Getting back to Edith Stein’s Finite and Eternal Being

I am now back to an attempt at finishing Edith Stein’s opus, Finite and Eternal Being. In order to understand her sufficiently, I found it necessary to explore broadly the field of phenomenology: Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Marion…etc. This is Edith’s formation. However, we also must understand Scholasticism, as her work marries the two. It’s mesmerizing. She does not limit phenomenology (with a few important exceptions) but explores Scholasticism through the lens of Phenomenology. The quote below is an example. Having just acknowledged the work of the early Christian Platonists (e.g., Augustine) in the previous paragraph, she keeps her focus on the “experience” of the ego. And it all intertwines like a finely crafted silk cloth. I would not see it as clearly if I had not touched on her work in psychology. She pulls from her past work in unity and integrity to her foundations.

“Our own procedure demands that we first of all clarify the nature of being to the extent that this is possible within the circumference of the life of the ego, i.e., within that sector of being that is in our immediate proximity and indeed inseparable from us. In that region we have met with a type of existent that is removed from the flux of the life of the ego and that itself conditions this flux: We mean the experienced essences [Erlebnis-Wesenheiten]. In comparison with the experiential units which become and pass away, these experienced essences are in fact a kind of first existent. Unless essences were realized in the life of the ego, this latter would be a chaotic maze in which no formal structure whatever could be distinguished. It is the essences which impart to the life of the ego unity and multiplicity, organic articulate structure and order, meaning and intelligibility.” ~ Finite and Eternal Being, Edith Stein

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