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The Monist, 27 (Oct 1917), 635-37

In the same number, B. M. Laing (“Schopenhauer and Individuality”) considers that Schopenhauer fails to appreciate the metaphysical claims of individuality. He dethrones reason, making it a mere temporary organ of the will. He interprets Kant in such a way as to make Kant assert that the mind creates the world of things, instead of merely conditioning it. This perversion of the Kantian doctrine leads Schopenhauer to hold (in contrast to Kant) that the world of space and time is an illusion. Hence he is unable to conserve individuality, and tends to confuse individuality with (temporal and spatial) individuation. Schopenhauer’s monism is a mere prejudice against multiplicity, and his will a pure abstraction. Furthermore, he confuses the will with bodily wants and cravings. Schopenhauer exposes himself on every side to such destructive criticism, but while Mr. Laing seizes upon some of his weakest points in his interpretation of Kant, the view of individuality which Schopenhauer represents, and which is more abiding than Schopenhauer, cannot be said to be demolished.


Published By:   Johns Hopkins University Press