Reason Revisited: The Philosophy of Karl Jaspers [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 26 (4):765-766 (1973)
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Abstract

One is happy to add this book to the growing list of commentaries on translations of Jaspers’ work which have been appearing in English recently. Samay’s approach to Jaspers underlines one of the most refreshing aspects of this "existentialist’s" work, viz., his concern with the problem of reason, both scientific and philosophic. Like Kant and Husserl, Jaspers’ thought develops out of a confrontation with modern science. Like Kant, Jaspers strives to grant the mathematical sciences the autonomy which befits them but also to show forth their limits. The unique entity to which science has no access Jaspers calls "Existenz," free and individual human being. While this entity eludes science it does not belong to the real of the irrational but to that of philosophic reason. After an introduction to the fundamental concepts of Jaspers’ thought, Samay studies first reason in science and then reason in philosophy, and then offers some "general conclusions." There is a helpful bibliography, abundant documentation but no index.—J. D. C.

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