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Guide to the Reiner Schürmann papers, 1958-1993

Collection Overview


New School Personal Papers

Collection Identifier



Schürmann, Reiner, 1941-1993


Reiner Schürmann papers, 1958-1993


5.5 linear ft: 5 boxes

Language of Materials

Primarily in English and French.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Reiner Schürmann papers, NA.0006.01, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Biographical Note

Born to German parents in Amsterdam, Reiner Schürmann (1941-1993) served on the Philosophy Department faculty at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research for nearly twenty years. Schürmann came to the United States in 1971 as a Dominican priest, having earned a degree in religious studies from Le Centre d'études du Saulchoir in France in 1969. He earned additional degrees in philosophy from La Sorbonne, including a doctorate in philosophy in 1981. Schürmann authored three major philosophical works: Maître Eckhart et la joie errante (1972);  Le Principe d'anarchie, Heidegger et la question de l'agir (1982), and  Des Hégémonies brisées, published posthumously in 1996.  Les Origines, Schürmann's only work of literary fiction (awarded the Prix Broquette-Gonin by the Académie Française in 1977), has autobiographical elements, exploring paths to redemption from the guilt of being born German during World War II. Schürmann left the priesthood in 1976, around the time he came to the New School. Before the New School, he held teaching posts at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. and Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh. Former students remember Schürmann as a committed, demanding, and inspirational teacher, part of a European philosophical tradition that extended from Alfred Schutz to Hans Jonas and Hannah Arendt. Reiner Schürmann died of complications caused by AIDS on August 20, 1993 in New York City.


Christopher P. Long, "Remembering Reiner Schürmann," online edition of Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, November 3, 2015.

“Reiner Schürmann,” Wikipedia, last modified November 20, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiner_Schürmann.


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Scope and Content of Collection

These papers document the work of Reiner Schürmann, from notes and material compiled as a student at Centre d'études du Saulchoir (le Saulchoir), his lectures at the New School and manuscripts of his published writings, as well as correspondence with publishers and colleagues.

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Organization and Arrangement

Organized alphabetically by subject in six series:

  1. General
  2. Book publication
  3. Course materials and notes
  4. Lectures
  5. Symposia and other programs
  6. Writings

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

New School Personal Papers - March 7, 2017

66 5th Avenue
New York

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Reiner Schürmann papers, NA.0006.01, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Revision Description

 Corrections to container list: 10/11/17 Removal of component: 1/24/18 January 24, 2018

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu. Copyright in many of the unpublished materials in the Reiner Schürmann papers rests with the estate of Reiner Schürmann.

Custodial History note

The collection was donated to The New School by Pierre Adler, Schürmann's literary executor, around 1994, and held by the Raymond Fogelman Library until 2012.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was transferred to the archives from The New School's Raymond Fogelman Library in 2012.

Processing Information note

The processing of this collection benefitted from notes shared by researcher Francesco Guercio.

Electronic files have not yet been processed. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for further details.


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Related Materials

Three volumes of Reiner Schürmann's lectures are available for in-library use in The New School's List Center Library, and also available on microfilm.

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Separated Materials

Several books owned and annotated by Schürmann have been transferred to The New School Special Collections. For information and access contact speccoll@newschool.edu.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y. : 1919-1997). Graduate Faculty.


  • Course materials.
  • Lecture notes.
  • Lectures.


  • Philosophy -- Study and teaching.

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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the Reiner Schürmann papers, see the New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/NA000601.


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Collection Inventory

I. General 1965-1993 

Box Folder
Books and offprint from Schürmann's library 
Rémi Brague, “Athènes, Jerusalem, La Mecque," Revue de Metaphysique et de Morale, No. 3, 1989; M.L. Guerard des Lauriers,  "L'Intelligence humaine atteint la plenitude de sa perfection dans la connaissance de dieu" , undated; Richard Kennington,  "Strauss's Natural Right and History, 1981"  

Offprint inscribed by author to Schürmann.

1 1
Freud, Sigmund, Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexual-theorie, circa 1965 

Annotated by Schürmann.

1 2
Strauss, Leo, Naturreccht und Geschichte, 1977 

Annotated by Schürmann.

1 3
Correspondence, 1970-1971 

Includes letters to Schürmann from Bernhard Welte, Helmut Kuhn, Mary Beth Carroll, Alois M. Haas, and [Josef?] Quint.

1 4
Curriculum vitae and obituary, 1977-1993 
1 5
New School Graduate Faculty Department of Philosophy administrative, 1976-1987 

Includes State Education Department Doctoral Evaluation Project report, April 1, 1976.

1 6

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II. Book publication 1971-1992 

Predominantly consists of correspondence with publishers and translators. Other materials include contracts, pre-publication reports, reviews and press coverage, abstracts and transcripts of interviews.

Box Folder
Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy: Correspondence, 1980-1992 
1 7
Heidegger on Being and Acting: From Principles to Anarchy: Pre-publication evaluations, reviews and notices, 1987-1989 
1 8
Maître Eckhart ou la joie errante, 1971-1982 
1 9
Les Origines: Contract and correspondence, 1975-1991 
1 10
Les Origines: Reviews and notices, 1973-1983 
1 11
Le principe d'anarchie 
Contract and correspondence regarding publication, 1981-1985 
1 12
Reports and correspondence, 1979-1992 
1 13
Reviews and notices, 1976-1983 
1 14
"Riveted to a Monstrous Site: On Heidegger's Beiträge zur Philosophie," 1988-1989 
1 15
"The Ultimate Double Bind," 1989-1991 
1 16

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III. Course materials and notes 1958-1976, undated 

Consists of Schürmann's notes and work compiled as a student as well as later notes and collected articles and papers. Titles reflect article or course titles and/or subject matter. Much of the material dates from Schürmann's studies at Le Centre d'études du Saulchoir (Religious Studies M.A. 1969).

Box Folder
Handwritten notes, 1959-1967, undated 

Primarily includes Schürmann's notes from his studies at le Saulchoir on the subject of, or from courses with Karl-Otto Appel, Beinberger, [Jean-Yves?] Calvez, Bernard Casper, Bernard Dauenhauer, Denys, Kevin S. Doherty, Ernst Fuchs, Haas, [Pierre?] Hadot, Karl Jaspers, J.Y. Jolie, Kleiber, [Theodor?] Lohmann, Marc Oraison, Owens[?], [Santiago?] Ramirez, Reinhold, René Roques, [H.D.?] Saffrey, [Richard?], Schaeffler, B.F. Skinner, Jean-François Sutet, and Gregory Vlastos, among others.

1 17-19
Typewritten course materials, 1960-1971, undated 

Includes course bibliographies, commentaries and other materials, largely typewritten and probably primarily stemming from Schürmann's studies at le Saulchoir. Names of faculty and subjects of study represented here include Gerhard Ebeling, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Claude Geffré, Michel-Louis Guérard, J.Y. Jolie, Kleiber, Helmut Kuhn, Jacques Pohier, and Andrei Scrima.

1 20-21
Aristotle and Aquinas, undated 

Includes work by John Holveck; Seth Benardete and R.F. Hathaway.

1 22
"L'état actuel des recherches sur le Liber de Causis comme source de la métaphysique au moyen âgey, Saffre, Henri-Dominique [offprint], circa 1970s 

Includes printed and typewritten work by Hans Jonas and Paul Wilpert.

1 23
From Heidegger to Anarchism: The Origin of Politics, undated 

Bound notebook of Schürmann's handwritten notes.

1 24
Heidegger, 1961, undated 

Includes Schürmann's handwritten notes titled, "Heidegger: 'TRADITION,'" as well as a typewritten paper by Schürmann, "La 'crise de l'Occident' dans la pensée de M. HEIDEGGER.'" Also includes typewritten work by John Sallis, Charles Sherover and Michael E. Zimmerman, and a printed article by Henri Birault.

1 25
Kierkegaard, undated 

Unattributed typescript entitled, "Philosophie des Willens, Christentum und Kommunikation: Die Ethik nach Soren Kierkegaard."

1 26
"Literature and Marxist Aesthetics," 1975, undated 

Includes typed and handwritten notes and offprint of article by Jean Bollack.

1 27
Maître Eckhart, 1963-1965, undated 

Handwritten note and typescripts.

1 28
"Marx, philosophie sociale," 1964-1965 

Bound typescript for course taught by Paul-Dominique Dognin, probably at le Saulchoir.

1 29
"Montagnes--Metaphysique," early 1960s 

Two notebooks, bound into one, of typewritten lecture notes. These may have been compiled by Gerard Lebrun for a course taught by Pere Montagnes in 1961-1962.

1 30
"Nouveau, Testament et Morale," 1962-1969 

Includes handwritten notes, printed material, and typewritten course materials from le Saulchoir course with J.Y. Jolie.

1 31
Ricoeur, Paul, 1964, 1973, undated 

Typewritten notes on and an article by Ricouer, including notes by Paul Emmanuel Blanquart.

1 32
Saint Augustine, 1971, 1976, undated 

Includes printed and typewritten material, including an article by Thomas Prufer and a course outline by Judith C. Stark.

1 33
"Sur l'interprétation de l'histoire de la Métaphysique d'apres Heidegger," Jean Wahl (105 pp), 1958 

Photocopied packet of material for course at la Sorbonne.

1 34
"Théologie fondamentale," 1965-1972 

Handwritten notes and typewritten course material for R.P. Dupuy's courses in fundamental theology, 1963-1965, probably at le Saulchoir.

1 35

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IV. Lectures 1964-1993 

Schürmann's New School lectures, circa 1975-1993, have been compiled into a numbered series. The series, present in this collection, has also been bound into three volumes and is available for in-library use at The New School's List Center Library. It is also available on microfilm. For information about access, please contact speccoll@newschool.edu.

Box Folder
"Heidegger" (1975 Fall, 1977 Spring), 1975-1977 

Possibly not included in bound lecture notes. Includes Lecture 10, "General Traits of Being"; "Being and Time," 1975 Sep 5 (80 pp.); and "Heidegger's Destruction of Metaphysics," Spring 1977.

2 1
"Medieval Philosophy I: Neo-Platonism" (1976 Fall, other lectures), 1977-1986 

Introduction, Proclus, and Duns Scotus Eriugena. Also includes copies of two works by Schürmann, "''What Must I Do? at the End of Metaphysics: Ethical Norms and the Hypothesis of a Historical Closure" (in Phenomenology in a Pluralistic Context, edited by William I. McBride and Calvin 0. Schrag, 1983); and "On Constituting Oneself an Anarchistic Subject (in  Praxis International , v.I/3, October 1986).

2 2
Numbered series, circa 1975-1993 
4 1-2
5 1-22
4 3
4 1-7
Missing pages from Lecture 10 (p. 78, 92) and Lecture 22 (p. 32, 35), undated 
2 3
Title pages and librarian's notes, 1994 
2 4
"Phenomenology of Religion" (course #388s), 1964-1976 

Possibly duplicates one of the lectures in the numbered series. Includes course syllabus; material on Max Scheler's method; and the following papers: "Philosophy and the Fourth Reduction," Stephen Dinan; "Religion et philosophie en face de !'existence de Dieu," R.P.A. Leonard; "Phenomenology of Religion and Human Purpose," J. N. Mohanty; "Approches d'une theologie de la religion" (author unidentified); "Unification in the Bhagavad Gita" (author unidentified). Also includes a page with heading "Dr. Joseph Ratzinger, "Vier Thesen zur Geschichlichkeit des Dogma" and notes by Pere Geiger on "La Philosophie de la Religion."

2 5
"Philosophy of Plotinus" (1978 Fall), 1978 

First, third and fifth installments. Probably duplicates Lecture 3 found in the numbered series.

2 6

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V. Symposia and other programs 1980-1993 

Materials generated from Schürmann's participation in, and organization of, public programs.

Box Folder
General printed materials and information, 1983-1989 
2 7
After Heidegger: The Task of Thinking, College International de Philosophie/ Internationale Schopenhaer - Vereinigung / Goethe-Institute Paris (1989 Sep 25-27), 1988-1989 
2 8
Art, Politics, Technology: Martin Heidegger 1889-1989, an International Colloquium at Yale (1989 Oct 13-15), 1988-1992 

Announcement of colloquium; correspondence concerning publication of proceedings.

2 9
"Destiny of Modern Technology," Symposium on Science, Reason, and Modem Democracy, Michigan State University (1990 May 9-12), 1989-1993 
2 10
Hannah Arendt Symposium: General, 1980-1992 
2 11
Hannah Arendt Symposium: Publication, 1981-1991 
2 12
Jaspers Society of North America Proceedings and Information, Issue 3, 1981 Dec 

Includes Schürmann's typescript comments on Professor Alan Olson's paper, "Jasper's Critique of Mysticism"; and a copy of a paper, "On the Luxury of Existing: Karl Jaspers and the Sacred," author unknown.

2 13
Modernity and the Hegemony of Vision, proposed symposium at Duquesne University, 1989 
2 14

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VI. Writings 1964-1992 

Contains typescripts, unless otherwise noted, many of which bear handwritten edits by Schürmann and possibly others.

Box Folder
Unidentified work: Introductions and notes, undated 

Includes handwritten notes, several partial works, and a typescript that may comprise an early version of the beginning of Des Hegemonies Brisées.

2 15
"A Brutal Awakening to the Tragic Condition of Being: On Heidegger's Beiträge zur Philosophie," undated 

Includes two versions in English (57 pages, 29 pages), and one in German (36 pages), translated from the English by Jeff Owen Prudhomme.

2 16
"And Were the Origins One ...," 1973 

Offprint of article in Duquesne Magazine, Summer, 1973. Also a related letter from  Harper's Weekly, 1975.

2 17
"Anfang vom Anfang" and "Maintenant, dans le transition vers l'autre commencement . . .," undated 

Found clipped together.

2 18
Book reviews by Schürmann, 1984-1987 

Reviews of Vittorio Hösle’s Hegels System”; Kostas Axelos’s  Systematique ouverte; and R. Beiner's  Hannah Arendt: Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy (in German).

2 19
Cahiers internationaux de symbolisme, 1972-1976 

Offprints of articles from issues no. 21 (1972), 25 (1974), 27 (1975), and 29 (1976).

2 20
"Conditions of Evil" (28 pages), 1992, undated 

Translated from French by Ian Janssen. Includes letter describing publication in an anthology, Deconstruction and the Possibility of Justice, edited by Drucilla Cornell, Michel Rosenfeld, and David Gray Carlson, published by Routledge, Chapman and Hall.

2 21
"The Developing Phenomenological Research and Hermeneutics" (13 pages), undated 
2 22
"Dieu et l'Homme, son Symbole: Une interprétation de Maître Eckhart" (184 pages), undated 
2 23
"Differing in Colors" (9 pages), 1991, undated 

Concerning conflict between tragic Greek heroes and the structure of differing applied to abstract painting. Includes letter from "Roy." Part of Principe d'Anarchie"?

2 24
"Die Erkennbarkeit des 'Einen' sus Exitus und Reditus," undated 
2 25
"III. Le fantasme hégémonique modeme: La conscience de soi (Kant avec Luther)" (87 pages), undated 
2 26
"The Fragility of the Ultimate: Phenomenological Observations on Foundational Arguments" (41 pages), undated 
2 27
"From a Pure Place to Proper Places" and miscellaneous notes, 1984-1985, undated 
2 28
"Des hégémonies brisées," Part I, undated 
2 29-33
"Des hégémonies brisées," Part II, undated 
2 34-36
3 1
"Heidegger and Meister Eckhart on Releasement" (34 pages), undated 

Two copies, lightly edited. Typescript indicates a connection with Duquesne University and possible publication in an anthology.

3 2
"Heidegger and the Mystical Tradition" (13 pages), undated 

This may have been delivered as a lecture. Typescript indicates a connection with Duquesne University.

3 3
"Heidegger and Political Philosophy: The Problem of Legitimation and Norms," undated 

Two versions, 8 and 33 pages.

3 4
"History of Philosophy and Deconstruction of Epistemic Fields" (30 pages), undated 
3 5
Identité pérégrinale : sermons allemands de Maître Eckhart" (383 pages), 1971 

Thesis for le Doctorat du Troisieme Cycle presentee a I'Universite de Paris IV, la Sorbonne.

3 6-8
"The Law of Nature and Pure Nature" (31 pages), undated 

On Meister Eckhart.

3 9
"Legislation-Transgression: Strategies and Counter-Strategies in the Transcendental Justification of Norms," undated 

Two versions in English, two in French.

3 10
"The Loss of the Origin in Soto Zen and in Meister Eckhart," undated 
3 11
"Maître Eckhart, expert en itinérance" (14 pages), undated 
3 12
"Meister Eckhart," undated 

An introduction to his life and thought. Two versions, one in English, 7 pages, one in French, 5 pages.

3 13
"Meister Eckhart im Spiegel der marxistischen Ideologie" (19 pages), undated 
3 14
"Meister Eckhart's 'Verbal' Understanding of Being as a Ground for Destruction of Practical Teleology," a paper delivered at the Sixth International Conference for Medieval Philosophy, 1977 Aug 29-Sep 3 
3 15
"Modernity: The Last Epoch in a Closed History?" (31 pages), undated 
3 16
"Nature as Event: The Breakdown of Natural Standards in Meister Eckhart and Zen Buddhism," undated 

Two versions, one in English, one in German.

3 17
"I. De la nature faisant la loi" (30 pages), undated 

On Meister Eckhart? Marked up as though for lecture.

3 18
"Naturgesetz und blosse Natur. Über eine Denkerfahrung bei dem Meister Eckhart," undated 

Two versions, both in German, 30 pages and 37 pages.

3 19
"The Neoplatonic "One": Substance or Function?," undated 
3 20
"On Constituting Oneself an Anarchistic Subject" (32 pages), undated 
3 21
"Only Proteus Can Save Us Now," undated 

Includes two versions in English, probably for lectures (6 pages, 18 pages), and one in French (98 pages), as well as an index.

3 22
"The Ontological Difference and Political Philosophy," undated 

Two versions, 36 pages and 53 pages. See also, "The Symbolic Difference: How to Ground a Political Philosophy on Heidegger's Ontology."

3 23
“Les Origines,” circa 1976 

Partial drafts, in French.

3 24
“Le Origini,” circa 1976 

In Italian, translated by Ferruccio Scabbia.

3 25-26
"Origins," circa 1976 

English-language translation, translated by Elizabeth Preston in collaboration with Schürmann.

3 27-29
"Philosophical Anti-Humanism" (32 pages), undated 
3 30
"Politique et Deconstruction: Heidegger et les fondements de la philosophie pratique," Doctorat d’Etat, 1981 Jun 22 

Two copies on microfiche.

4 1-2
"Pour et Contre la nature: D'un phantasme normatif chez Maître Eckhart," undated 
3 31
"The Practical Negation of Teleology as a Condition for Mystical Thought, The Logic of Releasement in Meister Eckhart" (5 pages, partial version), undated 
3 32
"Le praxis symbolique" (43 pages), undated 
3 33
"Les Principe d’Anarchie," 1981 

Bound typescript.

"Principles Precarious: On the Origin of the Political in Heidegger" (20 pages), undated 
3 34
"The Public Realm Reconsidered: Only Proteus Can Save Us Now" (44 pages), undated 

Introduction to Issues in the Public Realm: Essays in Memory of Hannah Arendt. Includes table of contents.

3 35
"The Regime of Public Consciousness: "I, the Possessor of the World" (unpaginated), undated 
3 36
"Riveted to a Monstrous Site: On Heidegger's Beiträge zur Philosophie," undated 

Three versions (40, 30 and 63 pages), one of which was probably intended for a lecture. Translated by Kathleen Blarney.

3 37
"La singularisation à venir" (24 pages), undated 

Evidently part of a larger work.

3 38
"Situating René Char: Hölderlin, Heidegger, Char and the 'There Is'," 1976, undated 

Three versions in English (two have 29 pages, one has 27 pages); also, in French, "Il y a dans le poeme . . . Rene Char et Holerlin" (34 pages), with photocopies of work by Char and illustration by Matisse. English version published in boundary 2, Vol. 4, No. 2, (Winter, 1976), pp. 512-534.

3 39
Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) conference, Boston: Response to remarks by Peg Birmingham and Rodolphe Gasche (19 pages), undated 

Also includes a page in French on Meister Eckhart and what appears to be a name index for a book.

3 40
Student papers, 1964-1967 

Includes seven papers in French, probably written at le Saulchoir: "Sur le fondement de l'impossibilite dans le systeme critique de Kant de la prevue ontologique de 1' existence Dieu"; "La Connaissance, Ouverture a l'etre, comme achèvement de l'etre homme"'; "Uber den Wechselbezug, bei Heidegger, von Wahrheit und Freiheit"; "Les presupposes philosophiques de la Christologie de Maitre Eckhart"; "Le sentiment d'angoisee comme constitutif de l’'existence authentique: une etude du 'Concept d'angoisse' de K.ierkegaard et de 'L'Etre et le Temps' de Heidegger"; "Le phenomene de la question en theologie"; untitled paper discussing the metaphysics of beauty in Pseudo-Denys and Aquinas. See the Course materials series herein for related notes and writings.

3 41-42
"The Symbolic Difference: How to Ground a Political Philosophy on Heidegger's Ontology," 1972, undated 

Two versions, one in English (50 pages), one in French (44 pages). The latter, ""La Différence Symbolique," was published in Cahiers internationaux de symbolisme. 1972, Number 21[?], page 51.

3 43
"Technicity, Topology, Tragedy: Heidegger on 'That Which Saves' in the Global Reach" (37 pages), 1993 

Essay published in Technology in the Western Political Tradition, 1993 Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press.

4 8
"Tragic Differing: The Law of the One and the Law of Contraries in Parmenides," 1988, undated 

Two versions, one in English (28 pages), one in French (29 pages). English version appeared in Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, volume 13 number 1 (1988); 3-20.

4 9
"Trois penseurs du délaissement: Maître Eckhart, Heidegger, Suzuki" (83 pages), 1974 

Published in Journal of the History of Philosophy, Part I, 12.4 (Oct 1, 1974): 455; Part II, 13.1 (Jan 1, 1975): 43.

4 10
"Ultimate Double Binds: On Heiegger's Beitrage zur Philosophie," 1991, undated 

Two versions (42 and 23 pages) of article published in Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, v14 n2 (1991): 213-236; shorter version has marks indicating it may have been delivered as a lecture.

4 11

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 08/26/2019

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