanting and his paramount interest: its phenomenal demonstration. To have the illusion to serve its private interests, it is thus to ensure the subsistence of Wanting to which I am subjected.
- Of the quadruple root of the principle of sufficient reason (Über die vierfache Wurzel of Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde) , 1813
- On the sight and the colors (Über das Sehn und die Farben) , 1816
- Le Monde like will and representation (Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung) , 1818/1819, vol.2 1844 (Wikisource)
- Art to be right always (1830 - 1831)
- Will in nature (Über den Willen in der Natur) , 1836
- Test on the free will (Über die Freiheit of the menschlichen Willens) , 1839
- Base of morals Über die Moral Grundlage DER , 1840
- Parerga and Paralipomena (Parerga und Paralipomena) , (1851). First integral French edition, CODED, 2005, ISBN 2849670200; this work was initially translated only by parts, for example:
- Aphorisms on wisdom in the life (Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit) , 1886 - Apology for the Eudémonologie.
- In French: Philosophy of the Right and other tests , Paris, 2006
- Test on the women, (Über die Weiber) 1854]
- Nachlassband von Julius Frauenstedt , 1864
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