In 1910, Karl Jaspers wrote a seminal essay on morbid jealousy in which he laid the foundation for the psychopathological phenomenology that through his work and the work of Hans Gruhle and Kurt Schneider, among others, would become the ...
First published in English in 1953, this important book from eminent philosopher Karl Jaspers deals with the philsophy of the history of mankind. More specifically, its avowed aim is to assist in heightening our awareness of the present by placing it within the framework of the long obscurity of prehistory and the boundless realm of possibilities which lie within the undecided future.This analysis is split into 3 parts: World history The present and the future The meaning of history.
Nietzsche claimed to be a philosopher of the future, but he was appropriated as a philosopher of Nazism. His work inspired a long study by Martin Heidegger and essays by a host of lesser disciples attached to the Third Reich. In 1935, however, Karl Jaspers set out to "marshall against the National Socialists the world of thought of the man they had proclaimed as their own philosopher." The year after publishing Nietzsche , Jaspers was discharged from his professorship (...) at Heidelberg University by order of the Nazi leadership. Jaspers does not fall into the same trap as idealogues do, citing bits and pieces from Nietzsche's work to reinforce already held opinions. Instead, he openly shows the wide range of Nietzsche's views, including his endorsement of wars and warriors, his prophecies of world struggle and "new masters," and the cruel arrogance of the supermen. Yet Jaspers finds Nietzsche's philosophy to be extraordinary not only because he foresaw all the monstrosities of the twentieth century, but also because he saw through them. "The appearance which Nietzsche's work presents can be expressed figuratively: it is as though a mountain wall had been dynamited the rock, already more or less shaped, conveys the idea of a whole. But the building for the sake of which the dynamiting seems to have been done has not been erected. However, the fact that the work lies about like a heap of ruins does not appear to conceal its spirit from the one who happens to have found the key to the possibilities of construction for him, many fragments fit together. But not unambiguously many functionally suitable pieces are present in numerous, only slightly varied repetitions, others reveal themselves as precious and unique forms, as though each were meant to furnish a cornerstone somewhere or a keystone for an arch." -- Karl Jaspers, from the introduction. (shrink)
First published in English in 1933, this detailed philosophical examination of the contemporary state and nature of mankind is a seminal work by influential German philosopher Karl Jaspers. Elucidating his theories on a variety of topics pertaining to contemporary and future human existence, Man in the Modern Age is an ambitious and wide-ranging work, which meditates upon such diverse subjects as the tension between mass-order and individual human life, our present conception of human life and the potential for mankind’s (...) future existence. Written shortly before the accession to power of Hitler and National Socialism, this is not only an important philosophical work, but also an insightful and intriguing historical document. (shrink)
According to what we will call subjectivity theories of consciousness, there is a constitutive connection between phenomenal consciousness and subjectivity: there is something it is like for a subject to have mental state M only if M is characterized by a certain mine-ness or for-me-ness. Such theories appear to face certain psychopathological counterexamples: patients appear to report conscious experiences that lack this subjective element. A subsidiary goal of this chapter is to articulate with greater precision both subjectivity theories and the (...) psychopathological challenge they face. The chapter’s central goal is to present two new approaches to defending subjectivity theories in the face of this challenge. What distinguishes these two approaches is that they go to great lengths to interpret patients’ reports at face value – greater length, at any rate, than more widespread approaches in the extant literature. (shrink)
This chapter offers an interpretation of Jaspers’ distinction between explaining and understanding, which relates this distinction to that between general and singular causal claims. Put briefly, I suggest that when Jaspers talks about (mere) explanation, what he has in mind are general causal claims linking types of events. Understanding, by contrast, is concerned with singular causation in the psychological domain. Furthermore, I also suggest that Jaspers thinks that only understanding makes manifest what causation between one element of (...) a person’s mental life and another ultimately consists in – that is, the particular way in which one psychic event can emerge from or arise out of another. I contrast the resulting view both with a view on causation in psychiatry recently put forward by John Campbell, and also with another view that is the target of Campbell’s attack, which is due to Donald Davidson and Daniel Dennett. (shrink)
This book sets out a new reading of the much-neglected philosophy of Karl Jaspers. By questioning the common perception of Jaspers either as a proponent of irrationalist cultural philosophy or as an early, peripheral disciple of Martin Heidegger, it re-establishes him as a central figure in modern European philosophy. Giving particular consideration to his position in epistemological, metaphysical and political debate, the author argues that Jaspers's work deserves renewed consideration in a number of important discussions, particularly in (...) hermeneutics, anthropological reflections on religion, the critique of idealism, and debates on the end of metaphysics. (shrink)