THE INSTITUTE WAS formally established in 1976 and named the World Institute for Advanced Phenomenological Research and Learning. It has since that time become well known as the World Phenomenology Institute, an advanced research institution of international significance and broad philosophical influence.

The Institute's founding president and principal intellectual guide for more than three decades is Polish-born philosopher Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, a student of Roman Ingarden and close associate of Emmanuel Levinas and Paul Ricoeur. Ingarden, Levinas, and Ricoeur joined together with other well-known philosophers such as Hans-Georg Gadamer and Stephan Strasser in supporting and advancing Institute programs and publications during its early years and ever after. It is but one measure of Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka's personal accomplishment that she has been able to attract and engage the very best philosophical minds of our time in Institute programs and publications over thirty years, in large part as a direct consequence of her own reputation and philosophical achievement (see WPI Hyperlinks below).


The Institute was anticipated or might be said to have had its "pre-history" in an international conference organized by Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka and held at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada in 1969. It proved an event of lasting significance, one attended by many of the leading philosophers of the time, including Gadamer and Husserl-Archives director Leo Hermann van Breda.  It was at Waterloo that the first of three philosophical societies was established which would within seven years band together to form a World Institute for Advanced Phenomenological Research and Learning. The International Husserl and Phenomenological Society (1969) was subsequently joined by the International Society for Phenomenology and Literature (1975), and then the International Society for Phenomenology and the Human Sciences (1976). These societies were the source and nucleus of the new Institute, and they remain--along with Institute-affiliated research centers around the world and two additional societies, the International Society of Phenomenology, Aesthetics, and Fine Arts (1993) and the Sociedad Ibero-Americana de Fenomenologia (1995)--a very significant part of Institute programs and publications to this day.

Gadamer and
Van Breda at the
Waterloo Congress (1969)

The Institute was thus established in 1976 for the purpose of enveloping these scholarly societies in an encompassing philosophical enterprise and achievement. The success of that enterprise and the dimension of its achievement over a thirty-year period may be measured in terms of more than one hundred international conferences organized by the Institute since its inception; the more than seventy-five published volumes which now comprise the Institute's publications list, including sixty-one volumes (to date) of the world renowned phenomenological research series, Analecta Husserliana; and innumerable joint research projects undertaken by Institute research centers, the Boston Forum, premier research universities, and other advanced research institutions the world over.

Tymieniecka and Ricoeur toast
the opening of the
Boston Forum

It is a history and achievement of which the Institute is properly proud.


WPI Hyperlinks

Ivanka Rainova, "Interview with A.-T. Tymieniecka"

A.-T. Tymieniecka, "The Beginnings and Early History of the World Phenomenology Institute: A Summary of its First Ten Years"




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