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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

A close study of Schopenhauer’s central work, The World as Will and Representation, reveals that a number of Sigmund Freud’s most characteristic doctrines were expressed early in the nineteenth century by the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. Indeed, the parallels between Freud and Schopenhauer are extremely extensive and detailed, more so than has been generally appreciated. It is well known that Schopenhauer’s concept of the will contains the foundations of what in Freud became the concepts of the unconscious and the id. However, Schopenhauer’s writings on madness develop a concept very similar to Freud’s theory of repression and a concept of free association. And most importantly, Schopenhauer makes many of the same claims about sexuality as Freud did later, though Freud goes further. As the chapter shows, these correspondences raise some questions about Freud’s denial that he even read Schopenhauer until late in life.

Keywords: Freud, Schopenhauer, will, unconscious, id, madness, sexuality

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