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Way to Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  270 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
One of the founders of existentialism, the eminent philosopher Karl Jaspers here presents for the general reader an introduction to philosophy. In doing so, he also offers a lucid summary of his own philosophical thought. In Jaspers’ view, the source of philosophy is to be found “in wonder, in doubt, in a sense of forsakenness,” and the philosophical quest is a process of ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 240 pages
Published May 11th 2003 by Yale University Press (first published 1950)
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Ali Reda
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
To philosophize is then at once to learn how to live and to know how to die. Because of the uncertainty of temporal existence life is always an experiment. Only transcendence can make this questionable life good, the world beautiful, and existence itself a fulfilment.

If to philosophize is to learn how to die, then we must learn how to die in order to lead a good life.
Nathanial
Jun 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: disgruntled feminists
Shelves: theory
Jaspers has this idea, and that idea is that ideas do matter, but they're not everything. He's not interested in debates about how we can know what's 'really' true or if there actually is a 'real' world out there; he's more interested in how we come to decide what to do here and now. Since the early 1950s, his work has provided a reference point both for cultural relativists and oppositional scholars, but his ideal audience seems to be concerned individuals who are dissatisfied with the current ...more
Human
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: existentialism
I urge philosophy beginners to dismiss the book's title as it can only be perceived as a coherent introduction to philosophy after one either already has an introspective grip of an existential worldview or is somewhat knowledgeable about philosophy in general (main topics, not necessarily different perspectives) in order to be able to tell what the similiraties and differences of the authors' focuses are, especially when considering existentialism and its predecessors.

It does not bother with d
...more
Andrew Langridge
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I believe this book represents an accurate understanding of philosophy as a discipline. Jaspers recognises that irrespective of their content as fixed ideas, the great works of philosophy embody an ineffable thread of truth that has to be continually reinterpreted by successive readers, in the same way that a musical masterpiece or Shakespeare's plays must be reinterpreted in performance. This derives from their participation in a more fundamental universal truth about the human condition.
Rebecca
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
No matter your personal philosophical beliefs, this book will open your eyes and give you a new perspective on philosophy. Love this book.
Fernando Guerra
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Religious People
Shelves: philosophy
I was going for a two-star rating, but both appendices were actually interesting to read (although biased, especially the second one) and encouraged me to add the third star. I have to state that the only section that felt remotely like a proper "introduction to philosophy" was the second appendix, "On Reading Philosophy". As it is, I really wouldn't recommend this work as an introduction to the topic of philosophy and free thinking.

Being an atheist myself, I expected this book to be reasonably
...more
Armando Garcia
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is not an introduction to the basic themes and authors of philosophy but rather a re-definition of philosophy from an existential perspective. Jaspers examines the sources and motivations for philosophizing as the human response to the problems of existence. The ideas he presents presuppose an understanding basic existential works of Kant, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Husserl, and Sartre, which otherwise makes his propositions difficult to understand. He extensively discusses humankind's hi ...more
Max Berthiaume
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
J'écrirai plus ultérieurement, mais mon impression à chaud est la suivante.

Ce que je n'ai pas saisi et qui est central au livre est le lien entre liberté et transcendance qui semble évidente pour Jaspers, qui ne l'est pas pour moi.

Mais ce livre est magnifique, très profond. L'idée que la philosophie se trouve dans le domaine du ''non savoir'' me fait réfléchir depuis que je l'ai lu et m'intéresse beaucoup.

Le chapitre sur la relation sujet/objet et sur l'englobant sont intéressants aussi.
Liedzeit
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy
A bit too much theology. Good insight: we have to read every book - at first - as if everything in it is true.
Alex Obrigewitsch
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
An alright introduction into philosophy (albeit biased by being Jasper's understanding of philosophy).
And this is where I might hesitate to hand this to someone new to philosophy. Overall Jaspers lays out a clear way, but it leads to some potential pitfalls. Especially the appended section "On Reading Philosophy." This section is so very biased in its descriptions of the history of philosophy that it hurts.
Росен Григоров
Блестящ труд, който, въпреки малкия си обем, силно утвърждава стремежа на читателя да се занимава с философия. Дори изпитвам яд и съжаления, че едва сега попаднах на него, но за сметка на това често ще се връщам към развитите от Ясперс тези. Мисълта му е вдъхновяваща, директна и чиста от излишни думи. Вече съм се снабдил и с други негови текстове, които нямам търпение да подхвана.
Darek Pilař
Stil better story than Twilight
Daniel Hlas
Těžko srozumitelný text (alespoň pro mne). Nejlepší na knize je zřejmě její dodatek, který se jistě bohu hodit studentům filosofie.
Anthony
Highly recommended. Less as an overview of Philosophy and as (one of many) possible starting points for thinking about important questions and how some others have addressed them.
Michal Kraft
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophia
Great for the beginnig in Philosophy ! :)
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Jaspers was born in Oldenburg in 1883 to a mother from a local farming community, and a jurist father. He showed an early interest in philosophy, but his father's experience with the legal system undoubtedly influenced his decision to study law at university. It soon became clear that Jaspers did not particularly enjoy law, and he switched to studying medicine in 1902.

Jaspers graduated from medica
...more
More about Karl Jaspers
“Dieser Philosoph ist unabhängig: erstens, weil er bedürfnislos ist, frei von der Welt der Güter und von der Herrschaft der Triebe, er lebt asketisch; zweitens, weil er ohne Angst ist, denn er hat die Schreckbilder der Religionen in ihrer Unwahrheit durchschaut; drittens, weil er unbeteiligt an Staat und Politik ist, in der Verborgenheit in Ruhe lebt, ohne Bindungen, als Weltbürger.
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This philosopher is independent, first because he is without needs, free from the world of possessions and the rule of passions, he is an ascetic; second, because he is without fear, for he has seen through the illusory terrors of the religions; third, because he takes no part in government and politics and lives without ties, in peaceful retirement, a citizen of the world.
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Triết gia độc lập: thứ nhất vì họ không có nhu cầu, vì họ đã thoát ly được những của cải vật chất, và áp lực của thú năng, họ sống một đời khổ hạnh. Thứ hai, họ gan dạ anh hùng vì họ đã lột mặt nạ những kẻ giả mạo của thần thoại, mà các tôn giáo đã dựa vào để gieo rắc sự sợ sệt vào lòng người. Thứ ba, họ sống an nhàn ở một nơi riêng biệt không dính dáng tới một sự vật nào cả và chỉ sống như một công dân của thế giới.”
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