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Transcriptions of Kurt Gödel’s Notebooks “Max-Phil” (1938-1955)

Transcriptions of Kurt Gödel’s Notebooks “Max-Phil” (1938-1955), made in the ANR Research Project 2009-2013

“Kurt Gödel philosopher : from logic to cosmology” Director : Gabriella Crocco


The MaxPhil Manuscripts

The Max-Phil are 15 philosophical notebooks dated between late 1930 and 1955 and written in Gabelsberger shorthand. The 13th manuscript is lost, so we have 14 notebooks for a total of 1576 pages. The notebooks contain several remarks on various topics : metaphysics, theory of knowledge, grammar, logic, set theory, and physics. The earlier notebooks mainly contain working notes (notes on conferences and seminars, as well as reading plans), but also some maxims and theoretical remarks. The notebooks from 1941 onwards mainly contain philosophical remarks, and allow a reconstruction of Gödel’s philosophy at the time, especially with respect to its Leibnizian perspective.

A partial transcription from Gabelsberger (750 pages) was already accomplished by Cheryl Dawson and has been kindly made available to us.

• Max Phil 0 : 78 pages. Transcription by Ch. Dawson : pp. 1-19, 65-73.
• Max Phil I : 78 pages, numbered from 1 to 78. Transcription by Ch. Dawson : p. 1-3.
• Max Phil II : 96 pages, numbered from 80 to 156 (following Max I) + 21 unnumbered pages. No transcription yet.
• Max Phil III : 150 pages numbered from 1 to 150. Transcription by Ch. Dawson : p. 5-7, 69-72, p. 80-1, 147-149.
• Max Phil IV (May 1941, April 1942) : 132 pages, numbered from 153 to 285 + some unnumbered pages ; transcription by Ch. Dawson : pp.153-160, 163-164, 191-214, 231-240.
• Max Phil V (May 1942) : 106 pages, numbered from 286 to 380. Transcription by Ch. Dawson : p. 333-340, 341-348.
• Max Phil VI (July 1942) : 90 pages, numbered from 380 to 470. A complete transcription by Ch. Dawson exists.
• Max Phil VII (July 1942 - September 1942) : 93 pages, numbered from 470 to 563. A complete transcription by Ch. Dawson exists.
• Max Phil VIII (September 1942 - November 1942) : 118 pages numbered from 563 to page 681. Transcription by Ch. Dawson : p. 563-589, 678-681.
• Max Phil IX (November 1942 – March 1943) : 95 pages. Transcriptions by Ch. Dawson : p. 27, 80-83.
• Max Phil X (March 1943 - January 1944) : 93 pages. A complete transcription by Ch. Dawson exists.
• Max Phil XI (January 1944 - November 1944) : 157 pages. Transcription by Ch. Dawson : p.1-72, 89-90, 96-102, 148-154.
• Max Phil XII (November 1944 - June 45) : 118 pages. No transcription exists.
• Max Phil XIV (July 46 - May 1955) : 130 pages. Transcription by Ch. Dawson : p. 1-20, 36-38, 100-102.
• Max Phil XV (May 1955 - ) : 33 pages. No transcription exists.


Transcriptions made during the ANR project

A small research group (G. Crocco, M. van Atten, P. Cantù, E .M. Engelen and R. Rollinger) funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) in partnership with the Aix-Marseille University (AMU) and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) worked intensively to establish a German version of the Gabelsberger manuscripts.

Taking as a starting point (when available) the Dawson’s transcriptions and deeply revising, completing and extending them, the group achieved the following results during the Project (2009-2013) :

• A transcription of notebooks IX and X (95 pages, out of which 4 pages had been previously transcribed by C. Dawson)
• A transcription of notebook XI (150 pages, a half of which had been previously transcribed by C. Dawson)
• A non-definitive transcription of notebook XII (118 pages, none of which had been previously transcribed by C. Dawson)
• A non-definitive transcription of notebook XIX and XV (130 pages, out of which 30 pages had been previously transcribed by C. Dawson).
For a detailed survey of the activity and the scientific results of the Project see the website of the ANR Project :

ANR project

or download the Final Report of the ANR Project here :

Final report


Access to available transcriptions

Access to the transcription of notebook X will soon be possible thanks to the publication of the following book.
GÖDEL, Kurt (2015) Max Phil X, ed. by Crocco, Gabriella et al., transcription by Engelen, Eva-Maria, based on earlier work by Dawson, Cheryl and Rollinger, Robin, introduction and annotations by G. Crocco, Aix-en-Provence : PUP (forthcoming)

The whole set of transcriptions funded by the French National Research Association (ANR) can now be consulted at the library Granger Guillermit (http://granger-guillermit.bibli.fr/opac/).
Consultation is free but copying, loading or photographing is not permitted. All interested researchers are invited to contact the librarian Anaïs Mauriceau at the following address : anais.mauriceau[at]univ-amu.fr, tél. : 33 (0)4 13 55 33 65

Please note that the librarian is not authorized to distribute electronic copies of the transcriptions by email.Quotations, translation or all other use of the non-definitive transcriptions might be allowed under particular circumstances. Please contact the director of the research group Gabriella Crocco, explaining in detail your research motivation and the intended use of the documents.