Mathesis Universalis and Husserl’s Phenomenology

Michael Roubach*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper’s central theme is the link between phenomenology and the notion of the mathesis universalis, a link articulated by Husserl in the third volume of the Ideas: “My way to phenomenology was essentially determined by the mathesis universalis (Bolzano did not see anything of this).” The paper suggests three interpretations of the phenomenology—mathesis universalis nexus: the first is related to the development of Husserl’s conception of the foundations of arithmetic; the second is based on the role of the theory of manifolds in Husserl’s Logical Investigations; and the third reflects the importance of the distinction between “generalization” and “formalization” for phenomenology. After examining these interpretations, the paper explores which is most helpful for understanding why Husserl distanced himself from Bolzano, arguing that the third interpretation provides the most edifying answer.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)627-637
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.


  • Bolzano
  • Formal ontology
  • Husserl
  • Mathesis universalis
  • Phenomenology


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