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Journal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.6, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 329-357

Keywords : Edith Stein; Husserl; Thomas Aquinas; ontology; phenomenology; catholic philosophy; natural and supernatural knowledge; truths of faith; immediate and mediated knowledge; essential intuition.;

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This publication is a translation of the article by Edith Stein, a German-Jewish philosopher, in which she analyses and compares philosophical positions and theories of Edmund Husserl and Thomas Aquinas. The selection of such central figures results from two main directions in Stein's life and research: on the one hand, from phenomenological work as Husserl's scientific assistant and editor of his manuscripts, and, on the other hand, from her conversion to Catholicism, which led her to a detailed learning of Thomas Aquinas' legacy and initiation into the Carmelites religious order. The challenge that Edith Stein offers in this work is to bring these two ways together, to break the boundary between faith and knowledge and to show the possibilities of productive interaction between both phenomenological and scholastic methods. Despite their great divergences caused by historical background and different starting points of philosophical thought, Stein shows us, that these methods share common basic foundations and are able to complement each other in solving philosophical problems arising from experience, knowledge and practical action in the world. Thanks to studies that have been undertaken, the author draws the conclusion that the scholastic legacy of Aquinas could be promising for findings ways to deal with some internal problems of Husserl's phenomenological project and to overcome its limitation. The first attempt of such a comparison that was realized in this article provides the basis for another of Stein's works, namely her book Finite and Infinite Being (Endliches und ewiges Sein), where she tries to build her own ontological project based on the synthesis of the scholastics and phenomenology but is placed mostly in the coordinate system of Aquinas' theoretical field.

Last modified: 2018-06-20 18:17:29