In "The World as Will and Representation", how can Schopenhauer say that the world is a representation if he himself EXISTS in his representation of the world? Isn't there a contradiction in his ideas?

  • 1
    No. Schopenhauer's world is a representation and the Will, the latter being its true form and the former a superficial seeming. What "exists" in this representation is not "he himself" but only some distorted trace, which is misidentified with the true reality - the Will in its 'individuations'. Similarly, in a videogame one "exists" through their avatar, but the avatar is not really "he himself" even if the one is enthralled enough or delusional enough to identify with it.
    – Conifold
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 17:32
  • Was Schopenhauer inspired by Taoism (the Tao as Will) ?
    – Olandelie
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 17:43
  • 3
    Close. He was influenced by Spinoza and later by Hinduism (Upanishads) and Buddhism with Brahman and Atman, maya and nirvana, see SEP, The World as Will. Only his 'nirvana' has a rather mean streak with very pessimistic consequences for the prospects of enlightenment or salvation. Although there is a sort of 'bliss', or at least tranquility, one can achieve by cutting through the 'maya' and dispelling the Will's individuated urges.
    – Conifold
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 17:54
  • Look in to Nonduality.
    – Scott Rowe
    Commented Aug 8, 2023 at 10:32


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