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By D.W. Hamlyn

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Extra resources for Schopenhauer: Arguments of the Philosophers

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Schopenhauer thinks that there are only four such judgments — the laws of identity, contradiction, and excluded middle, and the principle of sufficient reason itself. He makes clear in the section concerned with these (FR 33, pp. 161-3), as he has done elsewhere, that the distinctions between kinds of truth are not meant to be exclusive. The principle of sufficient reason revealed here as a metalogical truth was treated earlier as a transcendental truth, when it had the form of the principle of causality.

G. WR II 7, p. 72; WI II, p. 245) that all really original thinking is done in pictures or images, because these enable the thinker to relate concepts and abstract thought to perception. There is much in this that is highly dubious, particularly the doctrine of abstraction that it presupposes. g. WR I 8, p. 39; WI I, p. 50) that reason has one function — the formation of concepts — just as the understanding has the one function of providing immediate knowledge of the connection between cause and effect.

Thus in Schopenhauerian terms they have logical truth, and it is this that receives a so-called demonstration. In that, however, their status as transcendental truths is not made clear. Hence, he says, in the demonstration we become convinced of the truth of the theorem, but we do not attain insight into it. What Schopenhauer says suggests that in this respect we are in the position of the boy at the end of the first stage of the geometrical example in Plato's Meno (at least on the standard interpretation of that dialogue, over which I have a certain scepticism).

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