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Journal: Horizon. Studies in Phenomenology (Vol.10, No. 2)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 463-483

Keywords : Edith Stein; Edmund Husserl; Phenomenology; Realist Phenomenology; Göttingen Circle; Early Phenomenology; Sentience; Lifepower;

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Edith Stein is considered a leading figure in the early phenomenological movement and the disciple who performed in the best way the phenomenological method proposed by Husserl, and yet her relationship to phenomenology remains unclear in the literature. This article seeks to add clarity to her relationship to phenomenology while considering three inescapably related questions. (1) What did Stein conceive phenomenology to be? (2) How should we understand Husserl's influence on Stein? (3) Was Stein an original phenomenological thinker? I argue that Stein conceives of phenomenology as an epistemological critique that aims to clarify the essential foundations of knowledge. It involves intentional analysis that proceeds by way of essential-seeing (Wesensschau), which can be brought about through the method of free imaginative variation, and its intentional analysis involves close attention to the relationship between meaning-intention and meaning-fulfillment. I argue that the primary influence Husserl exerts on Stein is in the development of phenomenology as conceived in his Logical Investigations. Finally, I offer an understanding of how Stein conceived of her differences with Husserl on the issue of idealism in order to argue that Stein's phenomenological writings in On the Problem of Empathy and “Sentient Causality” offer us a novel phenomenological account of the human being that begins with the ego but escapes being a mere egology. Edith Stein's phenomenology of the human person begins with the ego and its experiences, and yet, she identifies within those experiences a certain kind of extra-egoic content, viz. experiences of my sentient states.

Last modified: 2022-01-12 01:38:39