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.

Karl Jaspers

Karl Jaspers

Profession: Psychiatrist
Nationality: German

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Philosophy can only be approached with the most concrete comprehension.

Only then, approaching my fortieth birthday, I made philosophy my life's work.

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.

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

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.

I discovered that the study of past philosophers is of little use unless our own reality enters into it. Our reality alone allows the thinker's questions to become comprehensible.

Only as an individual can man become a philosopher.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.