Karl Jaspers (1883-1969) counts among the most significant 20th century philosophers of the German language. Having earned a doctorate in medicine and a second degree (habilitation) in psychology, he held a professorial chair of philosophy at the University of Heidelberg until his dismissal by the National Socialist regime in 1937. In 1948, Jaspers followed a call to a chair at the University of Basel, where he taught until his retirement in 1961.
“Truth is what binds us together” is one of Jaspers’ central propositions; drawing upon the humanistic legacy of the great philosophers his thought seeks orientation in a world thrown into question and left vulnerable to ideology. As a metaphysician, Jasper was simultaneously one of the co-founders of existential philosophy and a prominent critic of German post-war policy.
The “Karl-Jaspers-Gesamtausgabe” (“Karl Jaspers Complete Edition”: KJG) presents his oeuvre for the first time as a totality. In three sections (published works, unpublished papers, correspondence), the definitive editions of all of Jaspers’ published writings, relevant posthumous publications, and also a choice of hitherto unpublished texts from his estate and correspondence are printed. The volumes are conceived as discrete units, all respectively containing an introduction and a commentary of passages. An additional focus of the edition in cooperation with the Basel Karl Jaspers Foundation is the systematic investigation of the extensive material of his estate. The KJG is a joint project of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities.