Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Quote of the Day

I still lived in an almost exclusive dedication to my theoretical work -- even though the decisive influences, which drove me from mathematics to philosophy as my vocation, may lie in overpowering religious experiences and complete transformations. Indeed the powerful effect of the New Testament on a 23-year-old gave rise to an impetus to discover the way to God and to a true life through a rigorous philosophical inquiry.

. . .

When, however, I wrote the Ideas -- in six weeks, without even a rough draft to use as a foundation, as in a trance -- read them over, and printed them right away, I humbly thanked God that I had been allowed to write this book, and could do no other than to stand by it, in spite of the many shortcomings of the work in details. And I must go on thanking him that he allows me to visualize ever new horizons of problems in the continuing unfolding of the old yet constantly growing themes, and allows me to open every new door.

Edmund Husserl
Letter to Arnold Metzger
Translated by Erazim Kohák
In Husserl: Shorter Works
edited by Peter McCormick and Frederick A. Elliston

Jim's comments: Husserl. Wittgenstein. Gödel. ChurchPeirce. How many of the great logicians after Boole were theists? I'm not sure if Gödel and Peirce were specifically Christians, and Boole himself was a deeply religious Unitarian. I also note that both Husserl and Wittgenstein don't really give arguments for why they accept Christianity. But it's still pretty interesting.

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