In 1917 Karl Jaspers gave a lecture at a meeting of a political club, which he was member of, formed in Heidelberg during the First World War: Politische Stimmungen. This is first Jaspers’ political writing, remained nearly unknown until it was transcribed and published for the first time in 1999 in Germany. The first part of the text shows which kind of conceptual paradigm Jaspers uses to describe the political sphere and the peculiar autonomy of politics, whose distinctive feature is picked out in the “relationship of power and force among men”. The second part of the lecture deals with the historical and political situation of that time with particular reference to the connection between politics and Weltanschauung, a world view supported by idealistic faith. By describing different ways of connecting politics with Weltanschauung, Jaspers aims to show that the best approach is the realistic one, which combines the acknowledgment of the evil natur of politics with a prudent will. Through the critical illustration of the thesis Jaspers upholds/asserts in the lecture, the paper shows how much Jaspers has been heavy influenced by the Heidelberg sociologist Max Weber about his comprehension of the political world and the political way of thinking. In particular the study makes clear that the influence of Max Weber is clearly recognizable on two levels: both in Jaspers’ approach to political world, that is possible to call as realistic, and in the use of Weber’s scientific methodology to study the historical and social human world, that is the ideal type system. Furthermore the paper draws attention to the fact that Jaspers shared with many other german intellectuals (not only Max Weber, but also for example Max Scheler and Thomas Mann) cultural opinions and political judgments circulating at that time in the public opinion and in the official war propaganda and that were deep-rooted in the german cultural tradition and in its idealized representations. In the final section of the paper the position of Jaspers towards the war and the political events of his time is reconstructed on the basis both of the lecture references and of some episodes in his civil and academic life (Meinecke’s protest appeal against Versailles Treaty, Gumbel case) dating back to first years of the postwar period. By setting the text into its own historical and cultural background this paper brings out that Jaspers’ interest in politics dates back to the time of the First World War. It opposes therefore the traditional image of Jaspers as an academic scholar with no sense of reality until 1945 because it shows that the Great War made politics as an “essential thing” also for the “apolitical” Jaspers.

Das politische Interesse eines Unpolitischen: Karl Jaspers und die Politische Stimmungen

Alessiato E
2005

Abstract

In 1917 Karl Jaspers gave a lecture at a meeting of a political club, which he was member of, formed in Heidelberg during the First World War: Politische Stimmungen. This is first Jaspers’ political writing, remained nearly unknown until it was transcribed and published for the first time in 1999 in Germany. The first part of the text shows which kind of conceptual paradigm Jaspers uses to describe the political sphere and the peculiar autonomy of politics, whose distinctive feature is picked out in the “relationship of power and force among men”. The second part of the lecture deals with the historical and political situation of that time with particular reference to the connection between politics and Weltanschauung, a world view supported by idealistic faith. By describing different ways of connecting politics with Weltanschauung, Jaspers aims to show that the best approach is the realistic one, which combines the acknowledgment of the evil natur of politics with a prudent will. Through the critical illustration of the thesis Jaspers upholds/asserts in the lecture, the paper shows how much Jaspers has been heavy influenced by the Heidelberg sociologist Max Weber about his comprehension of the political world and the political way of thinking. In particular the study makes clear that the influence of Max Weber is clearly recognizable on two levels: both in Jaspers’ approach to political world, that is possible to call as realistic, and in the use of Weber’s scientific methodology to study the historical and social human world, that is the ideal type system. Furthermore the paper draws attention to the fact that Jaspers shared with many other german intellectuals (not only Max Weber, but also for example Max Scheler and Thomas Mann) cultural opinions and political judgments circulating at that time in the public opinion and in the official war propaganda and that were deep-rooted in the german cultural tradition and in its idealized representations. In the final section of the paper the position of Jaspers towards the war and the political events of his time is reconstructed on the basis both of the lecture references and of some episodes in his civil and academic life (Meinecke’s protest appeal against Versailles Treaty, Gumbel case) dating back to first years of the postwar period. By setting the text into its own historical and cultural background this paper brings out that Jaspers’ interest in politics dates back to the time of the First World War. It opposes therefore the traditional image of Jaspers as an academic scholar with no sense of reality until 1945 because it shows that the Great War made politics as an “essential thing” also for the “apolitical” Jaspers.
Karl Jaspers; Politische Stimmungen; Max Weber; Politik und Weltanschauung
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12570/14968
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