Research Interests
  • Ethics
  • Existentialism
  • Happiness
  • Hermeneutics
  • Virtue
  • Phenomenology
Research Summary

Specializing in topics in phenomenology, hermeneutics and existentialism, my research concentrates on questions of evidence, understanding and meaning. I have presented numerous papers at scholarly conferences, including the World Congress of Philosophy, the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, the American Philosophical Association, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, the Husserl Circle, the Albert Camus Society, the Gabriel Marcel Society, the North American Society for Early Phenomenology, the Interdisciplinary Coalition of North American Phenomenologists, and the Organization of Phenomenological Organizations. I have also published numerous monographs in peer-reviewed venues, including Phaenomenologica, Husserl Studies, the New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy, Studia phaenomenologica, Analecta Husserliana, Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy, Horizon: Studies in Phenomenology, The European Legacy, the Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine, the Journal of Camus Studies, Marcel Studies, and the International Journal of the Humanities. I am completing an edition of Augustine’s “Against the Academicians” that addresses the perennial epistemological issues raised in Hellenistic skepticism, recast in Cartesian rationalism and revised in contemporary theory of knowledge.

  • Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Cologne
  • M.A., Philosophy, Catholic University of America
  • B.A., Philosophy, Catholic University of America
Areas of Expertise
  • Evidence
  • Meaning
  • Understanding
Recent Publications


The Existential Husserl: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Marco Cavallaro and George Heffernan. Cham: Springer, 2022.

“The Existential Husserl: A Very Brief Introduction”, in Marco Cavallaro and George Heffernan, eds., The Existential Husserl: A Collection of Critical Essays (Cham: Springer, 2022), 1–30.

“The Development of Husserl’s Categorical Imperative: From Universal Ethical Legislation to Individual Existential Exhortation”, in Marco Cavallaro and George Heffernan, eds., The Existential Husserl: A Collection of Critical Essays (Cham: Springer, 2022), 87–114.

“Stein’s Critique of Heidegger on Temporality, Eternity, and Transcendence—with Special Attention to Conrad-Martius’s Contribution”, in Antonio Calcagno and Ronny Miron, eds., Hedwig Conrad-Martius and Edith Stein: Philosophical Encounters and Divides (Cham: Springer, 2022), 105–132.

“Existential Evidence: The Role of Self-Giving in Husserl’s Phenomenology of Existence”, in Daniele De Santis and Danilo Manca, eds., Phänomenologische Forschungen 2021/2: The Given (Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 2022), 137–158.

“An Ordinary Woman: Else Voigtländer and National Socialism”, in Íngrid Vendrell Ferran, ed., Else Voigtländer: Self, Emotion, Sociality (Cham: Springer, 2022), 223–241.

“Why Did the Stranger Kill the Arab? A Camusian Study in the Absurdity of Moral Motivation”, in Peter Francev and Maciej Kaluza, eds., The Absurd: Eighty Years On (Leiden: Brill, 2022), 115–138.

“Isagoge in die phänomenologische Apophantik: Eine Einführung in die phänomenologische Urteilslogik durch die Auslegung des Textes der ‘Formalen und transzendentalen Logik’ von Edmund Husserl.” Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989, in: Phaenomenologica, ed. Samuel IJsseling et al., vol. 107, XIV + 282 pp.

“Am Anfang war die Logik: Hermeneutische Abhandlungen zum Ansatz der ‘Formalen und transzendentalen Logik’ von Edmund Husserl — Mit einer Bibliographie für philosophische Logiker zu den ‘Logischen Untersuchungen’ und der “Formalen und transzendentalen Logik.” Amsterdam: Verlag B. R. Gruener, 1988, in: Bochumer Studien zur Philosophie, ed. Kurt Flasch et al., vol. 11, 255 pp. (the real core of this book is the first essay, namely, “Am Anfang war der ‘logos,’” pp. 5–96).

Books and Editions in Progress

“Albert Camus: Philosopher Among Philosophers — A Collection of Critical Essays.” Ed. Peter Francev, George Heffernan, Maciej Kaluza and Matthew Sharpe. Leiden: Brill (volume of essays on Camus and Augustine, Rousseau, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Sartre etc., in advanced planning and preparation) “Augustine: Against the Academicians: A Translation of ‘Contra Academicos’” (under contract to appear in “The Complete Works of Saint Augustine: A New Translation for the Twenty-first Century,” Boniface Ramsey, gen. ed. [Hyde Park, New York: New City Press]; in preparation.

“René Descartes: Meditationes de prima philosophia / Meditations on First Philosophy: A Bilingual Edition.” Second, Revised Edition. Ed. and tr. George Heffernan. Notre Dame/London: University of Notre Dame Press (in preparation).

“Phenomenology of Evidence” (monograph in preparation).


“Dialogue and Universalism: Journal of the International Society for Universal Dialogue,” vol. XXV: “A Topography of Heresies or the Road to Renewal? The Many Faces of Contemporary Phenomenology.” Ed. George Heffernan, Jean Leclercq, Witold Plotka, Andrzej Przylebski and Nicolas de Warren. Warsaw: Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Philosophy for Dialogue Foundation and Polish Société Européenne de Culture, 2015, 206 pp.


“Evidence and Truth,” in Daniele De Santis and Claudio Majolino, eds., The Acumen Handbook of Phenomenology (London: Routledge, 2018), forthcoming.

“Husserl’s Aesthetic of Essences: Critical Remarks on Phenomenology as an Eidetic and ‘Exact’ Science,’” The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 15 (2018), ed. Daniele De Santis and Emiliano Trizio, forthcoming.

“Beyond Victims and Executioners: Camus and Daoud on Progressive Violence and Genuine Humanism (Or What Harun Learned from Meursault),” accepted for a special issue of the Journal of Camus Studies on Camus and Daoud (2018), ed. Eric Berg, forthcoming.

“Augustine on Memory and Lethargy: A New Approach to ‘Book X of the Confessions,’” in: Konstantinos Boudouris et al., eds., Philosophy as Inquiry and Way of Life: The Proceedings of the XXIIIrd World Congress of Philosophy (Charlottesville: Philosophy Documentation Center, 2018), forthcoming.

“From False Opinions to ‘False Facts’ and Back Again: A Phenomenological Besinnung on Mindfulness and Mindlessness,” The Humanistic Psychologist 45 (2017), 73–85.

“The Concept of Krisis in Husserl’s ‘The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology,” Husserl Studies 33 (2017), 229–257.

Honors and Awards
  • Research Ambassador for North America, German Academic Exchange Service, 2009-present.
  • Research Grant, German Academic Exchange Service, 2010.
  • Summer Seminar Award, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2010.
  • Faculty Development Grants (26), Merrimack College, 1991-2017.