NotaBene .

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

Our contemporaneity is marked by what is called global boundary situations. Karl Jaspers introduced the concept of boundary situation to designate situations in which the individual confronts the ultimate limit between what can possibly be known and what cannot be known at all. This is the limit of ones worldview, which suffers a dysfunctional failure. Through ones authentic failure, as a shock to ones fundamental ground, one is nonetheless granted the opportunity to adapt and to self-reeducate. Classically, boundary situations were defined as individualistic, but now are placed and interconnected into a global inter-subjective plane, giving rise to a single global boundary situation. In the current paper, my intention is to use as a lesson the interaction, both personal and professional, between Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers, the two fathers of German existentialism, which resulted in a complete breach of communication, manifested as inauthenticity, loss of being and betrayal of reason, in order to illustrate how it, in fact, in the spirit of political philosophy, could elucidate the anamneses of the present-day relationship between politics and philosophy, as well as the political discourse effected during global boundary situations and its efficiency. As philosophers, Heidegger and Jaspers were very successful; in the political sphere, they both failed to achieve what was an imperative then, namely: a successful quest for a new German identity and a rejuvenation of the German universities. Neither did they succeed in developing a shared philosophical and/or political project. The text is divided into two parts. Both thinkers failed in their endeavors, which were individualistic, and they did not benefit from their personal friendship and professional academic relationship as a possibility to improve and to augment their ideas and thus alter the results of the practical implementation of these very ideas.
Key words: Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, communicative breach, comparative historico-philosophical analysis, (patho)biographical analysis, political philosophy, German existential philosophy, collaboration.