chapter  3
Metaphysics: The World as Will
Pages 36

The task of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, we saw at the beginning of chapter 2, is to get at the whatness of things, to get at that ‘essence’, ‘kernel’, or ‘in-itselfness’ that lies concealed behind their surface ‘appearance’. So perhaps – the thought might present itself – we should turn for an answer to natural science. Perhaps it is here that we will find the ‘inner’ reality that lies beneath (or within) the ‘outer’ surface of things. Schopenhauer begins Book II of the main work, at which we have now arrived, by arguing that this is not the case. Physics, he argues, can never be placed on the throne of metaphysics (WR II: 175). The ultimate whatness of things can be discovered, if by anything, only by philosophy.