| Ludwig Klages|
| The Biocentric Worldview|
| 10 December 1872Hanover, Germany|
Philosopher, psychologist, graphologist
July 29, 1956, Kilchberg, Zurich, Switzerland
Humboldt University of Berlin
Friedrich Nietzsche, Emil Cioran, Oswald Spengler, Johannes Peter Muller, Georg Simmel
Nobel Prize in Literature
Ludwig Klages Wikipedia
Ludwig Klages (10 December 1872 – 29 July 1956) was a German philosopher, psychologist and a theoretician in the field of handwriting analysis. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Klages was born in Hanover, Germany. In Munich he studied physics, philosophy and chemistry – however, after completing his doctorate in chemistry he resolved never to work as a chemist. He met the sculptor Hans Busse and with him and Georg Meyer he founded the Deutsche Graphologische Gesellschaft (German Graphology Association) in 1894.
In Munich Klages also encountered the writer Karl Wolfskehl and the mystic Alfred Schuler. He was a lover of Fanny zu Reventlow, the "Bohemian Countess" of Schwabing, and with Wolfskehl, Schuler and the writer Ludwig Derleth they formed a group known as the Munich Cosmic Circle, with which the poet Stefan George is sometimes associated. He wrote a book praising George's poetry in 1902. As a member of this group his philosophy contrasted the "degenerate" modern world with an ancient, and mystical, Germanic past, with a heroic role for the artist in forging a new future. George distanced himself from Klages' mystical philosophy (which was shared by Schuler), but continued for a time to publish Klages' poems in his journal Blätter für die Kunst. Wolfskehl acquainted Klages with the work of Johann Jakob Bachofen (1815–1887), a Swiss anthropologist and sociologist, and his research into matriarchal clans.
In 1914 at the outbreak of war Klages moved to Switzerland and supported himself with his writing and income from lectures. He returned to Germany in the 1920s and in 1932 was awarded the Goethe medal for Art and Science. However by 1936 he was under attack from Nazi authorities for lack of support and on his 70th birthday in 1942 was denounced by many newspapers in Germany. After the war he was honoured by the new government, particularly on his 80th birthday in 1952.
He created a complete theory of graphology and will be long associated with the concepts of form level, rhythm and bi-polar interpretation. Together with Friedrich Nietzsche and Henri Bergson he anticipated existential phenomenology. He also coined the term logocentrism in the 1920s.
He was the author of 14 books and 60 articles (1910–1948). He was co-editor of the journals Berichte (1897–1898) and its successor Graphologische Monatshefte until 1908. His most important works are:Der Geist als Widersacher der Seele (1929)
Die Grundlagen der Charakterkunde
As a philosopher, Klages took the Nietzschean premises of Lebensphilosophie "to their most extreme conclusions." He drew a distinction between life-affirming Seele (spirit) and life-destroying Geist (mind). Geist represented the forces of "modern, industrial, and intellectual rationalization", while Seele represented the possibility of overcoming "alienated intellectuality in favor of a new-found earthly rootedness."
When Klages died, the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas urged that Klages' "realizations concerning anthropology and philosophy of language" should not be left "hidden behind the veil" of Klages' "anti-intellectualist metaphysics and apocalyptic philosophy of history". Habermas characterized these realizations as "not outdated" but ahead of the time.
Klages is an important anti-semitic thinker. He reportedly said, "To the Jew, everything human is a sham. One might even say that the Jewish face is nothing but a mask. The Jew is not a liar: he is the lie itself. From this vantage point, we can say that the Jew is not a man. … He lives the pseudo-life of a ghoul whose fortunes are linked to Yahweh-Moloch. He employs deception as the weapon with which he will exterminate mankind. The Jew is the very incarnation of the unearthly power of destruction."