Volume 12, 1986/1987
The Metaphysics of Nullity
The place of Schopenhauer’s philosophy in the history of contemporary thought and in that of the problematic of nihilism has been relatively unexplored, despite its well-known relation to Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, two of the dominant figures of contemporary philosophy and culture. “The Metaphysics of Nullity”, after an introductory section on the connection of German idealism and nihilism, examines Schopenhauer’s philosophy, and particularly its principle of “self-negation of the will”, as a nihilistic metaphysics that is an outgrowth of traditional conceptions of desire and consciousness which becomes involved in the classical difficulties of self-reflection and self-manifestation. The incoherencies that beset Schopenhauer’s thought are fully examined and their implications are discussed.