PHIL 757

European Continental Philosophy 1


Schopenhauer and Religion.

Schopenhauer's philosophy is noteworthy among early nineteenth century philosophies in its incorporation of Hindu and Buddhist ideas in conjunction with traditional Christian themes. In contrast to this triad of positively influential religions, Schopenhauer also advanced critical observations regarding Islam, Judaism, Greek Polytheism and Confucianism, which we will explore.

Schopenhauer's metaphysical outlook is commonly interpreted as having a fundamentally Hindu structure; others find that Buddhism eventually prevails as his ultimate moral and practical influence. In the midst of surveying this variety of religious influences on Schopenhauer's perspective, we will consider whether his thought actually has more of a Christian dimension than is usually recognised. Schopenhauer's position – still debated amongst scholars – on whether he believes that we can know the nature of ultimate reality, or what Kant refers to as the "thing-in-itself", will be the light we will use to understand these different religious influences on his thought.

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Availability 2024

Not taught in 2024




PHIL 757: 15 points