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Husserl, Edmund 1859-1938
A Biography

(in progress)

If the reader wishes to find a prose accounting of Husserl's life, there is perhaps no better source than his own wife, Malvine Husserl.  You can find a copy of her "Skizze eines Lebensbildes von Edmund Husserl" in the journal, Husserl Studies 5: 110-125 (1988).  Unfortunately, I have been unable to obtain the appropriate permissions to publish a translation here.

This is an ongoing work, and its often less-than-systematic account of events reflects certain interests of its creator.  Go to the bibliography for an exhaustive and chronological listing of Husserl's writings in print.  Please feel free to make suggestions for inclusion in this table of events (  N.B. This page cannot and should not be thought a substitute for Karl Schuhmann's Husserl-Chronik (see sources below), for which this page owes much of its richness.

1859 Apr 8. Edmund, the second of four children, born in Prossnitz (or Prostejow, Moravia) to milliner Adolf Abraham Husserl and his wife, Julie Husserl neé Selinger.  [Edmund's siblings were: Heinrich (b. 1857), Helene Brunner neé Husserl (b. 1863), and Emil (b. 1869).]
Years of Study
1876/77 -- 1877-78 Studies astronomy at the University of Leipzig
1878 -- 1880/8 Studies mathematics with L. Kronecker & C. Weierstrass at University of Berlin
1881 -- 1881/82 Studies mathematics at University of Vienna
1882 Oct 8. Husserl's Ph.D. Dissertation accepted by the University of Vienna
"Beiträge zur Theorie der Variationsrechnung"
1883 Jan 23. Ph.D. promotion
1884 Apr 24. Husserl's father, Adolf Husserl, dies
1886 Apr 26. Husserl converts to Christianity.  Husserl's full Christian name reflects the influence of his sponsor, Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl
1886/87 -- 1887 Studies with Carl Stumpf at University of Halle
1887 Aug 6. Husserl marries Malvine Steinschneider
Years at University of Halle as Privatdozent
1887 Fall Husserl's Habilitationsschrift is published:
"Über den Begriff der Zahl"
1892 Jun,  2. Elisabeth Franziska Carola Husserl Born to Edmund and Malvine Husserl
1893 Dec 22. Gerhart Adolf Husserl born to Edmund and Malvine Husserl
1895 Oct 18. Wolfgang Husserl born to Edmund and Malvine Husserl
1900 Husserl publishes the 1st part of his Logische Untersuchungen: the  "Prolegomena zur reinen Logik"
1901 Husserl publishes the 2nd part of his Logische Untersuchungen: the  "Untersuchungen zur Phänomenologie und Theorie der Erkenntnis"
1901 Husserl meets Max Scheler for the first time
Years at University of Göttingen as außerordentlichen Professor
1901 Sept Husserl and wife move to University of Göttingen
1905 Mar
Walter B. Pitkin meet with Husserl to seek the latter's approval to translate Logische Untersuchungen into English
1905 Mar
Husserl travels to Berlin to visit Wilhelm Dilthey and Bernhard Groethuysen after he learns that Dilthey had held a seminar on the Logische Untersuchungen
1905 Sommerferien
[ca. August]
Husserl writes the Seefelder Ms. on Individuation [A VII 25/27, 2-11]. On the containing envelope, Husserl writes: "In Seefelder Blättern (1905) finde ich schon Begriff und Korrekten Gebrauch der "phänomenologischen Reduktion"." [Hua X, 459]
1906 Jun 26. Promoted to ordentlichen Professor at Göttingen
1907: Mar 2./3. - Apr 3. Husserl and wife travel to Italy where Husserl has the opportunity to visit with the mathematician, Constantin Caratheodory, and the philosopher, Franz Brentano
1907: Apr 25. - May 2. Husserl gives 5 lectures on "Die Idee der Phänomenologie"
1908 Jan 3. Husserl's son, Gerhart, severly injures himself and remains bedridden for 50 days
1909 Oct 17. Paul Natorp visits Husserl in Göttingen
1910 Jan 25. Husserl collaborates with Heinrich Rickert as editor of the journal, Logos
1910 Oct 29. Begins lecture course "Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie"
1910 Dec 21. Wilhelm Dilthey sends Husserl a copy of his Der Aufbau der geschichtlichen Welt in den Geisteswissenschaften
1911 Mar The article "Philosophie as strenge Wissenschaft" is published in the first issue of Logos
1911 Jun 29. - Jul 10. Correspondence with W. Dilthey initiated after publication of Husserl's Logos article
1912 Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung established with Moritz Geiger, Alexander Pfänder, Adolf Reinach & Husserl as chief editor
1913 Karl Jaspers visits Husserl in Göttingen
1913 Apr Ideen I published
1914 Sep (end) Husserl visits his sons in Arnstadt, both of whom are engaged in military service
1914 Oct 12. Both Husserl's sons are sent to the front
1915 Feb 20. Wolfgang Husserl severely injured in action
1915 Mar 14. - 17. Husserl travels to Belgium to visit his injured son, Wolfgang
1915 Fall Husserl suffers from nicotine poisoning
1915 Sep 25. - Oct 20. Husserl stays at Höhensanatorium Wilhelmhöhe in Kassel due to ill health
Years at University of Freiburg
1916 Jan 5. Appointment to Freiburg
1916 Mar 8. Wolfgang Husserl killed in action on the battlefields of Verdun
1916 Apr 1. Husserl takes up residence in Freiburg
1916 Oct 1 - ca. 1918 Edith Stein works for approximately 2 years as Husserl's assistant
1916 Oct 10 Husserl applies to the faculty on Martin Heidegger's behalf in order to obtain a teaching contract for a two hour seminar in the winter semester, which was approved
1917 April ca. 20. Husserl visits his wounded son, Gerhard, in Speyer
1917 May 3. Husserl delivers his inaugural lecture at 6:15 p.m.
"Die reine Phänomenologie ihr Forschungsgebiet und ihre Methode."
1917 Jul Julie Husserl neé Selinger (Husserl's mother) dies
1917, Jul 1.- Oct 1. Husserl summers in Bernau at St. Blasien (Gasthaus zum Rößle)
1917, Sep Edith Stein enjoys a working holiday with the Husserls in Bernau for a few days
1917 Nov 8.-17. Husserl holds 3 lectures on "Fichtes Menschheitsideal" for military students at the University of Freiburg
1917 Dec 6. Husserl publishes Adolf Reinach's obituary in the Frankfurter Zeitung
1918 Jan 14.-16. Husserl repeats his "Fichtes Menschheitsideal" lectures for colleagues of the philosophy faculty
1918: Feb 1.-Apr 27 Husserl holidays in Bernau
1918 Apr 10 Husserl begins a correspondence with the Göttingen physicist and mathematician, Hermann Weyl. The letter is regarding Husserl's approval of Weyl's approach to the foundations of mathematics (analysis) in the latter's book: Das Kontinuum. [Thanks to Richard Feist ( for this information.]
1918 Nov 6.-9. Husserl repeats his "Fichtes Menschheitsideal" lectures for colleagues of the philosophy faculty
1919 Jan 21 Husserl's applies to name Martin Heidegger to the post of Assistant to the Philosophy Seminar, I, which was approved by the faculty. 
(See also:  Heidegger, Martin. Supplements. From the Earliest Essays to Being and Time and Beyond. Ed. by John van Buren. Albany: SUNY Press, 2002, 27f.)
ca. 1920-1924 Arnold Metzger is Husserl's private assistant
1921 Jul 31.-Oct 26. Husserl vacations in St. Märgen, producing the so-called "St. Märgener" manuscripts
1921 Sep Martin Heidegger visits Husserl in St. Märgen
1922 Jun 6.-8. & 12. Husserl presents 4 lectures at University College entitled "Phänomenologische Methode und Phänomenologische Philosophie" in London
1922 Dec 22. Husserl's daughter, Elisabeth, marries Jakob Rosenberg
1923 Jan Husserl sends off four articles to Japan (1. "Erneuerung, Ihr Problem and ihre Methode, [Kaizo] " 2. "Die Methode der Wesensforschung, [Kaizo] " 3. "Erneuerung als individualethisches Problem, [Kaizo] " 4. "Die Idee einer philosophischen Kultur: Ihr erstes Aufkeimen in der grieschischen Philosophie, [Japanisch-deutsche Zeitschrift für Wissenschaft und Technik])
1923 Jun Husserl is offered a position in Berlin but rejects the offer and, in so doing, obtains promises of financial support for his activities of research as well as continual support for a  research assistant
1923 Summer Husserl sends Martin Heidegger his own copy of the Logische Untersuchungen on the occasion of the latter's appointment to Marburg
1923 Sep 8. Husserl's son, Gerhart, marries
ca 1923-1930 Ludwig Landgrebe is Husserl private assistant
1924 Jul 5. Husserl receives Wilhelm Dilthey, Gesammelte Schriften, Volumes V-VI: Die geistige Welt. Einleitung in die Philosophie des Lebens.
1925 Mar (middle) Martin Heidegger visits Husserl
1925 May 19. Husserl lectures on Wilhelm Dilthey's descriptive psychology and Brentano's idea of intentionality and the further development of these ideas in Husserl's Logische Untersuchungen (Hua. IX)
1926 Mar-Apr 29. Husserl vacations in Todtnauberg
1926 Mar 12. Heidegger spends time with Husserl in Todtnauberg
1926 Apr 8. Martin Heidegger presents his Sein und Zeit, dedicated "in grateful respect and friendship" to Edmund Husserl at the latter's birthday celebration (in Todtnauberg)
1926, Aug ca.1.-21. Husserl vacations in Silvaplana, where Martin Heidegger visits for a week
1927 Feb 24. Promotion of Ludwig Landgrebe, whose dissertation was entitled "Wilhem Diltheys Theorie der Geisteswissenschaften"
1927 Su. Semester Eugen Fink attends Husserl lecture
ca.1927 Oct 12. Martin Heidegger visits Husserl in Freiburg to discuss the first draft of the Encyclopedia-Britannica article with him
1928 Martin Heidegger publishes Husserl's Vorlesungen zur Phänomenologie des inneren Zeitbewußtseins
1928 Feb Christopher V. Salmon sends Husserl his translation of the Encyclopaedia-Britannica article, "Phenomenology"
1928 Mar 31  Husserl retires
1928 Apr 22.-29. Husserl holds 2 lectures and an evening of discussion in Amsterdam on "Phänomenologie und Psychologie. Transzendentale Phänomenologie"
1928 Aril 30. Husserl holds a lecture in Groningen on phenomenological psychology
1928 Jul 25 Husserl's last class.
1928 Aug Eugen Fink takes over as Husserl's personal assistant, replacing Ludwig Landgrebe.  Landgrebe receives further funding for continued work with Husserl, however.
1929 Feb 23. & 25. Husserl presents the so-called Paris lectures, which would form the basis of his Méditations Cartésiennes
1929 Apr 8 Presentation of Festschrift by Heidegger on Husserl's 70th birthday.  Other attendees to the event included Oskar Becker, Jean Hering, Roman Ingarden, Alexandre Koyré, Karl Löwith, Hendrik Pos, Edith Stein.
1929 May George Misch sends Husserl his first installment of Lebensphilosophie und Phänomenologie
1929 Jul (end) Formale und transzendentale Logik published
1929 Jul 24 Husserl attends Heidegger's offical inaugural lecture at Freiburg University, "Was ist Metaphysik?"
1929 Summer Husserl engages in a close reading of Heidegger's Sein und Zeit, Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik, and "Vom Wesen des Grundes"
1929 Aug 15 - Sep 15 Husserl continues close reading of Heidegger's texts while on vacation in Tremezzo, Italy
1930 Mar (end) Ludwig Landgrebe ends his duties as assistant to Husserl in order to prepare his Habilitationsschrift.
1930 Aug 13. Husserl goes over Eugen Fink's Disposition zu "System der phänomenologischen Philosophy" von Edmund Husserl.
1930 Aug (end)-Nov. 1. Husserl and Eugen Fink travel to Chiavari for a planned intensive working holiday, where Husserl 's illness prevents most work from being accomplished
1930 Sep 29. Husserl falls ill with Bronchitis and is laid up for 14 days
1930 Dec Husserl reads and annotates Eugen Fink's outline for the introduction of the new German Cartesianische Meditationen
1930 Dec Husserl publishes his "Nachwort zu meinen Ideen zu einer reinen Phänonomenologie und phänomenologischen Philosophie"
1931 Jan Husserl reads and annotates Eugen Fink's outline for the introduction of the new  German Cartesianische Meditationen
1931 Jun 1. & 2. Husserl gives a lecture for the Kant Society of Frankfurt entitled "Phänomenologie und Anthropologie" and spends the next evening discussing the lecture of the previous night
1931 Jun 10 Husserl gives his lecture for the Kant Society of Berlin entitled "Phänomenologie und Anthropologie"
1931 Jun 16 Husserl gives his lecture for the Kant Society of Halle entitled "Phänomenologie und Anthropologie"
1931 Jul 1.-Aug 5. Husserl vacations in St. Märgen
1932 Jul 7. Eugen Fink sends to Alfred Schutz his copy of the German manuscript of the Cartesianische Meditationen which Schutz returns on Sep 16
1932 Aug 15. Eugen Fink sends to Husserl pages 1-67 (§§1-6) of his VI. cartesianische Meditation
1932 Sep 8. Eugen Fink sends to Husserl pages 68-108 of his VI. cartesianische Meditation
1932 Oct 5. Eugen Fink sends to Husserl pages 109-123 of his VI. cartesianische Meditation
1932 Oct 21. Eugen Fink sends to Husserl pages 173-202 of his VI. cartesianische Meditation
1933 Apr 6. Husserl was suspended from the University of Freiburg by decree Nr. A. 7642 of the Badisch Ministry of Culture
1933 Apr 14. On the basis of the decree of April 6th and others, Husserl disallowed from any university activities
1933 Apr 21. & 22. Martin Heidegger elected Rektor of the University of Freiburg and joins the Nazi Party
1933 Apr 28. Husserl reinstated to the university by decree Nr. A. 8500
1933 Summer Jan Patocka studies in Freiburg
1933 Jun Date of Husserl's forword to Eugen Fink's Die phänomenologishe Philosophie E. Husserls in der gegenwärtigen Kritik
1933 Jul 20. The cultural ministry in Karlsruhe lifts Husserl's suspension
1933 Sep Husserl resigns from the Deutsche Akademie
1933 Nov 10. Hussserl receives an appointment at the University of Southern California, School of Philosophy, but declines it as it does not allow for Eugen Fink to join him
1934 Aug Husserl receives an invitation to Prague to present an essay on the present tasks of philosophy
1934 Aug 14. Gaston Berger and Eugen Fink visit Husserl in Kappel
1934 Aug 30 Husserl drafts letter to the Prague Congress of Philosophers
1934 Sep 2. Husserl requests Jan Patocka withdrawal his written treatment for the Prague Congress
1934 Nov & Dec Ortega y Gasset pays Husserl a couple of visits
1934 Christmas Jan Patocka visits Husserl
1935 Mar The Vienna Kulturbund invites Husserl to present a lecture
1935 Apr 21 and ff. Husserl rereads Eugn Fink's essay Die phänomenologische Philosophie E. Husserls in der gegenwärtigen Kritik
1935 May 7. & 10. Husserl presents his lecture "Die Philosophie in der Krisis der europäischen Menschheit" to the Vienna Kulturbund.  The second reading contains changes
1935 Sep 16. Husserl is denied on political grounds the opportunity to present his "Vienna Lecture" in Prague (in addition to the already planned lecture).
1935 Nov 12.-18. Husserl speaks in front of the Brentano-Gesellschaft, Cercle linquistique, Cercle Philosophique and in a seminar of Emil Utitz
1935 Nov 12.-15. Husserl presents his lecture entitled Die Krisis der europäischen Wissenschaften und die Psychologie before the Cercle philosophique de Prague pour les recherches sur l'entendement humain
1936 Jan 15. Husserl's name removed from the Vorlesungsverzeichnis at the University of Freiburg
1936 Jan 25 and ff. Ludwig Landgrebe visits Husserl for 3 weeks to discuss what would be later known as Erfahrung und Urteil
1936 Jan 24. Husserl sends the first part of the "Krisis" to the Cercle philosophique de Prague
1936 Mar Husserl falls ill in in the midst of preparing the further "Krisis" manuscripts
1936 Apr 17.-May 15. Husserl recuperates in Rapallo
1936 Summer James L. Adams visits Husserl and films him
1936 Sep 28. Husserl sends of the corrected proofs of the 1st section of the "Krisis" manuscript to Arthur Liebert
1936 Oct 28. Husserl requests permission to present lectures before the Zurich Student Committee (ca. May 1937) and the International Congress of Philosophers in Paris (1.-6. Aug 1937)
1937 Jan 7. Husserl sends the 1st article of the "Krisis" manuscripts to Rudolf Pannwitz
1937 Feb 3. and ff. Ludwig Landgrebe visits Husserl for 3 weeks in conjunction with his editorial activities of the "Logischen Studien"
1937 Jun 8. Husserl is denied the opportunity to attend the Paris Congress of Philosophers
1937 Jun (end) Husserl moves from Lorettostr. 40 to Schöneckstr. 6
1937 Aug (middle) Jan Patocka visits Husserl for a few days on his return from the Paris Congress
1937 Aug 10. and ff. Husserl bedridden due to a fall
1938 Apr 27 Husserl dies at 5:45 am
1938 Apr 29. At Husserl's cremation, Eugen Fink eulogizes Husserl and Isaiah chapter 40, verse 31 is read

Bernet, Rudolf; Kern, Iso; and Marbach, Eduard. Introduction to Husserlian Phenomenology. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1993, 235-244.

Edmund Husserl und die phänomenologische Bewegung. Zeugnisse in Text und Bild. Hr. v. Hans Rainer Sepp. Freiburg: Verlag Karl Alber, 1988.

Schuhmann, Karl. Husserl-Chronik. Denk- und Lebensweg Edmund Husserls Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff, 1977.

Feel free to jump in and submit more biographical information on the life of Edmund Husserl to Bob Sandmeyer at

Copyright © 1996-2003 Bob Sandmeyer.