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Jaspers, Existence, And Contingency On The Risk Of A Loss Of Sense For God In Modern Philosophy

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the logical significance of contingent as "that which is not necessary" or "that which does not happen necessarily" does not prevail. Contingency rather denotes a paradigm of thought that, in the history of philosophy, mentality, and culture, arose in the wake of modernity. The chapter first follows Karl Jaspers' metaphysics with respect to some crucial concepts it employed. It demonstrates that a strong, even all-determining awareness of contingency permeated Jaspers' understanding of "existence", "transcendence", and the "ciphers" mediating between them. Thus, the scope of the chapter smoothly moves now from metaphysics into the philosophy of religion and fundamental theology. Its main purpose, however, remains to show how Jaspers embraces contingency. To ensure oneself of God's existence is misleading and impossible on the basis of reasonable thinking.

Keywords: contingency; God; Karl Jaspers' philosophy; transcendence



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