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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


M odern european philosophy A German term having a different meaning from its English equivalent “existence.” Its specific connotations may be traced to Schelling and Kierkegaard , but it was brought to prominence by Karl Jaspers , who contrasted Existenz and Dasein . Contrary to Heidegger , he characterized Dasein as the empirical nature of a human being and the object of theoretical reflection. On his view, Existenz is authentic being or the genuine self. It is what is just mine. This authentic and unique self is infinitely open to new possibilities and cannot be thought conceptually by means of clear and distinct ideas. It is a self that is experienced and lived. Existenz is internally related to transcendence , on which it is directed, and it is realized through freedom . For Jaspers, Existenz and freedom are always interchangeable. Existenz is the ground for being, for freedom of thought, and for action. “ Existenz is what never becomes object, the origin from which issues my thinking and acting, that whereof I speak in ideas which discern nothing.” Jaspers, Philosophie ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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