About the work …
In his The World as Will and Idea, Schopenhauer argues that the reality behind the appearance of the world is an endlessly striving, irrational, and purposeless transcendent Will or energy, and we become aware of this Will directly in terms of our own volition. The fundamental basis of our world of appearance is, according to Schopenhauer, logical, causal, mathematical, and moral necessity (his fourfold "principle of sufficient reason"). The Will, as fundamental reality, manifests itself as different things according to hierarchical Platonic Forms or Ideas. Schopenhauer explains that these Ideas are recognized æsthetically. The point of life, he thinks, is to seek to overcome or deny the self, which is an instantiation of the Will, and attain compassion for all things through morality, religion, and art. When an individual's will is silenced, that individual becomes resigned, and the will to live is denied. Schopenhauer's philosophy, itself influenced by Kantian and Eastern philosophy, in turn, profoundly affected later developments in art, literature, music, and psychology.
What are some of the differences between science and art Schopenhauer describes?
How does Schopenhauer define artistic genius? In his view, how does a genius differ from an ordinary person?
What is Schopenhauer's characterization of the two aspects of æsthetic contemplation?
According to Schopenhauer, how can we be freed from "slavery of the will" and attain pure contemplation?
How does Schopenhauer describe the world as idea? How the loss of will is obtained?
What is the distinction drawn by Schopenhauer between the sublime and the beautiful?
How does Schopenhauer describe the loss of the peace of æsthetic contemplation and the experience of the sublime?
In what sense does Schopenhauer argue that everything is beautiful? What does he think is the highest aim of art?
What are the two kinds of æsthetic impression Schopenhauer distinguishes?
Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Idea. Translated by R. B. Haldane and John Kemp. London: Trübner. 1883. Volume I. Book III.