The Philosophy of Aron Gurwitsch

  • Fred Kersten
Part of the Contributions to Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 25)


At various times I have had occasion to reflect on different aspects of the Philosophy of Aron Gurwitsch: on the critical center of his thought (“The Constancy Hypothesis in the Social Sciences”), on the bearing of some of the results of his thought on contemporary problems in transcendental phenomenology (“Heidegger and Transcendental Phenomenology,” “The Life-Concept and the Life-Conviction”), even on the philosophical attitude that seemed everywhere to underlie his thought (“Remarks on the Philosophical Attitude and Approach in the Philosophy of Aron Gurwitsch”), and, as a result of my last conversation with Aron Gurwitsch, on the “originality” of his transformation of the phenomenological problem of intentionality (“The Originality of Gurwitsch’s Theory of Intentionality”).2 In addition, the experience of translating some of Gurwitsch’s work into English provided a unique opportunity to explore many of his ideas with him (such as those in “The Phenomenology of Thematics and of the Pure Ego” dealing with the inner workings of Gestalt psychology as much as with the telos of the inner workings of his gradual transformation of basic ideas in Husserl concerning attention, the ego, and the internal organization of the noema.


Intellectual Development Coherence Theory Transcendental Phenomenology Antique Sense Phenomenological Data 
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  1. 3a.
    For such “introductions,” see Alexandre Métraux, “Editorial Preface,” Aron Gurwitsch: Human Encounters in the Social World (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1979, pp. xiii–xxviii)Google Scholar
  2. 3b.
    Ludwig Landgrebe, “Einleitung,” Alfred Schütz-Aron Gurwitsch. Briefwechsel 1939–1959 (München: Wilhelm Find Verlag, 1985, pp. xiii–xxxviii)Google Scholar
  3. 3c.
    [“Reflections on the Schutz-Gurwitsch Correspondence,” J. Claude Evans (Trans.), Human Studies, 14, 1991: 107–128]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 3d.
    Lester Embree, “Biographical Sketch of Aron Gurwitsch,” Life-world and Consciousness: Essays for Aron Gurwitsch, L. E. Embree (Ed.) (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1972, pp. xvii–xxx).Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    Paul Oskar Kristeller, “A Life of Learning,” The American Scholar, Vol. 60, No. 3 (Summer 1991: 337–350).Google Scholar
  6. 5a.
    Gurwitsch especially emphasized this antique usage of ‘reason’ in his lectures on Husserl’s Formal and Transcendental Logic at the Graduate Faculty, The New School; his emphasis is also found in his discussion of Husserl’s Crisis of Western Sciences, “The Last Work of Edmund Husserl,” Aron Gurwitsch, Studies in Phenomenology and Psychology (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1966, p. 446f); see also the statement cited by Embree, op. cit., p. xxxix, note 9.Google Scholar
  7. 5b.
    A similar point is made by Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind (New York/London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978, p. 14f).Google Scholar
  8. 6.
    Kristeller, p. 339.Google Scholar
  9. 7.
    Kristeller, p. 346f.Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    Gurwitsch, Studies in Phenomenology and Psychology, p. xvii.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    Gurwitsch, Studies in Phenomenology and Psychology, p. xxv.Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    Métraux has already suggested this, I believe, op. cit., p. xxviif.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Kersten
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-Green BayUSA

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