KJSNA Menu History

Once upon a time...

KJSNA - Est. 1980
George B. Pepper  | 11.07.03

The Karl Jaspers Society of North America (KJSNA) was founded on December 28, 1980 through the joint efforts of George B. Pepper and Leonard H. Ehrlich. The prospect of forming the Society emerged out of the work that they and Edith Ehrlich did in preparing a systematic presentation of readings from the writings of Jaspers. Pepper had communicated with the authors of English publications on Jaspers to find out whether such a text held any value for their research and teaching. The near unanimous positive response led Pepper and Ehrlich to the realization that a formal organization would be justified to provide a forum for those who found in Jaspers' writings a voice that had great importance for many of the central questions in contemporary philosophy. The Reader, Karl Jaspers: Basic Philosophical Writings, edited, translated, and with introductions by Edith Ehrlich, Leonard H. Ehrlich, George B. Pepper, was originally published, Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press , 1986, in the Series in Continental Thought. A revised paperback edition was first published by Humanities Press, 1994).

Since 1980 the Society conducted annual meetings in conjunction with the Annual Meetings of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. The Society began holding meetings with the APA Pacific Division in March 1989, and held its first meeting with the Central Division in 1993. Besides conducting annual meetings with the APA divisions, the Society cooperated with the Jaspers Society of Japan and the Karl Jaspers Stiftung of Basel in mounting international conferences on Jaspers' thought. The first was held in the Summer of 1983 in conjunction with the XVII World Congress of Philosophy in Montreal, Canada, and commemorated the centenary of Jaspers' birth. The second international conference was part of the XVIII World Congress of Philosophy held in Brighton, England. Moscow in 1993 and Boston in 1998 were the locales for the last two international Jaspers meetings held as a part of the World Congress of Philosophy.

The Society's purpose is to promote study and research in the thought of Karl Jaspers and related philosophical issues. Dedicated exclusively for educational and scientific purposes, the Karl Jaspers Society of North America has received tax-exempt status under section 501(c) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provisions of any future U.S. Internal Revenue Law.