The Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center, founded in 1980, is an embodied expression of the phenomenological orientation of Duquesne University, especially found in the graduate programs in Philosophy and Psychology. Actively promoting the advancement of phenomenology by sponsoring original scholarship, the Center sponsors an annual symposium at Duquesne that invites major speakers to present about cutting-edge areas of phenomenology.

The goal of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center is to promote and facilitate original phenomenological research, and thereby add to the corpus of literature in all disciplines, especially in continental philosophy, psychology as a human science, the philosophy and ethics of communication and rhetoric, and theology.

We work to promote and facilitate original phenomenological research, and thereby add to the corpus of literature in all disciplines, especially in continental philosophy, psychology as a human science, the philosophy and ethics of communication and rhetoric, and theology.

Located on the first floor of Duquesne's Gumberg Library, the Phenomenology Center's Collections form part of the Library's special collections. The Center acquires materials in all fields, wherever a phenomenological approach is used or criticized. These holdings include purchased and donated works in phenomenological philosophy and psychology, as well as geography, music, ophthalmology, pedagogy, law, nursing, psychology, theology, and communications. The Center also holds the entire personal libraries of Erwin Straus, Stephan Strasser, Aron Gurwitsch, Amedeo Giorgi, Adriaan Peperzak, and John D. Caputo, as well as books from the collections of Jan Bouman, Charles Maes, Rolf von Eckartsberg, Andre Schuwer, O.F.M., and Edward L. Murray.

42nd Annual Symposium

Join us for our 42nd annual symposium "Entanglement and Style: Philosophy and the Fantasy of AI" on April 18 and 19, 2024. The Center is pleased to welcome Prof. Alva Noë of the University of California at Berkeley as our 2024 Symposium lecturer as we seek to critically investigate the new ways of thinking, feeling, and acting made possible by AI. Prof. Noë’s cutting-edge work on the nature of mind, art, and AI — and the philosophy of baseball! — makes him a welcome guide for our investigation of the relationship of human experience to AI today. The symposium is free to attend in person or online. Symposium activities will be held on the fifth floor of the Gumberg Library.

1st Joint Annual ICNAP-SPHS Conference

We are excited to welcome scholars and phenomenologists from all over the world to this historic, first joint meeting of The Interdisciplinary Coalition of North American Phenomenologists (ICNAP) and The Society of Phenomenology and the Human Science (SPHS). We look forward to a stimulating and invigorating conference, and the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, as well as make and forge new friendships and relationships.

Special Holdings

In addition to holding the archival materials of each figure who has donated their personal library as an Alcove or Collection, the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center also holds these very special archival collections:

The Center is an official branch of the Husserl Archives of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. The unpublished transcribed papers of Husserl are available for consultation at the Center.

The Center contains the Moser transcripts of Heidegger's lectures from his Marburg period.

The "Penséees repensées," the posthumous papers of F. J. Buytendijk (the founder of phenomenological psychology), holographic manuscripts in the Dutch language, are available at the Center.

The Center serves as the repository for the archives of the Heidegger Circle.

The Center is the official archival repository for the World Phenomenology Institute founded by Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka.

The Center holds the archival collection of Karl Stern's manuscripts, personal papers and correspondence.

The Center contains photocopies of the English translation of Lacan's Seminars 6 and 9.

The Center holds a small collection which includes some personal correspondence and papers.

The Center contains a small selection of Fr. Henry Koren's correspondence.

Special Collections

The collection of the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center is devoted to the phenomenological movement that was inaugurated at the turn of the century by the German philosopher Edmund Husserl, and that has been further advanced by figures such as Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Arendt, de Beauvoir, Levinas, and Derrida, up to the current work done by Michel Henry and Jean-Luc Marion. The Center's collection also maintains a special interest in two precursors to phenomenology, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

Literature in phenomenology is conceived by the Center rather broadly and embraces phenomenology as it reaches out into existentialism and other contemporary schools of continental philosophy, but also as it lives in phenomenological psychology and phenomenological approaches in the philosophy and ethics of communication and rhetoric, and in theology. In addition, the Center acquires books in all fields where a phenomenological approach is used. Thus, the Center has holdings in such fields as geography, music, ophthalmology, pedagogy, law, and nursing.

Two Types of Collections

The acquisitions of the Silverman Center fall broadly into two classes: the Phenomenology General Circulating Collection and the donated Alcoves/Collections. The Center actively seeks donations of the entire personal libraries of retired or deceased scholars in phenomenology. These libraries are kept intact in separate areas of the Center.

The Silverman Center is grateful to have recently added the John D. Caputo Alcove to our archives. This major archive, dedicated in April 2023, includes books, manuscripts, photos, and correspondence (with Heidegger, Derrida, and others) from the life and work of Dr. John D. Caputo, the Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion Emeritus at Syracuse University and the David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Villanova University. The Center is thrilled to receive this archive—which is open for researchers to consult—from one of the most important North American philosophers of religion in the past 50 years.

Thus far, six Alcoves have been established:

  • Erwin Straus
  • Stephan Strasser
  • Aron Gurwitsch
  • Amedeo Giorgi
  • Adriaan Peperzak
  • John D. Caputo

Each Alcove contains the personal library of its named benefactor, complete with marginalia notes in their books. Each Alcove also contains archival collections of papers, manuscripts, notes, correspondence, and other materials of the named benefactor.

In addition, the Center holds five Collections, containing the personal libraries and archival material of:

  • Jan Bouman
  • Charles Maes
  • Rolf von Eckartsberg
  • Andre Schuwer, O.F.M.
  • Edward L. Murray, C.S.Sp.

The Silverman Center also has a formal commitment from one other scholar for their extensive personal libraries upon their death.

Contact Us

Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center