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The Failed Attempt at Existential Communication between Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers as a Genuine Loss to Political Philosophy: Part II

In times of global boundary situations we look backward towards our predecessors and traditions. Politics and political philosophy today are subjected to a multitude of perturbations, which involve basic notions, such as freedom and democracy. In this vein, Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers, the two fathers of German existentialism, have a peculiar relation to the history of political philosophy. Both thinkers tried to adjust their philosophies to the ever-changing realities. After a relatively long friendship, a breach occurred in their communication and interrelation, which is suspected to have been caused by the difference in their opinions not so much on philosophy, but on politics. Heidegger gave up any involvement with politics, after his involvement with Nazism, whereas after the Second World War Jaspers tried to put in order the political thought of the present-day, in which endeavor he succeeded partially, but his ideas were never practically implemented. Thus, the potential possibility for cooperation between Heidegger and Jaspers for an eventual common politico-philosophical project was never realized. In the first part of my inquiry, I exposed the history of the friendship of the two thinkers and their academic interrelation, as well as the involvement of both of them in the political thought and the politics of the day. In this second part, I will present the rest of my historico-philosophical analysis by focusing on the interpretations of both Germans on the philosophy of their opponent, which did challenge both not for good, but for bad. At the end, I will present a general conclusion on the encounter Heidegger-Jaspers, which had begun with inspiration for high hopes and big successes, but in reality ended with the silence of Heidegger and Jaspers’ attempts for communication renewal and understanding even through pathobiographical analysis.
Key words: Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, communicative breach, comparative historico-philosophical analysis, (patho)biographical analysis, political philosophy, German existential philosophy, academic collaboration.

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