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On Genius

Affirmation and Denial from Schopenhauer to Wittgenstein

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Jerry Clegg

One of the most significant events in European intellectual history of the last century and a half was the injection by Schopenhauer of a subjective brand of Neo-Platonism into Post-Kantian thought. This study first describes Schopenhauer's position by concentrating on his account of the Genius, and proceeds to trace reactions to that figure in the works of Nietzsche, Jung, Freud, and Wittgenstein. The author's ambition is twofold: to resolve certain issues of interpretation regarding the positions of those following Schopenhauer, and to relate the history of a movement that encompassed both ordinary language philosophy, psychoanalysis, analytic psychology, and the work of Nietzsche.