Letter from Edmund Husserl written 02.12.1929

Freiburg, 2.XII.1929

Dear Friend,

            I am very much indebted to you. This is how I treat the best and most loyal of my old students – besides whom only Jean Hering is as close to me as you are. But you have no idea how fast time goes by when I am fervently immersed in my work, months as well as days! On the one hand, I have not written sooner because I wanted to tell you a lot about your commemorative contribution. But expanding on it and discussing our philosophical differences is not easy, since a few sentences can be of little use. Your work is perhaps the most beautiful and important one included in this volume. It is extremely well-written. I was very happy about this superior solidity and the precision of the distinctions. You may understand the reason why I cannot accept you placing the ontolog[ical] before the intentional-phenomenological (in which “idealism” originates), by reading the second part of the F[ormal] and Tr[anscendental] Logic42. Unfortunately, the translator who is working on the Cartes[ian] Med[itations] is taking a long time (or she is too busy). Had the French text already been printed as planned, you would more clearly recognize the basics of my ph[enomenological] methodology and system.

            I am very pleased that my log[ical] writing speaks to you. It was written and printed within a few months in one go and after decades of pondering these issues. I am curious how you will receive the entire work, especially the second pa[rt], including the important supplements. The new logical book, an originally arising judgment-theory or even better: a “formal” theory of knowledge – a syst[ematic] structure of the categorical modes of being from the original sources of evidence – still torments me tremendously; things are so far behind me! (Taking the main manuscript from Göttingen of 1908-11 to the philosophically matured level of 1929!)

            Currently, I am tired and looking forward to taking a much-needed break. [You asked about] the detailed “study of Heidegger”? I came to the conclusion that, unfortunately, I cannot place the work within the scope of my phen[omenology], and sadly, I also have to reject it methodically as well as factually in its entirety.43 All the more, I attach great importance to the complete structuring of the G[erman] edition of the Cart[esian] Med[itations] in addition to my systematic “Main Work.” Hopefully, it will be completed at the end of the year of 1930, followed by concretely explained works – all of which have been prepared in abundance. I have not yet received an invitation from Oxford. The fact that you are sharing your new book certainly has its disadvantages in addition to its practical advantages: writing a whole book is always the most impressive.

            Finally, congratulations on your freer life and work. When will I see you again? Please send my regards to your wife.

Cordially yours,

E. Husserl