The strangest thing about Schopenhauer to me when i first approached him was his fixation on causality. It is usually taken as a given. But it does form the basis of his Arthur told us to read this as the introduction to The World as Will and Representation, and boy was he right. But it does form the basis of his whole system, which is why this is the proper introduction to his thought. Before reading this, it is necessary to have some familiarity with Plato and Kant, as Schopenhauer also told us in the introduction to WWR.
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The sick and wounded quickly filled up the hospitals and the risk of an epidemic grew high. A patriotic, militaristic spirit inflamed the city and most of the populace, philosophers and students included, entertained the hope that the French yoke could be violently thrown off.
All this rapidly became intolerable to Schopenhauer who ultimately fled the city, retreating to the small town of Rudolstadt near Weimar. It was here, from June to November of that year, while staying at an inn, that the work was composed. After submitting it as his doctoral dissertation he was awarded a PhD from the University of Jena in absentia. Private publication soon followed. Scarcely more than one hundred copies were sold, the rest was remaindered and, a few years later, pulped.
A copy was sent to Goethe who responded by inviting the author to his home on a regular basis, ostensibly to discuss philosophy but in reality to recruit the young philosopher into work on his Theory of Colors. This is the version of the work that is read today. What is crucial here is the realization that what makes human experience universally possible to begin with without exception, is the perceiving mind.
The intellect synthesizes perceptions from raw sensations to consequently abstract modified concepts built upon formed perceptions.
Conversely, all causality, hence all matter, and consequently the whole of reality, is only for the understanding, through the understanding, in the understanding. The first, simplest, ever-present manifestation of understanding is perception of the actual world. This is in every way knowledge of the cause from the effect, and therefore all perception is intellectual. Not only what we think in the abstract, but also our very perceptions are completely intellectual and subjectively determined via extraction, new formation, and modified formulation.
It amounts to what Schopenhauer has done, in his view, to extend and complete what Kant began in his Critique of Pure Reason. Hence, four classes of objects occur always and already only in relation to a known subject, according to a correlative capacity within the subject. These classes are summarized as follows: Becoming: Only with the combination of time and space does perceptual actuality become possible for a subject, allowing for ideas of interpretation, and this provides the ground of becoming judgment.
This is the law of causality, which is, when considered subjectively, intellectual and a priori-linked understanding. All possible judgments that are inferences of a cause from an effect—a physical state any subject infers as caused by another physical state or vice versa—presumes this as primary ground for the expected potentials of such judgments.
The natural sciences operate within this aspect of expanding principles. Schopenhauer proposed a proof of the a priori of causality i. Proof relies on the intellectuality of perceived things representations —these are produced by "projecting causality backwards in time," from physical excitations of cells and nerves this is the afferent role of the intellect, or brain —and is apparently influenced by the medieval philosopher Witelo and his work on optics and the psychology of seeing.
The other three classes of objects are immediate representations, while this class is always and already composed of fixed representations of representations.
Therefore, the truth-value of concepts abstracted from any of the other three classes of objects is grounded in referring to something outside the concept. Concepts are abstract judgments grounded in intuitions of time and space, ideas of perception causality apparent in the outer world , or acts of direct will causality experienced from within.
That conceptions are easier to deal with then representations; they are, in fact, to these almost as the formula of higher arithmetic to the mental operations which give rise to them and which they represent, or as logarithm to its number please researching scientific creativity for more understanding, i. This class makes language in the form of abstract judgments that are then communicable possible, and as a consequence, all the sciences become possible. Being: Time and space comprise separate grounds of being.
The first makes arithmetic possible, and is presupposed for all other forms of the principle of sufficient reason; the other makes geometry possible. Time is one dimensional and purely successive; each moment determines the following moment; in space, any position is determined only in its relations to all other positions [fixed baselines] in a finite, hence, closed system.
Thus, intuitions of time and space provide the grounds of being that make arithmetical and geometrical judgments possible, which are also valid for experience. Action then, finds its root in the law of motivation, the ground of acting, which is causality, but seen from the inside afferent perception. Why does a subject act the way he does? When the actual moment comes to act, we do so within the constituents of the rhetorical situation the various representations presented within subjective experiences and may be often surprised by what we actually say and do.
The human sciences find their ground in this aspect of the principle. The principle, in another point of view, provides the general form of any given perspective, presupposing both subject and object. The thing in itself, consequently, remains forever unknowable from any standpoint, for any qualities attributed to it are merely perceived, i. Kant termed this critical or transcendental idealism. This intuition of the a priori understanding is a modern elucidation of the postmodern expression "always already":  time and space always and already determine the possibilities of experience.
Payne concisely summarized the Fourfold Root. Our knowing consciousness To be object for the subject and to be our representation or mental picture are one and the same. All our representations are objects for the subject, and all objects of the subject are our representations.
These stand to one another in a regulated connection which in form is determinable a priori, and by virtue of this connection nothing existing by itself and independent, nothing single and detached, can become an object for us. The first aspect of this principle is that of becoming, where it appears as the law of causality and is applicable only to changes. Thus if the cause is given, the effect must of necessity follow. The second aspect deals with concepts or abstract representations, which are themselves drawn from representations of intuitive perception, and here the principle of sufficient reason states that, if certain premises are given, the conclusion must follow.
The third aspect of the principle is concerned with being in space and time, and shows that the existence of one relation inevitably implies the other, thus that the equality of the angles of a triangle necessarily implies the equality of its sides and vice versa.
Finally, the fourth aspect deals with actions, and the principle appears as the law of motivation, which states that a definite course of action inevitably ensues on a given character and motive. Open Court Publishing Co.
Ueber die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde
Inhoud[ bewerken brontekst bewerken ] In zijn dissertatie onderzoekt Schopenhauer de wet: alles heeft een grond. Deze wet valt uiteen in twee te onderscheiden vormen: oorzaak en reden. In de waarneembare wereld heeft alles een oorzaak, d. Wat betreft wiskunde en logica heeft alles een reden. De aprioriteit van causaliteit[ bewerken brontekst bewerken ] Kant bekende openlijk dat de hoofdaanleiding voor het schrijven van de Kritik der reinen Vernunft de sceptische aanval van Hume op het begrip "causaliteit" was. Hume had aangetoond dat de ervaring ons geen grond geeft om te beweren dat alles een oorzaak heeft.
Ueber die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde
Zur Lebensphilosophie von Arthur Schopenhauer