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On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason has largely escaped scholarly attention despite the fact that Schopenhauer considered it required reading for understanding his future publications. Considered a mere academic reflection on the form of representation, and as such only a very tentative introduction to Schopenhauer’s mature philosophy, scholars have felt largely justified in ignoring his doctoral dissertation.
This collection of essays is one of the first critical engagements with this important work. Chapters by leading Schopenhauer scholars examine the possible interpretations of the principle of rational thought and argue for a new, Kantian-inspired formulation and critical reach of that principle. Individual essays investigate the ways in which the Fourfold Root shines a light on the development of Schopenhauer’s philosophy and is connected with his later writings. Some of these themes include, but are not limited to: Schopenhauer’s idealism, his metaphysics of will, his view of consciousness, his relationship to religion, and the historical context of his critical appreciation of the principle of sufficient reason. This book will be of interest to scholars who would like a more thorough understanding of Schopenhauer’s earlier philosophy and later intellect development.