Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Reading the world as will and representation

About 23 years ago I asked a question about Kant's epistemology. My college instructor couldn't answer it. For about ten years I assumed it was a dumb question. Then I discovered that the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer had asked a similar question, and had written his own answer in 3000 pages in his masterwork, The World as Will and Representation. You can find it online here

My question was that if we make mistakes, what does that say about the nature of the universe?Why shouldn't we "get it right"? To say we make mistakes because we're stupid is simply to say we're prone to error- a tautology. To say we're imperfect is the same and to say we lack God's perfection heads-off in the direction of magic and superstition.

My intention is to read it (the original volume, not volume 2 that Schopenhauer wrote years later), chapter by chapter, and post my response to each chapter in this blog. Why blog my reading of this dense work? Because since there is no one I know who is remotely interested in this topic, I can pretend to have a dialogue, which is the way I philosophise best. Each day I'll blog one chapter (and/or one section of
Arthur Schopenhauer entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Arthur Schopenhauer entry in Wikipedia

If by some chance you read this, please post a hello, or better yet, a comment.

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"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster