Herbert Spiegelberg: From Munich to North America

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The chapter contains a brief intellectual biography of Herbert Spiegelberg, building on his numerous autobiographical remarks. It provides a survey of Spiegelberg’s early life and works and his German period, focusing more exten-sively on his American period. The chapter considers in some detail three important themes in Spiegelberg’s works. First, Spiegelberg’s role in spreading and develop-ing the phenomenological method in the United States through the organization of his workshops, based on ideas from his teachers Reinach and Pfänder to phenome-nologize “co-subjectively”. Second, his life-long concern with the development of a phenomenological ethics and the detailed development of the core notion of “deontic state of affairs” (Sollverhalt). Last but not least, his monumental contribu-tion to the historiography of phenomenology with his The Phenomenological Movement. The chapter takes a critical look at the early controversies with Farber on the idea of a phenomenological “movement” in order to clarify and qualify Spiegelberg’s own conception of phenomenology. The chapter is meant as a com-panion piece to the translation of Karl Schuhmann’s unpublished article “Phenomenological Ontology in the Work of Herbert Spiegelberg: Ideas and Ontic and Deontic States of Affairs” which will appear in the second volume.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Reception of Husserlian Phenomenology in North America
EditorsMichela Beatrice Ferri, Carlo Ierna
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319991856
ISBN (Print)9783319991832
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameContributions to Phenomenology
ISSN (Print)0923-9545


  • Herbert Spiegelberg
  • Phenomenological Movement
  • Phenomenology


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