Monday, December 06, 2004

Husserl Introduces Shestov to Kierkegaard

No doubt you have heard of Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Herewith, the first (and perhaps the last) installment of Vallicella's Philosophical Believe It Or Not.

Bernard Martin, "The Life and Thought of Lev Shestov" in Lev Shestov, Athens and Jerusalem (Athens: Ohio University Press, 1966), p. 25:

In Amsterdam Shestov met Edmund Husserl, with whom he maintained a close friendship for some years. Though they differed radically in their philosophical orientation and sharply attacked each other's point of view, they had a profound respect for each other. It was at Husserl's home in Freiburg that Shestov, when he came to the German university town to lecture in 1929, met Martin Heidegger. When Heidegger left the house after a long philosophical discussion, Husserl urged Shestov to acquaint himself with the work of Kierkegaard, hitherto unknown to him . . . .

I think anybody who has read both Husserl and Shestov would find it strange that they would have much of anything to say to each other, let alone that (i) Shestov would be unacquainted with Kierkegaard at that late date, and that (ii) Husserl, of all people, would be the one to introduce the Russian to the writings of the Danish Socrates.