Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-nmvwc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-19T17:10:38.306Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter 9 - On jurisprudence and politics

from PARERGA AND PARALIPOMENA, VOLUME 2

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 November 2015

Adrian Del Caro
Affiliation:
University of Tennessee
Christopher Janaway
Affiliation:
University of Southampton
Get access

Summary

§120

It is a peculiar error of Germans that they seek in the clouds for what lies at their feet. An excellent example of this is provided by the treatment of natural law by the university professors. In order to explain the simple circumstances of life that constitute the substance of this field, such as right and wrong, possession, state, criminal law, etc., they resort to the most effusive, abstract and consequently broad and vacuous concepts, in order to construct from them now this, now that tower of Babel in the clouds, depending on the special whim of the respective professor. By doing so the clearest, simplest circumstances that concern us directly are made incomprehensible, to the great disadvantage of young people who are educated in such schools, while the issues themselves are quite simple and comprehensible. Of this one can become convinced by my discussion of the same in On the Basis of Morals, § 17 and The World as Will and Representation, vol. 1, § 62. But with certain words like right, freedom, good, being (this meaningless infinitive of the copula) and so on the German becomes quite dizzy, soon falls into a kind of delirium and begins to wallow in meaningless, pompous phrases by stringing together the broadest, and therefore most hollow concepts. Instead he should focus on reality and look solidly at the things and circumstances from which those concepts are abstracted, and which therefore constitute their only true content.

§121

Whoever proceeds from the preconceived opinion that the concept of right must be a positive one and now undertakes to define it will not bring it about, for he wants to seize a shadow, follows a ghost, seeks a non-entity. For the concept of right, just as that of freedom, is a negative one; its content is a mere negation. The concept of wrong is positive and is equivalent to injury in the broadest sense, therefore to laesio. As such it can concern either the person, the property or honour. – Accordingly human rights are easy to define: Everyone has the right to do anything that does not injure another.

The right to or claim on something means nothing more than to do it, or take it or be able to use it without in any way thereby injuring another: simplicity is the sign of the true.

Type
Chapter
Information
Schopenhauer: Parerga and Paralipomena
Short Philosophical Essays
, pp. 217 - 240
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×