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Type: Journal article
Title: Schopenhauer's pessimism
Author: Fernandez, J.
Citation: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 2006; 73(3):646-664
Publisher: Philosophy Phenomenological Res
Issue Date: 2006
ISSN: 0031-8205
Statement of
Jordi Fernández
Abstract: My purpose in this essay is to clarify and evaluate Arthur Schopenhauer's grounds for the view that happiness is impossible. I shall distinguish two of his arguments for that view and argue that both of them are unsound. Both arguments involve premises grounded on a problematic view, namely, that desires have no objects. What makes this view problematic is that, in each of the two arguments, it conflicts with Schopenhauer's grounds for other premises in the argument. I shall then propose a way of fixing both arguments. The solution involves substituting the view that desires have no objects with the view that we have a desire to have desires. The latter view, I shall argue, can do the grounding work that the former does in Schopenhauer's arguments but, unlike it, the view that we desire to desire is consistent with Schopenhauer's grounds for the rest of premises in those arguments.
Description: The definitive version is available at
RMID: 0020064044
DOI: 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2006.tb00552.x
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Philosophy publications

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