This essay examines some of the arguments raised in the encounter between two thinkers – Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers – focused on their contrasting ideas about “worldviews” from 1919-1920.  Jaspers’ conception of philosophy as a summons – to oneself and to every other searcher – and Heidegger’s conception of philosophy as a questioning of Being – a question largely forgotten in the history of philosophy – are articulated via the two thinkers’ notes regarding “worldviews” from this early period.

This serves as the platform from which to ask fundamental questions about philosophy and its falling apart into distinct philosophies.  In Socratic terms, philosophy is about examining oneself and trying to escape from ignorance; the encounter between Jaspers and Heidegger uncovers two very different approaches to self-examination and ignorance; I argue that examining this encounter helps to clarify the nature of philosophy and the relationship between philosophy and action.

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