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Jaspers had concluded that academic philosophy of the 1920s was seriously deficient.

In 1929 he spent a term at Heidelberg University, and there attended the lectures of Professor Karl Jaspers (1883-1969), who was then developing the ideas published in his (1932).

He watched the Austrian and German republics fall in the 1930s when the Nazis gained power.

Jaspers found inspiration in Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche; the lastmentioned was by then widely read.

The constricting influence of positivism in the social sciences became one of his themes by 1952, by which time he had altered his intellectual orientation.

Voegelin had begun his career as "an intellectual historian specialising in legal and political philosophy." (4) In 1945 he realised that his endeavour had been misconceived.

Remaining a Christian (unlike many contemporary philosophers), he was receptive to the legacy of Thomas Aquinas.

Another stated reason for his interest was that the major political faction in Austria at this time was the Christian Socialist Party, in which neo-Thomism was influential; as a political scientist, Voegelin had to keep track of this trend.Like other pedagogues of that period, Jaspers regarded Nietzsche as an inspiration for self-reflection and understanding.