Schopenhauer. A Consistent Reading

Author: Neeley, G. Steven
This is one of the only studies to argue that a consistent reading of Schopenhauer is possible, making it a significant contribution to the literature. It argues convincingly that the prominent objections to Schopenhauer’s philosophy are based upon crude misunderstandings of the text.


“Neely, who is also a lawyer as well as professor of philosophy, treats Schopenhauer as if he were a client charged with a capital offense for a philosopher, i.e., producing an inconsistent philosophy. Neeley defends Schopenhauer against a number of charges of inconsistencies, and he also argues against some attempts to extricate Schopenhauer from these ‘problems’ through reconstructions and alterations of his views, which seem to suggest that Schopenhauer did not really mean what he said. Neeley presents his case through a very careful and close reading of both Schopenhauer and the English-language secondary literature on Schopenhauer. One of the main virtues of Neeley’s work is his deep familiarity with Schopenhauer and his plethora of textual citations to Schopenhauer, his critics, and defenders…. He seems to have taken to heart Schopenhauer’s admonition to read carefully everything he had written, and his find is that which Schopenhauer predicted: it is consistent…. another virtue of Neeley’s work is that he systematically confronts the major and central charges of inconsistency… by exploring the major criticisms of Schopenhauer’s epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, and ethics, Neeley supplies his reader with a detailed exegesis of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, and by employing the results of his earlier resolutions of the contradictions alleged in Schopenhauer’s views to confront later accusations, Neeley’s work emphasizes the unity of Schopenhauer’s thought…. a sustained and original interpretation of Schoenhauer…. Neeley’s work has already advanced the level of scholarship concerning Schopenhauer’s philosophy, and it is easy to predict its future influence.” – David E. Cartwright, Director, North American Division of the Schopenhauer Society

“… a coherent and well-argued study….it successfully, and in a fascinating manner, draws the reader into Schopenhauer’s mind by exemplifying the principal components of his Weltanschauung, through a careful citation of passages from The World as Will and Representation, as well as lesser known works….Neeley’s study is an excellent and needed treatment in English to unveil what Schopenhauer intended by his imminent metaphysics of will. Herein lies its particular worth as a viable contribution to the scholarly interpretation of the German philosopher’s thought.” – Robert A Gonzalez, Professor of Philosophy, The Pontifical college Josephinum

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Preface; Foreword
1. Schopenhauer’s Miracle “Par Excellence”
2. The Essence of Reality: The Knowledge and Nature of Schopenhauer’s Will
3. Schopenhauer and the Limits of Language
4. Schopenhauer and the Platonic Ideas: A Reconsideration
5. Schopenhauer’s Mysticism: The Philosopher, the Genius, the Saint and the Mystic
6. The Final Liberation: A Critical Examination of Schopenhauer’s Concept of Human Salvation
Conclusion – Schopenhauer: A Consistent Reading
Bibliography; Index