The mystery of Schopenhauer, one of the greatest philosophers in history

Update: I will have to pass for the nonce on the rest of this interesting essay with a useful set of books. The gulf between hoary transcendental idealism and William James is a challenge to a new kind of synthesis.
This is an interesting essay about which I might comment separately but I would take issue with the strange judgment of Schopenhauer as long-winded: he is one of the greatest stylists in the history of philosophy: His work clarified the work of Kant who has to be the one who is long-winded and posed a challenge to Hegel as muddled-headed and who is far beyond the realm of the engaging but shallow William James. The US has no philosophers who come anywhere near this. I would not otherwise pass judgment save to note that Hegel and Marx are notorious for their strange styles, where Schopenhauer is breezy yet profound about the core of transcendental idealism (poorly so named) with its direct assault on the riddle of consciousness, mind and the categories of perception. He took on perhaps the greatest challenge to clarity you could imagine and beautifully did the almost impossible. Unfortunately he was a conservative but with no influence thus on his basic and brilliant clarification of the greatest advance in philosophy since Plato achieved by Kant. He did not explicate Kant’s ethics however, his stance being somehow up in the air. Schopenhauer was the rival pole in the Hegel constellation and his ruthless critique remains important given the way Hegel, some think, cheapened Kant with his elimination of the noumenal to the handclap of the peanut gallery of American philosophy. Who can judge such figures? Schopenhauer was immensely influential in the later nineteenth century but is less considered now. That is unfortunate but his legacy endures because sooner or later the study of philosophy must exist in a Platonic universe. Marxists will protest this but consider the way Marx wrecked his great achievement with the cheap metaphysics of scientism. Hegel is also unsafe to dismiss save in relation to Kant. Marx rightly vented his fury at conservatives, but in the process triggered a futile debate over idealism.

“The intellectual life of man consists almost wholly in his substitution of a conceptual order for the perceptual order in which his experience originally comes.”[1] This is William James at the beginning of the 20th century. He was ruminating on the relationship between language and perception because he was trying to figure out how to convince people accustomed to a large amount of metaphysics in their lives that “pure experience” was much better. Radical Empiricism was his answer to long-winded perorations like Schopenhauer’s The World As Will. There is no need to posit an abstract entity beneath the world that we perceive. The directly apprehended universe is substantial enough. It does not need extraneous support.

Source: Control Over Capitalism or Techno-Feudalism Means Getting Control Over Language – CounterPunch.org

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