1st Edition

The Kantian Foundation of Schopenhauer's Pessimism

By Dennis Vanden Auweele Copyright 2017
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book connects Schopenhauer’s philosophy with transcendental idealism by exploring the distinctly Kantian roots of his pessimism. By clearly discerning four types of coming to knowledge, it demonstrates how Schopenhauer’s epistemology can enlighten this connection with other areas of his philosophy. The individual chapters in this book discuss how these knowledge types—immediate or mediate, representational or non-representational—relate to Schopenhauer’s metaphysics, ethics and action, philosophy of religion, aesthetics, and asceticism. In each of these areas, a specific sense of pessimism serves to disarm a number of paradoxes and inconsistencies typically associated with Schopenhauer’s philosophy. The Kantian Foundation of Schopenhauer's Pessismism shows how Schopenhauer’s claim that he is a true successor to Kant can be justified.


    1. Schopenhauer’s Philosophical Pedigree

    2. Schopenhauer on Knowledge

    3. Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics

    4. Schopenhauer on Ethics and Action

    5. Schopenhauer’s Philosophy of Religion

    6. Schopenhauer’s Aesthetics

    7. Schopenhauer’s Ascetics



    Dennis Vanden Auweele is assistant professor of philosophy of religion at the RU Groningen (University of Groningen) and postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven (University of Leuven). He is the editor (with Jonathan Head) of Schopenhauer’s Fourfold Root (Routledge, 2017) and, in Dutch, ‘Philosophy at Twilight: On Power and Hope, Impotence and Despair (2016).

    "Vanden Auweele's exposition is knowledgeable and displays a solid comprehension of Schopenhauer's philosophy … This book is valuable in helping us appreciate that there is a strong Christian dimension to Schopenhauer's philosophy … Unlike other presentations of Schopenhauer's philosophy that identify aesthetic, moral, and ascetic awareness as the ascending road to enlightenment, it importantly adds religious awareness into the sequence."Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

    "Vanden Auweele’s study is a clear, original, and well-argued reconstruction of the philosophical underpinnings, and somewhat surprisingly, Kantian roots of Schopenhauer’s pessimistic world view."Sandra Shapshay, Indiana University-Bloomington, USA