Gustav Bergmann

Last updated
Gustav Bergmann
GustavBergmann berg1.jpg
Born May 4, 1906
Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died April 21, 1987
Iowa City, U.S.
Alma mater University of Vienna
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Analytic philosophy
Vienna Circle
Logical positivism (1950s)
Metaphysical realism (1960s) [1]
Institutions University 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.

University of Vienna public university located in Vienna, Austria

The University of Vienna is a public university located in Vienna, Austria. It was founded by Duke Rudolph IV in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world. With its long and rich history, the University of Vienna has developed into one of the largest universities in Europe, and also one of the most renowned, especially in the Humanities. It is associated with 20 Nobel prize winners and has been the academic home to a large number of scholars of historical as well as of academic importance.

Vienna Circle

The Vienna Circle of Logical Empiricism was a group of philosophers and scientists drawn from the natural and social sciences, logic and mathematics who met regularly from 1924 to 1936 at the University of Vienna, chaired by Moritz Schlick.

Moritz Schlick German philosopher

Friedrich Albert Moritz Schlick was a German philosopher, physicist, and the founding father of logical positivism and the Vienna Circle.



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.

Austria-Hungary Constitutional monarchic union from 1867 to October 1918

Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy in Central and Eastern Europe from 1867 to 1918. It was formed by giving a new constitution to the Austrian Empire, which devolved powers on Austria (Cisleithania) and Hungary (Transleithania) and placed them on an equal footing. It broke apart into several states at the end of World War I.

Walther Mayer Austrian mathematician

Walther Mayer was an Austrian mathematician, born in Graz, Austria-Hungary. With Leopold Vietoris he is the namesake of the Mayer–Vietoris sequence in topology. He served as an assistant to Albert Einstein, and was nicknamed "Einstein's calculator".

Doctorate academic or professional degree

A doctorate or doctor's degree or doctoral degree, is an academic degree awarded by universities, derived from the ancient formalism licentia docendi In most countries, it is a research degree that qualifies the holder to teach at university level in the degree's field, or to work in a specific profession. There are a variety of names for doctoral degrees; the most common is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), which is awarded in many different fields, ranging from the humanities to scientific disciplines.

He died in Iowa City.


The University of Wisconsin Press is a non-profit university press publishing peer-reviewed books and journals. It publishes work by scholars from the global academic community; works of fiction, memoir and poetry under its imprint, Terrace Books; and serves the citizens of Wisconsin by publishing important books about Wisconsin, the Upper Midwest, and the Great Lakes region.

See also

Related Research Articles

Logical positivism and logical empiricism, which together formed neopositivism, was a movement in Western philosophy whose central thesis was verificationism, a theory of knowledge which asserted that only statements verifiable through empirical observation are meaningful. The movement flourished in the 1920s and 1930s in several European centers.

Rudolf Carnap was a German-language philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism. He is considered "one of the giants among twentieth-century philosophers."

Charles William Morris was an American philosopher and semiotician.

Alexius Meinong Austrian philosopher

Alexius Meinong Ritter von Handschuchsheim was an Austrian philosopher, a realist known for his unique ontology. He also made contributions to philosophy of mind and theory of value.

Logical atomism

Logical atomism is a philosophy that originated in the early 20th century with the development of analytic philosophy. Its principal exponent was the British philosopher Bertrand Russell. It is also widely held that the early work of his Austrian-born pupil and colleague, Ludwig Wittgenstein, defend a version of logical atomism. Some philosophers in the Vienna Circle were also influenced by logical atomism. Rudolf Carnap was also deeply sympathetic to some of the philosophical aims of logical atomism. Gustav Bergmann also developed a form of logical atomism that focused on an ideal phenomalistic language, particularly in his discussions of J.O. Urmson's work on analysis.

20th-century philosophy

20th-century philosophy saw the development of a number of new philosophical schools—including logical positivism, analytic philosophy, phenomenology, existentialism, and poststructuralism. In terms of the eras of philosophy, it is usually labelled as contemporary philosophy.

In metaphysics, realism about a given object is the view that this object exists in reality independently of our conceptual scheme. In philosophical terms, these objects are ontologically independent of someone's conceptual scheme, perceptions, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc.

Carl Gustav Hempel German philosopher

Carl Gustav "Peter" Hempel was a German writer and philosopher. He was a major figure in logical empiricism, a 20th-century movement in the philosophy of science. He is especially well known for his articulation of the deductive-nomological model of scientific explanation, which was considered the "standard model" of scientific explanation during the 1950s and 1960s. He is also known for the raven paradox.

The Berlin Circle was a group that maintained logical empiricist views about philosophy.

The philosophy of social science is the study of the logic, methods, and foundations of social sciences such as psychology, economics, and political science. Philosophers of social science are concerned with the differences and similarities between the social and the natural sciences, causal relationships between social phenomena, the possible existence of social laws, and the ontological significance of structure and agency.

Friedrich Waismann was an Austrian mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. He is best known for being a member of the Vienna Circle and one of the key theorists in logical positivism.

Herbert Feigl was an Austrian philosopher and a member of the Vienna Circle.

Positivism philosophy of science based on the view that information derived from scientific observation is the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge

Positivism is a philosophical theory stating that certain ("positive") knowledge is based on natural phenomena and their properties and relations. Thus, information derived from sensory experience, interpreted through reason and logic, forms the exclusive source of all certain knowledge. Positivism holds that valid knowledge is found only in this a posteriori knowledge.

Verificationism, also known as the verification idea or the verifiability criterion of meaning, is the philosophical doctrine that only statements that are empirically verifiable are cognitively meaningful, or else they are truths of logic (tautologies).

Panayot Butchvarov is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Iowa.

Albert E. Blumberg was an American philosopher and political activist. He was an official of the Communist Party for several years before joining the Democratic Party as a district leader.

An index list of articles about the philosophy of science.

This is a list of articles in analytic philosophy.


  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" (