The official Journal of the Italian Karl Jaspers Society, “Studi jaspersiani”, dedicates the next volume (10, 2022) to:


Re-readings and interpretations

ed. by Stefania Achella, Elena Alessiato, Michael Quante

With the term Grenzsituation Karl Jaspers shaped one of the most famous concepts of his philosophy. At the same time, he delivered to the 20. century existentialism a fascinating category, whose evocative power is far away from being exhausted.

The Grenzsituation leads the human being to the limit of his existential possibilities and urges him to perform “a peculiar radical transformation in the own being” by “jumping from the loneliness of a knowing subjekt into the consciousness of his possible existence” (Philosophie II).

Moving from this intuition, a symbolic and conceptually wide use of such a category suggests the possibility of seeing the Grenzsituation as inherent in all the human experiences where vulnerability, incertitude, skepticism, go along with the desire for clarification, orientation, and the search for solutions both by comprehension and practices.

Beginning by Jaspers’ thematization but without being limited to it, the issue 2022 of the Journal “Studi Jaspersiani” is dedicated to exploring whether and in which extent the meaning of such a category is still conceptually productive and valuable, inside and outside Jaspers’ thought and in and out of the philosophical field.

The aims of the issue are twofold: on one hand, there is the interest at relaunching the philosophical investigation on a category which is an essential joint in Jaspers’ philosophy for his comprehension of the human condition; on the other hand, the proposal of moving the category outside the philosophical perimeter of Jaspers’ thought expresses the interest in trying to make it fruitful both for the contemporary philosophy and for other disciplines.

In the frame suggested by the issue, the interest in stimulating re-readings and interpretations of the idea of Grenzsituation goes along with the attempt of putting Jaspers’ intuition to the test of the challenges and questions brought about by the contemporary world in the different fields of our life, thought, and activity: from the sanitary to the environmental emergence, from the intercultural to the social challenges, from the literary to the psychological research, from the frontiers of justice to those of technology.

In virtue of such an extended research frame, we invite to reflect, among others, on the following issues:

  •           - which is the meaning of the Grenz (limit) and how it is to understand;


  • - Jaspers’ comprehension of Grenzsituationen after a century;


  • -  Grenzsituationen and limited solutions in an interconnected and digitalized world;

  • -  the possible meaning of Grenzsituationen in the virtual world;

  • -  possible declinations of Grenzsituationen both in the intercultural relationships and in the migration experiences;

  • -  Grenzsituationen in connection to Anthropocene and climate change;

  • -  Gendering Grenzsituationen;

  • -  Grenzsituationen as life crisis (Lebenskrise) in the medical and psychological experiences;

  • Grenzsituation as emergency situation or state of exception (Ausnahmezustand) in our democracies.

Submission Date: 15. April 2022

Notification Date: 15. June 2022