Ludwig Klages


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Ludwig Klages
Birthday
BirthplaceHanover, Germany
Died
Occupation
Philosopher, psychologist, graphologist

Klages, Ludwig

 

Born Dec. 10, 1870, in Hanover; died July 29, 1956, in Kilchberg. German psychologist and irrationalist philospher.

Klages was a chemist by training. He lived in Munich, where, beginning in 1905, he led a seminar on problems of expression. In 1919 he took up residence in Kilchberg, near Zürich. He became widely known for his work in characterology and graphology, at the basis of which lay his doctrine of expression, derived from his conception of man as a unity of body and soul —that is, that the dynamics of the body is a “phenomenon” of soul, that soul is the “meaning” of the living body, and that expressive movements are the forms taken by “impulses of the soul,” or emotion. Klages interpreted the doctrine of expression as a kind of universal “cosmic physiognomy.” In the tradition of the natural-philosophical constructions of German romanticism (E. G. Carus) and the ideas of J. Bachofen and F. Nietzsche, Klages developed a unique and original variant of vitalism that regarded “spirit” as an “acosmic” force that retards and destroys the spontaneous integrity of the life of the soul and its unconscious cosmic rhythm (Spirit as Antagonist of Soul, vols. 1–3, 1929–32). A consequence of this irrationalist position was his extremely pessimistic view of civilization as a life-destroying reign of spirit.

WORKS

Sämtliche Werke (in ten volumes), vol. 1. Bonn, 1964-.
Vom kosmogonischen Eros, 6th ed. Bonn, 1963.
Die Sprache als Quelle der Seelenkunde. Zürich, 1948.
Der Geist als Widersacher der Seele, 4th ed., vols. 1–3. Munich, 1960.
Die Grundlagen der Charakterkunde, 12th ed. Bonn, 1964.
Handschrift und Charakter, 25th ed. Bonn, 1965.
Ausdrucksbewegung und Gestaltungskraft [8th ed.]. Munich, 1968.

REFERENCES

Khiubsher, A. Mysliteli nashego vremeni. Moscow, 1962. Pages 162–66.
Bense, M. Anti-Klages. Berlin, 1937.
Hager, W. L. Klages in memoriam. Munich, 1957. (Bibliography.)
Kasdorff, H. L. Klages: Werk und Wirkung. Einführung und kommentierte Bibliographie. Bonn, 1969.

IU. N. POPOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Man sollte nicht vergessen, dass gerade die Person Wolfskehls in der duetschsprachigen Kulturgeschichte in besonderer Weise Zielscheibe von abstrusen Verschworungstheorien (im Kreis um Ludwig Klages) und volliger Verzeichnung (im Kreis um Friedrich Wolters) oder Marginalisierung (u.a.
of Haifa, Israel) discusses Life Philosophy, e.g., as expounded by Ludwig Klages, as a framework for Zionist ideals regarding Jewish identity (i.e., return to the homeland vs.
This more explicit engagement with politics Elden now traces to the influence of Plato: 'If there is a political sense that emerges around this time, it seems important to recognise that one of the crucial elements in this story is not merely Heidegger's reference to peoples like Oswald Spengler, Ludwig Klages and Leopold Ziegler, but his relation to Plato, rather than Aristotle.' (p.73) It is here that Heidegger begins to adapt the language, or in Elden's colourful language 'ontic mud,' of modern politics into his lectures as we witness the transcribing of ancient Greek polemos into the modern German Kampf.
Versari's conceptual framework is largely provided by writings from the George circle itself (Georg Simmel, Ludwig Klages, Friedrich Gundolf, Kurt Hildebrandt),which are generally taken at face value.
Of the latter only Ludwig Klages' vitalistic and anti-rationalistic characterology was widely acclaimed.
In the 1930s Ludwig Klages, a German graphologist, philosopher, and psychologist determined that every human movement, which includes the handwriting motion, is an expressive movement from which the distinctive personality makeup of the author can be ascertained.
The poet suffered from climate-induced health problems, also from the separation from his family left behind in Germany; he was bitterly disappointed by the betrayal of former friends and associates from the George circle, such as Ludwig Klages. He was often depressed by his intellectual isolation, especially towards the beginning and the end of his stay in New Zealand.
In the finest tradition of writing a history of ideas, Gray traces the development of such early physiognomic approaches in the works of Schopenhauer, Ludwig Klages, Rudolf Kassner, and Oswald Spengler, among others, right down to Husserl's phenomenology, thereby revealing plenty of correspondences and mutual dependencies between the various thinkers.
The works of the other members belonging to the so-called Kosmische Runde (such as Ludwig Derleth, Karl Wolfskehl, and Ludwig Klages, associated with the circle around Stefan George) have all been made available in editions of varying critical quality and comprehensiveness.
In opposition to the cultural pessimism of thinkers like Oswald Spengler and Ludwig Klages, Musil in his "non-dogmatic empiricism" (25) formulated an experimental and open-ended mode of ethical inquiry, fundamentally rethinking the relation between ethics and aesthetics in a radically disparate and de-centered world.
Roland Dollinger aptly locates Berge Meere and Giganten within a debate about the destructiveness of Western rationality that extended from Expressionists such as Bernhard Kellermann via radical conservatives (Ludwig Klages, Ernst Junger) to proto-Fascist doom-merchants in the mould of Oswald Spengler.