Vol. 25, No. 2 (Fall 2021)

Guest Editor: Antonio Calcagno

ANTONIO CALCAGNO, Introduction: Edith Stein’s Rethinking of Phenomenology

ANGELA ALES BELLO, The Meaning of Life between Time and Eternity

This paper explores the question of the meaning of life, not only from the perspective of its temporal unfolding from birth to death but also from the perspective of its own particular meaning and its final cause, to use Aristotelian categories. In order to discuss this argument I refer myself to Edith Stein to show how crucial moments of her own life give rise to important and defining philosophical positions that touch upon questions of personal identity, social and communal relations, and a relationship with God.

ANNA MARIA PEZZELLA, Phenomenology and Psychology: Edith Stein’s Contribution to the Investigation of the Psyche

Edith Stein came to phenomenology after beginning her university studies in psychology. She struggled with the inability of psychology to justify and delineate its founding principles. She found in Edmund Husserl, though his sustained criticisms of psychologism, the possibility of a phenomenological ground for psychology. This article demonstrates how Stein, drawing from but also distancing herself from Husserl, justifies the possibility of a phenomenological psychology framed within a personalist structure of subjectivity and sociality.

DANIELE DE SANTIS, Streichen Wir das Bewußtsein, so Streichen Wir die Welt.” Edith Stein on Husserl’s Transcendental Idealism: Critical Remarks

This paper presents a systematic discussion of Edith Stein’s critical understanding of Husserl’s transcendental-phenomenological idealism. After a brief explanation of the way in which, according to Stein, Husserl’s idealism should be framed, this paper offers an evaluation of her criticism with a special focus on her Introduction to Philosophy lectures of 1920. I argue that if, ultimately, Stein’s rejection of Husserl’s idealism in the text in question is deemed unsuccessful, we must examine the premises on which her own perspective on the eidetics of nature is based.

SARAH BORDEN SHARKEY, Is Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being a Kind of “Phenomenological Metaphysics”?

One striking feature of Finite and Eternal Being is Edith Stein’s exceedingly rare use of the term “metaphysics.” She uses the term “formal ontology” numerous times, but the term “metaphysics” only appears a handful of times in the body of the text, and even those references are themselves a bit surprising. This could be explained in several ways, some of which may be quite innocent and have nothing to do with whether she understands her project as metaphysical. In the following, however, I would like to explore a differing explanation and argue that (at least, in part) her reason for avoiding describing her work as metaphysical is connected with the type of philosophical critique she wants to make of traditional metaphysics. I will not argue that Finite and Eternal Being should ultimately be read as a phenomenological analysis of being rather than any sort of metaphysical treatise, but I will argue that Stein has explicitly phenomenological reasons for being cautious about using the term “metaphysics.”

NICOLETTA GHIGI, Authentic Freedom and Happiness: An Interpretation of the Ethics of Edith Stein

This article seeks to advance a way of being in the world of the human person that encompasses both the truest sense of freedom of choice and its result, namely, happiness. Starting from the proposal of a relational ethics in Stein I intend to show how, in the authentic relationship through Einfühlung, it is possible to arrive at the “revelation” of what is deeper in ourselves, i.e., the personal core that characterizes us as unique and unrepeatable entities. The growth and development of our personalities occurs coherently with who we are. But the “choice” to adhere to the authenticity of a deep self is a choice of freedom that also leads one to harmony, to the acceptance of one’s finitude and weaknesses, and thus to living well with who one “really” is. This result coincides with being happy.



KYLE NOVAK, We Still Do Not Know What a Body Can Do: The Replacement of Ontology with Ethology in Deleuze’s Spinoza

Throughout much of his career, Deleuze repeats a problem he attributes to Spinoza: “we do not even know what a body can do.” The problem is closely associated with Deleuze’s parallelist reading of Spinoza and what he calls ethology. In this article, I argue that Deleuze takes ethology to be a new model for philosophy which he intends to replace ontology. I ground my claim in Deleuze’s suggestion that Spinoza offers philosophers the means of “thinking with AND” rather than “thinking for IS.” The argument is developed through Deleuze’s monographs and collaborations on Spinoza and alongside his meta-philosophical critique of the Image of Thought.

THIBAULT TRANCHANT, Cosmologie et création ex nihilo chez Cornelius Castoriadis : De la critique de la dialectique à la pensée complexe?

One of the most distinctive features of Castoriadis’s philosophy is his critique of an inherited notion of Creation ex nihilo, which he characterizes as the emergence of new and irreducible ontological forms. In this article, I discuss the implications of his radical ontology with regard to the cosmological question, broadly understood as the inquiry into the foundational principles and becoming of the totality of being. I firstly show how Castoriadis relied upon an original reflection concerning the history of science in order to reinvigorate ontological inquiries following the Kantian revolution. Afterwards, I comment on Castoriadis’s critique of Hegelian dialectic and recent epistemological views on complexity, which are two post-Kantian candidates attempting to conceptualize ontological totality. I conclude by suggesting that Castoriadis did not provide a dogmatic view of cosmology, and that his intent was rather to expose scientific knowledge to his radical concept of creation and to conceptualize the epistemological conditions of its apprehension.

IOANNIS TRISOKKAS, Phenomenology as Metaphysics: On Heidegger’s Interpretation of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

The article reflects on Heidegger’s “metaphysical” interpretation of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. This interpretation is driven by two theses Heidegger holds: (1) that the Phenomenology is a necessary part of Hegel’s “system of science” and (2) that the Phenomenology is metaphysics. These two theses contrast with Houlgate’s “epistemological” interpretation, which claims that the Phenomenology is not a necessary part of Hegel’s system of science and that it is not metaphysics. The article shows that while Heidegger has an argument that establishes, contra Houlgate, his second thesis, this very argument has consequences that undermine his first.