I'm especially interested if there are any attempts at reconciling Schopenhauer's metaphysical will with the seeming indeterministic nature of quantum physics. Thank you.

  • I mean if free-will is something we understand in-itself by having first-person access, and we can extend that perfect knowing to the outside world, it does kind of mirror the approach of the Free Will Theorem by Conway and Kochen - which says if we have free-will, particles do. The FWT as a theory is heavily quantum mechanical: it seeks to explain how our actions partially determine quantum mechanical outcomes (e.g. our choice of measurement after the particles are already far apart). Can't say much more personally.
    – J Kusin
    Jul 19 at 15:31
  • I see Kastrup's book is ready mentioned. Your question made me wonder if there is anything related in the more speculative writings of the Pauli-Jung collaboration. I know little about it but here's a possible lead.pasttimesandpresnttensions.blogspot.com/2015/12/… Aug 5 at 20:50
  • @NelsonAlexander Similarly Bohm's Gnosis: "During the early 1980s Bohm developed his theory of the Implicate Order in order to explain the bizarre behavior of subatomic particles . . . He maintains that space and time might actually be derived from an even deeper level of objective reality [within which] everything is connected." But for 'will' as life instinct, this doesn't make a difference. It still wills to will and live. Aug 5 at 21:23

2 Answers 2


Bernardo Kastrup wrote a book titled "Decoding Schopenhauer's Metaphysics".

First proposed more than 200 years ago, Schopenhauer's extraordinarily prescient metaphysics if understood along the lines thoroughly elucidated and substantiated in this volume offers powerful answers not only to the paradoxes of quantum mechanics, but also to modern philosophical dilemmas such as the hard problem of consciousness which plagues mainstream physicalism, and the subject combination problem which plagues constitutive panpsychism.


  • One of the reviews suggests that Kastrup is "trying to develop ontological models to get at the fact that reality just appears as though there is a subject-object duality, including a world made of material "stuff"--when in fact it's all one whole mental structure" [my italics]. The point being that it is founded in thought. Aug 5 at 20:44

"Schopenhauer identifies the thing-in-itself—the inner essence of everything—as will." Wikipedia

The only thing-in-itself one can know (short of telepathy) is oneself. Everything else is representation, phenomena. The will, in its most fundamental aspect, is the life instinct, and from human life emerges thought. Thought and culture—as collective exploration and ideas—founds the discoveries of science, some of which continue to baffle e.g. wave-particle duality. There you have the link from will to quantum physics, tenuous though it is.

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