19th century philosophy

My will to Walk

Schopenhauer’s book two “The World as Will and Representation” essentially introduced the thought of the will to live, which could be perceived and represented through our natural desires. Schopenhauer’s “we obtained a knowledge of it in respect of its content also, because it has content and meaning only in relation to the representation of perception, without which it would be worthless and empty.” He elaborates on how we can see the world more directly and representations can be presented on a more complex level.

With this, the personal experience I chose is walking. It may sound a little crazy, however I feel it connects Perfectly. I walk often with no goal other than to get lost and find my way back. I’ve occasionally walked for hours to explore and find or learn something new. We live in New York which is fast-paced. Especially when walking, so usually when I go for a walk, I see New York in a different light than I’ve ever noticed before. I’m able to perceive New York very differently in positive and negative aspects. Schopenhauer stated, “We direct our attention to mathematics, natural science, and philosophy, for each of these holds out the hope that it will afford us a part of the explanation we desire.” This quote from Schopenhauer explains one of the main reasons why I walk. Walking is an experience that I choose to do, and it helps me see New York the way it’s represented, unlike walking at a fast pace trying to get somewhere and being alert and looking just to make sure that I’m safe, I’m usually directly seeing everything for what it is with no external meaning. I’d argue walking doesn’t have much objectification. Unless using the bathroom or getting hungry would be one, but I feel like this could be one of the human experiences that don’t really have much objectification while also still being something that we willingly do.

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