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Cogito ergo volo: On the Epistemological Substantiation of Schopenhauer's Metaphysics of the Will

Grant number: 11/14823-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): August 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - Metaphysics
Principal researcher:Oswaldo Giacoia Junior
Grantee:Gabriel Valladão Silva
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):13/05824-1 - Transcendental dualism and metaphysics: the idealist question in the schopenhauerian philosophy, BE.EP.MS


This project proposes itself to work the form which idealism acquires in Arthur Schopenhauer's philosophy and the consequences that follow from this. According to our thesis, Schopenhauer conceives his fundamental point of view on the world as a development of Kant's transcendental philosophy, making a (no longer purely dogmatic) return to metaphysics. To fundament it, we will divide our work in three moments:Firstly, we will conduct an introductory study of Kant's critique of the traditional "transcendent" speculative metaphysics. The latter strived - based on the idea that our experience permits us to gain access to things in themselves, perfectible through reason - to fundament experience on what would be beyond objects. By means of a critique of the human cognitive apparatus, Kant will demonstrate that the formal structures of the subject relate with experience in a founding manner, and that, therefore, neither these founding elements, or the material of this experience (the only one available to us) allow speculation about things in themselves - our perception and, consequently, our cognition are limited to the way by which things appear, that is, to the way through which they are given to the intellect by sensibility. Therefore, sensibility and understanding are not tools to know a world that exists independently, but give the very form of experience, constituting thus its condition of possibility.In a second moment, we will investigate how Schopenhauer develops this conception: for him, the world is, on one hand, determined a priori by the subject, as Kant described (with an even further radicalization of idealism); but, on the other, this subject is also part of the world, he is himself an object among objects. According to our thesis, Schopenhauer will postulate - beyond Kant's doctrine, but not in direct contradiction with it, much rather complementing it - a reciprocity between subject and object as universal form of the world as representation [Vorstellung]. Subject and object are necessary correlates: the very concept of one loses its sense if not in opposition to the other. Both are apparitions, representator and represented of something that only appears under the form of the world as representation. It is in this sense that we affirm that Schopenhauer goes beyond Kant's transcendental idealism, founding that which here we call a transcendental dualism, where both - subject and object - are poles of a same apparition, whose essence is in something beyond both.The last part of our investigation will analyze how this new transcendental perspective allows Schopenhauer to return to metaphysics in a post-critical scenery. This is in itself a multiple task: in a first moment we will see the reasons that lead Schopenhauer to affirm that the world as representation, even in its subject/object duality, is still object of a merely one-sided perspective. Having postulated equivalence between subject and object as apparitions of a same essence, the metaphysical path (beyond objects) - whose access by means of consciousness was refuted by Kant as impossible - sees itself complemented by a metapsychological path (behind subject). This, since it is a self-realization of the subject, allows an immediate access to its essence.This "double perception" of the very subject, also called self-consciousness, allows not only to recognize the unity of the essence of the world, but also to give it a name. In this last moment, we will defend that Schopenhauer makes use of a ressignification of the concept of will, segregating it from the intellect. The intellect - founding condition for the world as representation - is, from this perspective, just an instrument of will; will itself, on the other hand, is the thing in itself, prior to the intellect and to the world as representation, its apparition. The will is, for Schopenhauer, the one essence of which the double world of representation is always mere appearance.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
SILVA, Gabriel Valladão. Cogito ergo volo: on an epistemological foundation of the schopenhauerian metaphysics of the will. 2015. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas Campinas, SP.

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