In Weyl's Raum. Zeit. Materie.(see here for example) In the introduction one can read (italic and bold is not original)

[...] auf die philosophische werde ich nur ganz nebenher eingehen, aus dem einfachen Grunde, weil in dieser Richtung etwas irgendwie Endgültiges bisher nicht vorliegt und ich selber auch nicht imstande bin, auf die hergehörigen erkenntnistheoretischen Fragen solche Antworten zu geben, die ich vor meinem Erkenntnisgewissen voll verantworten könnte. [...]

How do you translate the emphasized piece? I am interested especially in the meaning of the word "Erkenntnisgewissen".

Here what I have found.

  • Google translates it as knowledge conscience
  • In the Russian edition of that book it stands as познавательная совесть which I don't sure I am able to translate into English correctly
  • It seems that there is a word Erkenntnisgewinn but it is slightly different

I think that's very important piece of the text so "overdetailed" description would be great.

1 Answer 1


Weyl says he cannot answer the epistemological questions which may come up, because he feels unable to justify them with the knowledge he has.

The reason why he choses Erkenntnisgewissen instead of Erkenntnis is he wants to use the phrase

…, die ich vor meinem Gewissen voll verantworten könnte.

That's a testimony. He cannot testify for or against the epistemology with his knowledge.

The reason why he choses Erkenntnisgewissen instead of Gewissen is there is no one who demanded him to testify. It's a dilution of the general conscience needed for a testimony.

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