In Simon Critchley & William Ralph Schroeder (eds.), A Companion to Continental Philosophy. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 216–222 (1998)
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Karl Jaspers (1883–1969) is generally known as one of the two great German existentialists together with Martin heidegger (see Article 18), but Jaspers's existentialist approach is very different from that of Heidegger. While Heidegger intends to construct a fundamental ontology of Being by means of phenomenological method and to highlight some fundamental existentials of human being (Dasein), Jaspers rejects every kind of ontology. His existentialist approach is therapeutic: By his philosophizing he intends to appeal to every human being to realize his or her genuine existential possibilities, “possible Existenz” or “true selfhood.” The formative influences on his basic thinking include Plato, Plotinus, hegel (Article 6), schelling (Article 5), nietzsche (Article 11), kierkegaard (Article 9), dilthey (Article 37) and husserl (Article 15). In contrast to Heidegger, Jaspers also developed a political philosophy in the liberal tradition that draws particularly upon the thought of Kant and Max Weber.



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