Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Timothy M. Costelloe

Committee Members

Timothy M. Costelloe

Robert S. Leventhal

Aaron M. Griffith


I attempt to understand the cause of divergence between the ethical philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer and Albert Schweitzer, both of whom belong to a meta-ethical school dubbed "ethics-of-will." Ethics-of-will is that subset of moral thought which advocates moral action on the basis of the metaphysical propositions that the world is Will and all that exists to human perception is representation of the Will. Schweitzer and Schopenhauer fall into this school, yet advocate radically different ethics, such that Schweitzer may be considered an optimist advocating ethics which seek life- and world-affirmation and Schopenhauer may be considered a pessimist advocating ethics which seek world- and life-negation. In attempting to understand this divergence, I look to the two philosopher's respective methodologies and perspectives on the will-to-live.

On-Campus Access Only