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A Theory of Feelings Anger and Forgiveness Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida"My Madness Saved Me"10 Good Questions about Life and Death12 Modern Philosophers50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a GodA Cabinet of Philosophical CuriositiesA Case for IronyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to FoucaultA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to HumeA Companion to KantA Companion to Phenomenology and ExistentialismA Companion to PragmatismA Companion to the Philosophy of ActionA Companion to the Philosophy of BiologyA Companion to the Philosophy of LiteratureA Conceptual History of PsychologyA Critical Overview of Biological FunctionsA Critique of Naturalistic Philosophies of MindA Cursing Brain?A Delicate BalanceA Farewell to AlmsA Fragile LifeA Frightening LoveA Future for PresentismA Guide to the Good LifeA History of PsychiatryA History of the MindA Life Worth LivingA Manual of Experimental PhilosophyA Map of the MindA Metaphysics of PsychopathologyA Mind So RareA Minimal LibertarianismA Natural History of Human MoralityA Natural History of Human ThinkingA Natural History of VisionA Parliament of MindsA Philosopher Looks at The Sense of HumorA Philosophical DiseaseA Philosophy for the Science of Well-BeingA Philosophy of BoredomA Philosophy of Cinematic ArtA Philosophy of CultureA Philosophy of EmptinessA Philosophy of FearA Philosophy of PainA Physicalist ManifestoA Place for ConsciousnessA Question of TrustA Research Agenda for DSM-VA Revolution of the MindA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Stroll With William JamesA Tapestry of ValuesA Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Theory of FreedomA Thousand MachinesA Universe of ConsciousnessA Very Bad WizardA Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the CurtainA Virtue EpistemologyA World Full of GodsA World Without ValuesAbout FaceAbout the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the SelfAction and ResponsibilityAction in ContextAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionAction, Contemplation, and HappinessAction, Emotion and WillAdam SmithAdaptive DynamicsAddictionAddictionAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction and Self-ControlAddiction Is a ChoiceAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAftermathAfterwarAgainst AdaptationAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HappinessAgainst HealthAgainst MarriageAgency and ActionAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and EmbodimentAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAl-JununAlain BadiouAlain BadiouAlasdair MacIntyreAlien Landscapes?Altered EgosAmbivalenceAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Ethics for TodayAn Intellectual History of CannibalismAn Interpretation of DesireAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy An Introduction to Philosophy of EducationAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of PsychologyAn Introductory Philosophy of MedicineAn Odd Kind of FameAnalytic FreudAnalytic Philosophy in AmericaAncient AngerAncient Models of MindAncient Philosophy of the SelfAngerAnimal LessonsAnimal MindsAnimals Like UsAnnihilationAnother PlanetAnswers for AristotleAnti-ExternalismAnti-Individualism and KnowledgeAntigone’s ClaimAntipsychiatryAre We Hardwired?Are Women Human?Arguing about DisabilityArguing About Human NatureAristotle and the Philosophy of FriendshipAristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's ChildrenAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAristotle, Emotions, and EducationArt & MoralityArt After Conceptual ArtArt in Three DimensionsArt, Self and KnowledgeArtificial ConsciousnessArtificial HappinessAspects of PsychologismAsylum to ActionAt the Existentialist CaféAtonement and ForgivenessAttention is Cognitive UnisonAutobiography as PhilosophyAutonomyAutonomy and Mental DisorderAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismBabies by DesignBackslidingBadiouBadiou's DeleuzeBadiou, Balibar, Ranciere: Rethinking EmancipationBare Facts And Naked TruthsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBattlestar Galactica and PhilosophyBe Like the FoxBeautyBecoming a SubjectBecoming HumanBefore ConsciousnessBehavingBehavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic EraBeing AmoralBeing HumanBeing Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory Being No OneBeing Realistic about ReasonsBeing ReducedBeing YourselfBelief's Own EthicsBending Over BackwardsBerlin Childhood around 1900Bernard WilliamsBertrand RussellBest ExplanationsBetter than BothBetter Than WellBetween Two WorldsBeyond HealthBeyond Hegel and NietzscheBeyond KuhnBeyond LossBeyond MelancholyBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond PostmodernismBeyond ReductionBeyond SchizophreniaBeyond the DSM StoryBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics in the ClinicBiological Complexity and Integrative PluralismBiology Is TechnologyBiosBipolar ExpeditionsBlackwell Companion to the Philosophy of EducationBlindsight & The Nature of ConsciousnessBlues - Philosophy for EveryoneBlushBob Dylan and PhilosophyBody ConsciousnessBody Image And Body SchemaBody ImagesBody LanguageBody MattersBody WorkBody-Subjects and Disordered MindsBoundBoundaries of the MindBoyleBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain FictionBrain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive ScienceBrain-WiseBrainchildrenBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrainstormingBrave New WorldsBreakdown of WillBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBritain on the CouchBritish Idealism and the Concept of the SelfBrute RationalityBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBut Is It Art?Camus and SartreCartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCarving Nature at Its JointsCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsCassandra's DaughterCato's TearsCausation and CounterfactualsCauses, Laws, and Free WillChanging Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-ModernityChanging the SubjectChaosophyCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionCharles DarwinCherishmentChildhood and the Philosophy of EducationChildrenChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingChoices and ConflictChoosing Not to ChooseChristmas - Philosophy for EveryoneCinema, Philosophy, BergmanCinematic MythmakingCity and Soul in Plato's RepublicClassifying MadnessClear and Queer ThinkingClinical EthicsClinical Psychiatry in Imperial GermanyCodependent ForevermoreCoffee - Philosophy for EveryoneCognition and the BrainCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognition Through Understanding: Self-Knowledge, Interlocution, Reasoning, ReflectionCognitive BiologyCognitive FictionsCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCognitive Systems and the Extended MindCognitive Systems and the Extended Mind Cognitive Theories of Mental IllnessCoherence in Thought and ActionCollected Papers, Volume 1Collected Papers, Volume 2College SexComedy IncarnateCommitmentCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompassionate Moral RealismCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentConcealment And ExposureConcepts and Causes in the Philosophy of DiseaseConceptual Analysis and Philosophical NaturalismConceptual Art and PaintingConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConfessionsConfucianismConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConquest of AbundanceConscience and ConvenienceConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousness ConsciousnessConsciousness and Fundamental RealityConsciousness and Its Place in NatureConsciousness and LanguageConsciousness and Mental LifeConsciousness and MindConsciousness and the NovelConsciousness and the SelfConsciousness EmergingConsciousness EvolvingConsciousness ExplainedConsciousness in ActionConsciousness RecoveredConsciousness RevisitedConsciousness, Color, and ContentConsole and ClassifyConstructing the WorldConstructive AnalysisContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyContemporary Debates in Philosophy of MindContemporary Debates in Political PhilosophyContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContemporary Perspectives on Natural LawContested Knowledge: Social Theory TodayContesting PsychiatryContext and the AttitudesContinental Philosophy of ScienceControlControlling Our DestiniesConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCopernicus, Darwin and FreudCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating ConsilienceCreating HysteriaCreating Mental IllnessCreating Scientific ConceptsCreating the American JunkieCreation, Rationality and AutonomyCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCrimes of ReasonCritical New Perspectives on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderCritical PsychiatryCritical PsychologyCritical ResistanceCritical Thinking About PsychologyCritical VisionsCross and KhoraCruel CompassionCTRL [SPACE]Cultural Psychology of the SelfCultural Theory: An IntroductionCulture and Psychiatric DiagnosisCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCulture of DeathCultures of NeurastheniaCurious EmotionsCurrent Controversies in Experimental PhilosophyCurrent Controversies in Values and ScienceCustom and Reason in HumeCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together AgainCylons in AmericaDamaged IdentitiesDamasio's Error and Descartes' TruthDangerous EmotionsDaniel DennettDaniel DennettDark AgesDarwin and DesignDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinian ReductionismDarwinizing CultureDating: Philosophy for EveryoneDeathDeathDeath and CharacterDeath and CompassionDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDebating HumanismDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecomposing the WillDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeconstruction and DemocracyDeeper Than DarwinDeeper than ReasonDefending Science - within ReasonDefining Psychopathology in the 21st CenturyDegrees of BeliefDeleuze and the Concepts of CinemaDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions and Other Irrational BeliefsDelusions and the Madness of the MassesDementiaDemons, Dreamers, and MadmenDennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative SelfDennett’s PhilosophyDepression Is a ChoiceDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepthDerrida, Deleuze, PsychoanalysisDescartesDescartes and the Passionate MindDescartes' CogitoDescartes's Changing MindDescartes's Concept of MindDescribing Inner Experience?Descriptions and PrescriptionsDesembodied Spirits and Deanimated Bodies Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Desire and AffectDesire, Love, and IdentityDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDeveloping the VirtuesDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDialectics of the SelfDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital SoulDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisjunctivismDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDispatches from the Freud WarsDisrupted LivesDistractionDisturbed ConsciousnessDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDo Apes Read Minds?Do Fish Feel Pain?Do We Still Need Doctors?Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?Does the Woman Exist?Doing without ConceptsDon't be FooledDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDonald DavidsonDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the MentalDoubting Darwin?Down GirlDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR CasebookDworkin and His CriticsDying to KnowDynamics in ActionDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEccentricsEducational MetamorphosesEffective IntentionsElbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth WantingEmbodied Minds in ActionEmbodied RhetoricsEmbodied Selves and Divided MindsEmbryos under the MicroscopeEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotionEmotion and ConsciousnessEmotion and PsycheEmotion ExperienceEmotion RegulationEmotion, Evolution, And RationalityEmotional IntelligenceEmotional ReasonEmotional ReasonEmotional TruthEmotions in Humans and ArtifactsEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions, Value, and AgencyEmpathyEmpathy and AgencyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpathy in the Context of PhilosophyEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEnactivist InterventionsEnchanted LoomsEngaging BuddhismEngineering the Human GermlineEnjoymentEnvyEpicureanismEpistemic LuckEpistemologyEpistemology and EmotionsEpistemology and the Psychology of Human JudgmentEros and the GoodErotic MoralityEssays in Social NeuroscienceEssays in the Metaphysics of Mind Essays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEssays on Nonconceptual ContentEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssays on Reference, Language, and MindEssays on the Concept of Mind in Early-Modern PhilosophyEssential Sources in the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical TheoryEthicsEthicsEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in PracticeEthics in Psychiatric ResearchEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEuropean Review of Philosophy. Vol. 5Everyday IrrationalityEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolutionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution's RainbowEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychologyExamined LifeExamined LivesExistential AmericaExistentialismExistentialism and Romantic LoveExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and NaturalismExperiments in EthicsExplaining ConsciousnessExplaining the BrainExplaining the Computational MindExplanatory PluralismExploding the Gene MythExploring HappinessExploring the SelfExpression and the InnerExpressions of JudgmentExtraordinary Science and PsychiatryFaces of IntentionFact and ValueFact and Value in EmotionFacts and ValuesFacts, Values, and NormsFads and Fallacies in the Social SciencesFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFatherhoodFear of KnowledgeFearless SpeechFeeling Pain and Being in PainFeelings and EmotionsFeelings of BeingFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminism and Philosophy of ScienceFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist Interpretations of Rene DescartesFeminist TheoryField Notes from ElsewhereFinding Consciousness in the BrainFingerprints of GodFlesh in the Age of ReasonFolk Psychological NarrativesFolk Psychology Re-AssessedForces of HabitForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and RetributionFoucault 2.0Foucault and PhilosophyFoucault NowFoucault, Psychology and the Analytics of PowerFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFour Views on Free WillFrank Ramsey (1903-1930)Free WillFree WillFree WillFree WillFree Will and Action ExplanationFree Will and LuckFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will as an Open Scientific ProblemFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free WillFreedomFreedom and DeterminismFreedom And NeurobiologyFreedom and ResponsibiltyFreedom and ValueFreedom EvolvesFreedom RegainedFreedom vs. InterventionFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud's AnswerFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFriedrich NietzscheFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Clinic to ClassroomFrom Complexity to LifeFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the HumanitiesFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Passions to EmotionsFrom Philosophy to PsychotherapyFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers of ConsciousnessFrontiers of JusticeFurnishing the MindGalileo in PittsburghGenderGender and Mental HealthGender in the MirrorGender TroubleGenesGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenocide's AftermathGenomes and What to Make of ThemGerman Idealism and the JewGerman PhilosophyGetting HookedGilles DeleuzeGlobal PhilosophyGluttonyGod and Phenomenal ConsciousnessGoffman's LegacyGoing Amiss in Experimental ResearchGoodness & AdviceGrassroots SpiritualityGrave MattersGrave MattersGreedGreek Models of Mind and SelfGut ReactionsHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHabits of MindHallucinationHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of EmotionsHappinessHappinessHappinessHappinessHappiness and EducationHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHard LuckHarmful ThoughtsHaving the World in ViewHealing PsychiatryHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHealth, Illness and DiseaseHealth, Science, and Ordinary LanguageHegelHeidegger and a Metaphysics of FeelingHeidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of BeingHermann von Helmholtz's MechanismHermeneutics As PoliticsHeterophobiaHeterosyncraciesHeuristics and BiasesHeuristics and the LawHidden ResourcesHidden SelvesHiding from HumanityHigh Art LiteHistorical OntologyHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHistory, Historicity And ScienceHobbesHomosexualitiesHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisHot ThoughtHow Can I Be Trusted?How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?How Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains?How Do We Know Who We Are?How Emotions WorkHow Emotions WorkHow History Made the MindHow Images ThinkHow is Nature Possible?How Propaganda WorksHow Science WorksHow Scientific Practices MatterHow Scientists Explain DiseaseHow The Body Shapes The MindHow the Body Shapes the Way We ThinkHow the Mind Explains BehaviorHow the Mind Uses the BrainHow to Be a StoicHow to Make Opportunity EqualHow to Solve the Mind-Body Problemhow to stop timeHow to Think More About SexHow We HopeHow We ReasonHuman CloningHuman Development, Language and the Future of MankindHuman EnhancementHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman NatureHuman NatureHuman Nature and the Limits of ScienceHuman-Built WorldHumanismHumanism, What's That?HumanityHumans, Animals, MachinesHumeHumeHume on Motivation and VirtueHume's True ScepticismHume’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary PsychologyHusserlHystoriesI of the VortexI Was WrongIdeas that MatterIdentifying the MindIdentity and Agency in Cultural WorldsIgnorance and ImaginationIllnessImagination and Its PathologiesImagination and the Meaningful BrainImagining NumbersImmortal RemainsImproving Nature?In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of HealthIn Defense of SentimentalityIn Love With LifeIn Praise of Athletic BeautyIn Praise of DesireIn Praise of Natural PhilosophyIn Praise of the WhipIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of HappinessIn the Name of GodIn the Name of IdentityIn the Space of ReasonsIn the SwarmIn Two MindsInclusive EthicsIncompatibilism's AllureIndividual Differences in Conscious ExperienceInfinity and PerspectiveInformation ArtsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchIngmar Bergman, Cinematic PhilosopherInhuman ThoughtsInner PresenceInsanityIntegrating Psychotherapy and PharmacotherapyIntegrity and the Fragile SelfIntelligent VirtueIntentionIntentionality, Deliberation and AutonomyIntentions and IntentionalityIntentions and IntentionalityInterpreting MindsInterpreting NietzscheIntroducing Greek PhilosophyIntrospection and ConsciousnessIntrospection VindicatedIntuition, Imagination, and Philosophical MethodologyIntuitionismInvestigating the Psychological WorldIrrationalityIrrationalityIs Academic Feminism Dead?Is It Me or My Meds?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is Oedipus Online?Is Science Neurotic?Is Science Value Free?Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion?Is There a Duty to Die?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJacques LacanJacques RancièreJacques RanciereJean-Paul SartreJohn McDowellJohn SearleJohn Searle's Ideas About Social RealityJohn Stuart MillJohn Stuart Mill and the Writing of CharacterJoint AttentionJokesJonathan EdwardsJudging and UnderstandingJustice for ChildrenJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeKantKant and MiltonKant and the Fate of AutonomyKant and the Limits of AutonomyKant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral ActionKant on Freedom, Law, and HappinessKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Anatomy of EvilKant's Anatomy of the Intelligent MindKant's Theory of VirtueKarl JaspersKarl PopperKarl Popper, Science and EnlightenmentKey Concepts in PhilosophyKierkegaardKierkegaard as PhenomenologistKierkegaard's Concept of DespairKierkegaard's MuseKinds of MindsKinds, Things, and StuffKnowing, Knowledge and BeliefsKnowledge MonopoliesKnowledge, Belief, and CharacterKnowledge, Possibility, and ConsciousnessLacanLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLanguageLanguage in ContextLanguage, Consciousness, CultureLanguage, Culture, and MindLanguage, Vision, and MusicLaw and the BrainLaw, Liberty, and PsychiatryLaws, Mind, and Free WillLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberatory PsychiatryLife and ActionLife at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997Life Is Not a Game of PerfectLife of the MindLife's FormLife, Death, & MeaningLife, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of UtilityLife, Sex, and IdeasLight in the Dark RoomLike a Splinter in Your MindLiving and Dying WellLiving NarrativeLiving Outside Mental IllnessLiving with DarwinLiving With One’s PastLockeLocke LockeLogic and the Art of Memory Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and LiteratureLooking for SpinozaLooking for The StrangerLost in DialogueLost SoulsLOT 2LoveLoveLove's ConfusionsLove's VisionLove, Friendship, and the SelfLove, Sex & TragedyLuckyLudwig WittgensteinLustLyingMachine ConsciousnessMad for FoucaultMad TravelersMade with WordsMadness And Death In PhilosophyMadness and DemocracyMadness at HomeMadness Is CivilizationMaking Natural KnowledgeMaking Sense of EvolutionMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMaking the DSM-5Making the Social WorldMaking TruthMale Female EmailMan, Beast, and ZombieMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManiaManic Depression and CreativityMapping the Edges and the In-betweenMapping the Future of BiologyMarcus AureliusMaster PassionsMatters of the MindMe++Meaning and Moral OrderMeaning and Value in a Secular AgeMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and MindMeanings of ArtMeasuring HappinessMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedical NihilismMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedicine of the PersonMedicine, Mental Health, Religion, Science and Well-BeingMeditations on Self-Discipline and FailureMelancholy And the Care of the SoulMelancholy and the Otherness of GodMementoMemory and NarrativeMental ActionsMental CausationMental Causation and OntologyMental HealthMental Health At The CrossroadsMental Health Policy in BritainMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMerleau-PontyMerleau-Ponty and the Possibilities of PhilosophyMetacognition and Theory of MindMetacreationMetaethical SubjectivismMetaethicsMetal and FleshMetaphors of MemoryMetapoliticsMethods in MindMichel FoucaultMidlifeMill's UtilitarianismMindMindMindMind and ConsciousnessMind and CosmosMind and MechanismMind GamesMind in a Physical WorldMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind in LifeMind the BodyMind TimeMind's LandscapeMind, Brain and the Elusive SoulMind, Brain, and Free WillMind, Reason and ImaginationMinding MindsMindreadersMindreading AnimalsMinds and PersonsMinds, Brains, and LawMinds, Ethics, and ConditionalsMindshapingMindsightMindworldsMirror, MirrorMixed FeelingsMockingbird YearsModels of the SelfModern Social ImaginariesModern Theories of JusticeModernity and SubjectivityModernity and TechnologyMoody Minds DistemperedMoral BrainsMoral DimensionsMoral FailureMoral ImaginationMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral ParticularismMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology and Human AgencyMoral Psychology, Volume 1Moral Psychology, Volume 2Moral Psychology, Volume 3Moral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMotherhoodMotive and RightnessMoving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New PsychiatryMultiple Analogies in Science and PhilosophyMultiple Identities & False MemoriesMusic, Madness, and the Unworking of LanguageMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Double UnveiledMy WayNarrativeNarrative and IdentityNarrative MedicineNarrative PsychiatryNarrative Theory and the Cognitive SciencesNatural Ethical FactsNatural Kinds and Conceptual ChangeNatural MindsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalism and the First-Person PerspectiveNaturalism and the Human ConditionNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalized BioethicsNaturalizing the MindNatureNature and NarrativeNear Death ExperienceNeither Bad nor MadNeither Victim nor SurvivorNeuro-Philosophy and the Healthy MindNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeuroexistentialismNeurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Neurophilosophy at WorkNeurophilosophy of Free WillNeuropoliticsNeuropsychoanalysis in PracticeNeuroscience and PhilosophyNew Essays on the Explanation of ActionNew Philosophy for a New MediaNew Versions of VictimsNew Waves in Philosophy of ActionNietzscheNietzsche and Buddhist PhilosophyNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNietzsche's TherapyNietzsche, Culture and EducationNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNihil UnboundNoir AnxietyNormative EthicsNormativityNorms of NatureNotebooks 1951-1959Notes Toward a Performative Theory of AssemblyNothing So AbsurdOblivionOn AnxietyOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn Being AuthenticOn BeliefOn BetrayalOn BullshitOn DelusionOn DesireOn EmotionsOn HashishOn Human NatureOn Human RightsOn Loving Our EnemiesOn Nature and LanguageOn PersonalityOn ReflectionOn Romantic LoveOn the EmotionsOn the Freud WatchOn the Government of the LivingOn the Human ConditionOn the InternetOn the Meaning of LifeOn the Philosophy of LawOn the Pragmatics of CommunicationOn the Punitive SocietyOn TruthOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne Hundred DaysOnflowOnly a Promise of HappinessOntology of ConsciousnessOpen MindedOpen Your EyesOrgans without BodiesOther MindsOur Last Great IllusionOur Own MindsOur Posthuman FutureOur StoriesOut of Its MindOut of Our HeadsOxford Guide to the MindOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Studies in Normative EthicsOxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 7Oxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPanic DisorderPanpsychismPanpsychism in the WestPartialityPassionate EnginesPassionate EnginesPathologies of BeliefPathologies of ReasonPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perceiving the WorldPerception & CognitionPerception and Basic BeliefsPerception, Hallucination, and IllusionPerceptual ExperiencePerfecting VirtuePerplexities of ConsciousnessPersistencePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal IdentityPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonal Identity and Fractured SelvesPersonhood and Health CarePersonsPersons and BodiesPersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPersons, Souls and DeathPerspectives on ImitationPerspectives on PragmatismPessimismPhenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgePhenomenal ConsciousnessPhenomenal IntentionalityPhenomenology and ExistentialismPhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhenomenology of IllnessPhilosophersPhilosophers on MusicPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical DevicesPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical History and the Problem of ConsciousnessPhilosophical Issues in PharmaceuticsPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry IIPhilosophical MethodologyPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical Myths of the FallPhilosophical Perspectives on DepictionPhilosophical Perspectives on Technology and PsychiatryPhilosophical PracticePhilosophical Reflections on DisabilityPhilosophizing About Sex Philosophizing the EverydayPhilosophy and HappinessPhilosophy and LivingPhilosophy and PsychiatryPhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy and Science FictionPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the Interpretation of Pop CulturePhilosophy and the Moving ImagePhilosophy and the NeurosciencesPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy As FictionPhilosophy BitesPhilosophy Bites BackPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for LifePhilosophy in a New CenturyPhilosophy in an Age of SciencePhilosophy in Children's LiteraturePhilosophy in the Roman EmpirePhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BodyPhilosophy of Film and Motion PicturesPhilosophy of LovePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and Marriage: An IntroductionPhilosophy of MedicinePhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of Mind and CognitionPhilosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple PersonalityPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy of Public HealthPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhilosophy of the Social SciencesPhilosophy on TapPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy the Day after TomorrowPhilosophy Within Its Proper BoundsPhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy, Neuroscience and ConsciousnessPhilosophy, Politics, DemocracyPhotography and PhilosophyPhysical RealizationPhysicalism and Its DiscontentsPhysicalism and Mental CausationPhysicalism, or Something Near EnoughPhysician-Assisted DyingPillar of SaltPin-up GrrrlsPlant MindsPlatoPlatoPlato, Not Prozac!Platonic Ethics, Old and NewPleasurePluralistic CasuistryPolarities of ExperiencesPolitical EmotionsPopper, Objectivity and the Growth of KnowledgePornPorn StudiesPornography, Sex, and FeminismPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young ManPositive NihilismPostcolonial DisordersPostpsychiatryPosttraumatic Stress DisorderPower and the SelfPower SplitPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical ConflictsPractical Identity and Narrative AgencyPractical PhilosophyPractical RulesPractical Tortoise RaisingPractically ProfoundPracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPragmatic BioethicsPragmatismPragmatism, Old And NewPraise and BlamePredicative MindsPreferences and Well-BeingPrescriptions for the MindPresocraticsPrimary and Secondary QualitiesPrimates and PhilosophersPrimitive ColorsPrivacyPrivileged AccessProblems in MindProblems of RationalityProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac on the CouchPsyche and EthosPsyche and SomaPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric EthicsPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatric PowerPsychiatric SlaveryPsychiatry and Philosophy of SciencePsychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry as a Human SciencePsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry in SocietyPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatry in the Scientific ImagePsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsycho-Physical Dualism TodayPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and PhilosophyPsychology and the Question of AgencyPsychology's Interpretive TurnPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPublic PhilosophyPunishmentPure ImmanencePurple HazePursuing MeaningQuality of Life and Human DifferenceQueer PhilosophyQuestions for FreudQuestions for FreudQuine and Davidson on Language, Thought and RealityRaceRace in Contemporary MedicineRadiant CoolRadical AlterityRadical ExternalismRadical HopeRational and Social AgencyRational CausationRational Choice in an Uncertain WorldRationality + Consciousness = Free WillRationality and FreedomRationality and the Reflective MindRationality in ActionRawls, Dewey, and ConstructivismRe-creating MedicineRe-EmergenceRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReading AutobiographyReading Bernard WilliamsReading SartreReadings in the Philosophy of TechnologyReal MaterialismReal Natures and Familiar ObjectsReal ScienceRealism in ActionReason & EmancipationReason in ActionReason in PhilosophyReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReasoning About Rational AgentsReasoning in Biological DiscoveriesReasons from WithinReasons without RationalismReclaiming CognitionReclaiming the SoulReconceiving SchizophreniaReconstructing Reason and RepresentationReconstructing the Cognitive WorldRecreative MindsRediscovering EmotionRediscovering EmpathyReference and ExistenceReference and the Rational MindReflections on Ethics and ResponsibilityReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRegulating SexReinventing the SoulRelativism and Human RightsRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyReliable 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Karl Jaspers: The Shipwreck of Existence
"Man is always more than
whatever can be known about him." (p. 194)
I recently visited Heidelberg,
and asked to visit the library of the psychiatric clinic, where Jaspers had
worked on his classic text, General Psychopathology. I was accompanied by the
chairman of the department of psychiatry, a mild-mannered man. As we reached
the entrance to the nineteenth century building, he stopped and began to talk
about Nazi euthanasia. He gestured to a small round monument, with the names
of 17 patients, first names and last initials. "When I became chair in
1989," he said, "I had that sculpture installed in honor of the victims.
We were able to retrace the entire lives of 17 of the thousands of victims from
our department; and we put their names there, as long overdue penance."
He paused. "After the war, my predecessors did not want to revisit the
killing. The chairman during the Nazi period arranged it all; he was imposed
by the party on the department in 1933, and he committed suicide in
1945." Not knowing what to say, I remarked, "You must be proud of
what you finally did." The tension seemed to break: "I am!" he
said with a smile, as we entered.
up at the building, the top floor, which is the third, is the library, bounded
by arches all along its front windows. Inside, those arches look out onto the
wonderful mountain vista that is everywhere in Heidelberg. The library as in
the midst of some renovation, but there it was. Not dark and wood-colored as I
had anticipated, but light and small, smaller than your typical American
elementary school library. As a member of what might be considered something
of a Jaspers cult in the world of academia, I stood a moment: here the man
worked, here, with these few books. I picked out a few at random, late
nineteenth century and early twentieth century tracts only known to psychiatric
historians: Greisinger, Wernicke, Kraepelin, Jaspers himself.
left the library, I felt like Hegel's valet, getting to know the man began to
lighten the weight of image.
died in 1969, at age 86, famous in his native Germany. But for the rest of
the world, Karl Jaspers remains only partly known: he was that friend of
Heidegger's, who fell out with him over Nazism, or perhaps that teacher of Arendt,
who encouraged her liberalism.
He is, in the
world of the intelligentsia, of academic philosophy, a vague figure; but there
is another place where he is an equally ambiguous presence. It is an unusual
place; not the clean auditoria of academic lecture halls; rather, the old and
worn hallways of psychiatric hospitals. Jaspers is likely better known among
psychiatrists than among philosophers. Here is the paradox: perhaps the
greatest existential philosopher of our age was not really a philosopher at
all, but a physician, a psychiatrist, a man who, fully trained, turned his back
on his profession so he could understand the nature of Being.
is the last existentialist, the other existentialist -- not Heidegger or Sartre
or their reflections -- dead for a generation, and more unknown than ever.
this breach steps the first full length English biography of Jaspers, written
by Suzanne Kirkbright, a lecturer in German at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, who
conducted this work as Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at Heidelberg University. Kirkbright's
fluency in English and German makes this biography especially valuable for
English-speaking audiences. She also obtained the support of Jaspers' last
research assistant and controller of the Jaspers archive in Marburg which
allowed her to access to diaries and correspondence and even some unpublished
manuscript pages that have never before been translated. Her scholarly care is
excellent, with abundant footnotes which provide the original German
translation for quotations or paraphrases in the text, as well as an extensive
appendix providing transcripts of many of Jaspers; original letters in
German. This is both the strength and the limitation of this biography. It
provides access to material about Jaspers heretofore unknown, but it appears to
largely limit itself to such material, thus not providing useful information
that could have been obtained from other sources.
reviewer is always tempted to ask a writer to have written a book other than
the one she wrote. Such criticisms are useless when made after the fact,
though they might have been helpful in the actual process of manuscript
revision. When faced with the life of a great man, like Karl Jaspers, no
biography can be complete or satisfy the special interests of specific
readers. Especially with a mind as encyclopedic as his, and interests as
wide-ranging, readers of Jaspers' biography will approach it from different
perspectives. Perhaps this biography is best approached in Jaspers' own
spirit: "All that we know of a person is always a particular aspect
seen from one point of view and never the whole man." (p. 162) Kirkbright's
point of view is mostly the private Jaspers revealed in family correspondence
and unpublished manuscripts. This is fascinating, but excluded are those
aspects of Jaspers that are more public, and previously expressed either in his
autobiographical material or in his own published works.
that as it may, there are at least three different readerships for this book,
each of which will have a particular point of view.
are first and foremost the philosophers, who will focus on Jaspers as an
exponent of the Continental school in phenomenology and existentialism (mostly
as expressed in his book Philosophy, 1932).
are the psychiatrists, who experience Jaspers through his introduction of
phenomenology into psychiatric thought and practice (as described in General
are the intellectuals of various hues, who are interested in his political
theory (Man in the modern age, 1931), his critique of Nazism (The question of
German guilt), his philosophical faith (Way to Wisdom, 1955), his history of
philosophy (The Great Philosophers), and his relationship to Martin Heidegger
and Hannah Arendt.
covers all this material to a lesser or greater degree, with more success in
some arenas than others.
came away with a number of impressions.
importantly, until reading this biography, I had not realized how much Jaspers'
medical illness had affected his thinking. Early in his childhood, he was
diagnosed with a lung disease. At the time, such illness was always feared to
be tuberculosis, which for most was a death sentence. Kirkbright conveys quite
well the fear and anxiety engendered in Jaspers the child and in his family
given his medical illness. She brings out the major influence of a family
friend, Dr. Albert Fraenkel, who diagnosed and treated Jaspers and who provided
the psychological support as well that the young man needed to try to go out
into the world despite his illness. This doctor determined that the young Karl
did not have tuberculosis, a great relief for him and his family. But he also
diagnosed a chronic illness, bronchiectasis, that would imped his physical
ability to function throughout his life. Dr. Fraenkel and the family expected
that Karl would not survive beyond the decade of his 30s.
the young Karl Jaspers entered high school and university years with the belief
that he would die young. The seriousness with which Jaspers took his life, and
his focus on the deep existential facts of life, are perhaps more
understandable given this context. Hence perhaps his central metaphor for
life: the concept of shipwreck, and the need to make the best of those
circumstances. ("It is not by enjoying perfection, but only through
suffering in the knowledge of the world's unrelenting nature, and,
unconditionally, by remaining true to the self in communication that possible Existenz
can achieve what may not be planned and what becomes nonsensical as a wish: in
shipwreck to experience Being." p. 235). Indeed, he was always
independent, refusing to join cliques of other boys. His interest in science
and medicine likely stemmed from his admiration for his doctor and for his wish
to understand more about his illness. Yet, from the beginning, he was most
fascinated with philosophy, understood for him as an attempt to
"philosophize", to take life seriously and think about its meaning.
Hence his move from psychiatry to philosophy in later years was not really a
change in direction but the playing out his life-long philosophical seriousness.
we all know Jaspers lived a long life, but he lived it with marked impairment
of physical abilities. He could not take long, strenuous trips frequently;
while he walked daily, he could not exert himself physically beyond a certain
point. He was limited by congestive heart failure secondary to his
restrictive lung disease. An analogy might be to a coal miner with black lung
disease. Jaspers' illness was a central feature of his life, which Kirkbright
brings out nicely.
fact about his life that struck me was the extent of his closeness to his
father, Karl Jaspers Sr. The father was an artist and also quite
philosophically oriented. Jaspers' letters to his parents were not only
personal in content but also often read like his books: extensive discussions
of philosophical concepts were included. Both his father and his mother read
his works and commented on them. Despite the fact that he lived most of his
life away from his parents, Jaspers clearly always remained a loyal and earnest
son to them, never rebelling or apparently even conflicting in any way.
contrast, Jaspers younger brother Enno was a rebel. Enno fought in World War I
with heroism, but was mostly a failure in peacetime, unable to secure stable
successful work in business, and unable to maintain a constant intimate
relationship. Enno was not intellectual, unlike his brother and parents, and
he was also less rationalistic in his attitudes towards life. He was quite
careless with money, which ultimately let to a great deal of conflict with the
somewhat stingy Karl and with his generally generous parents. Ultimately, Karl
and his parents decided to cut him off financially, and Enno committed suicide
in middle age. The death of Enno is perhaps the second greatest tragedy of
Jaspers' life, the first being the suffering he and his wife endured in the
Nazi era. Enno left a suicide note that quite directly laid the blame for his
death on his parents and brother for their financial stinginess: "The man
is dead; the ducats are saved." In reading the biography, I was struck by
apparent signs of psychopathology: Enno had periods of severe depression, and
then periods of hyperactivity when he seemed to be most financially impulsive.
Suicide tends to be uncommon in those without underlying mental illness or drug
abuse. Enno's life and death suggested to me that he may have suffered from a
condition like manic-depressive illness. Kirkbright does not state this, nor
apparently did Jaspers ever suggest it, but the documentation in this book is
relationship with his father was excellent, almost too good to be true, and
with his brother it was quite ambivalent. The third most important personal
relationship, which Kirkbright highlights quite well, is with his wife,
Gertrud. She was Jewish, which led to the strain of trying to get both sets of
parents to agree to a mixed marriage. Jaspers' family was quite liberal and
after some initial hesitation did not object. Gertrud's family was
conservative and part of the Jewish religious leadership in her home region,
but her father soon consented. Jaspers and Gertrud had a very close
intellectual relationship; she apparently was the main interlocutor for Jaspers
as he fleshed out his ideas and wrote his manuscripts. Much like his father,
she served as a constant intellectual as well as personal companion. " We
have spent our lives philosophizing," he would say with satisfaction in
later years. The extent of their intimacy is most clearly expressed during the
Nazi years. During most of that time, she was exempt from being arrested due
to her marriage to a German. Jaspers, on the other hand, was demoted in the
university and eventually dismissed in 1937 due to the same fact. From 1937 to
1945 Jaspers' career was over. He and his wife almost never left their home at
66 in Heidelberg. In their bathroom cabinet, they had a bottle of
poison, and they had agreed to commit suicide together if she was ever arrested
(planning a "Free death" which he distinguished from
day of suicide or arrest seemed near just before the Americans finally
liberated Heidelberg. Suddenly, Jaspers, convinced his career had ended
and on the verge of suicide, became one of the few German leaders who was
viewed as clean of Nazi collaboration. He became a leader in the Heidelberg
community and in Germany at large in trying to orient the nation to the
post-war era. He immediately set about discussing the question of German guilt,
and began a dialogue that is still not finished today.
then in 1948 Jaspers and his wife accepted an invitation to Basel Switzerland
and remained there until his death in 1967. Why did Jaspers leave Germany to go
to Basel, especially at a time when he was at the peak of his university power
and his national prestige? Many Germans apparently resented him for his
"desertion" when he was most needed in the post-war period. This is
perhaps the one question in Jaspers' personal life that I felt Kirkbright
failed to elucidate. Why did he leave? She does not answer this question, and
without that answer, the final decades of his life seem quite anticlimactic.
One comes away with the impression that perhaps Jaspers' greatest failure in
his life was his failure to step up as the principal public intellectual of
post-war Germany. He receded into the shadows voluntarily again,
after having initially been forced into them in the Nazi era. He left the
public stage open for Heidegger's later re-emergence, and perhaps it is this
mistake, more than anything else, that diminished Jaspers' impact for modern
philosophy. Perhaps there is no evidence to clarify this problem. Perhaps
another Jasperian dictum applies here: "Absolute truth, and with it, freedom,
is never attained. Truth is on the way."
Kirkbright also addresses
Jaspers' relationships with others, like Heidegger and Hannah Arendt and Max
Weber, with an amount of detail that is informative, though not to a degree
that was as revealing as her descriptions of his family relationships.
to Max Weber is essential to understanding who Jaspers was, especially as a
thinker but also as a man; what William Osler called "the silent influence
of character upon character". After his father, Max Weber appears to be
the strongest influence on Jaspers, both in his personal rectitude and in his
political liberalism, but also in his direct impact on Jaspers' university
career. Kirkbright demonstrates how Weber was the main influence on helping
Jaspers settle into a philosophy appointment despite lack of formal training in
that field. Jaspers further took sides with Weber against the chairman of
philosophy, Karl Rickert, in their intellectual disagreements about what
constitutes philosophy and science. Weber was a constant presence in Jaspers'
psyche. Even in old age, he relates to Hannah Arendt that he dreamt that Max
Weber had visited them upon returning from a world trip. "Shouldn't you
perhaps re-read Max Weber on the archetype (and on other things too)?" the
older Jaspers advised Arendt (p. 233). Such pearls are frequent in this
psychiatrist, I felt ambivalent about the section of the biography that deal
with his clinical years. The details about what he did and who he interacted
with, based on his letters, were informative. But, if I had not previously
studied his General Psychopathology with care, I am not sure I would
have understood the description of its basic ideas that Kirkbright provides. I
read the General Psychopathology as providing three basic ideas to psychiatry:
first, the importance of phenomenology as a basic method, i.e., paying
attention to the subjective experience of patients, and not only their
objective manifestations; second, the concept of the erklaren-verstehen
distinction (the relevance of meaningful understanding in addition to causal
explanation); and third, most importantly, the idea of "methodological
consciousness" which I have relabeled pluralism to emphasize the concept
that no single method is sufficient for all circumstances, but that a single
method should be chosen (based on more strengths and fewer limits) for any
specific problem or condition in psychiatry. Instead, Kirkbright appears to
focus on a good deal on the doctor-patient relationship and the importance of
empathy. I am not certain if her description stems from differences in the
original first edition, which I assume she used in German, compared to the
English translation of a later edition, on which I base my comments. However,
it would seem to me that some of these ideas must have been present in the
original edition, and they do not come out clearly in the biography.
I would have to
suggest the same in relation to many of his other philosophical concepts, such
as limit-situations or the Encompassing. The book sheds some light on the
context in which he wrote about some of those ideas, but the ideas themselves
are not as clearly described. There are also some aspects of Jaspers' life
that Kirkbright leaves out, apparently from on an understandable scholarly wish
to focus on her primary sources. However, some richness of detail might have
been lost in that manner. For instance, in the Great Philosophers essay
on Einstein, Jaspers tells an amusing story about how he had inquired about
possible support from Einstein for asylum in the US during the Nazi era.
Einstein had apparently replied that he could not write a letter of support
because he could not comprehend Jaspers' work. While Kirkbright discussed
other attempts to go overseas during the Nazi era in useful detail, such as the
potential move to Oxford that was eventually rejected by analytic philosophers
in the UK, she left out the Einstein episode. It may be that other such facts
are available in the Jaspers corpus that might have added to the biography.
however, this kind of critique is asking for something other than what the
author intended or was best positioned to provide. Kirkbright provides an
excellent personal biography of Karl Jaspers, the man, based on new primary
sources, which also sheds a great deal of light on Karl Jaspers, the thinker.
For the ideas of the thinker, one has to go to his actual writings. In other
words, as an intellectual biography, an exposition of his ideas, this work is
limited. But as straight biography, a revelation of the man, it is excellent.
For those, like
me, already intrigued by him, the biography is a major advance in the English
literature. For those, like many, who have only a passing familiarity with him,
perhaps it will stimulate enough interest that they will seek out his most
accessible works, like the incomparable Way to Wisdom, to see how this
uncommon man transformed his life's struggles into some amazing thoughts.
© 2005 S. Nassir Ghaemi
S. Nassir Ghaemi MD is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at
Harvard Medical School, and author of The Concepts of Psychiatry (Baltimore,
MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).
Address correspondence to: S. Nassir
Ghaemi, MD, Cambridge Health Alliance, Department of Psychiatry, 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. Phone: 617-591-6108. Fax:
617-591-6008. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.