Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Commentators on Schopenhauer’s philosophy have been at odds with one another concerning the signification of the “nothing” with which he closed the first volume of The World as Will and Representation in 1818, and how this relates to Schopenhauer’s proposition that the will is Kant’s thing-in-itself. This chapter contends that Schopenhauer’s works contain two conceptions of soteriological nothing: an early conception that is ontological and contrasted with the vanity of phenomenal life, and a later conception in which nothing is employed as an apophatic denial of our epistemological categories. Schopenhauer sought to conceal the way in which his use and understanding of these concepts had changed by 1860 by appending a handwritten note to the close of the first volume that cited Isaak Jacob Schmidt’s translation of the Diamond-Sūtra, an explanation of the Buddhist concept of prajñāpāramitā. Examination of Schmidt’s treatise throws some light on the development of Schopenhauer’s metaphysics and soteriology between 1818 and 1860.

Keywords: will, nothingness, soteriology, prajñāpāramitā, Diamond-Sūtra, Buddhism

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.