Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 479–492 | Cite as

The biographical approach in Karl Jaspers’ work: From philosophy of life to autobiography



This study considers the origins and characteristics of Karl Jaspers’ biographical approach. Specifically, we analyse how this approach manifests itself in Jaspers’ work, namely, in his understanding of psychology, his psychology of worldviews, his views on the history of philosophy and his philosophical method. The biographical approach was a central strategy in Jaspers’ work as an appeal to life and was closely linked with how Jaspers understood both philosophy and his thought. For Jaspers, biography could restore mental unity and reveal the existence behind creativity.


Karl Jaspers Biographical approach Philosophy of life Psychopathology Understanding psychology Psychology of worldviews Pathography History of philosophy Autobiography 



This research was supported by a grant from the President of the Russian Federation for Young Scientists, Project MD–205.2014.6, “The Conceptual Analysis of Karl Jaspers’ Philosophy in the Light of the Biographical Approach.”


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophySaint Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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