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The Influence of Edith Stein on Ingarden’s Concept of Person and Soul (Controversy over the Existence of the World, § 78)

Journal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.9, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 579-600

Keywords : Roman Ingarden; Edith Stein; person; soul; consciousness; psyche; human spirituality; phenomenological anthropology; ontology;

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As is well known, Roman Ingarden and Edith Stein had a deep intellectual relationship and friendship, which began during their stay in Göttingen and Freiburg. The time spent together during this period and the correspondence that they maintained over the following years allowed them to be in close contact with their respective philosophies and to influence each other. This article aims at illustrating the affinities between Ingarden's description of soul in § 78 of Controversy over the Existence of the World and the analysis of soul and psyche developed by Stein between 1916 and 1922. Furthermore, it aims at presenting the hypothesis that this analysis influenced the formal anthropology elaborated by the Polish philosopher many years later. Both the depiction of the soul as a personal nucleus that manifests itself in human lived experiences and the description of this manifestation through the notion of “force” are theoretical elements that are essential in Ingarden's mature ontology of man and that already played a crucial role in Stein's early writings. Both thinkers, within several years of one another, elaborated an anthropological view that does not have the life of consciousness as a primary guideline, but that brings to light the ontological relevance of the unitary psychic source of human dispositions, of human character, and of consciousness itself.

Last modified: 2021-01-14 00:28:18