Paolo Costa

The Theoretical Challenge of Axiality

Are you already subscribed?
Login to check whether this content is already included on your personal or institutional subscription.


In the article, Karl Jaspers' thesis of axiality is analyzed from three points of view: as a historical claim, as a diagnosis of the present time and as a philosophical challenge. After a discussion of the tripartite structure of his argument, three aspects of the theoretical challenge of axiality are investigated in the final part of the essay: (1) the question of human unity in diversity; (2) the evolutionary significance of the discovery of «transcendence», understood as the inclusion into the struggle for existence of an ideal struggle for recognition; (3) the would-be impact that a purely immanent and horizontal life-form could have on the dialectics of sacralization and de-sacralization, which is a common trait of all axial and post-axial civilizations.


  • Axial Age
  • Karl Jaspers
  • Transcendence
  • Second-order Thinking
  • Dualism


Article first page

What do you think about the recent suggestion?

Trova nel catalogo di Worldcat