The term has been used by several philosophers before Heidegger, most notably Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel , with the meaning of human "existence" or "presence". Moreover, Dasein itself has a special distinctiveness as compared with other entities; [ Some scholars disagree with this interpretation, however, arguing that for Heidegger "Dasein" denoted a structured awareness or an institutional "way of life". Due to the drastically different use of the term "Dasein" between the two philosophers, there is often some confusion in students who begin with either Heidegger or Jaspers and subsequently study the other. In Philosophy 3 vols, , Jaspers gave his view of the history of philosophy and introduced his major themes.
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Half of article reproduced here. I passed a well-guarded childhood in the company of my brothers and sisters, either in the country with my grandparents or at the seaside, sheltered by loved and revered parents, led by the authority of my father, brought up with a regard for truth and loyalty, for achievement and reliability, yet without church religion except for the scanty formalities of the Protestant confession.
I attended the high school of my home town, and from the University. My path was not the normal one of professors of philosophy.
I did not intend to become a doctor of philosophy by studying philosophy I am in fact a doctor of medicine nor did L by any means, intend originally to qualify for a professorship by a dissertation on philosophy. To decide to become a philosopher seemed as foolish to me as to decide to become a poet.
Since my schooldays, however, I was guided by philosophical questions. Philosophy seemed to me the supreme, even the sole, concern of man.
Yet a certain awe kept me from making it my profession. Instead I felt that I should look for my vocation in practical life. At first I chose the study of law with the intention of becoming an attorney. At the same time I attended classes in philosophy. That proved disappointing. The lectures offered nothing of what I sought in philosophy: neither the fundamental experiences of Being, nor guidance for inner action or self-improvement, but rather, questionable opinions making claim to scientific validity.
The study of law left me unsatisfied, because I did not know the aspects of life which it serves. I perceived only the intricate mental juggling with fictions that did not interest me.
What I sought was perception of reality. Concern with art and poetry were incomplete substitutes; so even was an enthusiastic journey to Italy to see Roma aeterna, to sense history and to gaze on beauty This aimless way of life came to an end after my third semester.
I began the study of medicine, impelled by a desire for knowledge of facts and of man. The resolution to do disciplined work tied me to both laboratory and clinic for a long time to come.
Ostensibly I was aiming at the practice of medicine; yet already with the secret thought of eventually pursuing an academic career at the university, though actually not in philosophy but in psychiatry or psychology.
After some years since I published my psycho-pathological researches. In I qualified as university lecturer in psychology. Up until then my life had been a spiritual striving in what was, actually, politico-sociological space, untroubled by general happenings and without political consciousness, though with momentary forebodings of possible distant dangers. All intentness centred on my own private life, on the high moments of intimate communion with those closest to me.
Then in the World War caused the great breach in our European existence. The paradisiacal life before the World War, naive despite all its sublime spirituality, could never return: philosophy, with its seriousness, became more important than ever. To a great extent my psychology had assumed the characteristics, without my being conscious of it, of what X subsequently called Existenz Clarification.
This psychology was no longer merely an empirical statement of the facts and laws of events. It was an outline of the potentialities of the soul which holds a mirror up to man to show him what he can be, what he can achieve and how far he can go: such insights are meant as an appeal to freedom, to let me choose in my inner action what I really want. As the realisation overcame me that, at the time, there was no true philosophy ut the universities, I thought that facing such a vacuum even he who was too weak to create his own philosophy, had the right to hold forth about philosophy, to declare what it once was and what it could be.
Making Tradition Our Own We can ask primal questions, but we can never stand near the beginning. Our questions and answers are in part determined by the historical tradition in which we find ourselves. We apprehend truth from our own source within the historical tradition.
The content of our truth depends upon our appropriating the historical foundation. Our own power of generation lies in the rebirth of what has been handed down to us. If we do hot wish to slip back, nothing must be forgotten; but if philosophising is to be genuine our thoughts must arise from our own source. Hence all appropriation of tradition proceeds from the intentness of our own life.
The more determinedly I exist, as myself, within the conditions of the time, the more clearly I shall hear the language of the past, the nearer I shall feel the glow of its life.
In what way the history of philosophy exists for us is a fundamental problem of our philosophising which demands a concrete solution in each age. Philosophy is tested and characterised by the way in which it appropriates its history. It might seem to us that the truth of present-day philosophy manifests itself less in the formation of new fundamental concepts as "borderline situation," "the Encompassing" than in the new sound it makes audible for us in old thoughts.
A merely theoretical contemplation of the history of philosophy is insufficient. If philosophy is practice, a demand to know the manner in which its history is to be studied is entailed: a theoretical attitude toward it becomes real only in the living appropriation of its contents from the texts. To apprehend thought with indifference prevents its appropriation.
Knowledge that does not concern the knower comes between the content of knowledge and its resurrection; but in the assimilation of philosophy by later ages a lapse of thought is a constant feature.
Concepts which were originally reality pass through history as pieces of learning or information. What was once life becomes a pile of dead husks of concepts and these in turn become the subject of an objective history of philosophy.
Everything depends therefore on encountering thought at its source. Though one needs knowledge of the concepts that emerge in the history of philosophy, the purpose of such knowledge remains to gain entrance to the exalted living practice of these past thoughts.
My own being can be judged by the depths I reach in making these historical origins my own. There is no palpable criterion for this in outward appearances. Such true thinking goes through history as a mystery which can reveal itself, however, to everyone with understanding, for this hidden thinking was once reality. Having been written down it can be rediscovered: at any time it can spark a new blaze.
The history of philosophy is not, like the history of the sciences, to be studied with the intellect alone. A philosophical history of philosophy has the following characteristics: 1.
The real import of history is the Great, the Unique, the Irreplaceable The great philosophers and the great works are standards for the selection of what is essential. Everything that we do in studying the history of philosophy ultimately serves their better understanding. All other questions are secondary, as, for instance, whether the Great is also the most effective, or whether, perhaps, precisely the misunderstanding of greatness has a wider public appeal because of its mediocrity and its lowered standard.
How the quality of greatness appears to us, with constant transposition and questioning, in the totality of things, what we prefer and how we prefer it, that must prove its worth by our ability to see through the remainder, the widespread, the universally prevalent, in order to judge it fairly, and to appreciate it. What remains strange and incomprehensible to w is a limit to our own truth.
Understanding of the ideas demands a thorough study of the texts Philosophy can only be approached with the most concrete comprehension. A great philosopher demands unrelenting penetration into his texts. This necessitates both the realisation of a whole philosophy in its entirety, and taking pains with every single sentence in order to become conscious of its every nuance.
Comprehensive perception and accurate observation are the basis of our understanding. Understanding of philosophy demands a universal historical view As a universal history of philosophy, the history of philosophy must become one great unity. Philosophising, as it occurs in each historical age, involves the penetration, without limit, into the unity of the revelation of Being.
This solitary, but vast, moment of a few millennia, emerging from three different sources China, India, Occident , is real by virtue of a single internal connection. Though too immense to be envisaged as a pattern, it encompasses us nevertheless as a world.
No one person can attain that concrete nearness everywhere. He can have his roots only in relatively few sublime works. Philosophy has no institutional reality and is not in competition with the church, the state, the real communities of the world. Any objectification, whether it be the formation of schools or sects, is the ruin of philosophy.
For the freedom that can be attained in philosophising cannot be handed down by the doctrine of an institution. Only as an individual can man become a philosopher. From becoming a philosopher he can derive no claims. He must not have the folly to wish to be recognised as a philosopher. Professorships in philosophy are instituted for free mediation of ideas by teaching, which does not preclude their being held by philosophers Kant, Hegel, Schelling. In the realm of the spirit, men become companions-in-thought through the millennia, become occasions for each other to find the way to truth from their own source, although they cannot present each other with readymade truth.
It is a self-development of individual in communication with individual. It is a development of the individual into community and from there to the plane of history, without breaking with contemporary life. It is the effort to live from and on behalf of the fundamental, though these become audible to him who philosophises, without objective certainty as in religion , and only through indirect hints as possibilities in the totality of philosophy.
Only through being conscious can the contents of the past, transmuted into possibilities, become the fully real contents of the present. The life of truth in the realm of the spirit does wt remove man from his world, but makes him effective for serving his historical present. These fundamental views of history developed only slowly in me. I discovered that the study of past philosophers is of little use unless our own reality enters into it. We can thereby read their works as if a11 philosophers were contemporaries.
While I was still at school Spinoza was the first. Kant then became the philosopher for me and has remained so. Kierkegaard located consciousness both of the Source, which is so indispensable today, and of our own historical situation. Nietzsche gained importance for me only late as the magnificent revelation of nihilism and the task of overcoming it in my youth I had avoided him, repelled by the extremes, the rapture, and the diversity.
Goethe contributed the atmosphere of humanitas and un-selfconsciousness. To breathe this atmosphere, to love with Goethe whatever is essential among the apparitions of the world, and like him to touch, with awe, the unveiled boundaries, was a blessing amid the unrest, and be came a source of justice and reason. Hegel for a long time remained a well-nigh inexhaustible material for study, particularly for my teaching activity in seminars.
The Greeks were always there; after the discipline of their coolness, I liked to turn to Augustine; however, despite the depth of his existential clarification displeasure with his rhetoric and with his lack of all scientific objectivity and with his ugly and violent emotions drove me back again to the Greeks. Only finally I occupied myself more thoroughly with Plato, who now seemed to me perhaps the greatest of all. Among my deceased contemporaries I owe what I am able to think-those closest to me excepted-above all to the one and only Max Weber.
He alone, through his being, showed me what human greatness can be.
Online Texts of Aron Gurwitsch
Half of article reproduced here. I passed a well-guarded childhood in the company of my brothers and sisters, either in the country with my grandparents or at the seaside, sheltered by loved and revered parents, led by the authority of my father, brought up with a regard for truth and loyalty, for achievement and reliability, yet without church religion except for the scanty formalities of the Protestant confession. I attended the high school of my home town, and from the University. My path was not the normal one of professors of philosophy. I did not intend to become a doctor of philosophy by studying philosophy I am in fact a doctor of medicine nor did L by any means, intend originally to qualify for a professorship by a dissertation on philosophy.
MARQUETTE STUDIES IN PHILOSOPHY
Toshicage In the last years of the Weimar Republic he published a controversial political work, Die geistige Situation der Zeit The Spiritual Condition of the Age, which—to his later acute embarrassment—contained a carefully worded critique of parliamentary democracy. Archived from the original on 23 November The concept of philosophical faith is thus proposed, not as a doctrine of factual revelation or accomplished transcendence, but as a guide to transcendent communication, which balances the element of disclosure in faith with a critical philosophical veto on the absolutism of religious claims, and which consequently insists that transcendent knowledge must be accepted as relative and incomplete. From this time on Jaspers defined himself primarily as a popular philosopher and educator. The Philosophy of Karl JaspersDublin: Vernunft und ExistenzGroningen: Broadly reconstructed, in his later political work he argued that the emergence of European totalitarianism—exemplified by both National Socialism and Communism—was the result of a decline in political humanity and of an increasing primacy of modes of technical or instrumental rationality, which erode the authentic resources of human life. Existentially open consciousness is therefore always communicative, and it is only where it abandons its monological structure that consciousness can fully elaborate its existential possibilities. Wohin treibt die Bundesrepublik? This has become known as the biographical method and now forms the mainstay of modern psychiatric practice.