Karl Löwiths Kritik der geschichtlichen Existenz: Zur Bedeutung und Aktualität eines philosophischen Entwurfs

Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 67 (5):789-804 (2019)
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Abstract

This paper examines the “critique of historical existence” as a main theme in Karl Löwith’s philosophical works and discusses its emergence, its exact meaning and its contemporary relevance. First, the study shows that Löwith’s critique of History stems from his preoccupation with the question of nihilism. He first discusses the question of “the world as such” in the 1920’s in the context of his anthropological project, and then again in the 1930’s as part of his interpretation of the work of Nietzsche. Secondly, a distinction is proposed between, on the one hand, Löwith’s investigation into the “theological background of the philosophy of history” and, on the other hand, his radical criticism of history as a “historical world”. Finally, the paper sheds light on the difficulties that challenge the project of overcoming the modern historical paradigm, and goes on to discuss the new relevance that Löwith’s philosophy could have today in order to think anew the relationship between nature and history.

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