SIGRID KOEPKE APPLIES JASPERS
email me. This page was prepared (10-17-2005) and its weakness in data or style might be revised at any time.
KOEPKE APPLIES JASPERS
Sigrid Koepke has done a worthwhile review of Kurt Salamun’s work on the timeliness of Karl Jaspers’ thought, and it was done from a remarkable hermeneutical perspective.
Koepke’s shows a grasp of the historical situation in which occurred an unavoidable relationship between Jaspers and Heidegger. But not in the improper propagated sense that the younger Heidegger scholastically shaped his elder Jaspers. Koepke suggests Heidegger may have been the “most prominent German hermeneut.” This comprehension is where hermeneutic principles come into play; it makes sense that whether he was or not the idea was being promoted, and Jaspers could easily have encompassed and contributed—by association--to the image.
So the alleged special bond is not a rational modifying emotional relationship, as attested by the ease in which it shattered—if there was ever anything more than Jaspers grasp of this personage emerging out of the context of the social, cultural, and political situation of the times (not to mention the religious situation where concerns for denominational membership’s survival extended beyond Jewish welfare--nor should we forget the world’s share of guilt as Jaspers describes in The Question of German Guilt wherein he shows guilt was not something provincial but included committed errors by Rome and England and omissions by others. I mean we need to know no less about the religious background of Heidegger as Jaspers and Gertrud.).
The emphasis placed on some documents that Jaspers may have sent to Heidegger itemizing disagreements but not forwarding copies to a minister of education means nothing more than the sensitive awareness of the spirit of the times: the predictable development of a totalitarian State. In this case forwarding would be like forewarning. Certainly Jaspers and Gertrude would have been just as prudent about making public any correspondence to Einstein seeking approval for escaping the developing regime. In other words it really takes a suspicious departure from normalcy to suggest Jaspers was protecting a convenient acquaintance more than protecting Gertrud.
With regard to the applicability of Jaspers’ Man In The Modern Age to the situation of today, he states in the Foreword to the 1951 English edition: “This book was written in 1930. At that time I had scarcely any knowledge of National Socialism, though rather better acquainted with Fascism.” Moreover he stated, “To attempt even the slightest alteration would now seem to me a falsification…. The facts remain unaltered.” Indeed, if one were to read it now (2005) its relevancy shatters post modernity’s trends including the nameless powers that are infiltrating exclusive societies or colonies utilizing his name to foster a “post-modernity” “liberal” emphasis. Jaspers described himself once by the use of the word “liberal” but he used it in the conservative sense in which F.A. Hayek used it in The Road To Serfdom (to which Jaspers approvingly refers). He did not mean it in the sense of promoting homosexuality anymore than Nietzsche had in mind when he mentioned something about “the gay science”.
If Koepke is understood, I concur that conferences have revealed less about Jaspers and more about the contributors. It‘s best to seek consultation with Jaspers himself while paying special attention to principles of hermeneutics. One to one contact is safer than designed meetings that can empower infiltrated forces.