Why should we consider Wittgenstein a Schopenhauerian idealist?


About the Tractatus, while explaining the similarities and differences between Wittgenstein and Kant with regard to the metaphysics, on the one hand (both track limits, according to which we cannot speak about the subject in the limits of the worlds) and the ontology, on the other (Kant is an empiricist, whereas Wittgenstein holds a realistic ontology), a lecturer suggested that:

Wittgenstein is not a "Kantian idealist"; he may be considered an idealist, but limited to the Schopenhauerian connotation of "idealism".

Can you explain me why, and with regard to which areas investigated in the Tractatus, Wittgenstein may be considered a "Schopenhauerian idealist"?


Posted 2016-04-22T17:11:43.287

Reputation: 869

The phrase "metaphysics on the one hand ... and the ontology on the other" doesn't make sense to me. Also, are you sure the lecturer said that Kant is an empiricist and Wittgenstein is a realist? – ChristopherE – 2016-04-23T17:10:22.757


See Bryan Magee, The Philosophy of Schopenhauer (2002), Ch.14 Schopenhauer's Influence on Wittgenstein, page 310-on, on the relationship between W and Kant-Schopenhauer: "a point which is of general interest about Wittgenstein. There are several respects in which the closest affinity of his thought is with Kant rather than Schopenhauer, but the fact that it was from Schopenhauer that he acquired the entire Kantian corpus of ideas and insights...".

– Mauro ALLEGRANZA – 2016-04-23T17:40:37.367

@ChristopherE he sayed:""Wittgenstein is a kantian thinker, even if his ontology is realistic, whereas Kant's ontology is empiricist". About the other phrase, what I wanted to express is that Wittgenstein may be considered a kantian thinker if we look at metaphysics in the TLP, whereas he cannot be considered a kantian thinker if we look at the ontology. – franz1 – 2016-04-23T17:55:56.353

Hello. The supposed comment about Schopenhauer doesn't make sense to me. It seems to suggest that Schopenhauer was less idealist than Kant. But in fact he was more. – Ram Tobolski – 2016-04-23T19:40:06.510


Wittgenstein dispensed with his early affections for Schopenhauer by the time of the Tractatus. It might refer to "nonsense" in it, particularly if the lecturer subscribes to Hacker's "ineffability interpretation", “there are, according to the author of the Tractatus, ineffable truths that can be apprehended". According to Schopenhauer too we have irrational intuition of ineffable World Will, but of course not according to Kant. http://philosophy.uchicago.edu/faculty/files/conant/Readings%20of%20TLP%20and%20its%20failure%5B1%5D.pdf Still, "idealism" is a big stretch.

– Conifold – 2016-04-24T00:35:11.520

No answers