Karl Löwith

Karl Löwith (1897 - 1973)
Karl Löwith (1897 - 1973)

Karl Löwith (* 9. January 1897 in Munich; † 26. May 1973 in Heidelberg, alias: Hugo Fiala) was a German philosopher of Jewish descent.

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Karl Löwith became to 9. January 1897 in Munich born. Its parents were William Löwith, a renowned painter, and Margarete Löwith geb. Houses. It visited the material High School in Munichand announced itself after his Abitur voluntarily to the First World War. During the war it was hurt heavily and came into Italian war shank.1917 it became to dismiss and returned to its hometown Munich. There it caught with the study thatBiology and philosophy on.it changed 1919 to Freiburg, where it at the Albert Ludwig university with Edmund Husserl, whose assistant studied Martin Heidegger and the zoologist Hans Spemann. 1922 it returned to Munich and attained a doctorate 1923 with the Phänomenologen Moritz violonist with the study “interpretation of Nietz self interpretation and of Nietz interpretations”. 1924 it followed Martin Heidegger to Marburg and became acquainted with there Leo bunch, Gerhard Krüger and Hans George Gadamer . 1928 it habilitiert with Heidegger with thatStudy “the individual in the role of the fellow man”. Until 1934 it read as a private lecturer over historical philosophy, existential philosophy, philosophical anthropology and psychoanalysis at the University of Marburg.

Due to its Jewish descent Löwith was after beginning of the Nazi rule of lehr andPublication prohibition concerned. It had to emigrieren and went first 1934 as a skirt skin he scholarship holder to Italy. In the years 1935 and 1936 he terminated the work on the Monographien “Nietz philosophy of the eternal return resembling” and “ Jacob of the Burckhardt” in Rome. Ofhe taught 1936 to 1941 in Japan as a professor at the imperial university of Sendai. When German emigrant does not wait also from of Germany allied Japan any longer, Löwith moved 1941 into the USA and became, on recommendation of Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr, at the theological seminar employed by hard Ford , Connecticut. In this time its most well-known writings developed “from Hegel to Nietz” and “Meaning in History” (“world history and welfare happening”). In a letter from the year1948 at Leo bunch described Löwith its situation at the seminar in hard Fords as “a fish snatching on the dry sand of Protestant theology at water and air.” 1949 it became then to the “new School for Social Research” inNew York appoint, where it was active until 1952.

By switching Gadamers received Löwith 1952 a call to the Ruprecht Karl university in Heidelberg and taught there up to its retirement 1964. During this time among other things “ Heidegger developed - for philosophersin poor time ", “criticism of the historical existence” and “God, humans and world into the Metaphysik from Descartes to Nietz”. 1973 died Löwith at the age of 76 years in Heidelberg.


Löwith is above allwhen pupil admits Martin Heideggers, which already early dissociated from him and particularly by the NS time alienated. Löwith is considered as a stoischer, sceptical and agnostischer philosopher. Its main topic was the dissolution (secularization) of Christian philosophy and its welfare expectationby historical philosophy (Hegel, Marx) and Existenzialismus. Cosmological thinking of the Greeks and the nature referringness applied for it more than modern Metaphysik and existenzielles pathos.

“That we ask however at all history generally speaking on sense and nonsense, are even already historicallycaused: Jewish and Christian thinking this excessive question into being brought. After the last sense of history seriously to ask, all knowledge ability exceeds and strikes us the breath; it shifts us into a vacuum, only hope and faithto fill out are able. The Greeks were more modest. They massten themselves not on to fathom the last sense of world history. They were moved by the visible order and beauty of the natural cosmos " (Löwith, world history and welfare happening, all writings Bd. 2, S. 14).


all writings, 9 Bde. Hrsgg. by Klaus pass pain, Mark of B. de Launay, Bernd Lutz and. Henning knight, Stuttgart 1981-1988:

  • Bd. 1: Humans and people world. Contributions to the anthropology, 1981
  • Bd. 2: World history and welfare happening. To the criticismhistorical philosophy, 1983
  • Bd. 3: Knowledge, faith and skepticism. To the criticism of religion and theology, 1985
  • Bd. 4: From Hegel to Nietz, 1988
  • Bd. 5: Hegel and the abolition of philosophy in 19. Century - max of webers, 1988
  • Bd. 6:Nietz, 1987
  • Bd. 7: Jacob Burckhardt, 1984
  • Bd. 8: Heidegger - philosophers in poor time. To the position of philosophy in 20. Century, 1984
  • Bd. 9: God, humans and world - G.B.Vico and Paul Valéry, 1986
  • (1923): Interpretation of Nietz self interpretationand of Nietz interpretations; Diss. Munich
  • (1935): Political Dezisionismus, in: Revue international de la théorie you droit/international magazine for theory of the right 9, 101-123 (Schmitt - criticism, off. under the alias Hugo Fiala)
  • (1960): The world term thatmodern philosophy, minutes of the meeting of the Heidelberger academy of the sciences, 4. Paper
  • (1989): My life in Germany and after 1933 ago. A report, Frankfurt/M.
  • (1990): Humans in the midst of history. Philosophical balance 20. Century, Stuttgart


  • Hermann brownand Manfred Riedel, nature and history. Karl Löwith to 70. Birthday; Stuttgart 1967
  • Dabag, Mihran: Löwiths criticism of historical philosophy and its draft of an anthropology; Bochum 1989
  • Habermas, Jürgen, Karl Löwiths stoischer retreat of historical consciousness ;in: Ders., philosophical-political profiles, Frankfurt/M. 1987, S. 195-216
  • heath-smell, Birgit, to the Agnostizismus with Karl Löwith; in: Schlette, H.R., the modern Agnostizismus, Duesseldorf 1979, S.92-109
  • Liebsch, Burkhard, time light world. Variations over philosophy Karl Löwiths; Peppering castle 1995
  • Riedel, Manfred, Karl Löwiths philosophical way; in: Heidelberger of yearbooks 14 (1970), S. To 120-133
  • Ries, how/as-break Karl Löwith; Stuttgart 1992

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