Item description for Karl Jaspers: Basic Philosophical Writings : Selections by Karl Jaspers & Edith Ehrlich...
Karl Jaspers was one of the greatest European philosophers and humanists of the twentieth century. He demonstrated a broad range of philosophical thinking that makes his work relevant for the twenty-first century. Coming to philosophy from medicine and psychiatry, Jaspers's views encompass a vast and creative range of empirical, philosophical, social, historical, and poltical ideas. Hannah Arendt described Jaspers as one of the greatest interpreters of Kant in the German tradition. In the 1950s, Jaspers spoke of his "philosophy of reason" and his debt to Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Weber, and others. His philosophy, however, has often been misunderstood by Anglophone readers and interpreters, both with respect to his so-called existentialism, as well as to the originality, creativity, depth, and scope of this thinking and method. The contributors to this fascinating volume offer fresh expositions and interpretations of Jaspers's philosophy. All are prominent experts in Jaspers research from three continents (Europe, North America, and Asia). Six major parts reveal the significant contribution of Jaspers's thought to the philosophy of psychiatry and science, philosophy of history, metaphysics, philosophy of education, philosophy of humanity, philosophy of politics, philosophy of religion, and intercultural philosophy. Key concepts of Jaspers's philosophy are highlighted and interpreted from a fresh and timely perspective: "boundary situations," existential communication, existential truth, transcendence, philosophical faith, the axial age in world history, new politics and the role of a moral and political conversion, the idea of the university, and Jaspers's fascination with and interpretation of Asian thought. The accessible essays will help readers overcome the intimidation often felt when faced with the work of a major German philosopher. The editors introduce and summarize Jaspers's published works, while offering an overview of his basic themes and concerns. New readers and researchers alike will find this collection instrumental in understanding recent developments in the interpretation of Jaspers.
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Kurt Salamun (Graz, Austria) is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Graz and president of the Austrian Karl Jaspers Society. He is the author of Karl Jaspers, translated into three languages, and the editor of three books on Jaspers. Gregory J. Walters (Ottawa, Canada) is a professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Saint Paul University. He is the author of Karl Jaspers and the Role of 'Conversion' in the Nuclear Age, among other books.
Reviews - What do customers think about Karl Jaspers: Basic Philosophical Writings : Selections?
A former Heideggerian asseses Jaspers Aug 17, 2008
Jaspers embodies the German propensity for breadth and thoroughness to an exhausting degree, without any real depth. Basically, Jaspers is a methodologist, and sees three main ways, or methods, of living: one is plain being there, then there is the pseudo-objectivity of pure consciousness, and lastly there is animation by an idea. Only in the extremities of life do we ever Exist. It's not a bad book, per se, but compared to his General Psychopathology it is formulaic and shallow. Not that I would recommend Heidegger to anyone for any reason, but Jaspers couldn't understand Heidegger and couldn't read him either. Your call.
The best introduction to Jaspers Jul 1, 2004
I've read a _lot_ of (and about) Jaspers, but this book has proven the most effective resource for my Jaspers studies.
Ehrlich, Ehrlich, and Pepper selected excerpts from throughout Jaspers' career in philosophy (not a lot from his psychology, as the title indicates). They then grouped these texts together in logical and cohesive sections, adding short introductions to each section as well as each individual text. The result: it is possible to sit down and read the collection cover-to-cover and feel the continuity of the work.
E, E, and P have gotten over a major hurdle in making Jaspers' work accessible. Many of the available translations of Jaspers are sub-par. Jaspers' frequent coinage and usage of technical jargon has posed a translation problem (i.e. words that no one knows exactly how to translate) that has resulted in discrepancies between translations. E, E, and P resolve this (to a large degree) by retranslating or correcting many of the passages in this book. Since I happened to have both a German and an English (trans. E. B. Ashton) copy of Jaspers' 3 volume work "Philosophie" -- a text quoted often in this volume -- I compared translations. E, E, and P's revisions to E. B. Ashton's translation were consistently more readible.
In addition to providing a fantastic overview of Jaspers, this volume does have a couple of other highlights: * Many passages translated from Von Der Wahrheit -- Jaspers' last major work (which remains largely untranslated).
* Great coverage of some of his writings on religion (Buddhism, Christian mysticism, etc.) * Selected entries from his journals. * Correspondence with other philosophers (notably Arendt and Heidegger).
In short, I highly recommend this book for those looking for a good Jaspers reader. If you are new to Jaspers, I would also suggest reading Philosophy of Existenz -- a great (and short) overview of Jaspers' project.
fine collection of essential writings.... May 27, 2000
....Jaspers is difficult reading in places but has a plenitude of existentially worthwhile ideas: historicity, Existenz, the Encompassing... worth the trouble.