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The individuality of the human person in the phenomenological works of Edith Stein

Christof Betschart

pp. 73-86

Edith Stein's interest in Scholastic philosophy following her baptism opened a new philosophical horizon for her thinking. By reading Stein's later philosophy as a rupture with her earlier phenomenological work one runs the risk of not seeing both the continuity of her philosophical trajectory as well as certain developments that were already unfolding in her early phenomenological writings. In this essay, I show how Stein's discussion of personal individuation and its formal/numeric and material/qualitative aspects, which are developed in her first text on empathy, continues through to her final philosophical work, Finite and Eternal Being, albeit with different terminology. The aforementioned distinction can also be found in Stein's Introduction to Philosophy where she discusses a qualitative, unsayable, indissoluble and incomparable moment that belongs to all human persons. This moment unifies and colors the character of persons. From the perspective of Stein's biography, her development of personal individuation can be viewed as having been influenced by certain personal religious lived experiences.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-21124-4_7

Full citation:

Betschart, C. (2016)., The individuality of the human person in the phenomenological works of Edith Stein, in A. Calcagno (ed.), Edith Stein: women, social- political philosophy, theology, metaphysics and public history, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 73-86.

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