Review by Choice Review
In the wake of some very good studies, e.g., Bryan Magee's The Philosophy of Schopenhauer (CH, Dec'83) or D.W. Hamlyn's Schopenhauer (CH, May'81), Janaway presents an unusual and superlative work that does more than justice to the epistemic and metaphysical issues that lie at the heart of a philosophical understanding of the self and the world, an understanding that is enjoying a recrudescence. What is striking about this original study is the detailed and illuminating analysis of the Kantian background of Schopenhauer's thought, the careful examination of Schopenhauer's idealist standpoint, his distinctions between subject and object, and the thoughtful and insightful analyses of "will" and "willing." The theory of willing in Schopenhauer's thought receives special attention and is analyzed in light of B. O'Shaughnessy's two volume work, The Will (1980). Running through this arresting, sympathetic, and critical analysis of Schopenhauer is the central theme of a coherent conception of the self that refers back to Kant and forward to Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, and Nagel. Janaway's commentary is always interesting and critically acute. His own emphasis upon the self as the unitary, self-conscious, center of thought and experience is clearly and intelligently defended. Although critical of Schopenhauer's mysticism and idealism, his occasional unargued assertions, Janaway has given readers interested in more than an expository study of this maverick thinker a retrieval of Schopenhauer as philosopher which traces his concerns to issues in contemporary philosophy. Advanced undergraduates and up. -G. J. Stack, SUNY College at Brockport
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.