Human Individuality in Stein’s Mature Works

In Hanna-Barbara Gerl Falkowitz & Mette Lebech (eds.), Edith Steins Herausforderung heutiger Anthropologie. Heiligenkreuz, Austria: pp. 124-39 (2017)
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Abstract

In this paper, I examine the question of human individuality in Stein with a focus on establishing the metaphysical core of Stein’s understanding of the human individual and his individuality as found presented in her later works, principally Der Aufbau der Menschlichen Person and Endliches und ewiges Sein. I follow Stein’s own enquiry by locating her analysis of the human individual in the context of her understanding of individuality in general. From this analysis, we can see that Stein’s mature writings provide a manifold presentation of the human individual corresponding to the multi-layered structuration of the human being as a material thing, living being, and spiritual person. Yet, we also find that for Stein human individuality is ultimately resolvable into two distinct but interrelated dimensions: the mode of being of the spiritual, personal I; and the unique qualitative determination of the spiritual soul.

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Robert McNamara
Franciscan University of Steubenville

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