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The Philosophy of Edith Stein

From Phenomenology to Metaphysics

Mette Lebech

Many interested reader will have put aside a work by Edith Stein due to its seeming inaccessibility, with the awareness that there was something important there for a future occasion. This collection of essays attempts to provide an idea of what this important something might be and give a key to the reading of Stein’s various works. It is divided into two parts reflecting Stein’s development. The first part, «Phenomenology», deals with those features of Stein’s work that set it apart from that of other phenomenologists, notably Husserl. The second part is entitled «Metaphysics», although Stein the phenomenologist would, like Husserl, initially have shied away from this designation. However, as Stein gradually understood the importance of the Christian faith for completing the phenomenological project of founding the sciences, and accepted it as indispensable for a philosophical view of the whole, her «attempt at an ascent to the meaning of being» can legitimately be called metaphysics, even as it also constitutes a fundamental criticism of Aristotle and Aquinas.
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Stein’s work forms a whole in which one can discern a development. The movement from phenomenology to metaphysics already happens from the beginning, just as phenomenology is not at any point definitively abandoned. This introduction could thus have been subtitled Phenomenology and Metaphysics, or indeed Phenomenology and the Meaning of Being, since it is the meaning of being that is the theme of Stein’s metaphysics. ← 179 | 180 →← 180 | 181 →

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