On the Will in Nature/Editor's Preface to the Third Edition

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On the Will in Nature by Arthur Schopenhauer, translated by Madame Karl Hillebrand
Editor's Preface to the Third Edition

Schopenhauer has left an interleaved copy of his work "On the Will in Nature," as well as of his other writings, and has inserted in it those Corrections and additions which he intended to use for the Third Edition. I have therefore included them in this Third Edition.

The Corrections chiefly concern the style, here and there an expression being changed, and a word inserted or omitted. The additions, on the contrary, concern the matter of the book; they amplify it more or less considerably, and are tolerably numerous.

The Corrections are incorporated by Schopenhauer with the text; whereas the additions are designated by him as "Notes" (Anmerkungen) to be placed at the foot of the pages with the words, "added to the third edition." They will therefore be found at the places indicated by him for them, as foot-notes; and thus the reader will be enabled easily to discern how much has been added in this edition.

As to the value of the present work, Schopenhauer has expressed himself as follows in the "World as Will and Representation:"

"It would be a great mistake to consider the statements of other people, with which I have connected my own exposition there (in the work "On the Will in Nature"), as the real substance and argument of that work which, though small in size, is weighty in import. The statements of other people are rather a mere occasion which I take as my starting-point in order to expound the fundamental truth of my doctrine more clearly there than has been done anywhere else, and to apply it all the way down even to the empirical knowledge of Nature. This I have done most exhaustively and stringently under the heading "Physical Astronomy," nor can I ever hope to find a more correct or accurate expression for the kernel of my doctrine than the one given there."[1]

I have nothing to add to testimony thus given by Schopenhauer himself.

Julius Frauenstädt.

Berlin, March, 1867.



  1. "Die Welt a. W. u. V.," vol. ii., c. 18, p. 213.