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.

Karl Jaspers

Karl Jaspers

Profession: Psychiatrist
Nationality: German

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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.

Philosophy is tested and characterised by the way in which it appropriates its history.

Philosophy as practice does not mean its restriction to utility or applicability, that is, to what serves morality or produces serenity of soul.

Everything depends therefore on encountering thought at its source. Such thought is the reality of man's being, which achieved consciousness and understanding of itself through it.

To decide to become a philosopher seemed as foolish to me as to decide to become a poet.

My own being can be judged by the depths I reach in making these historical origins my own.

Philosophy can only be approached with the most concrete comprehension.

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.

The community of masses of human beings has produced an order of life in regulated channels which connects individuals in a technically functioning organisation, but not inwardly from the historicity of their souls.

At the present moment, the security of coherent philosophy, which existed from Parmenides to Hegel, is lost.

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.

As a universal history of philosophy, the history of philosophy must become one great unity.

Philosophic meditation is an accomplishment by which I attain Being and my own self, not impartial thinking which studies a subject with indifference.

Reason is like an open secret that can become known to anyone at any time; it is the quiet space into which everyone can enter through his own thought.