Schopenhauer obviously learns from the German Idealists tradition of assuming an unconscious force acting on the world (or "underneath" it), but Schopenhauer's take is that this force is a blind will, the World Will, that acts amorally, without any certain agenda. Schelling’s idea in the System of Transcendental Idealism is quite similar, but I'm not exactly sure if Schelling's Absolute is a blind one, as it strives to "know" itself. Maybe the its creations are created "blindly", but I'm not sure the force itself is exactly "blind" as Schopenhauer's pessimism view suggests.

Any help with this? I'm thinking maybe it's the same idea, but Schopenhauer's pessimism is the defining separation between the both. Do note that I'm talking about the System of Transcendental Idealism in Schelling, not his later writings when he goes to the more spiritual theistic approach.

  • I am not sure what "the same idea" is means here, I suppose it is in the same sense that black and white are "the same idea". World Will is the deliberate inversion of German idealism absolutes' rationality, morality, aesthetics, etc. (more Hegel's than Schelling's). One thing it has in common with them is its "absolutist" function of bridging Kant's divide between appearances and things in themselves, in Schelling it is by cosmic intellectual intuition, in Hegel by rationalist conquest of the Geist, and in Schopenhauer by sensing the urges of the Will as it acts through us.
    – Conifold
    Feb 13, 2018 at 21:44
  • @Conifold I suppose by "same idea" I mean the most (if not only) significant difference is Schopenhauer's pessimism. And I'm talking about the force itself, not the way it interacts with us. What I'm especially not sure of, is if there's the "blind will" aspect in Schelling too. Feb 13, 2018 at 22:27
  • Well, Schelling did talk about aesthetic immediacy as highest form of and "dark ground" of unconscious natural necessity (presumably the counterpart of the original sin). But to him and Hegel this is just a moment to be overcome on a path to perfection. The Absolute is inherently intelligible, blindness is only temporary alienation. To Schopenhauer the "dark ground" is the Absolute, and the aesthetic is a means not to approach it, but to escape from its hold. His inspiration were Indian philosophies with their condemnation of desire ("will") much more than Schelling.
    – Conifold
    Feb 15, 2018 at 0:18
  • @Conifold and the way this Absolute force creates the world? Any differences there? Feb 15, 2018 at 10:19
  • It "creates" it in the sense that the Absolute gets to know/contemplate itself more and more self-consciously in Hegel/Schelling, nothing of the sort makes sense for the Will of course. But like the Absolute it individuates itself into myriad individual subjectivities that lose sense of the whole, sending primal urges through individual microwills, our only direct contact with the thing-in-itself, according to Schopenhauer.
    – Conifold
    Feb 15, 2018 at 18:57


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .