Abstract: This paper aims at expose and debating the thought of german philosopher Julius Bahnsen (1830-1881), whose theory is an attempt at reconciling Schopenhauer’s theory of the will with Hegel’s dialectics, a kind of “real dialectics” (Realdialektik) and absolute pessimism. For this presentation the conception of tragic will be emphasized as a category not only restricted to aesthetic reflection, but as itself the manifestation of the contradiction inherent in the will, which both want and do not want. Rather than pro- pose some redeeming way out of the circle of self-contradictory will, Bahnsen states the unforgiving nature of this split and reject the salvific perspective of Schopenhauer’s philo- sophy advocated by Eduard von Hartmann and Philipp Mainländer. The result will be decided nihilism that find only in the category of humor a possibility of relief.
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