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Gustav Bergmann Papers

Identifier: RG99.0134

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Scope and Contents

The papers almost entirely chronicle Gustav Bergmann's academic career at the University of Iowa but also encompass his educational and professional career in Austria and Germany prior to his arrival in the United States in 1938. The collection spans 1920 to 1991, the bulk of which is concentrated on the period of 1930 to 1985. Included are lecture notes, chapter drafts and revisions for publications, correspondence, article reprints, photographs, and personal memoirs, notably of the Vienna Circle.


  • Creation: 1920-1991


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Gustav Bergmann, Ph.D., was born on May 4, 1906, in Vienna, Austria, a son of Fritz and Therese Bergmann. He received a doctorate degree in mathematics in 1928 and a law degree in 1935, both from the University of Vienna.

The rise of Nazism in Austria forced Bergmann to emigrate to the United States in 1938, joining the University of Iowa one year later as a guest lecturer in the Department of Psychology. He married Leola Nelson in 1943 in Iowa City. He was named an assistant professor in 1944, and from 1950 until his retirement in 1974 he was a professor of philosophy and psychology. In 1962, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Gothenberg in Sweden. He was president of the American Philosophical Association in 1967, and in 1972 was appointed a Carver Professor of Philosophy. He died on April 21, 1987, at age 80 following a lengthy illness.

A detailed discussion of Gustav Bergmann's life and his contributions, written by William S. Heald, appears in the journal Books at Iowa 56 (April 1992).


29.00 Linear Feet


A University of Iowa professor of philosophy. Class and seminar notes, correspondence, lectures and manuscript drafts. See also "From Positivism to Realism: The Philosophy of Gustav Bergmann" by William Heald in Books at Iowa 56 (April 1987). University Archives.

Method of Acquisition

Leola Bergmann donated the papers of Gustav Bergmann to the University of Iowa Archives in 1987.

Related Materials

Addis, Laird. "The Philosophy of Gustav Bergmann." Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 63 (April 1971): 78-98, notes, bibliog. Main.

Bergmann, Gustav. "Collected Works of Gustav Bergmann." Frankfurt-am-Main : Deutsche Hochschulschriften, 2002-2003. Main.

Ibid. "Filosofia del la ciencia." Madrid: Editorial Tecnos, [1961]. Main.

Ibid. "Logic and Reality." Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1964. Main.

Ibid. "Meaning and Existence." Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1960. Main.

Ibid. "Memories of the Vienna Circle: Letter to Otto Neurath (1938)." Edited and translated by William Heald and Gunter Zoeller. In Scientific Philosophy: Origins and Developments, edited by Friedrich Stadler, pp. 193-208, notes. Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook, 1. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1993. Main.

Ibid. "The Metaphysics of Logical Positivism." New York: Longmans, Green, 1954. Main.

Ibid. "The Metaphysics of Logical Positivism (Papers)." Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967. Main.

Ibid. "New Foundations of Ontology." Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992. Main.

Ibid. "Oral History Interview." University of Iowa Oral History Project, 4. 21 pp. 1976. University Archives.

Ibid. "Philosophy of Science." Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1957. Main.

Ibid. "Realism; a critique of Brentano and Meinong." Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967. Main.

Papers of Edward W. Chittenden (RG99.0126)

Farber, I.E. "Bergmann's 'History and Systems of Psychology' with Penultimate Reflections on Behaviorism." In Psychology at Iowa: Centennial Essays, edited by Joan H. Cantor, pp. 19-36, notes. Hillsdale, N.J.: L. Erlbaum, 1991. At Psychology Library; University Archives.

Heald, William. "From Positivism to Realism: The Philosophy of Gustav Bergmann." Books at Iowa 56 (April 1992): 25-46, illus. Main.

Genre / Form



University Archives, University of Iowa Libraries
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242