From Phenomenology to Metaphysics
Chapter 10: Beginning to Read Finite and Eternal Being
Beginning to Read Finite and Eternal Being
Beginning to read Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being is somewhat daunting, as one seems to remain at the level of beginning for quite some time. To assist that beginning, I shall here give an overview of the preoccupations that structure the work. As after a number of readings of the work I still consider myself a beginner, it may well be that some accents are misplaced and some essential issues are left unaddressed.1
We shall first characterise the tendencies implicit in Stein’s work as a whole, since it is it as a whole, which comes to fruition in Finite and Eternal Being (1). Then we shall examine her claim that the investigation of the meaning of being must, for the believer, take account of Revelation, and thus be Christian philosophy (2). As the philosophy resulting can be characterised equally as phenomenology and metaphysics, an explanation of how these disciplines are related in the work is required. The difference between the two subjects can best be stated in relation to ontology: whereas phenomenology essentially includes a reference to formal ontology, ← 133 | 134 → metaphysics includes both formal and material ontologies in a view of the whole. Thus we shall examine the relationship of phenomenology and formal ontology in (3), so as to be able to clarify the relationship between these and metaphysics in (4).
From Stein’s early work in phenomenology (1915–20) through Introduction to...
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