Kant’s and Fichte’s ethics as sources of Schopenhauer’s philosophy
Author(s)Sattar A. S.
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AbstractThis article aims to demonstrate the centrality of Kant’s and Fichte’s ethics to the development of Schopenhauer’s ideas of 1811—1813. The author proves the following theses based on the philosopher’s manuscripts and the first edition of his dissertation. Firstly, for a long time, Kant’s ‘moral law’ was a major element of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, whereas the regulatory power of ethics supported its claim as a means to cognise the supersensible. Secondly, the dichotomy between the noumenal and the phenomenal encouraged him to develop a dualistic ontology. Thirdly, the emergence of the central concept of his early works — the ‘better consciousness’ — was strongly influenced by Fichte’s lectures attended by Schopenhauer. Fourthly, Schopenhauer’s doctrine of liberating the better consciousness from all the individual and earthly is also rooted in Fichte’s practical philosophy. Fifthly, Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals and Fichte’s System of Ethnics contributed to Schopenhauer’s understanding of will as the primary essence of all things and the idea of its absolute and unconditional nature and its primacy over cognition. Sixthly, some of the key aspects of Schopenhauer’s pessimism are rooted in Fichte’s philosophy. Seventhly, in the first edition of his dissertation, Schopenhauer advocated Kant’s ethics and formulated the supremacy of the better consciousness over the empirical as noumenal freedom and truly moral behavior and defined the category of negation as its opposite. Later, these ideas, altered and expanded u