2 1 0 D O C U M E N T 3 4 4 D E C E M B E R 1 9 2 1
344. From Franz Selety[1]
Vienna, 29 December 1921
Esteemed Professor,
After a long time I again take the liberty of writing to
Professor. More
than three years have elapsed since I sent you, in September 1918, that long,
philosophical letter, a response to which I have been waiting for so long in vain.
About a year afterwards, I received from you (23 Aug. 1919) a very nice postcard,
in which you sparked in me new hope of a reply. You humorously wrote then:
“When I can take a bit of a breather again, I shall certainly write.” But since then
more than two years have passed, now, and so I probably have to relinquish all hope
in this “regard.”
I have now, to a large part, completed a very comprehensive work on the philo-
sophical ideas discussed with you in our correspondence and am now considering
finishing it for publication. I would like to apply to you today, Professor, with a
request. You wrote me in regard to one of my letters: “The report you wrote me is
of such lucidity that I would regret it if it were not also made accessible through
publication to other friends of epistemology.” I would now like to publish as an
appendix to my work the discussion with you that was so helpful for a clear expo-
sition of my ideas, but need your permission for publication of what originates
from you, which you will surely, as I most keenly hope, grant me. In the meantime
I have also been corresponding with a number of philosophers of various school of
thoughts and a publication of various of these discussions would, as I believe, be
very conducive to an exposition of my ideas. More important to me than all the
other correspondence, however, is the one with you and, by virtue of your so stim-
ulating objections, it would perhaps constitute the most interesting part of my book,
and your letters would be its finest ornaments.
I send you together with this letter copies of the extracts from your letters that I
would like to publish and a copy of [my] letter, which you yourself encouraged me
to publish at the time and which you supplied with your valuable marginal com-
mentary. Perhaps those statements, so complimentary to me in your letters, in
which you expressed your appreciation of me, should be omitted, for what prima-
rily matters to me for publication is the illumination of my ideas through your
objections. If you, Professor, are of the view that it would be better to leave those
statements out, then please cross them out along with any other of your statements
in the letters or marginalia that you might like to have suppressed. Otherwise, I do
hope, however, to receive my mailing again with your “imprimatur.”–
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