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61. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Ann-Therese Gardner The Phenomenology of Body and Self In Dietrich von Hildebrand and Edmund Husserl
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Dietrich von Hildebrand was a student of Edmund Husserl, the father of phenomenology; but the former’s phenomenology does not entirely correlate with that of the latter. Von Hildebrand does not have the overarching phenomenological perspective of reduction that Husserl does, but engages in a more regional application of phenomenology. That there is also a real difference between their notions of phenomenology is manifest when we look at their characterizations of the body in relation to the self. For Husserl, it is precisely on account of the way he defines phenomenology that the body remains exterior to the self (where self is understood as Transcendental Ego). For von Hildebrand, the body is more closely related to interiority. We see this in his account of marriage, the exemplar of love, where the body is necessary for the perfect expression of spousal love; this indicates that the body is a constitutive part of the person as such. After drawing this distinction between Husserl and von Hilde brand on the notion of self, I formulate a more general account of von Hildebrand’s phenomenology through his understanding of given-ness. What von Hildebrand preserves of Husserlian phenomenology is a method of taking things as they appear. Love is given in ourselves and in the other, and the inter-personal nature of given-ness lets love appear in essential completeness to us.
62. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Stephen Phelan Love and the Will in Dietrich von Hildebrand’s The Nature of Love
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Dietrich von Hildebrand’s The Nature of Love is a deep and pene­trating analysis of love as a value-response, in which he elucidates many facets of, and distinctions within, this greatest gift to the human person. Building upon his work, The Heart, von Hildbrand follows the implications of the affective character of love as a response to the value of other persons, and indicates numerous ways in which love goes beyond other affective responses. What I shall argue in this paper, however, is that his thesis, if consid­ered as fully capturing the essence of love, is inadequate to fully describe our lived experience of often having to love in the ab­sence of a full and sufficiently heartfelt response to the beloved. In truth we are called to love whether or not our heart responds adequately in a given situation, and this aspect, the verb-character of love, or where love and the will intersect, is what I believe is not completely ignored but is under-examined by von Hildebrand in this work. As such, I hope that the reader will see that I am not attempting to refute his thesis but rather to elucidate what I believe is a boundary which I do not see adequately addressed in his work.
63. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Stephen D. Schwarz Dietrich von Hildebrand on the Role of the Heart and the Will in Love
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Is love from the heart or from the will? Many writers claim that love is an act of the will. Von Hildebrand is emphatic in his claim that love is the voice of the heart, that to really love a person is to feel love for that person, and not merely to will for him what is good, and surely not merely to “will to love” him. In this, I think von Hildebrand is absolutely correct. But I also think that those who stress the role of the will are basically correct. And so my project in this paper is to show that these two seemingly opposed claims are not really contradictory but actually two sides of the same coin. Indeed, a careful reading of von Hildebrand himself shows that he too provides an important and even essential role for the will in his theory of the nature of love. I discuss six major ways in which the will plays a crucial role in love. The most important of these is the will as the center of cooperative freedom. The experience of love is in its very nature a gift, something I cannot produce for myself by an act of will. But once it is there in my heart I can freely say an inner yes to it. I can identify myself with it and make it explicitly my own. It is now my love in a new way since it is not merely the voice of my heart but of my whole being. Another major way in which the will plays a crucial role in love is faithfulness and perseverance. Briefly, we can say that love is the voice of the heart and the role of the will is to serve love.
64. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Philip Blosser What Makes Experience “Moral”? Dietrich von Hildebrand vs. Max Scheler
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In this paper I examine two problems in Scheler’s ethics to which I believe von Hildebrand provides a solution: his (1) identification of moral value with the positive or negative response value that appears as a by-product of personal agency directed at realizing a non-moral value; and (2) the lack of any clear distinctively moral antithesis between good and evil in personal agency. In response to (1), I enlist von Hildebrand’s distinction between morally relevant and irrelevant values and his observation that not all value-responses are morally good/evil, and I illustrate the existence of specifically non-moral kinds of good/bad, such as the aesthetic. In response to (2), I enlist von Hildebrand’s distinction between the “subjectively satisfying” and “intrinsically important.” As von Hildebrand demonstrates, Scheler fails to see that this is not a distinction between ranks of values but rather is a distinction between views of importance in our motivation and importance of objective value independently of any motivation whatsoever. These solutions are elaborated vis-à-vis Peter Spader’s attempted defense of Scheler against von Hildebrand.
65. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Francis E. Feingold Principium Versus Principiatum: The Transcendence of Love in von Hildebrand and Aquinas
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This paper seeks to defuse the claim, made by von Hildebrand and his followers, that Thomism has no place for a transcendent love whose principium would lie truly in the beloved, rather than ultimately in the needs and desires of the lover; it also seeks to refute the Thomist objection that von Hildebrand lacks a sufficient understanding of nature and its inherent teleology. In order to accomplish this, I distinguish between different kinds of principium or “for-its-own-sakeness.” Using St. Thomas’s theory of friend­ship-love, I show how every affective movement not only can but must have two different principia of two fundamentally different sorts: an “end-desired,” and an “end-for-whom” the former is desired. It is then noted that the key terms ‘value’ and bonum honestum are both used to describe both types of “worthiness,” and that this lack of distinction has led to much confusion between Thomists and followers of von Hildebrand; for, while the latter seem to tend to confer the higher “worthiness” of the “end-for-whom” also on inanimate objects like sunsets, the former often tend to classify even the beloved under the lower “worthiness” of the “end-desired,” both of which are untenable positions. It is shown, however, that for St. Thomas it is the higher and more ultimate sense of “worthiness” that is at stake in friendship-love and that it is a truly “transcendent” or “ecstatic” phenomenon. Two objections are then addressed: (1) St. Thomas’s claim that substantial unity is the greatest cause of love, and (2) his claim that man’s primary end is Vision. With respect to both of these claims I maintain that Aquinas’s position needs correction but that neither should be taken to imply that for Aquinas man is his own center or his own chief “end-for-whom.” Finally, it is shown that while von Hildebrand decries positing natural teleology as the explanation for man’s transcendence (a Thomistic position), I argue that this is only due to a confusion regarding the kind of explanation that nature is being invoked to serve: namely, von Hildebrand sees nature invoked as the final cause whereas Thomists actually invoke it as simply the formal cause of our love for our true Final Cause.
66. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Brian Sudlow The Non-Violence of Love: A Hildebrand-Girard Encounter
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If love is a social as well as a personal reality, it could be fruitful to compare von Hildebrand’s understanding of love and desire with that of cultural anthropologist René Girard. Girard depicts love and desire as a triangular process which arises from imitation, rather than the result of auto-generative affection. In this sense, Girardian theory would seem to convict von Hildebrand of what is called the “romantic lie” wherein desire is thought to arise through the mutual appreciation of two subjects. However, in The Nature of Love von Hildebrand shows awareness of the possibility that love can be awakened by imitation. Moreover, the lack of a sufficient reason in Girardian theory for avoiding violence can be answered by turning to von Hildebrand’s appreciation of the ontological basis for desire.
67. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
David Utsler Dietrich von Hildebrand and Paul Ricoeur: Eidetic and Hermeneutic Phenomenology
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Dietrich von Hildebrand and Paul Ricoeur share the same philosophical roots in the early phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. Ricoeur went beyond Husserl to develop his own unique version of hermeneutics. Although Ricoeur rejected Husserl’s idealist version of phenomenology, Ricoeur never rejected the earliest interpretation Husserl gave to his own phenomenology. Von Hildebrand, although contributing insights of his own, identified his own phenomenology as that of the phenomenology explicated in Husserl’s Logical Investigations. In this paper I will look at aspects of Ricoeur’s account of the “mutual belonging” of phenomenology and hermeneutics. Assuming the affinity between von Hildebrand’s phenomenology and that of Husserl’s, I will apply Ricoeur’s analysis more closely to von Hildebrand. My thesis is that the mutual belonging shared by phenomenology and hermeneutics forms a basis to bring Dietrich von Hildebrand and Paul Ricoeur into dialogue. While their philosophies are markedly different, they both share a deep respect for the meaning of being.
68. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
John Zizioulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon An Ontology of Love: A Patristic Reading of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s The Nature of Love
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Dietrich von Hildebrand’s treatise, The Nature of Love, is set in relation to the theological personalism of the Cappadocian fathers of the Church, and to my own earlier work done in this tradition. Several points of divergence are explored, especially points concerning von Hildebrand’s claim that love exists as a response to the beauty of the beloved person. God’s love for human beings does not always seem to fit the paradigm of value-response; His love seems rather to be creative of beauty in us rather than to respond to already existing beauty. But at the same time, the deep kinship of von Hildebrand’s personalism with that of the Cappadocian fathers is stressed; he is at one with them in affirming the heart as distinct from the intellect, in affirming love as the supreme act of the person, and in affirming the place of beauty in the existence of persons.
69. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Robert E. Wood Dietrich von Hildebrand on the Heart
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Dietrich von Hildebrand’s compressed treatment of the life of feeling is contained in his work, The Heart: An Analysis of Human and Divine Affectivity, originally titled The Sacred Heart. This work focuses upon the “core” of the author’s written corpus. It at­tempts to place the phenomena of the heart on a plane co-equal with intellectual and volitional phenomena and to rescue devotion to the Sacred Heart from its tendency to mawkish sentimentality. This paper will focus upon a summary of the phenomenological description of affective life. Von Hildebrand sets himself against a dominant tendency in the philosophic tradition to downplay the role of the heart, though he explores the reasons for that tendency in the skewing of one’s judgment by emotionality or senti­mentality. He explores the hierarchy of feelings and pays special attention to “spiritual feelings” in the religious, aesthetic, moral, and intellectual life. He also examines ways in which the heart is underdeveloped by the hypertrophy of intellectual, pragmatic, or volitional modes; also ways in which one cancels out altogether the work of the heart in the state of heartlessness; again, ways in which the heart becomes tyrannical and blocks the capacity for intelligent self-assessment. Properly developed, the heart “has its reason of which reason knows nothing”—a famous saying of Pascal that the author qualifies by viewing reason here as the kind of abstract reason that operates in logic, mathematics, and natural science. The alertness associated with the heart is that of “the whole man,” and not some separate aspect. The last part of the essay appends a friendly criticism of von Hildebrand’s tendency to “substantialize” the powers of the mind and what I take to be a misreading of Plato and Aristotle. Finally, the phenomena of the heart are located within a bipolar view of the field of human awareness, rooted in the sensory and open to the totality via the notion of Being.
70. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Sarah Borden Sharkey Introduction to The Legacy of Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being
71. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Christopher T. Haley Manifesting Meaning: Art, Truth, and Community in St. Edith Stein
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In this paper I investigate the peculiarities of artistic truth in relation to God, the artist, the work of art, and the artwork’s audience in the context of Stein’s thought. In doing so, I attempt to fashion from Stein’s unsystematic statements about art the rudiments of an aesthetic theory. The core of this theory is the role of beauty in the manifestation of truth and meaning in the world of finite being. This manifestation, I argue, affords art a unique possibility of creating a fuller harmony between finite and infinite being, and so a fuller harmony with God.
72. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Karl Schudt Edith Stein, Apophatic Theology, and Freedom
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In Finite and Eternal Being, Edith Stein attempts an ascent to the fullest understanding of being. She starts with the personal being of the I and rises to the uncreated divine being, which is the formal, efficient, and exemplary cause of all that is. This divine being is also simple, and in this divine simplicity Stein pauses, remarking that one cannot properly make judgments about God since the very form of the judgment implies composition. God is, in the end, knowable only through what he is not—using the apophatic way of negation. God reveals himself as a person, and one who has created humans in his image and likeness. I will show the unique way in which Stein describes this image relationship: the ultimately unknowable individual being or haeccitas of each human person is a mirror of the unknowable being of God. Unknow­ability becomes, paradoxically, a way to know.
73. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Timothy Martell Person and Community in Stein’s Critique of Heidegger’s Existential Philosophy
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Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being: an Attempt at an Ascent to the Meaning of Being is profoundly influenced by her early work as a phenomenologist. Nowhere is this more apparent than in her critique of Heidegger’s existential philosophy. On the basis of her early phenomenological research, Stein is able to identify a number of shortcomings in Heidegger’s analysis of the human way of being, including that it fails to clarify what it is to be a person, fails to clarify what it is for a number of persons to be in community with one another, and mistakenly suggests that being in community with other persons is predominantly a way of fleeing from responsibility. Stein concludes that Heidegger’s analysis, though often insightful, caricatures the human way of being. In this paper, I present relevant parts of Stein’s early phenomenological studies of the person and community and show how they support her conclusion regarding Heidegger’s existential philosophy.
74. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Sarah Borden Sharkey Eternal Rest: The Beauty and Challenge of Essential Being
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Stein develops a tri-partite account of being, distinguishing three types of being: actual being, mental being, and essential being. The third—essential being—is particularly significant for Stein’s project of bringing together phenomenology and medieval meta­physics; it provides a response to a weakness Stein sees in the classic account of potency; it accounts for the deep intelligibility of all that is; and it plays a role in Stein’s understanding of artistic truth. In this piece, I lay out Stein’s understanding of essential being and a few of the reasons she posits this notion of being. I then contrast her account of essential being with at least one interpretation (a ‘thin-essence’ existential reading) of Thomas Aquinas on essence. Although Stein’s account of essential being offers many advantages and answers certain difficult questions, I end with challenges that her view faces, including what I see as a problematic reliance on an overly spatial metaphor for being.
75. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray The Wesen of Things, According to Reinach
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In Edith Stein’s pinnacle work Finite and Eternal Being, she describes in a footnote that the act of bracketing (reduction) that Husserl committed to starting in Ideas—an act that separates fact from nature where only the aspect of essential being is considered—was the philosophic knife that severed phenomenology into idealist and realist factions. In opposition to Husserl’s ap­proach, she writes, Adolf Reinach, Alexander Pfänder, Jean Hering, Hedwig Conrad-Martius, and others were instead “guided by the full meaning of the term nature, [and] became ever more confirmed in their realistic ways.” In this paper, I will describe what this full meaning of wesen is held by some of Husserl’s contemporaries and students and what it entails, specifically looking to how Reinach conceived it. This will include a discussion of phenomenological method, his views on the a priori, essences, and the laws that govern them, as well as an investigation into why Reinach felt reductions were dangerous and unnecessary for the intuition of essences and essential being.
76. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
William Tullius Faith, Reason, and the Place of ‘Christian Philosophy’ in Edith Stein
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Paul Ricoeur claims that the tradition of philosophy is Greek by birth and, as such, encounters the Hebrew and the Christian always as an ‘other.’ The contemporary philosopher approach­ing issues of faith in the Judeo-Christian tradition, true to his or her Greek philosophical origins, can only approach the content of faith and the experience of the believer in a neutralized form and not in the mode of positive belief, rendering the idea of an explicitly ‘Christian philosophy’ impossible. In contrast, the phi­losopher Edith Stein argues for a strikingly different conclusion. Faith, entering into the framework of philosophical discussion, does not require a neutralization but stands as an authentic source of knowledge and phenomenological experience of God with­out which philosophy remains fundamentally impoverished on a variety of fronts. ‘Christian philosophy,’ for Stein, is not only a possibility, but is a philosophical necessity for the ultimate suc­cess of the philosophical project as a whole. This paper explores the nature of Christian philosophy, as articulated by Stein in Finite and Eternal Being and her essay, “Ways to Know God,” in its rela­tion to Greek thought; in particular, the way in which philoso­phy is naturally dependent upon faith, and the way in which faith forms the positive basis for a fulfilled intention of God that can be worked into philosophical analysis without violating the nature of philosophy.
77. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Glenn Chicoine Present Potential in Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being, Chapter Two
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This paper follows the analysis from self to God in chapter two of Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being. It proposes and brings further to light the role she implies therein for the ‘real potential’ of the present moment and thereby uncovers key aspects of her analysis. The key aspects of Stein’s analysis, which elucidate the ‘real potential’ of the present moment, are (a) the potential at­tributable to the immediate self, (b) the potential in the world, or creaturely potential, which includes the potential attributable to the self-in-the-world, and (c) the pure potential that enables an ego-pole over against a world to exist whatsoever. This last potential correlates with “absolute being” in Stein’s sense, which includes essential being, and ultimately bridges temporality and Eternal Being. As Stein’s exposition suggests, only Divine Pure Act can actualize pure potential for there at all to be a self and world.
78. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
David M. Cudnik How did Homer know Achilles? The Artist as Friend and Parent in Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being
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A central distinction which guides Edith Stein’s aesthetics is the distinction between Urbild, or pure form, which is the source of artistic inspiration and Abbild, which is the completed work of art whose source is the Urbild. The exemplary work of art is one which is a clear communication of the Urbild that it copies. The work of art therefore springs from the artist’s knowledge of the Urbild. However, it is not knowledge of a conceptual kind but rather of an essential kind. The human relationship that manifests this distinct kind of knowledge is friendship. In the execution of the work of art, the artist painstakingly constructs a manifestation of the Urbild. In this, the artist resembles a parent who assists the child in calling forth the underlying essence of the child. Thus the knowledge and activity of the artist, as Stein describes it, have analogues in the human relationships of friendship and parenthood, respectively. In the following paper, I will describe how the artist resembles both friend and parent in more detail.
79. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
John Finley Stein and Aquinas on the Problem of Individual Being
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Concerning the question of individual being, Edith Stein and Thomas Aquinas agree much more than her critique of the Thomistic view indicates. This discrepancy has three sources. First, Stein encounters Thomas through the writings of Joseph Gredt, who misinterprets Thomas on several key issues. Second, Thomas’s own language is admittedly often indeterminate when it comes to discussion of individuals, individuation, and individuality. Third, Stein and Thomas generally approach the topic of individual being with distinct concerns and therefore distinct emphases: she considers individuality; he, individuation. An examination of Thomas’s thought reveals that he and Stein would in fact agree on important points regarding matter, form, and subsistence in connection with individuality. Differences between the two thinkers remain, especially concerning form as a principle of individuality, but these differences stem from distinct ways in which Stein and Thomas think about the most fundamental metaphysical principles: namely, essence and existence. Still, significant harmony between the two on the question of individuality indicates fruitful possibilities for an understanding of the human person that draws upon Thomas’s objective analysis and Stein’s attention to the subjective.
80. Quaestiones Disputatae: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Michael Griffin What is an aisthêton? “Ordinary things” among the Neoplatonist commentators on the Categories