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Heidelberg University and the city of Heidelberg endowed the Karl-Jaspers-Prize in 1983 on the occasion of Karl Jaspers’ centenary. Since 2013, the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences is also involved in the funding of the prize. It is awarded every three to five years and includes a prize money of 25,000 Euro.

The prize is awarded for a "scientific work of international significance supported by philosophical spirit". The work should be crossing the borders of the disciplines in the humanities or psychiatry towards an interdisciplinary understanding.

The Karl-Jaspers-Prize commemorates a scholar, whose work in psychopathology and world philosophy received high global recognition. Jaspers is viewed as a major exponent of existentialism and one of the most important German philosophers of the 20th century.

The Laureates:

2017: Jan Assman (*1938), German Egyptologist and Aleida Assmann (*1947), German cultural scientist

2013: Hans Maier (*1931), German historian, political scientist, and philosopher

2008: Jean-Luc Marion (*1946), French philosopher

2004: Michael Theunissen (*1932), German philosopher

2001: Robert Spaemann (*1927), German philosopher

1998: Jean Starobinski (*1920), Swiss doctor, literary scholar, medical historian, and historian of ideas

1995: Jürgen Habermas (*1929), German philosopher and sociologist

1992: Jeanne Hersch (1910-2000), Swiss philosopher, pedagogue, and writer

1989: Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005), French philosopher

1986: Hans Georg Gadamer (1900-2002), German philosopher

1983: Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995), French philosopher and writer

Picture: Karl Jaspers, courtesy of Universitätsarchiv Heidelberg/ Photo: Robert Herbst