Arthur Schopenhauer and Free Will - Philosophy

Arthur Schopenhauer's concept of free will is built on Georg Hegel's concept of the "thing in itself." For Schopenhauer, the will is noumena, the part of the world that exists regardless of whether or not it is perceived by humans. In fact, Schopenhauer believes that the will is not "at all affected by life and death." An individual person's life is phenomenal, perceived by the senses. All life exists as the mirror of the will, the way a shadow exists for a body.

Everything an individual does or thinks, all a person's experiences, are but a corporeal manifestation of this Will. Schopenhauer posits that the will is the human form assumed by an inner nature universal to all beings in space and time. More than an individual representation, Schopenhauer thus believes that the Will is an inner reality common to all individuals. The...
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