Edith Stein’s Phenomenology and Christian Philosophy
Sinnereignis in the Philosophy of Edith Stein
← 370 | 371 →HANNA-BARBARA GERL-FALKOVITZ
Translated from German by James Smith and Mette Lebech
ABSTRACT: Is the phenomenological method challenged by the expression of something inconceivable, by that which no longer can be captured by intentionality? Is there a gift of meaning that can be neither foreseen nor described, but that breaks through in an ‘event’? If there is, then Husserl’s intentionality is too narrow a concept to serve as the foundation of phenomenology in general. As Jean-Luc Marion indicates, intentionality already involves an idolizing view of the phenomena; the horizon of the I delimits the evidence.
In a similar way, Edith Stein is also a ‘heretic’ to Husserl. According to her theory, consciousness is always tempted towards solipsism and a demiurgical imperative, while the ‘person’ stands in a responsive relation to the world. Even in her early work Einführung in die Philosophie there are two absolute domains, consciousness and being; nothing about either one can be derived from the other. Reflecting her own biography, this ‘being’ breaks through, unexpectedly, into consciousness – as a ‘meaning-event’, independently of earlier experiences. In later works, this being is designated as Absolute Being, in contrast with finite being.
Is there an announcement of something inconceivable that over-taxes the phenomenological method? Is there a kind of appearing and self-revealing that cannot be met by intentionality, that even short-circuits it? Is there a gift of meaning that can be neither foreseen nor described, but that breaks through as...
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