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Orientalism and the Figure of the Jew$
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Jeffrey S. Librett

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262915

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262915.001.0001

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Taking Up Groundlessness, Fulfilling Fulfillment:

Taking Up Groundlessness, Fulfilling Fulfillment:

Schopenhauer’s Orientalist Metaphysics between Indians and Jews

Chapter:
(p.176) Chapter 6 Taking Up Groundlessness, Fulfilling Fulfillment
Source:
Orientalism and the Figure of the Jew
Author(s):

Jeffrey S. Librett

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823262915.003.0007

This chapter examines the tensions between Schopenhauer’s very advanced thought concerning the Oriental-Occidental relationship, on the one hand, and his own inadequacy to this thought, on the other hand. Concerning the first: in principle he assumes groundlessness, rather than denying it; he makes impossible all typology; and he overcomes Eurocentrism in philosophy and religion. Concerning the second, as I show in detail, he erases these insights in various ways: he envisions the overcoming of groundlessness through the will’s self-negation; he claims a privilege for his own philosophical “letter”; and he explicitly invokes typology in contexts that are constitutive for his philosophical position. These contexts include: his treatment of the history of religion, his discussion of church-state relations, his characterization of his own ethics, and his positioning of his philosophy as a whole with respect to pantheism and Spinozism. In showing how Schopenhauer repeatedly turns against his own best (and most difficult) insights, the chapter also analyzes his virulent and influential anti-Semitism, and exposes the ways in which it is integrally related to his thought on the Orient, and to his philosophy as a whole.

Keywords:   Schopenhauer, Jews, Indians, will, groundlessness, typology, Spinozism, ethics, Eurocentrism, church and state

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