Löwith, Karl

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Löwith, Karl


Born Jan. 9, 1897, in Munich. German idealist philosopher. Professor at the universities of Marburg (1928–36) and Tokyo (1936–41). From 1941 to 1952 he worked in the USA and from 1952 at the University of Heidelberg.

Löwith’s philosophical views were formed under the influence of Nietzsche’s “philosophy of life,” the phenomenology of the later Husserl, and, particularly, Heidegger’s existential philosophy. Lowith subsequently broke with Heidegger because of Heidegger’s accommodation with fascism in the first half of the 1930’s.

In his chief work From Hegel to Nietzsche (1941), Lówith attempted to show the philosophical sources of Marxism, Nietzscheanism, and existentialism. According to Löwith’s idealist conception, Hegel’s system brought the “epoch of spirit” in bourgeois spiritual development to its ultimate conclusion and exerted a decisive influence upon the subsequent development that brought the “bourgeois-Christian” world to an end and that took the form of Marxism, on the one hand, and existentialism, on the other. Since the 1950’s, Lowith has become increasingly concerned with the philosophy of history.


Kierkegaard und Nietzsche. Frankfurt am Main, 1933.
Heidegger: Denker in dürftiger Zeit. Stuttgart, 1953.
Weltgeschichte und Heilsgeschehen, 3rd ed. Zürich [1957].
Wissen, Glaube und Skepsis [2nd ed.]. Göttingen, 1958.
Gesammelte Abhandlungen: Zur Kritik der geschichtlichen Existenz. [Stuttgart, 1960.]
Die Hegelsche Linke. Stuttgart, 1962.
Gott, Mensch und Welt in der Metaphysik von Descartes bis zu Nietzsche. Göttingen, 1967.
References in periodicals archive ?
Lowith, Karl. Martin Heidegger and European Nihilism, trans.
15,16; Lowith, Karl (1968), El sentido de la historia.
Lowith, Karl (1997), El hombre en el centro de la historia.
Lowith, Karl (1993), Max Weber and Karl Marx, Londres/Nueva York, Reino Unido/Estados Unidos, Routledge.
Lowith, Karl (1967), Weltgeschichte und Heilsgeschehen.
(1) Lowith, Karl. El hombre en el centro de la historia.
(12) Lowith, Karl. De Hegel a Nietzsche, la quiebra revolucionaria del pensamiento en el siglo XIX Marx y Kierkegaard, Editorial Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1968.
(22) LOWITH, Karl: El hombre en el centro de la historia.
(23) LOWITH, Karl: Weltgeschichte und Heilsgeschehen.
Lowith, Karl, 1983, Weltgeschichte und Heilgeschehen.
LOWITH, Karl. Nietzsche's Philosophy of the Eternal Recurrence of the Same.
(1.) On the meaning of 'the spirit of the age' see Lowith, Karl, From Hegel to Nietzsche: The Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Thought, trans.