Karl Jaspers’ Conceptions of the Meaning of Life

1 min readSep 7, 2022


Jasper is a true interesting person, and then a nice philosopher.

Jaspers argues: “Physically I am part of life, a part whose form and function is the continuity of that ever-changing body of mine. I want this life; without it I do not exist. I am present in its vital functions, but these functions are not I. As nothing but life, I would be just a natural process.

Karl Jaspers, Philosophy, Vol. 2: Existential Elucidation, E. B. Ashton trans., (Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press, 1970), pp. 28–9.

Jaspers sees all human beings as constantly involved in situations with five such attitudes or virtues:

  1. dignity of solitude or the willingness and ability to be in solitude. “a sense of readiness in possible Existenz… I cannot enter into communication without being lonely.”
  2. open-mindedness and frankness.
  3. sincere intention to accept a communication partner in his or her autonomy and individual possibility for self-realization.
  4. intellectual integrity and truthfulness as “loving struggle”.
  5. substantial communication can only be realised on an equal existential level




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