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From Kant to Schopenhauer

In this context, the Machian foundations of Austrian neoclassical theory (and, on the
opposite side, the Austro-Marxist ‘Neo-Kantian’ response to them) constitute an attempt
to remove “the obscure veil” (Nietzsche) that Kant had interposed between esse et
percipi, turning the adaequatio rei et intellectus into an adaequatio intellectus ad rem.
Once the objective world is reduced to an inscrutable noumenon or “thing-in-itself”, it is
evident that all we have left for philosophical analysis is the world of “phenomena”, of
what we perceive - esse est percipi. This was the basis of Schopenhauer’s critique, and
the cause of Kant’s doubts in the ‘OpPost’ concerning “causality” and “the systematicity
of physics”.

The principal point here is that the “whence and wherefores” are substituted with the
“what” (Sch., WWV, p108) because the former are lost in the indefiniteness of “sufficient
reason”. The question is not one of ‘being’ but of ‘knowing’, and only the ‘being’ of the
“ideas” is determined. For Sch., Kant’s “grosste Verdienst ist die Unterscheidung der
Erscheinung vom Dinge an sich” (Appendix on Kant, beginning). It is this
“Unterscheidung” (we would say ‘Trennung’) that puts the question of “nature and
causes” beyond the purview of rational inquiry. We are left with the empiricism of the
causal relationship between events – just as they appear. Morphology replaces aetiology;
process replaces meaning; form unseats substance; perception, rational inquiry. There are
no more “qualitates occultae” (p106), no “explanations” (108). Relativity and
“exchangeability” triumph (cf. Simmel, ‘S u N’, ch 2, esp. pp24, 27).

Kant had sought to preserve the transcendental subject in the very


consciousness/awareness by the thinking entity of its “unity of apperception”. If indeed
the identities of logic and mathematics were independent of experience – in fact, as in the
“divisibility” of space, contradictory to it – and yet were inconceivable without
experience, then the “independence” of these “identities” necessitated the existence of a
noumenon, a human reason that could not be reduced to a “phenomenon” or a mere
inexplicable “appearance” that was reduced/relegated to could discover/recover
“autonomously” the independent causal relations and synthetic a priori judgements that it
derived from the “heteronomy” of mere empirical induction or observation. (Cf. Forster’s
‘The Transition’ from his commentary on OpPost re Kant’s Preface to 2nd edn of KRV
mention of “giving back to nature what we derive from it”).

For “negative thought”, such transcendence (independence from experience) did not
require the positing of, and stood in op-position to (Gegenstand), a “reality”, a world of
“things” or noumena that lay “behind” the observable empirical phenomena. The subject
is no longer transcendental but mundane; it is “of the World”. Indeed, it is “in the World”
and it has become, through perception and the Vorstellung and the Verstand identified
with the World itself, the better to command it.

Kant’s hesitations in the ‘OpPost’ reveal “the Gap” that allowed Schopenhauer to pour
scorn on Kantian metaphysics as the foundation of human experience and of science
generally – particularly where “the transition” to “the systematicity of physics” from
natural science – hence the principle of causation – was concerned. The illegitimacy of
compounding logico-mathematical rules with physical causation tormented Kant in his
last years. With Sch., it is impossible to conceive “the stars above me” as the complement
of a universe made meaningful and purposeful by Practical Reason through the
“freedom”/unconditionality of the Truth of its a priori judgements. Remember, it was the
ability of Pure Reason to discern a priori – in-dependently of experience! – the validity of
causation that made it “necessarily” in-dependent/autonomous against the heteronomy of
“the object of perception” and “liberated” it as “practical Reason”. This is the “interior
realm” subject to the categorical imperative: “the starry sky above me and the moral law
inside me”. The “connection” of the Subject with the exterior world, the Object that is
also constituted by the community of “practical reason”, gives Kant the hope (“What can
I hope?”) that Practical Reason may follow the path of Truth followed by Pure Reason in
the sphere of causality in the physical sciences where “Error” is routinely defeated. (Cf.
Tsanoff’s conclusions, pp19-20: 2 Kant regards speculative reason, however, as incapable of attaining
knowledge of ultimate reality, and therefore he introduces the notion of practical reason. )

But with Sch., Reason has become purely instrumental and functional, even if there is
still a simulacrum of a nexus between logic-mathematics and “science” (p82). Truth for
Sch. is not what it is for Kant where the very possibility of “truth” in a priori judgements
leads directly to the postulation of Practical Reason: “immediate perception is the
ultimate ground and source of truth” (p100), even when it is a priori, as with
mathematics. In Sch., Reason is only a higher level of conceptual abstraction, different in
degree but not in kind from the understanding, and easily confused with it (error confused
with illusion). We have therefore a wholly “functional” notion of truth defined now not in
terms of “whences and wherefores” but in terms of “what”, that is in purely instrumental
and functional predictive effectiveness. That explains why Sch. has difficulty
distinguishing Vorstellungen from Begriffen (pp53-4). (One could argue therefore contra
Tsanoff [pp19-20 below] that it is Kant rather than Schop. who relies on rigid distinctions
for the sake of speculative thoroughness, whereas Schop.’s real sin is, as he correctly puts
it, “shallowness”:

“Kant's 'confusion' of the perceptual and


NATURE AND GENESIS OF EXPERIENCE. 21
the conceptual in experience is to be regarded, not as the failure
to discriminate ultimate differences, but rather as the imperfect
realization and the inadequate expression of the underlying
essential unity of concrete experience, which cannot be reduced
to merely perceptual or conceptual terms. Kant's confusion
is the confusion of depths not yet clarified; Schopenhauer's
lucidity manifests epistemological shallowness. Later idealism,
of course, brought to light much that escaped Kant himself…”

Thus, for Schop., Reason is neither good nor bad. Rational action and virtuous action are
entirely unrelated (p113). And the ultimate manifestation of “practical reason” is the
aloofness of the philosopher in his “reflection”, the differentiation with “brutes”,
including “inferior life forms” (pp111-4) even down to indifference to “suicide,
execution, duel, enterprises fraught with danger to life” (p112-3). The objectification of
the Will is the Body, which therefore shares no communion with the rest of humanity.
Even language occupies no special role in this system. Truly Sch. is “the real prophet of
the understanding” (Bosanquet quoted in Tsanoff, p40 – and Heidegger follows with his
reproach that Kant neglected “the imagination” [sensibility]). And the Kantian antinomies
can be easily dispatched by Sch. now that all links with Dinge an sich have been severed
– that is Kant’s “great contribution/service” (Appendix).

Transcendental Reason

‘Negatives Denken’ was not a return to solipsism or pure idealism – far from it. It was
simply the realization that the synthetic a priori judgements could be analysed
independently of a Transcendental Subject from which these judgements emanated in
opposition to the anarchy or autonomy of the noumenon-linked “phenomena”. In other
words, Kantian idealism exalted the Subject in op-position to a noumenal “reality” that it
could “govern” only mechanically or intuitively (like “sight” and “touch” – hence
thoughts without perception are empty; perception without concepts is blind”) but could
not “possess” and by which in fact it was “conditioned” and “relegated” to a mere “unity
of apperception”, and only formally could aspire to transcendental status (akin to God) on
which morality [Sollen] and “judgement” [Urteilkraft] could be founded.
It is unfortunate, though not difficult to explain, that Schopenhauer,
whose keen criticism of the doctrine of the categories had
disclosed so many of its flaws, should have overlooked one of
Kant's most questionable distinctions, namely, that which he
makes between 'constitutive' and 'regulative' principles. This
distinction is employed by Kant with little consistency, although
the tendency is to discriminate between: (a) the fundamental
forms of intuition, the productive imagination, and the functions
of thought, which condition the possibility of all experience and
'constitute' its organization; and {h) the rational assumptions
which, while not determining the actual form of experience,
serve to rationalize the moral order and the aesthetic judgment.
The distinction, otherwise expressed, is between the mechanical
42 SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.
categories of the Understanding, which Kant calls 'constitutive,'
and the teleological categories, the postulates of Practical Reason
and of the Esthetic Judgment, which he regards as 'regulative.'^
The incompatibility of this hard and fast distinction with any
interpretation of experience which attempts to do justice to its
organic character is amply illustrated in Kant's own technical
procedure. The teleological categories are declared to be merely
'regulative,' because not 'constitutive' of experience mechanically
considered. But are the mechanical {i. e., 'constitutive')
categories constitutive of moral and aesthetic experience? Such
considerations, which Kant would have been the last to take
lightly, should have warned him of the untenability of a distinction
that negates the immanent unity of experience, which is the fundamental postulate of the Critical
philosophy.

This dictatorship of Reason that had started with Descartes also became the subject of
Heidegger’s “Destruktion” of Kant. Indeed, one may agree with Heidegger that Kant’s
aim in the Critique is not to erect an epistemology but rather establish by “formal” means
the ‘being’ of a “reason” that is a “noumenon” that can “order” the noumena op-posite to
it (Gegenstande). Kant’s interest is not in the “things-in-themselves” but rather in the
Vernunft/Verstand (Under-standing) hierarchy from perception to conception, which must
lead to a ‘causa noumenon’ (in Aristotelian fashion, causa causans) “free” from the
“heteronomy” of causation and the physical world. This “freedom” or autonomy then
becomes “the Will”, with its “Ethik des reinen Willens”, an aspect of “praktische
Vernunft”. From here it is a very short step to Schopenhauer and Nietzsche – and to
Heidegger, who is not in the least concerned with the possibility of “synthetic a priori
judgements” or “meta-ta-physica” in that Aristotelic sense, but rather with the “Grund” of
meta-physics, which is “the Being” of those “beings” that Kant (and Schopenhauer) had
left to “themselves”.

The “pessimism” (Schopenhauer) that followed had to do with the need to remove the
“teleological” and “eschatological” aspirations/delusions of Kantian idealist formalism
and at the same time eliminate the (bourgeois) “antinomies” (cf. Lukacs) occasioned by
the opposition between noumena and phenomena, the “rupture” or chasm that occurred
and the “projectio per hiatus irrationalem” that it called for and that Kantian practical
reason hoped to bridge (Brucke from immanence to transcendence, see T. below).

Empiricism did this in its Machian form by eliminating even the possibility of “ruptures”
or “salta” in the perception of “phenomena” by encompassing them in a psychological
sequence, a “pictographic” or “psychological” representation of reality (Cacciari, p40)
that goes back to Locke, then Hume (association of ideas, impressions) and Berkeley
(ideas in God’s mind, similar to Leibnitz’s monads). Note also that with British
empiricism the “realism” of Platonic and Scholastic philosophy is refuted both in its
“temporal” (always psychological in any case) and its “spatial” dimension (contra
Descartes’s and Spinoza’s “extension”). In this sense, empiricism already questions
Newton’s universe (cf. even Smith’s “Hist.ofAstr.” so dear to the Austrians).

31 Relationships Since a cause and a beginning of existence are distinct ideas,


according to the first part of the separability thesis, it follows that they are also
distinguishable ideas. (Bayne)

The empiricist “pictographic” or “sequential” (one would say “kinematic”, slide show)
notion of “causality” paved the way to Hume’s skepticism and Berkeley’s empiricist
“idealism”.

For Hume, ideas and impressions are genuinely similar to each other. They are
similar in two main ways. First of all, both ideas and impressions are imagistic—
that is, both impressions and ideas can be thought of as being a type of picture.9
(Bayne, ‘Kant on Causation’, p5).
Now, this can also be turned very quickly into an argument that Kant cannot
allow both intuitions and concepts to be imagistic. Kant makes it clear that he
believes that images are not themselves general, and thus in the Schematism
Chapter Kant writes:
No image [gar kein Bild] of a triangle would ever be adequate to the concept of a
triangle in general. For it would not attain the generality of the concept, which
makes it valid for all triangles, . . . Still even less does an object of experience or
an image of the same ever attain the empirical concept. (A141/B180) (ibid., p7).
In general, according to Kant, concepts serve as rules that are used to organize
(unify) our thought. Sensible intuitions, however, can be thought of as being
imagistic (pictorial) representations. Now, when the question of application arises
(Which intuitions, if any, are subsumed under this concept? Which concept[s] does
this intuition fall under?) we may be at a loss for direction. Intuitively we might
think that I must somehow compare some concept to some sensible intuition in
order to see whether the content of the concept, which is represented discursively
in the concept, stands in the appropriate relation to the content of some intuition,
which is represented pictorially in the intuition. Yet this may not be so easy.(p8)

From Hobbes’s “man-machine” to Berkeley’s “idealism” the approach to “reality” is


mechanically subjective in the sense that the Subject is “estranged” from the Object and
views it “in contemplation”, from afar. This obviously originates with Descartes’s
methodical doubt which puts “external reality” on a par with “dreams”. Only the
“consciousness” of the “doubting” can persuade the Subject of its own reality. But the
empiricists were quick to deny not only the Cogito (a syllogistic non sequitur on any
plane) but also the very “id-entity” of the Subject, as famously dis-abused by Hume.
Search as I may about a notion of “I”, I cannot find it, except by reference to some other
“empirical impression or idea”. The unity of the Subject is dis-solved, and so is the
possibility of causality, even before we start enquiring about the relationship between
things in themselves. The “cinematic sequence” is broken because only a unified Subject
can re-compose it.
So it turns out that neither mathematical concepts nor empirical concepts stand in
immediate relation to sensible intuitions, but like pure concepts they too are
“always directly related to the schema of the imagination” (A141/B180). (P8)
Schemata for mathematical and empirical concepts are rules for producing
spatial images that are correlated with the concept. It is this spatial image,
derived from the concept through its schema, that can then be directly compared
with sensible intuitions. Schemata for pure concepts, on the other hand, are not
rules for producing spatial images. For “the schema of a pure concept of
understanding is something that cannot be brought into any image at all”
(A142/B181). Rather than being correlated with a spatial image, a pure concept is
correlated with a transcendental time determination. That is, the pure concepts
are correlated with distinct temporal structures or relationships—temporal images
if you like.14 (p9)
Unfortunately, when it comes time to spell out the details of how images, pure
shapes in space, or transcendental time determinations are produced from
concepts via schemata Kant waves his hands and mentions something about the
Schematism being “a hidden art in the depths of the human soul” (A141/B181).
(p11)
In the Transcendental Deduction Kant believes he has shown that a
consciousness cannot be conscious of a representation unless that representation is
unified—that is, the representation is one organized unit. It cannot be an
14 KANT ON CAUSATION
unorganized set of various unconnected parts. Furthermore, Kant argues that a
representation must get its unity from the understanding because there is no
combination in representations apart from the understanding. 17

This is the problem, the hiatus irrationalis, that Kant inherits. He seeks “to bridge” it
through a series of “categories” (Schematismus), from human intuition to the Verstand to
Pure Reason, that seek “to govern” apodictically the Object through the a priori synthetic
judgements that must culminate in the “unconditionality” of Pure Reason because a
phenomenon cannot “explain” a sequence of phenomena, however long, and must
therefore be toto genere different from that “causally necessary” sequence: it must be
“unconditioned” and of a different order from both the Dinge an sich and the world of
possible experience or perception. Tsanoff (p44):
The unconditioned is unthinkable; and Kant himself, of course,
does not claim objective validity for the conception. He does,
however, regard the demand of reason for the unconditioned as
a regulative principle, "subjectively necessary. "^

In the third Critique Kant stresses the difference between what is required for
nature and what is required for an o rd e r of nature. Those things required for nature
are constitutive while those things required to produce an order of nature will be
regulative. The constitutive things are again categories and principles—things that
are required for the possibility of experience. Kant often calls these “universal
[allgemeiner] laws of nature.” In addition to this, understanding develops rules for
explaining particular aspects of nature.
20 KANT ON CAUSATION
For example, one of the rules from the discussion on the paths of comets above:
planets have circular orbits. These rules are ones we come to know through
experience, but because of a further requirement, understanding “must think these
rules as laws (i.e., as necessary).”26This further requirement is that understanding
“also requires a certain order of nature in its particular rules”27 (CJ,184).(Bayne,
“K.on Causation’.)
As we saw back in chapter 1, a regulative principle “is not a principle of the
possibility of experience and the empirical cognition of objects of sense,
consequently not a principle of understanding” (A509/B537). Whereas a
constitutive principle of understanding deals with the requirements for the
possibility of experience, a regulative principle of reason deals with “only the
unique way in which we must proceed in the reflection about the objects of nature
with the intention of representing a thoroughgoing
159 Conclusion
connected experience” (CJ, 184).

Tsanoff doubts the validity of the distinction:


It is unfortunate, though not difficult to explain, that Schopenhauer,
whose keen criticism of the doctrine of the categories had
disclosed so many of its flaws, should have overlooked one of
Kant's most questionable distinctions, namely, that which he
makes between 'constitutive' and 'regulative' principles. This
distinction is employed by Kant with little consistency, although
the tendency is to discriminate between: (a) the fundamental
forms of intuition, the productive imagination, and the functions
of thought, which condition the possibility of all experience and
'constitute' its organization; and (b) the rational assumptions
which, while not determining the actual form of experience,
serve to rationalize the moral order and the aesthetic judgment.
The distinction, otherwise expressed, is between the mechanical
42 SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.
categories of the Understanding, which Kant calls 'constitutive,'
and the teleological categories, the postulates of Practical Reason
and of the Esthetic Judgment, which he regards as 'regulative.'^
The incompatibility of this hard and fast distinction with any
interpretation of experience which attempts to do justice to its
organic character is amply illustrated in Kant's own technical
procedure. The teleological categories are declared to be merely
'regulative,' because not 'constitutive' of experience mechanically
considered. But are the mechanical {i. e., 'constitutive')
categories constitutive of moral and aesthetic experience? Such
considerations, which Kant would have been the last to take
lightly, should have warned him of the untenability of a distinction
that negates the immanent unity of experience, which
is the fundamental postulate of the Critical philosophy.

[Note that grosso modo equilibrium is regarded by Mises as a “regulative” principle to


deduce a priori “human action” – a “category” or “form” of action. Hayek would see it as
“constitutive” – a heuristic “goal” or “guide” for action.]

But here Kant has gone too far and too fast in at least two respects: the first is that a priori
synthetic judgements do not pertain to the physical world, to causation, but rather to
logico-mathematical id-entities that remain firmly in the “domain” of reason, not in the
mechanical one of “objects” – however much these judgements might arise only with
“experience”.

Kant is committed to holding that through conceptual analysis alone it is not


possible to prove the causal principle. According to Kant, the causal principle
although a priori is synthetic not analytic. Something more than the analysis of
concepts is required for the proof of a synthetic judgment.
According to Hume, if the causal principle is not a relation of ideas, then it must
be a matter of fact. According to Kant if the causal principle is not analytic, then it
must be synthetic. For a synthetic claim the concept of the predicate is not
contained within the concept of the subject. That is to say, concept of the
predicate extends (goes beyond) the concept of the subject. Whether or not the
concept of the predicate is rightly applied to the concept of the subject cannot be
determined by simply examining the content of either or both of the two concepts.
Since the correctness of a synthetic judg- ment cannot be determined solely by
the content of one or both of the two concepts, something else is required for
determining correctness. In order to prove a synthetic claim, we need some “third
thing” to test our claim against. Typically, we need some intuition in which the
subject and the predicate are connected as claimed.(Bayne, p32)

But then this “something more”, this “experience” must mean “being” tout court,
“intuition”, and not just conscious perception. In other words, a priori synthetic
judgements alone contain already all the elements of what Kant himself styled as “the
Gap” (Forster), the “hiatus irrationalis”, the chasm between Subject and Object, being-in-
itself and for-itself (consciousness). We need not go further into “Naturgesetz”, the
“laws” of physics to find this hiatus. All the “bridges” or “projections” in the world will
not help us trans-port ourselves, will allow this “Transition” (Ubergang) from the sphere
of “immanence” to that of “trans-scendence”, from the Object to the Subject and vice
versa. Kant’s “formalistic method”, which in the end boils down to Cartesian rationalism,
simply will not do. Tsanoff:
Kant says: "As in this way everything is arranged step by step
in the understanding, inasmuch as we begin with judging problematically,
then proceed to an assertory acceptation, and finally
maintain our proposition as inseparably united with the understanding,
that is as necessary and apodictic, we may be allowed
to call these three functions of modality so many varieties or
momenta of thought."^ The three characteristic stages in the
logical progression might well indicate three points of view in the
self-organization of experience, and in this sense Kant may be
justified in distinguishing three categories of Modality. Never
40 SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.
theless Kant's distinctions are too sharp and abstract: while he
suggests a process of logical development in the passage just
quoted, he fails to explain the matter adequately and clearly to
emphasize the essential interdependence of these 'momenta of
thought,' which involve each other in the systematic organization
of experience.^

(Of course, that is Hegel’s starting point.) The second difficulty follows from the first,
because if logico-mathematical id-entities are attributed to an “unconditioned” pure
reason rather than confined to “instrumentality”, then we introduce a formalistic
distinction between Vernunft and its concepts and Verstand as the intuitive unity of
experience and by so doing we introduce a “regulative principle” that smacks of
teleology. For Schopenhauer, Vernunft is simply the ability to connect ideas or concepts,
not a “higher” faculty distinct from Verstand. It follows that “causality” is essentially
subjective and the role of science is simply to organize perception in a predictable
formula.

Contingency is relative, just as necessity is relative, and for


the same reason. Every thing, every event in the actual world
"is always at once necessary and contingent; necessary in relation
to the one condition which is its cause; contingent in relation to
everything else."^ The absolutely contingent would be something
out of all relation: a thought as meaningless, Schopenhauer
insists, as the absolutely necessary, dependent upon nothing else
in particular. In both necessity and contingency the mind turns
PRINCIPLES OF ORGANIZATION IN EXPERIENCE. 39
back in search of explanation ; the necessary and the contingent
thus mean merely the relevant and the irrelevant in the process
of organization.

And this is what prompts Schop. to abolish the Kantian separation of Subject and Object
implicit in the distinction of bloss Erscheinung and Ding an sich. There are no “mere”
appearances (bloss Erscheinungen), but rather different “stimuli” that constitute the
Vorstellungen connected by the Understanding-Reason – esse est percipi in this sense;
“existence and perceptibility are convertible terms” (p4). It is no longer a question of
“knowing” the Vorstellungen, but of intuiting their “being”, because the “knowing” is in
their immediate perception and a priori knowledge of causality (Sufficient Reason).
Tsanoff:
Kant's argument is summarized by Schopenhauer as follows: "If the conditioned
is given, the totality of its conditions must also be given, and
therefore also the unconditioned, through which alone that totality
becomes complete. "^ But, Schopenhauer argues, this 'totality
of the conditions of everything conditioned' is contained in its
nearest ground or reason from which it directly proceeds, and
which is only thus a sufficient reason or ground.* In the alternating
series of conditioned and conditioning states, "as each
link is laid aside the chain is broken, and the claim of the principle
of sufficient reason entirely satisfied, it arises anew because the
condition becomes the conditioned."^ This is the actual modus
43
44 SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.
operandi of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. "Only through
an arbitrary abstraction," Schopenhauer says, "is a series of
causes and effects regarded as a series of causes alone, which
exists merely on account of the last effect, and is therefore
demanded as its sufficient reason."^

“Sufficient Reason” defined by Kelly (‘Kant’s Ph. As Rectified By Schop.’):


CHAPTER VI
Schopenhauer's principle of the sufficient ground

The definition of this Principle is :—" Nihil est


sine ratione cur potius sit quam non sit." There
is nothing without a ground for its being so.
AS RECTIFIED BY SCHOPENHAUER 31
The Root of this Principle
Our cognitive consciousness, appearing as outer
and inner sensibility (receptivity), intelligence,
and reason, is divided into subject and object, and
contains nothing more. To say that a thing is
an object of the subject^ means that it is our
presentation, and that all our presentations
are objects of the subject. It will be seen
that all our presentations are connected together
by certain laws, which, so far as the form
is concerned, are a priori determinable, and that,
in consequence of this connection, nothing existing
separately and detached from the others can
become an object for us. This connection is
what the Principle of the sufficient Ground in
its generality expresses, and assumes a different
form for the different classes of objects without
altering its general character. The word " root"
is used to indicate the relations that underlie
each class. It must be understood, however,
that there are not four distinct roots for the
four different classes of objects, but that there
is a common root manifesting itself in four
different forms. In other words, the root is
a fourfold one.

Sch. relegates reason to the sphere of immanence quite simply by abolishing the
“dualism” of Erscheinungen and Dinge an sich, by “mixing” the two together into a
“Doppelcharakter” (the object implies the subject implies the object) that makes the
Erscheinungen immediately “ordered” by the Verstand/Vernunft, without the need to
postulate a “Gap” between Subject and Object and between Verstand and Vernunft that
needs to be “bridged”. Tschauschoff (p26):
Die objektive Anschauung ist nach Schopenhauer durch und durch
eine kausale Erkenntnis, d. h. eine Verstandeserkenntnis oder, wie
er sich anders ausdrückt, „die ganze Wirklichkeit ist für den Verstand,
durch den Verstand, im Verstände" (W.a.W.u. V.§ 4. S.43).

Thus, for Schopenhauer, the distinction between Verstand as the moment of unifying
perception, as intuition, and Vernunft as the awareness of this ability (a kind of
consciousness-in-itself and for-itself) simply evaporates. There is no need for this “object
of experience” to stand as an “obscure veil” between the Vernunft/Wille and the
perception of causality, the faculty of experience or “intuition”. (Tsanoff, pp20-2, but
good summary on pp23ff.)

Furthermore, there is also no need to distinguish between the “perception” of causal


events and their “conceptualization” by the Verstand – because this is assumed to be
“immediate” in the unity or “equi-valence” or “interchangeability” or “conversion”
(WWV, p4) of esse and percipi.

Kant’s impossible task lay in his original “rationalist” assumption that perception of
Erscheinungen (“appearances/phenomena”) must be ordered rationally and already
transcendentally by an entity that he will ultimately call “Pure Reason” – though he tries
to dis-guise this with a whole chain of intermediate categories and faculties (Intuition,
Verstand).
For better or worse, when we consider the meaning of the phrase “object of
representations” in the transcendental sense we will have to focus on
representations. For transcendentally speaking an object “is no thing in itself, but
rather only an appearance, i.e., representation” (A191/B236).
If this is true, then how can objects, which are themselves representations,
be “that which ensures that our cognitions are not haphazardly or arbitrarily
determined” (A104). Kant’s answer is that in order for representations to be
objects in this sense they themselves must not be associated in a haphazard or
arbitrary way. That is, the representations must themselves be connected
according to rules. In other words, representations, in so far as they are in these
relations (in space and time) connected and determinable according to the rules of
the unity of experience are called objects. (A494/522) (Bayne, p109)

“Now admittedly one can call everything, and even every representation, in so far
as one is conscious of it, an object, but what meaning this word has with regard to
appearances, not in so far as they (as representations) are objects, but rather only
in so far as they signify an object, is a matter for deeper investigation. (A189–
90/B234–35)” (Kant quoted in Bayne, p108)

The circularity in Kant’s reasoning or “Transcendental Deduction” from “objects” to


“representations subject to rules” is evident – because the “rules” themselves will be what
turns “representations” into “objects”! Bayne cannot escape the difficulty:

Kant’s point is straightforward. The object is that which grounds the objectivity of
cognition. If I take some set of my representations to have an object, then I
represent my cognition in this case as having been constrained by the features of
the object.1 (p109).

But the ineluctable question remains: how can representations themselves be “constrained
by the features of the object”? Clearly, at all times Kant is positing a “Realitat”, a solid
reality of Dinge an sich that lies “behind” or “beneath” the “ordered consciousness” of
the Subject from Intuition all the way to Pure Reason. By so doing, Kant is also then
presupposing not only the transcendental a priori character of experience, but also the
ability of pure reason to lend a “systemic order” to the individual, separate, empirically
“dis-covered” laws of physics: “…there must be something like an a priori ‘elementary
system’ of the moving forces of matter if physics is to be possible as a systematic
science,” (Forster, ‘Kant’s Final Synthesis’, p11).

Earlier, in the KdU, Kant had observed that “Nature, for the sake of judgement, specifies
its universal laws to empirical ones according to the form of a logical system,” (in
Forster, ‘K’sFS, p6). And in the Preface to the 2nd edn of the KRV there is the famous
reference to “giving back to nature” what we have found empirically in it: in other words,
the “discovery” of regularities in nature from the constitutive principles must then
correspond to a unity of reflective judgement or regulative principles that gives
“systematicity” to the natural laws themselves (yet another bolster to Kant’s mythical
“architectural symmetry” derided by Schop., “alles gute sind drei”). Shortly before this
formulation, Kant describes Galileo’s experiments (ball and slide) virtually as a Machian
“thought-experiment”, that is an empirical demonstration (“that which reason must seek
in nature, not fictitiously ascribe to it” [Forster, p11]) of regularities or laws that have
already been “projected” by reason and regulative principles. The OpPost was intended to
supply the “Transition” (Ubergang), the “bridge” or “projectio per hiatus irrationalem”
between observation and generalization, between perception and concepts.

Oftentimes when Kant discusses rules, he writes of them as being the


means by which unity is produced in something. For example, when Kant is
comparing reason(Vernunft) with understanding(Verstand) he states that the
understanding may be a faculty[Vermögen] of the unity of appearances by means of
rules, so reason is the faculty[Vermögen] of the unity of the rules of understanding
under principles. (A302/B359) (Bayne, p108).

The possibility of experience is thus that which gives all our cognitions
a priori objective reality. Now experience is founded on the synthetic
unity of appearances, i.e., on a synthesis according to concepts of the object of appearances in general,
without which it would not even be cognition, but only a rhapsody of perceptions that would not fit to-
gether in any context according to rules of a thoroughly connected (possible) consciousness, consequently
it would also not fit into the transcendental and necessary unity of apperception. Experience thus has
principles of its form a priori lying at the foundation, namely, general rules of the unity in the synthesis of
appearances. (A156–57/ B195–96) (Bayne, p108).

[Kant and ‘Judgement’]

Schopenhauer does away with the Ubergang altogether. Instead he replaces Kant’s
“dualism” of noumena/phenomena, of subject/object, of perception/concept, of
Verstand/Vernunft with the unity of the Vorstellung, which already encapsulates the
logical interdependence of subject and object. Thus the Erscheinungen occasioning
Vorstellungen are sui generis and immediately causally connected qua Vorstellungen to
the Verstand and thence to the Vernunft. There is no “mediation” between these
categories; no “obscure veil” separates experience from “Realitat” which now becomes
all “active” as “Wirklichkeit/Actuality”. Tschauschoff again (p27):
Dieser Prozess der Objektivation, den der Verstand an den
Empfindungen vollzieht, die uns durch die Sinne zugeführt werden,
ist kein bewusst reflektierender, sondern ein intuitiver, unbewusster
Prozess. Im Anschluss daran unterscheidet Schopenhauer eine intuitive
und eine diskursive Erkenntnis.

And Tsanoff:

This is the way Schopenhauer reads his Kant. The Critique


of Pure Reason, he thinks, treats experience as the result of the
conceptualizing of the perceptual material, by which process this
material of sensation first becomes organized and real. Now he
finds perception in no need of such conceptual transformation,
for it possesses in itself all the concrete reality that is possible
in experience. Thinking owes its whole significance to the perceptual
source from which it arises through abstraction. " If we
hold firmly to this, the inadmissibleness of the assumption becomes
evident that the perception of things only obtains reality
and becomes experience through the thought of these very things
18SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.
applying its twelve categories. Rather in perception itself the
empirical reality, and consequently experience, is already
given; but the perception itself can only come into existence
by the application to sensation of the knowledge of the
causal nexus, which is the one function of the understanding.
Perception is accordingly in reality intellectual, which is just
what Kant denies."^

It follows that the Dinge an sich cannot consist of “objects” or a “Realitat” that lie
“behind or beneath” or “at the end” as a quaestio occulta (or causa finalis) of experience.
The Dinge an sich must be an entity toto genere separate and different from the realm of
experience and reason, from perception and conception, which are entangled in the Veil
of Maya. (Hegel will have a different answer.)
It is in positing this “distance” between the “thing-in-itself” and the rational a priori
awareness of it in Pure Reason – a “gap” that no Schematismus or Ubergang can “bridge”
- that Kant (Tsanoff, p18) prepares the ground for Schopenhauerian pessimism and the
“unfoundedness” of the world of possible experience (Kant) or the “World of
Vorstellungen” (‘illusionism’ or mysticism in Schop.) in that Practical Reason cannot be
“the necessary implication of the unconditioned coming from the perception and
conception of the conditioned” (Tsanoff, p38), and consequently it too is “conditioned”
by the veil of Maya or “the wheel of life”. Only the Will can “comprehend/envelop” the
World of Vorstellungen – and thus become the ultimate Ding an sich – the obverse and
the ground of the world of immediate perception. Like Janus again, Will enters where
Vorstellungen exit and it exits where they enter. But even Heidegger attacks Kant on the
“autonomy” of Reason in its metaphysical moment and also as Will subject to formal
rational and logical Imperatives in its ethical aspect.

Above all, Sch. lays the foundations of Machism (Tsanoff, p26). (Tsanoff proceeds,
pp26ff, to argue why the two “moments” of reason need to be distinguished categorically
in that consciousness-in-itself already contains the for-itself but as a separate “moment”
[Kant’s “momenta of thought” mentioned on p40] that goes beyond the “perception” and
becomes aware of the “conceptualized form” of “perception” itself – inevitably, he quotes
Hegel, p28. Schopenhauer is identified thus as “the real prophet of the understanding”, as
does Hegel, p40.)

Because Reason is not separable from the Understanding, even the Will in its
objectification as body, though not in its character as the objectification of the Ding an
sich, is part of the “causality” it “understands” – so that the Will-as-body is immersed in
the World and is subject to its “causation”, to the Law of Sufficient Reason, like any
Vorstellung.

Body as Objectified Will

Schop.’s system is based entirely on the critique of Kant’s transcendental idealism. What
Kant “transcended” was more than Hume’s skepticism; it also seeks to supplant the
British utilitarian empiricism that had portrayed human beings as “individuals” in
isolation from and in competition with one another. Kant sought to place the Subject at
the centre of a universe that was more than mechanical or “subjective”, one that was also
“ethical”. But the result of the categorical ascension from constitutive to reflective
principles was the apotheosis not so much of Reason, of the Ratio-Ordo, but rather of its
“freedom” from contingency, and therefore of its existential manifestation as “will”
subject to the Naturgesetz and yet restrained only by “formalistic” ethical laws derived
from its “rational” introspection “in accordance with rules”.

The “rules” therefore could acquire the requisite universality only if they could
encompass the “thing in itself” – because so long as this remained “out of the reach” of
either Reason or intuition or perception the very “necessity” of a priori judgements and of
causality could not be “founded”. Schop.’s critique marks the “reappropriation” of the
object by the subject through the sheer “renunciation” of the substantive rationality of
human knowledge. Schop. accepts the “formality” of human experience, its introspective
“conventionality” by re-dimensioning the claims of Reason, indeed by reducing it to a
mere intellectual “mechanism”, a “function” whose “truth” can be only formal and
instrumental, always “contingent” and limited to the neighbourhood of “sufficient
reason”.

The very “limitation” of reason, its inability “to prove or think” its ultimate reality is
turned by Schop. into the ‘freedom” of immersion in existence. His “theory of reality”
can then admit only a nihilistic “Will” that cannot derive any “reflective” or “practical”
guidance from reason, which indeed is now confined to the mechanical and instrumental
realm of “Wirklichkeit” or “action” – to the sphere of immanence on the same plane as
the Verstand.

Only in the “absolutisation” of reason, in its “moment” as consciousness for itself, can
reason become aware of its “being something else”, of its being immersed in Being - but
still subject to it, “consciousness” only of its being “objectification of the Ding an sich! -
and therefore of its existence as “Will”, as “will to life” whose “objectification” is the
body. We have now two new themes, that of will and that of “Entwicklung”, that will
await the mediation of Darwin to become the Nietzschean Wille zur Macht (Simmel).

In light of the influence on Mach attributed to Berkeley, it is important to stress the


instructive and paramount differences between the positions of British “empiricism” (to
which Berkeley belongs despite the “subjective idealist” sobriquet) and Schop.’s critique
of Kant in paving the road to Machism. The distinction lies in the fact that British
empiricism from Hobbes to Hume involves a “subjectivism” of both experience and
values (also based on experience) that does not theorise the relationship of Subject to
Object in its “practical” – ethical and political – dimension. The “empiricist” perspective
is entirely “within” the world of human perception; it does not seek to pose the problem
of “the thing in itself” even when, as in Berkeley, it denies its “content” as “matter”.
British empiricism is profoundly “subjective”, its world view is “cinematic” or
“imagistic” or “pictographic” and delivers a “passive, inert, contemplative Subject” more
interested in the theory of knowledge (how we learn things) than in the theory of reality
(what “things” are, in themselves [an sich] and “fur uns”).

Empiricism is a form of “pragmatism” – and this is how it will be handed down to Mach.
But not without the all-important “mediation” of Kant and Schop., after which it will
become not just a Weltanschauung but rather a Lebensphilosophie. That is why Schop.
could rightly claim that Kant’s “grosste Verdienst” was to distinguish between
Erscheinungen and Dinge an sich – because the British empiricists never inquired into or
enquired about “the thing itself” and the “active” or “practical” role of the Subject in the
“world”. For Kant as well as for Schop., “the world” will no longer be something “to be
interpreted”, to be contemplated or observed from without; rather it will be a
“Wirklichkeit” that encompasses the Ich (the “I think”) as also an “I will” – whether in its
formalistic Kantian or in its “negative” Schopenhauerian or in its “dialectical” Hegelian
directions. Reason is no longer a “receptive” or “reflective” entity: it now yields, whether
in its formal or dialectic or in its “negative (anti-)dialectic” guise, a “Will” that is either
“free” or from which the Subject has to be “freed” – a “free will” that is either a “freedom
to will” or a “will to freedom”, and then a Pouvoir-Vouloir or a Vouloir-Pouvoir.

A “World” separates the “truth” of the empiricists and the “truth” of the post-Kantians –
contemplative the former (a stable, immutable adaequatio mentis et rei that challenges the
Newtonian mechanistic vision of reality [Berkeley, Hume] and even of self-identity
[Hume]) and the “activist” notion of “truth” canvassed by the latter (cf. the Cassirer-
Heidegger diatribe over precisely this aspect, with the Neo-Kantians taking the extreme
formalist and contemplative version of Kant’s meta-physics; see also Heidegger on “Das
Wesen der Wahrheit” – and Simmel’s scathing review of “Schopenhauers Metaphysik des
Willens”, ch.2), where “truth” becomes an “Entwicklungsprozess” in the “historial” being
of Dasein. By “separating” Erscheinungen and Dinge an sich, Kant is opening up the
entire question of how “truth” is more than the simple “correspondence” or adaequatio of
the intuition (intellectus) with “the thing” (res), but rather the “Weltvernunft”, the
transcendental process of “regulating” the intellect to the thing.

Machism lies at the crossroads of the discovery of this “processuality”, of not moving
beyond the “instrumentality” of reason (as equal to Verstand in its mechanical character)
whereby not only the vision of the world (Weltanschauung) becomes “subjective”, but
also its entire “unfolding”, its entire “actuality” or “action” or “Wirklichkeit” as against
“Realitat”. The empiricists had a “subjective” perspective on what they considered to be
“objective truth”, even in the “skeptical” Humean version. But Machism replaces this
“truth” with sheer “functionality” through the critique of Kant and Kant’s critique of
Hume – although this fact will be made explicit by Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, not by
Schop. or Mach. (Cf. Simmel on “Relativitat” and “Traum”, pp24-36.)

Thus, Schop.’s empiricism becomes more than “materialistic” or “mechanical”: it


becomes “instrumental”, “neutral” from a “meta-physical” viewpoint – indeed, it
becomes “anti-metaphysical” and “scientific” in its “instrumentality” (“the body is
objectified Will”). That is why Berkeley’s insight that “the world is my idea” cannot be
carried deeper than its vague “universal” tone to the “particulars” of Kant’s analysis
(WWV, pxxv and p4). Similarly, Hume’s skepticism is derived from the inability of
“experience” – understood uncritically as “evident” – to yield the principle of causation
or “sufficient reason”, whereas Schop. makes it the very foundation of experience. For
Hume, then, “the world” exists independently of “the idea (Vorstellung)” and refers us
back to those “objects” that the subject cannot com-prehend.

Hence, realism and idealism face dogmatism and skepticism in an endless squabble over
“the nature of reality and knowledge” (WWV, pp15-6). Hobbes and Hume remain in a
“realistic” world where objects make “impressions” on minds or “ideas” need to be
“objectified” in God (Berkeley, discussed on p4). This is still a Newtonian world; their
“world” and their “utility” are “commensurable” through a commonality of “experience”
and “possessive individualism” respectively.
Mach preserves the “validity” of Newton’s mechanics but from a radically different
epistemological perspective that removes the “dualism” of mind and matter “co-
ordinated” by a universal “truth” (however hard to detect, as in Hume), and resolves it in
the “phenomenology” of Will – an extreme “subjectivism” that does not preserve
“egoism” and “utility” as an “inter-subjective” entity, an inter-esse of sorts that lies
“accanto all’affermazione del sistema newtoniano” (Cacciari, Krisis, p.31, see pp.29ff).

Thus, Classical Political Economy was founded inevitably on “the labour theory of
value” that even Smith (“the father of GE”, Arrow-Hahn) could not avoid as the
“matter/substance”, the substratum or Kantian “ether’ of economic enquiry. With
Machism and the neoclassics, the individual becomes a bottomless pit or black hole of
“utility/will” in which “truth” is only an instrument and no “common-ality” or “inter-
esse” is epistemologically possible. “I neoclassici definiscono un sistema generale
d’equilibrio [di mercato]… che parte dalla individualita’ economica concreta e ne segue
lo sviluppo fino alla costituzione di un sistema che non e’ se non l’incontro, empirico,
impotente a operare qualsiasi metamorfosi, tra gli interessi specifici di ogni
individualita’” (Cacciari, p29) – interests that will remain inscrutable and insubstantial
except as “observable” relative prices. How to reconcile or “co-ordinate” these interests
will become the principal problem of economics either “providentially” (Smith) or
abstractly (GE) or “a priori” (Misesian praxeology, game theory, rational expectations) or
technically-empirically in GE framework (Hayek-Robbins “science of choice”) or
“through evolutionary institutional factors” (immanent, in Hayek and NIE or
transcendental, in Schump and “innovation”).

[Matters of interest: Hobbes finds the volitional source of the contractual or conventional
basis of the status civilis in the “ultima ratio” of the self-preservation of self-interested
individuals: the fear of death leads to the “agreement” to alienate individual
independence – which never existed in the status naturae. The state of nature is a state of
civil war by definition – so it is only a hypothetical state that justifies or “rationalizes” the
civil state. Loasby offers the same “self-preservation” arising from the division of labour
as a founding principle for “co-ordination”. But the two notions are very different.
Exchange is a dira necessitas only if one presupposes “individual labours”, instead of
“social labour”, which is historically and anthropologically the reality. In that case there
is no “exchange” in the sense intended by Smith. So we are still in need for a “reason” for
co-ordination. Moreover, even if one allows the dira necessitas of exchange, it still does
not lead to co-ordination because there is no “alienation” of individual freedom to a
“sovereign” central market authority.

The other matter is Lowith’s discussion of the Zeitgeist as a possible reference or link to
Simmel’s “Entwicklung” in his work on Schop. and Nietzsche.]

Even Schop.’s pessimism, easily reminiscent of Hobbes’s but infinitely more complex in
its trans-formation of the Subject into a Will, goes well beyond the Vorstellungen to the
“active” deontological exhortation of the A-skesis, piercing the Veil of Maya,
“renouncing” the World and the Will itself to achieve a “unity with reality”, a Nirvana
that, in effect (as Cacciari brilliantly explains), only serves to re-present the World – the
renunciation of the Vor-stellungen leads us back to the Dar-stellung of the World! (This is
the impasse confronted by Nietzsche with the Ubermensch.)

As we have seen, Vernunft and Verstand are merely “mechanical” properties of


“immediate perception” (p199)

Thus knowledge generally, rational as well as merely sensuous, proceeds originally from
the will itself, belongs to the inner being of the higher grades of its objectification as a
mere mechane, a means of supporting the individual and the species, just like any organ of
the body.
Originally destined for the service of the will for the
accomplishment of its aims, it remains almost throughout
entirely subjected to its service: it is so in all brutes and
in almost all men.

But if immediate perception has an “intuitive” dimension that links the Vorstellungen
causally by virtue of “the principle of sufficient reason”, then the deontological status of
the “entity”, the “awareness” that “perceives” even the body as its “objectification” – this
“entity” must have certain characteristics: - first, it is not a “practical” entity in the
ethical-moral Kantian sense of “practical reason; secondly, it must be aware of itself only
in its “totality”, be “one” (p166), “have no multiplicity” (p166 and169, also Kant-Plato
section, pp221-7) but not as an “id-entity” or “subject” or “self” or “forma substantialis”.
In other words, this ultimate “entity” is a “qualitas occulta” for which “the world is my
Vorstellung”, where “my” refers to this “qualitas occulta” which, therefore and in turn,
must be “the thing in itself” of which “no Vorstellung” can be formed and no “aetiology”
can be given (p158 and p176) except in its “manifestations”, which are the “cause” of the
Vorstellungen, but whose “cause” in turn, that is, the “cause” of the will’s manifestation
or objectification as Vorstellung, cannot be “known” by the Vernunft/Verstand but can be
intuited in its “totality” as a “Will”, as a qualitas occulta, as the cause of the
Vorstellungen, and therefore as “thing in itself” that is “groundless”.

As a qualitas occulta, this “entity without id-entity/self-hood”, conscious of its “being”


but not of its “substance” or “whatness” or “quidditas” or “forma substantialis” (p162), is
the awareness of the totality of causes and effects that are the “object” of the
Vorstellungen without which the “object” would have no “being”, and whose “being” is
this “knowing” on the part of the Vernunft/Verstand (p166). It is “the objectification of
the thing-in-itself” – the will (p227) This “entity” therefore has a “principium
individuationis”, not an identity or self-consciousness; it is not a “multiplicity” (p226-7).
It has a source but has no “cause” and no “place” – it is indivisible or in-dividual and
“ethereal” in the sense of “in-substantial” and therefore not a “meta-physical” entity. But
it is “a force of nature”: It “acts”, it “decides” but without a particular “reason”, with-out
“explanation” (Simmel, ‘Energie’, p36) – like Spinoza’s stone in mid-air (p164) it thinks
it is “free”, and yet it is truly “free” even as it obeys all the “laws of nature” in its
“objectification as Vorstellung” (p162 and 174-5, 183, p226-7) because its only “self-
awareness” is as a “motivation” (Motif) or an even deeper “character” (p164 and 180)
that is “original” (source, fons et origo) yet “in-explicable”, “un-founded”…. Schop. says
that it is “groundless” (p170).
Unlike Kant, therefore, it is not the regulative principle of pure reason that “necessitates”
its self-consciousness as “freedom of the will” under the rules of pure reason itself in its
“moment” as practical reason. No such ethical-rational formalism is allowed, no Ratio-
Ordo lies “behind” the “appearance” of the World – because the World is already the
Vorstellung which is the manifestation, not of a “Realitat”, but rather of a “Wirklichkeit”,
an “actuality” that is constituted by the Will itself as its “objectification”. This is how the
philosophia perennis is side-lined, circum-vented. The Will is a “force of nature” that
com-prehends, envelops itself, an extrinsic-ation that is not a Fichtean Ich or Hegelian
Idea or indeed a Kantian “dialectic” of transcendental idealism whereby the introspective
discovery of a priori judgement is “proof” of the existence of pure reason in its
“regulative, practical-volitional” aspect. Instead, Vernunft/Verstand itself is a
“mechanical” adaptation of the Will from its “elemental” state (“grade”, below) to its
higher manifestations (grades) or “teleology” in its pursuit of life.

And if this “will” is in-divisible, irrepressible, universal and insatiable (Simmel calls it
“Energie”, p36) in its “manifestations” as Vorstellungen, as “the world”, then its singular
“manifestations” must express a “conflict” or “strife” or “polarity” (“Yin and Yang”,
p187) that “results” in “higher manifestations” or “adaptations” of the Will through the
“subduing assimilations” of lower manifestations or adaptations (p190 circa), spurring
each being to “the ideal of beauty in its species” (p191).

Thus everywhere in nature we see strife, conflict, and alternation of victory, and in it we shall
come to recognise more distinctly that variance with itself which is essential to the will. Every
grade of the objectification of will fights for the matter, the space, and the time of the others.
The permanent matter must constantly change its form; for under the guidance of causality,
mechanical, physical, chemical, and organic phenomena, eagerly striving to appear, wrest the
matter from each other, for each desires to reveal its own Idea. This strife may be followed
through the whole of nature; indeed nature exists only through it :

192 THE WORLD AS WILL. bk. ii.


Yet this strife itself is only the revelation of that variance with itself which is essential to
the will. This universal conflict becomes most distinctly visible in the animal kingdom. For
animals have the whole of the vegetable kingdom for their food, and even within the animal
kingdom every beast is the prey and the food of another; that is, the matter in which its Idea
expresses itself must yield itself to the expression of another Idea, for each animal can only
maintain its existence by the constant destruction of some other. Thus the will to live everywhere
preys upon itself, and in different forms is its own nourishment, till finally the human race,
because it subdues all the others, regards nature as a manufactory for its use. Yet even the
human race, as we shall see in the Fourth Book, reveals in itself with most terrible
distinctness this conflict, this variance with itself of the will, and we find homo homini
lupus.

Here, endlich, we have the apotheosis of vitalism, “the will to life”, as strife leads to
Vernunft in a pyramidal “metamorphosis” of “adaptations” (p209) that can be called
“teleology” (pp201 ff) – the “Entwicklung” Simmel talks about that leads from Hobbes to
Nietzsche.
It is this “sense-lessness” of the will, this lack of ultima ratio, except as qualitas occulta,
that displays the vanity of the world, the Veil of Maya – the futility of all attainments and
satisfaction: the satisfaction of a wish is the annihilation of that wish, the ultimate proof
of the “nothingness” of the wish itself, its “evanescence” (p253). Hence, the
“renunciation” of the will as a “force”, the negation of its strife or “suffering” – endless
and vain – is the identification of “the pure subject of the will” with the World itself
through “contemplation”, which allows the consciousness of the will achieved through
the “mechanical” reflection of reason to detach itself from its bondage, from the
“necessity” (principle of sufficient reason) of its objectifications.

Science itself is mere instrumentality, systematic ordering of the World of Vorstellungen –


it is immanence that cannot penetrate the Dinge an sich; science cannot transcend these
manifestations of the will (p229). Only by “sublimating” the strife or suffering of the
“will to live” through Art and contemplation of the world (p229, 240), which is the
admiration of the Idea, can the pure subject become “non-will”. (We have here the Janus-
faced character of the attainment-exit of Nirvana-equilibrium – something Myrdal grossly
miscomprehends as “meaningless” and without “content”! – Just as Carnap dispatches
Heidegger’s metaphysics as “meaningless”.)

Yet we shall see in the Third Book


how in certain individual men knowledge can deliver
itself from this bondage, throw off its yoke, and, free from
all the aims of will, exist purely for itself, simply as a
clear mirror of the world, which is the source of art.
Finally, in the Fourth Book, we shall see how, if this
kind of knowledge reacts on the will, it can bring about
self-surrender, i.e., resignation, which is the final goal, and
indeed the inmost nature of all virtue and holiness, and
is deliverance from the world. (p199)

Simmel catches this Doppelcharakter of the Will (operari): “wir…Zuschauer u. Akteure,


… Geschaffene u. Schaffende sind”, p31, foreshadowing Nietzsche’s expression “die
geschaffene Menschen” (in HATH1 re’Poets’). There are “pantheistic”and “monistic”
and mystic tones (Simmel, p28, p38, p62-3) as well as Freudian ones (the fragmentation
of the Subject/Self [p54], sublimation) and Darwinian/vitalist (“adaptation of the will”
in its “con-ditioned” aspect, p57) that lead to insoluble antinomies (undifferentiated
unity of will against its multiple manifestations, self-lessness of will against “awareness”
both of its “being” and of its mechanical aspect as Verstand, the volitional unity of will
and “polarity” of the strife [Kampf] for “Life”, posed by what obstacle or opposition? –
pp58 ff; hence, the “purpose-lessness” of the Will [Zwecklosigkeit – p68] which, on the
other hand, supports the “Wertlosigkeit” of the world and the preponderance of “Leid”
over “Lust” because the attainment of pleasure/wish nullifies its object and defeats the
purpose).
Schop. intimates instead from the outset that “ethics” must be derived from “metaphysics”, as
Kant prescribed (Met.d.Sittens). The “Grundprobleme der Ethik” opens with the Machiavelli-
Hobbesian distinction between what men “ought” to do and what they “actually” (wirklich) do.
The inability of Kant “to bridge the gap” between the Ding an sich and Pure Reason, indeed the
very “formal purity” of that Reason that could found its essence only upon the postulate of an all-
encompassing transcendental “Freedom” at the end of the causal chain immanent to human
intuition and the Verstand “subject to rules” – this very “gap” or distinction (Unterschied) that
Schop. recognized as Kant’s “greatest contribution” to metaphysics can be “bridged” only by the
“force” (a fortiori) of human experience - the principle of sufficient reason, according to which
the fact that something exists is the very “ground” or “reason” for its existence.

The chain of causality, therefore, cannot be abstracted from into a false infinity “at the end of
which” there must be a “transcendental” substance or category that can “com-prehend” it as its
“op-posite” (ob-ject or Gegen-stand) – the “freedom” and “reason” upon which Kant wishes to
erect or “found” both Pure Reason as the rational entity and Practical Reason as the “ethical
moment” of Pure Reason whereby the “free will” is “governed” by “rational rules” that lead to
the “Categorical Imperative”. To indulge in such abstraction is “to posit” unjustifiably the very
“conclusion” that we are seeking to prove. Not only is the Categorical Imperative nowhere to be
seen “empirically”, in reality; but also nowhere is it “written”: it is a delusion both empirically in
terms of observable human nature and formally in terms of the internal consistency of its “ethical
content or Diktats”. Kantian Practical Reason is initially the offspring of the “freedom” of the
will, but soon under the “regulative principle” of Pure Reason, of a “Logic” that Schop. shows is
only “instrumental” and “phenomenic” - that is belongs only to the Verstand/Vernunft as a
“mechanical” application of “formal reasoning” to “the world as Vorstellung”- pretends to
arrogate to itself the “right” to dictate “categorical imperatives” that rule the conduct of the will!
For Schop., this is the height of imposture, the sublime Ohnmacht of the Ratio-Ordo – the impotent
pretence of “moral Theology”.

Critique of Kant with Hegel in mind (essays rejected because of invective).

Kantian formalism rejected. Separation of noumena and phenomena already destroys the basis for
formalist ethics. Benthamite utilitarianism also because it “reconciles” individual wills so that
labour is seen as source of synthesis-osmosis-value through “constructive character”. Competition
has only a “distributive” role in the market mechanism.

The Will is an operari, striving in the world of other manifestations of will, “adapting” to this
world and therefore “evolving”. Labour therefore cannot amount to “creation” of utility but to its
“use”: labour/operari “consumes” the world in search of “satisfaction”. The “evanescence” of
the world means that the “drive” (Trieb) of the Will toward satisfaction defeats itself. That is the
source of pain (Leid) countering the search for Pleasure (Lust).

Entsagung is the intellectual awareness of the Verstand/Vernunft to refrain and restrain the Will
from seeking Lust, the “utility” of the world.. Hence “dualism” of satisfaction/Nirvana (Robbins,
“Nirvana is satisfaction of all needs”).

It is of vital importance that Entsagung is the culmination of an “intellectual” effort “to master”
the will. In this role, the “intellect” is a “mechane” – a means – for directing the otherwise “blind
drive” of the will – it is the equivalent of the Kantian “concepts” emanating from “Pure Reason”
even in its “Practical moment”, and of the Freudian superego or ego where the Will is the Es/Id.
Phenomenology instead sought to return to Cartesian transcendence by decreeing
“apodictic rules of thought” determined a priori. And the Neo-Kantians sought to
circumvent Kantian agnosticism through the autonomy and universality of logic and
judgements, including ethical maxims.

In each of these cases it was the ‘Ding-an-sich’ that was eliminated from the field of
enquiry so that what were once “appearances” or “phenomena” came now to represent
(Vorstellungen) the totality of experience - and therefore to constitute as “science” a
historically specific political strategy of capitalist command. What we will attempt here is
to highlight the strategic features of this attempt in the sense that the goal of the theory
was to establish the rules of a game that, if adhered to or enforced by its participants,
would be effective in ensuring the practical political survival/reproduction of capitalist
social relations.

This is the way Schopenhauer reads his Kant. The Critique


of Pure Reason, he thinks, treats experience as the result of the
conceptualizing of the perceptual material, by which process this
material of sensation first becomes organized and real. Now he
finds perception in no need of such conceptual transformation,
for it possesses in itself all the concrete reality that is possible
in experience. Thinking owes its whole significance to the perceptual
source from which it arises through abstraction. " If we
hold firmly to this, the inadmissibleness of the assumption becomes
evident that the perception of things only obtains reality
and becomes experience through the thought of these very things
iG., I. pp. 563-564; HK.. II, p. 38-
2G., I, p. 564; H.K., II, p. 39-
3G., I, pp. 564-565; H.K., II, p. 39-
18SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.
applying its twelve categories. Rather in perception itself the
empirical reality, and consequently experience, is already
given; but the perception itself can only come into existence
by the application to sensation of the knowledge of the
causal nexus, which is the one function of the understanding.
Perception is accordingly in reality intellectual, which is just
what Kant denies."^
Schopenhauer thinks that Kant makes a triple division: (i)
the idea, (2) the object of the idea, and (3) the thing-in-itself.
"The first belongs to the sensibility, which in its case, as in that
of sensation, includes the pure forms of perception, space and
time. The second belongs to the understanding, which thinks it
through its twelve categories. The third lies beyond the possibility
of all knowledge."- The confusion seems evident to
Schopenhauer: "The illicit introduction of that hybrid, the object
of the idea, is the source of Kant's errors,"^ he says. All we
have in concrete knowledge and experience is the Vorstellung;
" if we desire to go beyond this idea, then we arrive at the question
as to the thing-in-itself, the answer to which is the theme of my
whole work as of all metaphysics in general."^ With this epistemological
hybrid, i. e., the 'object of the idea,' "the doctrine
of the categories as conceptions a priori also falls to the ground."^

iG., I, p. 566; H.K., II, p. 40.


2G., I, p. 567; H.K.. II. p. 41; Kr. d. r. V., pp. io8f.; M., pp. 89 f.
'G., I, p. 567; H.K., II, p. 41.
^G., I, pp. 567-568; H.K., II, p. 42.
'G., I, p. 567; H.K.. II, pp. 41-42.

It should be noted that Schopenhauer does not recognize


what, after all, is Kant's real distinction between understanding
and reason, the distinction, namely, between understanding as
the faculty by which we deal with the conditioned and reason as
the faculty which demands the unconditioned. The understanding
itself Kant seems to treat in a twofold manner: (i) understanding
in the wider sense, as the fundamental principle of
objectivity in experience, including within itself the immanently
organizing function of the productive imagination; and (2)^
understanding in the narrower sense, as the faculty of judgment
or interpretation, operating primarily through the categories..
This distinction is of great importance for the interpretation
of Kant's pure concepts of the understanding; and it should
be noted that Kant explicitly limits the application of the
understanding to finite experience, to the sphere of the conditioned.
On the other hand, Kant holds: "It is the peculiar
principle of reason (in its logical use) to find for every conditioned
knowledge of the understanding the unconditioned, whereby
the unity of that knowledge may be completed. "^ The pure
concepts of the understanding, the categories, find their meaning
and their sphere of operation in the organic interdependence of

'C/., in this connection, Richter's treatment of 'Verstand' and 'Vernunft' as


used by Kant and Schopenhauer, Schopenhauer's Verhaltnis zu Kant in seinen
Grundziigen, pp. 144 ff.
"^Kr. d. r. V., p. 307; M., p. 249.
20 SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.
the different sides of conditioned experience. The concepts
of pure reason, on the other hand, or the 'Transcendental Ideas,'
as Kant calls them, are explicitly concerned with the unconditioned
ground of experience; they refer to "something to which
all experience may belong, but which itself can never become
an object of experience."^ In this sense the distinction between
pure understanding and pure reason, in Kant's technical procedure,
tends to correspond to the distinction between theory of
knowledge and theory of reality.^

Returning to Schopenhauer, it is hardly too much to say that


his whole argument is specious. The fact that in Kant's admittedly
confused way of treating perception and conception he sees
nothing but a solemn warning against undue adherence to an
ideal of 'architectonic symmetry,' shows how hopelessly he
misconceives both the aim and the fundamental trend of Kant's
'Critical' method.^ Kant's 'confusion' of the perceptual and

^Kr. d. r. V., p. 311; M., p. 253. Cf. the introductory sections of the 'Transcendental
Dialectic' especially Kr. d. r. V., pp. 299 fif., 305 ff., 310 ff., 322 ff.;
M., pp. 242 ff., 247 ff., 252 ff., 261 ff.
2 Kant regards speculative reason, however, as incapable of attaining knowledge
of ultimate reality, and therefore he introduces the notion of practical reason.
But this problem will more naturally come up for discussion in the sequel.
3 Mere textual criticism of Kant's Critiques is sure to lead one astray, unless
the fundamental spirit of his philosophy is kept constantly in mind. As Richter

NATURE AND GENESIS OF EXPERIENCE. 21


the conceptual in experience is to be regarded, not as the failure
to discriminate ultimate differences, but rather as the imperfect
realization and the inadequate expression of the underlying
essential unity of concrete experience, which cannot be reduced
to merely perceptual or conceptual terms. Kant's confusion
is the confusion of depths not yet clarified; Schopenhauer's
lucidity manifests epistemological shallowness. Later idealism,
of course, brought to light much that escaped Kant himself;
but Kant was far more nearly right than Schopenhauer when he
said: "Thoughts without contents are empty, intuitions without
concepts are blind. . . . The understanding cannot see, the
senses cannot think. By their union only can knowledge be
produced."^
The fundamental defect of Schopenhauer's epistemology
is to be found in his constant endeavor to explain one abstract
phase of experience in terms of another, supposedly prior, phase,
—really the vice of the older rationalism,—instead of reading
both into the organic unity which embraces both and derives
its own meaning precisely from such systematization of aspects
meaningless in abstract isolation. The relation between the
organizing principles of experience is for Kant, not one of formal
subsumption, but of organic interdependence. Experience involves
both perception and conception, the one as much as the
other; its progressive organization consists in the gradual
evolution of the two, which unifies them in one concrete process.
The perceptual content is essentially meaningful, and the
application of the categories brings out what is implicit in it.
Schopenhauer's universals are the universals of the old scholastic
logic, abstractions which do not exist outside of its text-books
and are alien to concrete experience. Conception, in the true
Kantian sense, is no mere attenuated perception, but the significant
aspect of experience. Conceptions, or, perhaps better,

puts it: "Es ist wirklich nicht so schwer, wenn man sich nur an den wortlichen
Text der Kritiken halt, Rationalismus und Empirismus, Dogmatismus (im weitesten
Sinne) und Scepticismus, Idealismus und Realismus aus ihnen herauszulesen"
{op. cit., pp. 91-92). And again, with special reference to Schopenhauer's procedure:
"Kantische Elemente hat Schopenhauer aufgenommen, Kantisch fortgebildet
hat er sie nicht" {op. cit., p. 77).
iKr. d. r. V., p. 51; M., p. 41.

22 SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.


meanings, are involved in experience from the very beginning;
they are not merely its abstract terminus ad quern, as Schopenhauer
would have it.^ Universality means, not erasure of
details and differences, but their gradual organization from a
point of view ever growing in catholicity. The progress of
knowledge is not from perception to conception, but from less
concrete to more concrete organization of both.
iG.. II. p. 55; H.K., II. p. 213.

38 SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.


One should keep clearly in mind that, while the Principle of
Sufficient Reason itself, being a ' metalogical truth,' is axiomatic
and incapable of proof, nevertheless everything which comes
under its regulation, has its meaning, truth, and reality precisely
in reference to something else. Hence, Schopenhauer insists,
the thoroughly relative character of all necessity becomes evident.
Nothing is necessary in itself, but solely by virtue of something
else upon which it depends and in which it finds its meaning.
Necessity is thus the general way of expressing this coherence,
this multiform organization in experience, of which the Principle
of Sufficient Reason is, for Schopenhauer, the most general
statement. If once this relative character of necessity is comprehended,
the meaning of contingency becomes obvious. Kant's
confusion on this point is due to his adherence to the abstract
rationalistic notion of the contingent (as that of which the nonexistence
is possible), opposed, on the one hand, to the necessary
(that which cannot possibly not be), and, on the other hand,
to the impossible (that which cannot possibly be).^ This Aristotelian
conception of the contingent^ in Kant results from "sticking
to abstract conceptions without going back to the concrete and
perceptible."^ As a matter of fact, contingency is nothing more
nor less than the denial of necessity in a particular case, i. e.,
'"absence of the connection expressed by the principle of sufficient
reason. "*
Contingency is relative, just as necessity is relative, and for
the same reason. Every thing, every event in the actual world
"is always at once necessary and contingent; necessary in relation
to the one condition which is its cause; contingent in relation to
everything else."^ The absolutely contingent would be something
out of all relation: a thought as meaningless, Schopenhauer
insists, as the absolutely necessary, dependent upon nothing else
in particular. In both necessity and contingency the mind turns

iC/. K. d. r. v., II ed., p. 301; M., p. 198; G.. I, p. 594; H.K., II. p. 70.
^ Ibid. Schopenhauer refers here to De generatione et conuptione, Lib. II, C.-9
et II.
'G.. I. p. 594; H.K.. II, p. 71. •...-.
*G., I, p. 591; H.K., II, p. 67.
'G., I. p. 591; H.K., II, p. 68.

PRINCIPLES OF ORGANIZATION IN EXPERIENCE. 39


back in search of explanation ; the necessary and the contingent
thus mean merely the relevant and the irrelevant in the process
of organization. If one considers merely the given event by
itself, merely the effect, without looking for the explanatory
cause which necessitates it and makes it contingent with respect
to everything else, then one understands the meaning of the
immediately existing, the actual, the thing as directly apprehended.
The actual in nature, however, is always causally related,
hence also necessary here and now. If, on the other hand,
the mind abstracts from this 'here' and 'now,' and presents to
itself all the laws of nature and thought, physical and metaphysical,
i. e., known to us a posteriori and a priori respectively/
then the conception of possibility arises, which means compatibility
with our conceptual systems and laws, without reference
to any particular time and place. That which is inadmissible
even from this abstract point of view, Schopenhauer calls the
impossible. This development of the conceptions of necessity,
actuality (existence), and possibility, showing as it does their
common basis in the one Principle of Sufificient Reason, demonstrates,
Schopenhauer asserts, " how entirely groundless is Kant's
assumption of three special functions of the understanding for
these three conceptions. "^
A comparison of this outline of Schopenhauer's conclusions
with Kant's summary of his own treatment of the modality of
judgments, will illustrate the difference between the two positions.
Kant says: "As in this way everything is arranged step by step
in the understanding, inasmuch as we begin with judging problematically,
then proceed to an assertory acceptation, and finally
maintain our proposition as inseparably united with the understanding,
that is as necessary and apodictic, we may be allowed
to call these three functions of modality so many varieties or
momenta of thought."^ The three characteristic stages in the
logical progression might well indicate three points of view in the
self-organization of experience, and in this sense Kant may be
justified in distinguishing three categories of Modality. Never

iG.,I. p. 592; H.K., II. p. 69.


^G.. I, p. 593; H.K.. II. p. 69.
2Kr. d. r. V.. p. 76; M.. p. 63

40 SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.


theless Kant's distinctions are too sharp and abstract: while he
suggests a process of logical development in the passage just
quoted, he fails to explain the matter adequately and clearly to
emphasize the essential interdependence of these 'momenta of
thought,' which involve each other in the systematic organization
of experience.^ On the other hand, Schopenhauer is quite unable
to realize the organic character of concrete experience, which
implies, not the absorption of possibility and actuality into necessity,
but their proper correlation in the systematic whole. In
his constant tendency to make hard and fast distinctions, to the
neglect of the concrete unity of the system of experience, Schopenhauer
represents what Hegel called ' the standpoint of the understanding.'
As Professor Bosanquet says: "The real prophet of
the understanding . . . was Schopenhauer. His treatment of
the principle of sufficient reason as at once the fundamental axiom
of human science and the innate source of its illusions, forms an
ultimate and irreversible criticism on the aspect of intelligence
which consists, to sum up its nature in a popular but not inaccurate
phrase, in explaining everything by something else—a process which taken by itself is necessarily
unending and unsatisfying.

"^ 'C/. in this connection Bosanquet's analysis and criticism of Kant's treatment
of Modality, Logic, Vol. I, pp. 377 ff.
^Op. cit.. Vol. II. pp. 81-82.
It is unfortunate, though not difficult to explain, that Schopenhauer,
whose keen criticism of the doctrine of the categories had
disclosed so many of its flaws, should have overlooked one of
Kant's most questionable distinctions, namely, that which he
makes between 'constitutive' and 'regulative' principles. This
distinction is employed by Kant with little consistency, although
the tendency is to discriminate between: (a) the fundamental
forms of intuition, the productive imagination, and the functions
of thought, which condition the possibility of all experience and
'constitute' its organization; and (b) the rational assumptions
which, while not determining the actual form of experience,
serve to rationalize the moral order and the aesthetic judgment.
The distinction, otherwise expressed, is between the mechanical
42 SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.
categories of the Understanding, which Kant calls 'constitutive,'
and the teleological categories, the postulates of Practical Reason
and of the Esthetic Judgment, which he regards as 'regulative.'^
The incompatibility of this hard and fast distinction with any
interpretation of experience which attempts to do justice to its
organic character is amply illustrated in Kant's own technical
procedure. The teleological categories are declared to be merely
'regulative,' because not 'constitutive' of experience mechanically
considered. But are the mechanical {i. e., 'constitutive')
categories constitutive of moral and aesthetic experience? Such
considerations, which Kant would have been the last to take
lightly, should have warned him of the untenability of a distinction
that negates the immanent unity of experience, which
is the fundamental postulate of the Critical philosophy.

"It is the peculiar


principle of reason (in its logical use)," Kant says, "to find for
every conditioned knowledge of the understanding the unconditioned,
whereby the unity of that knowledge may be completed."^
Now Schopenhauer insists that the whole plausibility
of Kant's conception is due to its abstractness. Kant's argument
is summarized by Schopenhauer as follows: "If the conditioned
is given, the totality of its conditions must also be given, and
therefore also the unconditioned, through which alone that totality
becomes complete. "^ But, Schopenhauer argues, this 'totality
of the conditions of everything conditioned' is contained in its
nearest ground or reason from which it directly proceeds, and
which is only thus a sufficient reason or ground.* In the alternating
series of conditioned and conditioning states, "as each
link is laid aside the chain is broken, and the claim of the principle
of sufficient reason entirely satisfied, it arises anew because the
condition becomes the conditioned."^ This is the actual modus
^Cf. above, pp. 14 ff., 19 ff.
^Kr. d. r. V., p. 307; M.. p. 249.
3G., I. p. 612; H.K., II, pp. 90-91-
<C/., G., I, pp. 613-614; H.K., II, p. 92.
«G.. I. p. 614; H.K.. II. p. 92.
43
44 SCHOPENHAUER'S CRITICISM OF KANT.
operandi of the Principle of Sufficient Reason. "Only through
an arbitrary abstraction," Schopenhauer says, "is a series of
causes and effects regarded as a series of causes alone, which
exists merely on account of the last effect, and is therefore
demanded as its sufficient reason."^
The unconditioned is unthinkable; and Kant himself, of course,
does not claim objective validity for the conception. He does,
however, regard the demand of reason for the unconditioned as
a regulative principle, "subjectively necessary. "^ The employment
of reason in this sense, as the faculty which demands the
unconditioned, offers Kant a great opportunity for satisfying
his ideal of 'architectonic symmetry.'

CHAPTER IV. from Tsanoff.


Experience and Reality: The Will as the Thing-in-Itself.
The Critical epistemology leads inevitably to the conclusion that all possible experience is phenomenal, i.
e., that it has no meaning except in terms of knowledge and in reference to the knowing subject. This
realization of the fundamentally subjective character of the phenonemal 'object,' Schopenhauer
regards as "the theme of the 'Critique of Pure Reason.' "^
The organization of this subject-object world of possible experience is formulated by Kant in terms
of the mechanical categories, to the exclusion of the teleological. This is the formal result of the
'Dialectic'.
The rejection of the rationalistic solution of the teleological problem does not, however, do away with
the problem itself. The 'practical' can have no real application in an experience conceived in purely
mechanical terms; nevertheless, Kant is deeply impressed with the undeniable significance of the
moral and aesthetic phases of experience, and with the inadequacy of the mechanical categories to
explain these. His vindication of the real significance of the teleological categories is intimately
connected with his justification of the notion of the thing-in-itself.
A change of philosophical method is to be observed at this stage of Kant's exposition, which Schopenhauer
interprets as follows. Kant does not affirm, clearly and distinctly, the absolute mutual dependence of subject
and object in all possible experience.
"He does not say, as truth required, simply and absolutely that the object is conditioned by the
subject, and conversely, but only that the manner of appearance of the object is conditioned by the
forms of knowledge of the subject, which^therefore, come a priori to consciousness. But that now
which in opposition to this is only known a posteriori is for him the immediate effect of the thing in
itself, which becomes phenom
iG., II, p. 205; H.K., II, p. 381.
62
EXPERIENCE AND REALITY. 63
enon only in its passage through these forms which are given a priori/'^ And Kant fails to realize that
"objectivity in general belongs to the forms of the phenomenon, and is just as much conditioned by
subjectivity in general as the mode of appearing of the object is conditioned by the forms of
knowledge of the subject; that thus if a thing in itself must be assumed, it absolutely cannot be an
object, which however he always assumes it to be, but such a thing in itself must necessarily lie in a
sphere toto genere different from the idea (from knowing and being known). "2
Schopenhauer criticises Kant's conception of the thing-in-itself in the same manner in which he had
criticised his theory of the a priori character of the causal law.
“Both doctrines are true, but their proof is false. "^ Kant argues that "the phenomenon, thus the
visible world, must have a reason, an intelligible cause, which is not a phenomenon, and therefore
belongs to no possible experience."^ But this is perverting entirely the meaning of the law of
causality, which applies exclusively to relations between phenomenal changes, and can therefore in no
way account for the phenomenal world as a hypostatized entity. This "incredible inconsistency "^ was
early discerned by Kant's critics, especially by G. E. Schulze.® Schopenhauer explains it as due to Kant's
irresistible desire to establish in some way the reality of the practical postulates, God, freedom, and the
immortality of the soul, which he found himself unable to establish upon the speculative basis of
rationalism. Making use of the distinction between theoretical and practical reason, he now transports the
machinery of rational dogmatism into the practical sphere, and thus justifies the practical validity of the
Ideas of God, Freedom, and Immortality in the world of possible experience, by maintaining their
metaphysical validity in the supersensible world of things-in-themselves.

From Tschauscheff, p35:


Schopenhauer kennt zwei Betätigungsformen der Kausalfunktion : eine reflektierendebewusste und eine
intuitive-unbewusste. Es ist die zweite Form der Kausalität, die er in seiner Untersuchung im Auge hat,
nicht die erste, die bei ihm gar nicht in Betracht kommt.- An diesem Ort
tadelt er mit Recht an Kant, dass er die beiden Formen der Kausalität
vermischt und nicht auseinandergehalten hat. Er sagt hier:
„Kant hat die Vermittlung der empirischen Anschauung durch das
uns vor aller Erfahrung bewusste Kausalitätsgesetz entweder nicht
eingesehen, oder weil es zu seinen Absichten nicht passte geflissentlich umgangen" (S. v Gr., S. 96, ^ 2()V
Schopenhauer zitiert ferner andere Belegstellen von Kants Kritik, um zu beweisen, dass Kant
tatsächlich dem transzendentalen Realismus nahe gestanden hat. Er
sagt hierzu : Nach Kant ist die „Wahrnehmung etwas ganz unmittel-

* V(>rij[l. Liol)miiiiii, „Kant und Epigonen'", S. 167.


'' Volkelt, „Se-hop.'-. S. 102 11— 85 —
bares, welches ohne alle Beihülfe des Kausalnexus und mithin des
Verstandes zustande kommt; er identifiziert sie geradezu mit der
Empfindung". Aus diesem Grunde kommt er zu der falschen Annahme,
dass das Kausalgesetz als allein in der Reflexion, also in
abstrakter, deutlicher Begriffserkenntnis vorhanden und möglich ist,
hat daher keine Ahnung davon, dass die Anwendung desselben aller
Reflexion vorhergeht, was doch offenbar der Fall ist, namentlich bei
der empirischen Sinnesanschauung, an welche ausserdem nimmermehr
zustande käme" (S. v. G., S. 97, ;- 21).
^
Das Hauptverdienst Schopenhauers besteht, um dies zu rekapitulieren,
darin, dass er am schlagendsten den Nachweis führte, dass wir
nur unter der Voraussetzung des Kausalnexus zu einer extramentalen
Erkenntnis der Dinge kommen können. Das Kausalgesetz ist das
Band, das die Sinnesempfindung mit der objektiven Anschauung
verknüpft. Es ist gleichsam die Brücke, die uns von der Sphäre
der Immanenz zu der Sphäre der Transzendenz hinüberführt.- In diesem
Punkt hat Schopenhauer, wie Liebmann richtig bemerkt, Kant wirklich
korrigiert.