03April2019 – Philosophy Today – Schopenhauer & Kant – Space, Time & Causality

Event Posting:  This month’s focus is on Schopenhauer, however in order to understand many of Schopenhauer’s philosophies on metaphysics and World as Will, we will also study Kant.

Preparation Videos:
• Introduction to Schopenhauer – The World as Will: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNDw9lO8uKg
• Philosophy – Schopenhauer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0zmfNx7OM4


Led by:

  • Glenn Lippman


  • Janice
  • Carlos Garcia
  • Ann Hirsch
  • Rose James
  • Ivan Liberman
  • Bebe Nagel
  • Howard Rothauser
  • Sharon Townsend


When comparing Kant’s phenomenal and noumenal world.  Phenomenal world is the world we experience, and the noumenal world is a world we don’t experience.  Schopenhauer bought this model however believed that there was one part of the noumenal world that we can experience … the Will.  The Will embodies itself and in doing so makes itself physical in us.  The Will embodies itself in us, but we are imperfect embodiments of the Will.  Schopenhauer thought human life was the Will struggling to be real.  Failing to do so was the source of all suffering.  Suffering caused by slavery to the Will.  The Will is embodied in the Ideas.  Ideas are pure essences of things.  Arts purpose is to express these Ideas of the Will.  Viewing good art will give us a transcendent experience.  When appreciating art, you cease to be an individual and merge with the expressed Idea in a state of being free of slavery to the Will.  At that moment you are the noumenal world.   

  1. Your thoughts on this quote from Schopenhauer …. “We should not be surprised by marriages between people who would never have been friends .. Love .. casts itself on people who, apart from sex, would be hateful, contemptible, and even abhorrent to us.”
  2. Your thoughts on this quote from Schopenhauer … “Directly after copulation (orgasm) the devil’s laughter is heard.”
  3. What is the problem of evil? How have theists approached this problem?  How have atheists approached this problem?  Which view do you find more convincing and why?
  4. Are there any positive elements concerning suffering or is suffering always inherently evil?
  5. Why is music such a fascination for philosophers and mathematicians alike? Why did Schopenhauer perceive music differently than other forms of art?
  6. Do you agree with this quote by Schopenhauer, “There is only one inborn error, and that is the notion that we exist in order to be happy. So long as we persist in this inborn error, the world will seem to us full of contradictions.  For at every step, in great things and small, we are bound to experience that the world and life are certainly not arranged for the purpose of being happy.  That’s why the faces of almost all elderly people are deeply etched with such disappointment.”
  7. What does Schopenhauer mean by “A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants”?
  8. Schopenhauer’s idea of Will to Live was an idea that love is a tool used by life to reproduce children. He also said that people whom we are likely to make the most ‘well-balanced’ children with and we are driven towards are usually the kind of people that can’t make us happy.  And that we must suffer this misfortune because it was a way to sustain life.  Would rejecting his idea of Will to Live define suicide?
  9. Pure Schopenhauer … “To marry means to do everything possible to become an object of disgust to each other.”  … “Every life history is the history of suffering.”  … and  “Life has no intrinsic worth, but is kept in motion merely by desire and illusion.”
  10. Schopenhauer defines permenance as condition of matter, it persists while changing. What would life be if we live only in space? Can we then suppose a world that is only of time is one way of conceiving a world of no intelligible order, i.e., of no permenance?
  11. What does Wittgenstein (linguist) mean by saying Schopenhauer has a crude mind?
  12. What solutions did Schopenhauer propose that we should do to alleviate suffering?
  13. Do you agree with Schopenhauer that we are all like animals, however because of our self awareness, not as happy as animals?
  14. What would a Schopenhauer revival look like today?