Die geistige Situation der Zeit

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Walter de Gruyter, 1932 - Literary Criticism - 194 pages
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Jaspers sieht die moderne Gesellschaft in einem Widerstreit. Sie errichtet sich als Massenordnung zur technischen Daseinsfürsorge einer Vielzahl von Menschen und zerstört damit gleichzeitig jene Welt von Schicksal und Autorität, Vertrautheit, Nähe und Entscheidung, in der eigentliche menschliche Existenz allein möglich ist. Nivellierung und Funktionalisierung des Menschen sind der Preis der Moderne. Politisch sorgt sich Jaspers um das Ausbleiben echten Führertums, von dem allein Reformen des zum Erstarren neigenden Apparats der Daseinsfürsorge zu erwarten sind. Die politischen Bewegungen des Faschismus und des Bolschewismus deutet Jaspers nur am Rande als gefährliche Auswege des Menschen aus der allgegenwärtigen Krise in die Leichtigkeit des Gehorchenkönnens. Zwar schenkt er aktuellen politischen Strömungen und Strukturen nur geringe Aufmerksamkeit, aber die geistige Haltung und persönliche Verantwortlichkeit des Einzelnen implizieren den Abscheu gegen den sich ankündigenden politischen Wahnsinn in Deutschland. Der Staat gilt ihm als Phänomen der Macht. Nachdenklich blickt Jaspers auch auf die Wissenschaften vom Menschen. Für ihre unbestreitbaren Erfolge zahlt der Mensch mit der Verdinglichung seiner selbst. Er wird sich zum Objekt.
 

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Contents

Einleitung
5
Grenzen der Daseinsordnung
30
Krise der gegenwärtigen Daseinsordnung
72
Verfall und Möglichkeit des Geistes
104
Copyright

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About the author (1932)

Karl Jaspers was one of the originators of German existentialism. He began his career as a psychiatrist but was increasingly concerned about philosophical and moral issues. His was "a lucid and flexible intelligence in the service of a genuine and passionate concern for mankind." Removed from his professorship at the University of Heidelberg by the Nazis in 1937, he was reinstated in 1945 on the approval of the American occupation forces. In 1949 he went to the University of Basel. The New York Times wrote of him in his lifetime: "Jaspers shows himself . . . to be one of the most diligent and sensitive students of contemporary history. He has a good eye for the present because he knows what to fear in it---particularly the loss of individual freedom." Jaspers was deeply concerned about the human condition, and in his book The Future of Mankind (1957), entitled in its updated edition The Atom Bomb and the Future of Man (1961), he attempted to arouse conscience in the face of the deadly danger of atomic warfare "at the same time . . . attempt[ing] to apply the principles of his philosophy to a new field, and to lay the foundations of a political philosophy" (Times Literary Supplement). After the German publication of this book, Jaspers was awarded the German Peace Prize at the 1958 Frankfurt Book Fair. Hannah Arendt, who had been his student and a translator of some of his works, made the presentation. Jaspers's multivolume work, The Great Philosophers---edited by Hannah Arendt, translated by Ralph Manheim, and published in English from 1962 to 1966---was hailed by the Library Journal as "a major work, a brilliant book . . . Jaspers defends the unity of philosophy and his aim is to make philosophy available to all, to provide the serous reader with a guide "to the thinking of the great philosophers and to a personal encounter with them." The obituary of Jaspers in the New York Times said in assessing him: "With Soren Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger, and Jean-Paul Sartre, Karl Jaspers was one of the makers and shapers of existentialist philosophy. For almost 50 years, in books, essays and lectures, he strove to give a personalist answer to modern man's questions about his own nature and the nature of existence.

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