From Phenomenology to Metaphysics
Chapter 8: Woman
Being a woman as well as being a man presents individuals with a task they share with only half of humanity. Because it is a task that probably essentially involves a relationship with those whose task it precisely is not, and also, accidentally so to speak, can free up incomparable creativity to the point of bringing children into the world, it is accompanied by joys and sorrows the depths of which stir every human heart and often break them. Whether the imbalance in existing reflections on gender, allowing for a disproportionate amount of reflection on woman compared to reflections on what it is to be a man in itself bears a message about reality or indeed is a misrepresentation of it, is a moot question. It remains that Stein’s reflections on woman in fact also contain a philosophy of (male) man, although both remain somewhat embryonic, and also sometimes marked by not being worked out in the same philosophical depth as the rest of her philosophical anthropology.1
To discuss Stein’s philosophy of woman, I wish in the following to describe its place within the context of the whole of Stein’s philosophy (1). This will lead us to discuss the place of gender within the human person as Stein presents it in her early and later philosophical anthropology (2) and also the typical differences of the sexes as portrayed by Stein (3). Finally we ← 101 | 102 → shall be in a position to...
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