Gödel and Husserl

  • Dagfinn Føllesdal
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 251)


It is not widely known that there is a connection between Husserl and Gödel. Husserl never referred to Gödel — he was more than 70 when Gödel obtained his first great results, and he died a few years later, in 1938, without seeming to have taken notice of Gödel’s work. And Gödel never referred to Husserl in his published works. However, Gödel’s Nachlass, part of which is now coming out in volume III of Solomon Feferman et al., Collected Works of Kurt Gödel (Feferman 1994), shows that Gödel knew Husserl’s work well and appreciated it greatly. Thus Gödel writes in a manuscript from late 1961 or shortly thereafter:

… just because of the lack of clarity and the literal incorrectness of many of Kant’s formulations, quite divergent directions have developed out of Kant’s thought — none of which, however, really did justice to the core of Kant’s thought. This requirement seems to me to be met for the first time by phenomenology, which, entirely as intended by Kant, avoids both the death-defying leaps of idealism into a new metaphysics as well as the positivistic rejection of all metaphysics. But now, if the misunderstood Kant has already led to so much that is interesting in philosophy, and also indirectly in science, how much more can we expect it from Kant understood correctly?2


Physical Object Mathematical Object Sense Perception Abstract Entity Reflective Equilibrium 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dagfinn Føllesdal
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford University University of OsloUSA

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