Aron Gurwitsch (17 January 1901 - 25. June 1973)

Born in Wilna, he studied psychology, philosophy, mathematics and physics in Berlin, Frankfurt am Main and Göttingen. In 1928 he completed his doctorate in Göttingen on “Phenmenology of Subject Matter”, an examination of the theory of perception and its evolvement in the theory of coherent perception(Gestalttheorie) and phenomenology.  He failed his postdoctoral qualification presumably due to political reasons. The study of his postdoctoral thesis “Encounters with Fellow Humans in the Milieu World” was finally published in 1976. From 1929 – 1933 he worked as a research assistant at the Prussian Ministry of Science. In 1933, he immigrated to Paris, where he taught philosophy at Sorbonne. In 1940, he immigrated to the USA. There he taught philosophy, physics and mathematics at John Hopkins University and Harvard University amongst others. From 1948 he also taught at Brandeis University. In 1959 he had the reputation of Alfred Schütz’s successor at the New School for Social Research. He was also the director of the Husserl Archive and held a position as a visiting professor in Puerto Rico and Mainz as well as in other places. Gurwitsch’s work was dedicated to the further development of phenomenological constitution analysis and has had a great impact on the phenomenological scientific theory in particular. Copies of his complete scientific correspondence with Alfred Schütz can be found in the Archive. A commented account of this exchange is also available. The correspondence begins in exile in Paris 1938, continues in the USA and ends with the death of Schütz in 1959. It contains detailed discussions of the complete problem area of “phenomenology and social science”. The biggest part was published by Richard Grathoff in 1985. The estate also consists of excerpts, manuscripts and typo scripts from Gurwitsch’s academic career. An index of the estate copies is available.

Aron Gurwitsch Papers