Schopenhauer’s View of Destiny

“The ethical teaching of Schopenhauer is closely linked to his metaphysics, and in particular to these theses that the world of experience is illusory and that the true reality, the thing-in-itself, is the universal will. We see individuals rising out of nothing, receiving their lives as a gift, and then suffering the loss of this gift in death, returning again to nothing. But if we consider life philosophically we find that the will, the thing-in-itself in all phenomena, is not at all affected by birth and death. It is not the individual, but only the species, that Nature cares for, and for the preservation of which she so earnestly strives, providing for it with the utmost prodigality…The individual, on the contrary, neither has nor can have any value for Nature, for her kingdom is infinite time and infinite space, and within these infinite multiplicity of possible individuals. Therefore she is always ready to let the individual fall, and hence it is not only exposed to destruction in a thousand ways by the most insignificant accident, but originally destined for it, and conducted towards it by Nature herself from the moment it has served its end of maintaining the species.” Kenny, Anthony A New History of Philosophy in the Modern World Schopenhauer on Renunciation p.228

Painting \”Destiny\” by Thomas Cooper Gotch

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