Karl Jaspers: From Selfhood to Being

Bar Ilan University Press (2006)
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This is a study of the work of the German philosopher Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), from his beginnings as a young psychiatrist to his mature days as an existentialist philosopher. This critical study of Jasper's philosophy traces his effort to instill meaning into the human quest for self-understanding and reveals the difficulties and frustrations inherent in this search. The book presents to the reader Jasper's attempts to deal with these difficulties by means of a philosophical approach to the concept of being as a whole, beyond the individual – the other, the world and transcendence. In this book the author conducts an ongoing dialogue with existing research on Jasper's works and proposes a new reading for them. Along with a critical interpretation, the author reveals the challenges that the figure of Jaspers posed to his readers. Unlike most researchers, who ignored Jasper's early writings dealing with psychiatry and psychology, this book proposes a philosophical reading of these works, revealing the unity of the world in which Jaspers created – first as a psychologist and later as a philosopher. This approach enables the reader to discover in Jasper's work a daring effort to formulate an original philosphy regarding two basic concepts central to philosophy and human culture throughout all times – "selfhood" and "being".
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