(On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the passing of Prof. Dr. Mag. Karl Schuhmann, 19-03-1941 – 18-03-2003)

I am very glad to announce that together with Robin Rollinger we finally managed to publish a translation of an article by Karl Schuhmann “Phenomenological Ontology in the Work of Herbert Spiegelberg: Ideas and (Ontic and Deontic) States of Affairs” (originally written in German with the title “Idee, Sachverhalt und Sollverhalt. Die Ontologie Herbert Spiegelbergs”). It is available on-line at Phenomenological Investigations.

This translation also has had some difficulties getting published. It was at first prepared and intended for the volume The Reception of Husserlian Phenomenology in North America. This collection was originally envisioned as consisting of two volumes and the translation was announced in my contribution on Herbert Spiegelberg to the first volume as to appear in the second volume, but the plans to publish a second volume were later abandoned.

A central source for Spiegelberg’s position is his 1937 work Sollen und Dürfen (“Ought and May”), which remained unpublished until Schuhmann’s 1989 edition. The present translation is one of the most in-depth analyses of Spiegelberg’s ethical thought by someone who was not only intimately familiar with the content, but also a good friend and collaborator. Besides editing Sollen und Dürfen, Schuhmann also collaborated with Spiegelberg on the third edition of The Phenomenological Movement, and is acknowledged in various works as a friend and collaborator. In “Ontic and Deontic States of Affairs”, Schuhmann takes up not only some of the fundamental themes spanning Spiegelberg’s life-long quest for a phenomenological ethics and theory of value, but particularly does so by taking into account and integrating Spiegelberg’s early works on the topic. Spiegelberg’s early book-length treatments of ethical topics were never translated into English and perhaps for this reason he is nowadays known mainly as the historian of the phenomenological movement. We hope that this translation of Schumann’s article can also serve as an introduction and stimulus for a wider readership concerning Spiegelberg’s ethical quest.

We are very grateful to Elisabeth Schuhmann and Roland Schuhmann for the kindly conceded permission to translate this article from the unpublished manuscripts of Karl Schuhmann, to Piet Steenbakkers and Cees Leijenhorst for their support, Charlene Elsby and Phenomenological Investigations for providing a space for this work to finally appear in print, and Patrick Flack at SDVIG press for the quick processing and formatting so that the article could be available this weekend. 

(For those who would like to know more about Karl Schuhmann, a biography and bibliography of Schuhmann are available for free in the front and back matter of his Selected Papers)