The philosophy of pessimism: the relation of Schopenhauer's philosophy to Hardy's art

Dawe, M. Wanda (Mary Wanda) (1993) The philosophy of pessimism: the relation of Schopenhauer's philosophy to Hardy's art. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Arthur Schopenhauer takes Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, particularly its transcendental idealism and the distinction between phenomena and things-in-themselves, as the point of departure for his own philosophy. However, Schopenhauer rejects Kant's method of deducing the thing-in-itself and he places his own idealism on an empirical foundation. Ethics also, according to Schopenhauer, is properly justified only from the existential standpoint of human subjectivity always rooted in the world. The upshot of Schopenhauer's philosophy is a dark, and profoundly pessimistic, picture of the human condition wherein redemptive possibilities must rely solely on human consciousness, on the denial of the manifest world, and on self-abnegation or complete suspension of the will-to-live through that freedom which consciousness is. -- Schopenhauer's influence on writers and thinkers of the nineteenth century is well-documented in the literature and his philosophy of pessimism is there assigned an important role in the artistic development of Thomas Hardy. Yet, while key Schopenhauerian themes recur throughout Hardy's oeuvre, Schopenhauer's impact on Hardy is less decisive than is sometimes held to be the case. Indeed, a Schopenhauerian reading of Hardy's later works clearly shows that the artist's mature thought is quite distinctly un-Schopenhauerian. -- Chapter one addresses Schopenhauer's epistemology and metaphysics along with their background in Kantian philosophy and Schopenhauer's criticism of the latter. Chapter two is a discussion of Schopenhauer's ethics of compassion and his doctrine of asceticism. Chapters three and four then consider Hardy's art in relation to Schopenhauerian philosophy, especially with regard to Schopenhauer's theory of perception, metaphysics of nature and of character, his theory of freedom and his doctrine of self-abnegation. Chapter five summarizes those views which emerge from the foregoing discussion concerning the relation of Schopenhauer's philosophy to Hardy's art.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5741
Item ID: 5741
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 147-150.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 1993
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Schopenhauer, Arthur, 1788-1960--Influence; Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928--Philosophy; Pessimism in literature

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