French, b: 1888, Marseilles, d: 1974, Paris. Cat: Existentialist; poet. Ints: Phenomenology; dialectics; metaphysics; anti-Hegelianism. Educ: Passed his agrégation in 1910. Infls: Kierkegaard, Hegel, Heidegger, Jaspers, Marcel and Nietzsche. Appts: Professor of Philosophy, Sorbonne; created Collège Philosophique; Director of Revue de Méta-physique et de Morale; President of the Société Française de Philosophie.
The importance of Jean Wahl to twentieth-century French philosophy is mainly as a teacher. His lectures at the Sorbonne were influential in disseminating existentialist and Hegelian thought. Wahl's philosophy concentrates on the opposition of Kierkegaard and Hegel and his existentialism is presented in opposition to Hegelian dialectics. This approach came to form the critical aspects of the reception of Hegel by French philosophers in the 1930s and beyond (his lectures on Bergson,Nietzsche,Husserl and Heidegger were collected together and published by the Sorbonne in Cours, Paris: Centre de Documentation Universitaire, 1961). The influence of Wahl's teaching was reinforced by the many important professional positions he held and by his efforts to disseminate philosophy outside academic spheres, notably through the Collège Philosophique.
Sources: Catalogue of Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.
Austrian, b: 1896, Vienna, d: 1959, Oxford. Cat: Linguistic philosopher. Ints: Philosophy of mathematics; philosophy of science; philosophy of language; philosophical methodology. Educ: University of Vienna. Infls: Ludwig Wittgenstein. Appts: 1937-8, Lecturer, University of Cambridge; 1946-8, Lecturer in the Philosophy of Science and Mathematics, University of Oxford; 1948-50, Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy of Mathematics, University of Oxford; 1950-5, Reader in the Philosophy of Mathematics, University of Oxford; 1955-9, Reader in the Philosophy of Science, University of Oxford.