From Phenomenology to Metaphysics
Chapter 9: Phenomenology and Thomism
Phenomenology and Thomism
It is generally known that Stein was a non-believing Jew before her conversion to Catholicism. She encountered Aquinas as a way into the Catholic tradition. Her translation-commentary on De veritate, which came out after many years of work in 1931 and 1932, afforded her the time to habituate herself to his thought world – and with it to the Catholic worldview. She ‘became so absorbed by his thought that an inner clash between it and the phenomenological way of philosophising was inevitable.’1 Her own first formation was as a phenomenologist, first studying with and later being the assistant of Husserl in Göttingen and Freiburg. During this time both Adolph Reinach and Max Scheler had a profound influence on her, and each in their own way prepared her for the encounter with the thoughts of Thomas Aquinas.
Scheler and Reinach’s version of phenomenology was, like that of Husserl’s Ideas, marked by the exploration of the intuition of essences. They shared the understanding that an important task for the discipline of phenomenology is to enable such intuition,2 which is not exhausted in the achievement of definitions, but rather commands a sustained effort at describing, discerning and clarifying, in order to look afresh and let the phenomena show themselves forth in their purity. The purpose is insight – Wesenschau. When Husserl’s transcendental turn led him to practically ← 115 | 116 → support Heidegger as his successor, Reinach came, for the Bergzabern phenomenologisits, to ‘stand...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.