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The World as Idea - The Genius of Arthur Schopenhauer

 
 
Reply Tue 4 Jan, 2005 01:57 pm
First I must begin with the all encompassing conclusion that you, the "self", are the the vessel of truth. The body is the "primary object" through which we base all of our own truths. It is comprised of "pure sensibility". Which is to say that our consciousness is based from our sensory perceptions, "ideas" which our body recieves from the interaction with the world and which our brains convert into information that is stored for future reflection. The consciousness we experience every day is the "primary subject" through which all knowledge is perceived. It is that which knows all things but is known by none. It is not a part of space and time but always exists in the present. Although the "primary subject" is essentially your consciousness and this resides in the "primary object", your body and all of its sensory perceptions, all other matter in the world are merely objects for you to know and perceive. They are conditioned to the laws of objects, knowledge, space, and time. The truth that object cannot exist without subject, and vis a versa, has been proven in the aforementioned sentence. Each hold meaning and existence through and for each other. There are ideas which can be known without prior knowledge of any secondary objects. These are space, time, cause, and effect. As you are the first object you encounter in life and that all other objects are perceived through your space and time, causes and effects, these concepts are immediately known though perhaps subconsciously. It is because these are the base concepts of knowledge that perception or intuition must conform to them to exist. Experience is the combination of cause, effect, and personal motive. Thought is the basis of judgement. All perception is relative to the subject based on time, space, cause, effect and motive. Perception leads to experience which leads to judgement. All matter is based on cause and effect, which is to say that the true being of matter is its action. Only as action does matter fill space and time. The perception of matter is based on the action of matter on its immediate surroundings. This perception changes only if said matter's action changes upon interaction with an immediate material object. Matter is space and time but space and time are not necessarily matter, as they are ideas seperate from all objects and which comprise the perceptible existence of all objects. Causality unites space and time because causes and their effects always occur in specified space and time. Matter also unites space and time because matter is action or causality. Coexistence is established though matter. Through coexistence permanence and change are established, the permanence of matter and the changes of its states.

"All phenomena and conditions of things, might be coexistent in boundless space, without limiting each other, or might be successive in endless time without interfering with each other: ths a necessary relation of these phenomena to eachother, and a law which should regulate them accordng to such a relation, is by no means needful, would not, indeed, be applicable: it therefore follows that in the case of all coexistence in space and change in time, so long as each of these forms preserve for itself its condition and its course without any connection with the other. There can be no causation, and since causation constitues the essential nature of matter, there can be no matter. But the law of causation receives its meaning and necessity only from this, that the essence of change does not consist simply in the mere variation of things, but rather in the fact that at the same part of space there is now one thing and then another, and at one and the same point of time there is here one thing and there another: only this reciprocal limitation of space and time by each other gives meaning, and at the same time nessecity, to a law, according to which change must take place. What is determind by the law of causality is therefore not merely a succession of things in time, but this succession with reference to a definite space, and not merely existence of things in a particular place, but in this place at a different point of time." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Any thoughts?
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jan, 2005 02:27 pm
How is the body comprised of pure sensibility? I think that is a bold statement.
Have you considered the forming of abstract ideas? I think there's more to our conciousness than the input of our senses. The mind has to enterpet all info it gets. Is this an attribute if the senses themselves, or is it something else? The level of understanding corresponds to the level of knowledge, not how well I use my eyes. Seeing is not understanding.

Quote:
All phenomena and conditions of things, might be coexistent in boundless space, without limiting each other, or might be successive in endless time without interfering with each other: ths a necessary relation of these phenomena to eachother,


Of course. They have to relate to eachother in some way. This does not determine wich way however.

Seems to me we need to discuss the nature of time. There is only ONE point in time, the present. The fact that you can see one thing there one moment and another thing there the next moment is due to memory. Past and future are but other words for memories and hopes. Time is not linear. To say it stands still is more accurate. Evolution is moving through time, not the other way around. Everything that is going to happen will have to wait for the present to execute. It can't happen in the future. That is impossible
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jan, 2005 04:25 pm
Thoughtful Biped: First of all, welcome to A2K. We need more thoughtful bipeds around here.

Secondly, do you know the source for your excerpt? It doesn't look like anything I've ever read of Schopenhauer.
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Thoughtful Biped
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jan, 2005 11:26 pm
Cyracuz - Abstract thought is what seperates man from animal. It is the ability to reflect on experience and assume a future condition. Abstract thought is not truth, until that is, it is perceived. Also, to me, the rest of that quotation does explain by which means they relate to eachother. They give eachother meaning and perceptibility through the matter which is held in space and changed in time.

Joe - It is from a collection of four books published by Random House from the 1940's entitled The World's Great Thinkers. It is from either an essay or a book written by him, The World as Idea.

Lastly, I am not here to argue with people, merely explain the thoughts I interpret in my existence. As I have tried to explain in this first post, all of reality is that which we see as truth in our own self, or simply put, ideas. To deny these truths is to deny the self. But to assume that your truths are the truths by which all other people should abide is false and disrespectful. Truth is not a one size fits all foundation, it is merely thought which we have come to find comfort in. Thank you for your replies.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 05:26 am
I disagree. Nothing separates man from animal. Man is an animal. All qualities we possess that are exclusively human qualities does not negate the fact that we are still animals. The elephant has qualities than no other animal has, but it is still an animal.

If you are not here to argue I think you have come to the wrong place. Smile Myself, I think an argument, when properly conducted, is a refreshing experience. It helps me greatly in my interpeting of my existence. To assume that your truths are my truths is is as you say disrespectful. I agree. But to assume that you can find all truths on your own, is that not a statement in pride?

Let me also say that I found your post very interesting. If you are going to be posting like that in the future I think yours will be a valuable contribution to A2K. Myself, I am straining to keep up. Smile
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 08:30 am
sire:- we meet again in another lane.

Schopenhauer's Essay On Women supports your position on the animal/human thing if I remember rightly.It certainly was a good laugh.

spendius.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 08:41 am
I am not familiar with Schopenhauers works, but I know the issues discussed here from other thinkers' works. Seems to me that they're all circling around the same conclutions, and that they only try to formulate it in new ways to claim originality. In the west pride stands in the way of true philosophy. As a result there are many good laughs in philosophy. Try reading Kant. It's a hoot Smile
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 09:27 am
I seem to recall that Schopenhauer was a wonderful pianist who composed a lot of beautiful music. Then again, it's been a while, and I might have some names confused. As for Kant, Kouldn't.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 09:59 am
In my native language "kant" means corner or edge. Immanuel, wich is his first name, means automatic, although it is not a common phrasing.

Many of historys great personalities excelled in many areas. It just might be that Schopenhauer did also.

Another curious thing when it comes to translations. While the lettercombo M+E in english refers to the ego (me) it is the other way around in my language. "me" means "us" or "we"
Irrelevant to the thread I know. Sorry Smile
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 10:07 am
Cyracuz, whether or not it's irrelevant, it's very interesting. Thanks for posting it.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 10:11 am
My pleasure. As you can probably tell from my activity on this forum lately my life outside the web is currently at a low.. Smile
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Jan, 2005 12:24 pm
Thoughtful Biped wrote:
Joe - It is from a collection of four books published by Random House from the 1940's entitled The World's Great Thinkers. It is from either an essay or a book written by him, The World as Idea.

As far as I know, Schopenhauer never wrote anything entitled "The World as Idea." His most famous work, however, is entitled "The World as Will and Representation" (Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung). I imagine that your excerpt is from that work.
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val
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jan, 2005 06:12 am
Cyracuz

Sorry, but that thing about Kant ... I didn't expect this kind of joke from you. Indeed, you could say the same of the Bible, Einstein, everyone. The Critic of the Pure Reason is a great book, the greatest perhaps of all philosophy, and it is not obscure. It demands patience, and the will to understand.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Jan, 2005 06:22 am
No disrespect towards Kant, val. What I mean is that Kant was obviously a very proud individual, and that I wonder if his complicated wordings is in reality an attempt to disguise the fact that his philosophy is simple, and thereby raising the momentum of his discoveries. I find some of the questions he aske very facinating, though my experience with his writings are limited. I am not sure wether this pride is a bad thing though. Maybe it is a quality that is required to get across in a world where so few remember how to listen?
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heimdall
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2005 03:58 pm
Re: The World as Idea - The Genius of Arthur Schopenhauer
Thoughtful Biped wrote:
Matter is space and time but space and time are not necessarily matter, as they are ideas separate from all objects and which comprise the perceptible existence of all objects. Causality unites space and time because causes and their effects always occur in specified space and time. Matter also unites space and time because matter is action or causality. Coexistence is established though matter. Through coexistence permanence and change are established, the permanence of matter and the changes of its states.
...
There can be no causation, and since causation constitutes the essential nature of matter, there can be no matter.

The two passages above seem to contradict one another. Matter unites space and time but there is no matter? Causality unites space and time, but there is no causation?

No comprendo.
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Thoughtful Biped
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 Jan, 2005 10:48 pm
Heimdall, if you re-read it you will notice that the first is my explanation of what I have interpreted from the text. The second is part of the quote from Schopenhauer where he is explaining that, in an existence of only space and no time or time and no space there could be no matter or causailty, because time and space are untied through matter and causality.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2005 09:48 am
Time and space are products of matter. Causality is the relation between matter and matter. No matter, no space.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2005 10:01 am
joefromchicago wrote:
Thoughtful Biped wrote:
Joe - It is from a collection of four books published by Random House from the 1940's entitled The World's Great Thinkers. It is from either an essay or a book written by him, The World as Idea.

As far as I know, Schopenhauer never wrote anything entitled "The World as Idea." His most famous work, however, is entitled "The World as Will and Representation" (Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung). I imagine that your excerpt is from that work.


Right as rain, Joe. Unfortunately, to muddle things even more, many English language translations of Das Welt als Wille und Vorstellung render it as The World as Will and Idea. That's not a very accurate translation of Vorstellung, I know. However, back in the dear old days of the first half of the 20th Century, many subscribers to what they were pleased to call 'Idealism' wished mightily to include Schopenhauer among their number. Thus they lumped Schopenhauer with the likes of Socrates/Plato, Rene Descrates and even Bishop Berkeley. Not to mention Borden Parker Bowne and that whole ilk of theistic Yankee philosophes.
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Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2005 10:11 am
Vorstellung implies more than idea. Idea is the correct word, but "vorstellung" implies that the idea is in the process of being formed. This distinction falls away in translation. Does this book deal with issues of perception?
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Jan, 2005 01:09 pm
The first sentence in the book is Das Welt ist meine Vorstellung. It is somewhat reminiscent of Decsarte's cogito ergo sum.
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