2021_14_3_5 - XLinguae

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Open access Issues > Issue n_3_2021 > section n_3_2021
The notion of Māyā in Arthur Schopenhauer’s epistemological idealism

Christopher E. Koy

DOI: 10.18355/XL.2021.14.03.05

The Hindu texts known as the Upaniṣads were written by many different people from approximately 900 B.C. to about 300 B.C. The Upaniṣads represent one of the earliest efforts of man at giving a philosophical account of the world. As such, the Upaniṣads are invaluable in the history of human thought. The writings came to the West in bits and pieces in the first half of the 19th century in Latin, English and German translation. Soon after he finished his doctoral dissertation in 1813, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), took note of the very first European-language translation (or rather a retranslation) of the Upaniṣads by Abraham Anquetil-Duperron, a Parisian Orientalist who had lived in or near India for six years and had mastered Persian. Anquetil-Duperron translated into Latin a Persian translation of fifty Upaniṣads from the original Sanskrit. This influential translation entitled Oupnek’hat (1802) held Schopenhauer’s great interest for the remainder of his life. Schopenhauer was one of the few serious philosophers who early on read and was profoundly interested in the philosophy coming out of the East in the first half of the 19th century. This contribution will examine his understanding of māyā and its role in Schopenhauer’s epistemology as revealed in his book The World as Will and Representation.

Key words: Schopenhauer, early Indian philosophy, comparative philosophy, epistemology, māyā, Upaniṣads

Pages: 49-56

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