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date: 31 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores Schopenhauer’s concept of force, which lies at the root of his philosophy. It is force in nature and thus in natural science that is inexplicable and grabs Schopenhauer’s attention. To answer the question of what this inexplicable term is at the root of all causation, Schopenhauer looks to the will within us. Through will, he maintains that we gain immediate insight into forces in nature and hence into the thing in itself at the core of everything and all things. Will is thus Schopenhauer’s attempt to answer the question of the essence of appearance. Yet will, as it turns out, cannot be known immediately as it is subject to time, and the acts of will, which we experience within us, do not correlate immediately with the actions of the body (as Schopenhauer had originally postulated). Hence, the acts of will do not lead to an explanation of force, which is at the root of causation in nature. Schopenhauer sets out to explain what is at the root of all appearances, derived from the question of an original cause, or as Schopenhauer states “the cause of causation,” but cannot determine this essence other than by stating that it is will; a will, however, that cannot be immediately known.

Keywords: Schopenhauer, force, matter, will, natural science, principle of sufficient reason, causation, body

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