Gustav Bergmann

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Gustav Bergmann
GustavBergmann berg1.jpg
BornMay 4, 1906
DiedApril 21, 1987
Iowa City, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Vienna
Era20th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
SchoolAnalytic philosophy
Vienna Circle
Logical positivism (1950s)
Metaphysical realism (1960s)[1]
InstitutionsUniversity of Iowa
Main interests
Philosophy of science
Notable ideas
Coining the term "linguistic turn"[2]

Gustav Bergmann (May 4, 1906 – April 21, 1987) was an Austrian-born American philosopher. He studied at the University of Vienna and was a member of the Vienna Circle. Bergmann was influenced by the philosophers Moritz Schlick, Friedrich Waismann, and Rudolf Carnap who were members of the Circle.[3] In the United States, he was a professor of philosophy and psychology at the University of Iowa.


Bergmann was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Vienna in 1928. His dissertation, directed by Walther Mayer, was titled Zwei Beiträge zur mehrdimensionalen Differentialgeometrie. While studying for his doctorate, he was invited to join the Vienna Circle, a group of philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and others committed to a scientific worldview under the name of logical positivism. In 1930–31, he worked with Albert Einstein in Berlin. Unable as a Jew to find academic employment, Bergmann obtained a J.D. degree from the University of Vienna in 1935, and practiced corporate law until he and his family fled to the United States in 1938. Settling at the University of Iowa in Iowa City in 1939, Bergmann eventually became professor of both philosophy and psychology.

He died in Iowa City.


  • The Metaphysics of Logical Positivism New York: Longmans, Green & Co. 1954. (Second edition: Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 1967.)
  • Philosophy of Science Madison: University of Wisconsin Press 1957.
  • Meaning and Existence Madison: University of Wisconsin Press 1959.
  • Logic and Reality Madison: University of Wisconsin Press 1964.
  • Realism: A Critique of Brentano and Meinong Madison: University of Wisconsin Press 1967.
  • New Foundations of Ontology Madison: University of Wisconsin Press 1992. Edited by William Heald.
  • Collected Works. Vol I. II. Frankfurt am Main: Ontos Verlag 2003.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Ontological Realism of Gustav Bergmann" (Ontology: Theory and History)
  2. ^ Neil Gross, Richard Rorty: The Making of an American Philosopher, University Of Chicago Press, 2008, p. xxix.
  3. ^ "Gustav Bergmann" (


  • Ontology and Analysis: Essays and Recollections about Gustav Bergmann, edited by Laird Addis, Greg Jesson, and Erwin Tegtmeier, Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2007.
  • Fostering the Ontological Turn: Gustav Bergmann (1906-1987), edited by Rosaria Egidi and Guido Bonino, Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2008.
  • Gustav Bergmann: Phenomenological Realism and Dialectical Ontology, edited by Bruno Langlet and Jean-Maurice Monnoyer, Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag, 2009.
  • The Ontological Turn: Studies in the Philosophy of Gustav Bergmann, edited by Moltke Gram and Elmer Klemke, Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1974.
  • The Positivist and the Ontologist: Bergmann, Carnap, and Logical Realism, by Herbert Hochberg, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2001.

External links[edit]